transubstantiation


#1

I attended a lecture the other evening that our parish was having to celebrate the Year of the Eucharist.

The priest said that we don’t have to believe in transubstantiation any more.

I wish I had taken better notes, but my heart was so heavy. The whole evening was about Jesus’s presence at Mass everywhere but in the Eucharist.

Pray for us in the Diocese of Rochester.


Transubstantiation Post From Long Ago
#2

Transubstantiation is a very difficult concept to understand. I cannot imagine why a priest would tell you that you do not have to believe in it anymore.

I never heard the word until I was in my 30s but I understood that when I received communion, I received Jesus and it was a most glorious feeling, to wish to go back for more.

Once I heard the word, I heard it being used to tell people who were not Catholic that we actually eat the body and drink the blood of Christ. To those who do not understand, that sounds cannabilistic.

I think something should be done so that transubstantiation is better understood.


#3

It sounds to me as though it is time for a talk with this priest. If he does not recant or tell you that you misunderstood him, talk with your bishop. Transubstantiation is and always will be one of the Church’s doctrinal teachings.


#4

Something similar happened at a retreat that my mother was at. The talk was about the Eucharist & the priest went on & on about how we ‘bring Christ to others’ when they were charitable etc. Then they were supposed to discuss it among themselves. So Mam spoke up and said that young people are leaving the Church in droves because they are hearing what she heard just now. That is that there is no difference between how Jesus is present in the Mass & how Jesus is present when we are good to other people. She said that she knows that that is not what the priest meant to say but that was what she heard in what was said. So the priest very concerned that she could possibly have gotten that impression from his talk & went on to give a very good clarifying talk all about the Real Presence, the Sacrafice of the Mass etc.

I think part of the problem is that, while ‘bringing Christ to others’ is an aspect of the required response to the Mass, priests don’t realise that they can’t jump straight into that without spending a LOT of the on the importance of the Mass in it’s own right.


#5

[quote=MountainMan]It sounds to me as though it is time for a talk with this priest. If he does not recant or tell you that you misunderstood him, talk with your bishop. Transubstantiation is and always will be one of the Church’s doctrinal teachings.
[/quote]

The term transubstantiation is a word used by St. Thomas A.to describe what happened to the bread and wine at the consecration. I don’t believe that it had been used before Thomas to explain this action. It is a term derived by Thomas’s who applied Aristotelian metaphysics to explain the miracle of the real presence. People believed in the real presence for almost a thousand years before Thomas, so one would certainly not have to use the term to be a believer. On the other hand one could not deny the meaning of the term i.e.At the consecration Jesus becomes substantially present under the appearances of the consecrated bread and wine .As Mountain Man suggests I wouldn’t jump to call the Bishop without checking to see just what the priest was implying by his statement.


#6

Transubstantiation is something we as Catholics still believe. I’m disappointed the priest said this. The dogma of transubstantiation was formed during the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215. You should talk to him about it as someone has already mentioned. If he still says we don’t need to believe in transubstantiation talk to the Bishop.

Matt


#7

The whole concept of “have to believe” is flawed.

You are hereby commanded and required to do something that has no meaning unless it’s done through free will. Plus, believing is a gift from God so we can aspire to believe, but being mandated to believe presumes we can control God.


#8

[quote=kmmd]I attended a lecture the other evening that our parish was having to celebrate the Year of the Eucharist.
The priest said that we don’t have to believe in transubstantiation any more.
I wish I had taken better notes, but my heart was so heavy. The whole evening was about Jesus’s presence at Mass everywhere but in the Eucharist.
Pray for us in the Diocese of Rochester.
[/quote]

The unfortunate priest has a very, very poor understanding of the Catholic Church.
First, since Church teachings come from the apostles, who learned from God and since God never changes, then Church teachings can never change.
Since Church teachings come from God, and God can never be in error, then again, Church teachings can never change. Because either the teaching was wrong before it changed or it was wrong after it changed. Since God’s teachings can never be in error, they can never change.

Third, he doesn’t even know the basic teaching on the Eucharist. What makes the Eucharist different from any other sacrament or from any other way in which Jesus is present is that in the Eucharist ALONE Jesus is present in His Human nature, in addition to being present in His Divinity. Thus, while it is true that Jesus is present where 2 or 3 are gathered in His name, and while it is true, He is present in His word, which is read in the Church and commented upon in the Homily and He is present in the minister, etc. But it is in the Eucharist ALONE that He is present as true God and true man. In all the other ways Jesus is only present in His Divinity.
The Church teaches in the Mystery of Faith, " in the Eucharistic species a totally unique presence because in the sacrament of the Eucharist, Christ is wholly and entirely present, God and man, substantially and without interruption."

Why is this important? Well, you you remember when Jesus walked the earth visibly in Israel, many people came to Him and were healed physically and healed spiritually. While it is true that at that time God was everywhere, thus Jesus was everywhere, and while it was true that these same people had prayed to God for healing, it was not until they came near Jesus, in His physical presence that they were healed. In other words, God did not perform miracles until people came next to Him, in His physical presence. This is because ALL the graces which come from Jesus flow through His humanity. That is why the Eucharist is the greatest of all sacraments. That is why so many miracles happen at Eucharistic adoration. That is why Pope John Paul II requested all parishes in the whole world start Eucharistic adoration. He wants people everywhere to receive the benefits of the physical presence of Jesus. In the whole entire world, it is only in the Eucharist that we can come into the physical presence of Jesus.
And just as Jesus did not perform miracles until people came into His physical presence, today He often will not perform miracles until people come into His physical presense in Eucharistic Adoration, where He wants to perform miracles.
I learned all this from Father John Hardon who produced some tapes before he died called “The Blessed Sacrament”. Father Hardon gets ALL the Church teachings on the Eucharist, all the encyclicals and presents these teachings to us.
I have since had so many miracles happen at Eucharistic adoration that I can’t remember them all. Now I go to adoration every day. Why do you think that Padre Pio and the Cure of Ars became such great saints? It was because they spent hours in front of Jesus in the tabernacle in Eucharistic adoration. In Eucharistic adoration Jesus is physically present in His humanity. Thus He watches us as we come in to the chapel with His physical eyes. He watches us with His eyes as we walk around the room. He hears us with His physical ears. This is because in the whole world, it is ONLY in the Eucharist that Jesus is present body, blood, soul and Divinity. It is ONLY in the Eucharist that Jesus, the God who created us and who keeps us in existance is present as a complete man, just as any other man is present in the room. This is why the Church calls His presence in the Eucharist a "unique presence."
And just as Jesus got lonely while visibly present on earth and asked His apostles to stay with Him, He also gets lonely in the tabernacle, because as a man, Jesus has a human mind and a human soul and thus human emotions. He did not lose any of His humanity after His resurrection. He loves us beyond belief and wants us to spend time with Him in adoration. And He will reward us with many graces, blessings and miracles if we do so.

My life changed totally once I learned ALL the teachings on the Eucharist and now receive so many more graces.


#9

[quote=AlanFromWichita]The whole concept of “have to believe” is flawed.

You are hereby commanded and required to do something that has no meaning unless it’s done through free will. Plus, believing is a gift from God so we can aspire to believe, but being mandated to believe presumes we can control God.
[/quote]

Hey Alan,
Out of curiosity, does the last line of your reply apply to the belief in God??? By believing in God, are we controlling God???

And on the priest, if he is denying the miracle behind the word, that is deeply troubling, and I would wonder what goes through his mind when he is praying the Mass. But if he is saying that we cannot understand the meaning of transubstantiation, he has a point on the Mystery. Thanks and God bless.


#10

[quote=slinky1882]Hey Alan,
Out of curiosity, does the last line of your reply apply to the belief in God??? By believing in God, are we controlling God???
[/quote]

Maybe. I haven’t thought this completely through.

What I meant is, if God calls us to believe, and somebody commands us to believe, then in order for us to obey that command we have to require that God calls us. Can we wish for God to call us? Yes. Can we make it happen and thereby obey? No.

Further, can we resist God’s calling and/or ignore it? Yes. If this is what we are being “accused” of by not obeying the command to believe in something (whether transubstantiation or God) then that presumes the person giving us the command knows that we were, in fact, called.

In my experience, any time a person tells me I “have” to believe something, my mind automatically releases mental antibodies against it. Otherwise, I would have believed in many foolish things – such as the sincerity of corporate execs about believing in the mission statement! (personal issue: you do NOT want to be the only one in an organization who actually buys into the mission statement.)

And on the priest, if he is denying the miracle behind the word, that is deeply troubling, and I would wonder what goes through his mind when he is praying the Mass. But if he is saying that we cannot understand the meaning of transubstantiation, he has a point on the Mystery. Thanks and God bless.

I’m not sure what you’re asking. Do you mean to distinguish “cannot” believe vs “must believe” in the priest’s mind? Hopefully the priest believes in transubstantion, although I do not know whether that is technically necessary for the sacrament to be valid.

An invitation to believe is different than a command to do so. Jesus says whoever believes in Him will obey His commands. I figure that works both ways; if we obey His commands, we probably believe in Him in some fashion – if not in His person, then in spirit.

Alan


#11

Alan,

Hey, the first part, the question, was addressed to you, but the second paragraph was aimed at the initial post in this thread. I apologize for my lack of clarity.

You are right on the priest’s belief/unbelief would not affect the validity of the Mass, but I find it troubling that an individual with that given power would deny the Miracle behind the term Transubstantiation. My concern is for the priest’s soul and faculties, and my reply was aimed at that I did not know the context of the priests comments. The priest was right if he meant that one cannot fully grasp the Mystery of Transustantiation. Thanks and God Bless.


#12

I think that the point of the evening was to instruct us on “God’s overall presence in the Mass” as being paramount.
He spoke more about his presence in the community and the word, even going so far as to say that Jesus is present in the Lector (as He is in the priest), than He did about His presence in the Bread. The saddest part is the audience loved it. For the most part these were the leaders of two parishes. The directors of Religious Ed, the parish admisitrators (only a couple of priests left in these parts), etc.

There were some complaints from the audience about people who think you have to be quiet before Mass and also about people who insist on kneeling when they return from Communion. The visiting priest nodded in sympathy and then said “the problem is Rome”


#13

I wonder if (and hope that) your priest simply misspoke. I have heard people talk about the prescence of Christ being everywhere, and it is true that God is in all creation, and present in the Liturgy of the Word, and in the people gathered at Mass. Of course, the Eucharist is a unique and awesome gift because God knows that in our nature we cannot understand and identify with only knowing that God is everywhere; we need a physical way to be in His prescence, and so He has blessed us with the awesome gift of Eucharist! I don’t think it would be difficult to over-emphasize the non-Eucharstic prescense, but it is important to emphasize the awesomeness of the Eucharist. I hope that you are able to talk with your priest about this. My prayers are with you.


closed #14

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