Background: I grew up in various Protestant denominations and was a largely devout Christian in my youth, I then became more of an agnostic in my 20s, and now I’ve been drawn toward Catholicism for past several years (I’m now 34). I’ve started RCIA twice, but not finished, and have done much self-study into Catholicism. I’ve become involved in the “Catholic mom blog” world and already hold and practice many of the Catholic beliefs. I practically self-identify as Catholic, but I’m not actually. Yet.
And this is why: I cannot seem to accept the idea of the Real Presence.
I’ve heard the explanation that “this is my body and blood” is repeated several times in Scriptures so that it is considered that Jesus meant for this to be literal, rather than figurative. However, considering that the Magisterium decides what parts of Scripture to interpret as literal and what to interpret as symbolic - I just don’t understand why it is necessary to interpret this as literal; it seems crazy to me.
If the doctrine of the Real Presence were not such an important tenant of the Catholic faith, I probably would just go along with the conversion process and pray that I might eventually understand - but because it is such an extremely important element, I unfortunately feel unable to continue in the conversion process.
Again, I would love to be fully Catholic, I do not mean this as a challenge question. I just cannot seem to overcome this doubt.
Can someone please provide any resources that better explains to me WHY the Catholic church holds belief in the Real Presence as a necessity?