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For those who struggle with transubstantiation

Discussion in 'One Bread, One Body - Catholic' started by VincentIII, Jul 20, 2020.

  1. VincentIII

    VincentIII New Member

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    For those who struggle with the concept of eating the Lord's flesh and drinking his blood (the remaining physical appearance of bread and wine being an accident) because it can come across as cannibalism, what would you say to help them get past that objection? We can of course say that we must faithfully reconcile ourselves with it because it's what Jesus instructs us to do, but some people will want some measure of philosophical explanation for why it "makes sense."

    Looking at it another way, let's say a non-Christian learns that you're Catholic and asks if you personally believe you're really consuming Jesus's actual flesh and blood. You answer that you believe it, and they ask how you could participate in something like that. How do you answer?
     
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  2. spicoli

    spicoli ☩ Broman Catholic ☩

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    I would refer them to chapter six of Saint John's gospel and point out that a ton of Christ's disciples quit following him when he made it clear exactly what it meant and that they would really be consuming his flesh and blood. Not only was it taboo but there was also conflict with the Jewish law if I remember right. However, even though a bunch of them turned away, the twelve (and certainly some others) still remained—that's when Saint Peter asked "where or to whom would we go?" I think that's worth noting that Jesus just prescribed something that might be considered offensive to some sensibilities but the apostles remained at his side because what he's offering and what he's doing was that important.

    I can't imagine any other answer I would give someone who didn't understand other than "it's necessary". If they ask what it's necessary for I would try to give a basic but useful explanation of what a Sacrament is, and then tell them that the Eucharist is one of the most important of the seven. It is our spiritual subsistence the same way that a salad or a steak is our physical subsistence. The Eucharist is not a symbol nor is it a magical amulet, it's the flesh and blood of Jesus Christ—the fully God and fully man—and he told us to consume it. So we do so as much as and as often as we're eligible to do so (meaning in a state of sanctifying grace).

    Depending on whether God has opened their heart and mind to the truth will determine how much of that they're willing to accept for an answer.
     
  3. pdudgeon

    pdudgeon Traditional Catholic Supporter

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    I would remind them of two things:

    1. that the concept of putting medicine into your body in order to cure an illness is and was standard medical practice.

    2. Jesus' body and blood were perfect in conception, perfect in His lifetime, and perfect now.

    And thus they would do no harm, but on the contrary, could heal both spiritually and physically the damage that sin wrecks on our body and soul.
     
  4. Markie Boy

    Markie Boy Looking East, Moving Slow Supporter

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    What are you eating - his human, physical flesh and blood?

    Or his current bodily state which is beyond human comprehension?

    Much confusion comes there.
     
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  5. VincentIII

    VincentIII New Member

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    That's a great point. Although we know that the flesh and blood are truly present, the state of the flesh and blood is a mystery.
     
  6. pdudgeon

    pdudgeon Traditional Catholic Supporter

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    No confusion; just Spiritual Truth, for those who can receive.

    I opt for His current bodily state; the resurrected, risen, glorified, Eternal, Jesus.

    So that we might not be knocked dead in His true state, but instead live,
    He humbly conceals Himself in the appearance of simple bread and wine, before us.

    But even then, those who approach The Lord's Table at His gracious invitation and recognize Him,
    are in absolute awe at what is present before them in Grace and Majesty.

    The real wonder is that we can move our feet and reach out our hand to receive Him. :bow:
     
  7. Victor in Christ

    Victor in Christ Jehovah Tsidkenu

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    Please do not take this as offensive, i'm not on this forum to find fault, but I struggle to understand transubstantiation in its literal form where Christ uses the Priest to transform the bread and wine into his physical body and blood. Honestly and in all sincerity i have problems with this teaching. It reminds me so much of the Pharisees in Christ's day who were practicing man-made traditions for their own benefit/position within the Temple instead of feeding Christ's sheep spiritually. To me the Lord's supper is linked spritually with the Lords prayer, 'give us this day our daily bread'. Our daily bread is the bible, word of God in which Christ convicts us and teaches us, comforts us, blesses us, etc. The living word (the bible) is our daily bread.

    God bless
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2020
  8. concretecamper

    concretecamper Member of His Church

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    I would remind them that Judas didnt accept it either. Many do not realize that the teaching on the Eucharist is where Judas checked out.
     
  9. chevyontheriver

    chevyontheriver Well-Known Member Supporter

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    There are lots of people who don't accept that Jesus said 'This is my body'. Many who walked away when Jesus taught that one had to eat His body and drink his blood. It was a hard saying when Jesus said it. And so there are all sorts of ways of 'softening' the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, so as to not offend the tender sensibilities of the offended. But note that Jesus never went back and softened His own teaching for those who walked away.
     
  10. Victor in Christ

    Victor in Christ Jehovah Tsidkenu

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    Hi. The key to John 6, is verse 63 "It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, [they] are spirit, and [they] are life."

    Jesus never spoke literally. The Jews and Judas wanted a Political Messiah, Judas wanted physical money more than eternal life. Christ Jesus was explaining to them he wasn't a literal Messiah who would come to defeat the Romans, he came in the flesh to give them spiritual/eternal life but most couldn't see him that way.

    He is the living word (bread/meat) in the bible. When you read and study the bible, Christ is in it spiritually to the believer. He's the waters before the foundation of the earth, the spiritual manna that was stored in the ark and now in heaven, he's our Jehovah Tsidkenu, the spiritual life every OT patriarch believed would come in the flesh and live on in eternity forever. His blood cleanses us from sin spiritually, through believing in Christ he will provide us with another in the form of a comforter, teacher, guide. He's the fountain of life that we can draw from spiritually if we thirst.

    Please stay away from the literal, draw unto Christ spiritually, see him spiritually and he will bless you abundantly, not with worldly abundance spiritual abundance and enrichment of the heart, soul and mind.

    God Bless you all.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2020
  11. chevyontheriver

    chevyontheriver Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Actually, the key to Jn 6 is verse 55 , which says "For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed." Only folks who thought like Judas and disbelieve Jesus would spiritualize what Jesus said about Himself. Verse 63 refers to the need for grace to believe what Jesus said. "No one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father."
    Untrue. He spoke in many forms, literally and figuratively.
    It is necessary to accept the literal words of Jesus when he is being literal, to see the point when he speaks in parables, and to grasp the figures when he speaks figuratively. Not always easy to do. But in this case we know Jesus spoke literally about His body and blood because he did not go after those disciples who left to explain to them how what he said was all a mistaken interpretation, that he was really only speaking metaphorically. If your interpretation were correct, he should have chased them down and corrected their misunderstanding before most of them left Him.

    66 After this many of his disciples drew back and no longer went about with him. 67 Jesus said to the twelve, "Do you also wish to go away?" 68* Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life; 69 and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God."

    These stayed, not because they spiritualized the literal meaning from Jesus, but because they trusted Jesus even in a hard saying. And they carried on with what Jesus said and how he intended it to be interpreted. That is why the Orthodox, the Oriental Orthodox, and the Catholics ALL accept John 6 as literal. The Apostles knew it was literal, and that is what they passed on to us. The non-literal interpretation of John 6 is a new thing, only a few hundred years old.

    Please bother to try to understand our teaching on the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. You are a guest here and you have the opportunity to see what we believe and why. It's not your place here to try to convert us to your teaching. It is our place to offer you some clarity about what we believe.
     
  12. Victor in Christ

    Victor in Christ Jehovah Tsidkenu

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    I'm sorry if some of my words were offensive. Its not my intention to offend. I'm always comforted with Romans 8:28. As Christians we really shouldn't be trying to find fault, although i do struggle with the teaching that transubstantiation only can happen 'fully and literally' through a priest.
    During this coronavirus in the UK, the Roman Catholic church has reverted back to an old teaching where the bread and wine is spiritual and can be consumed in an individuals home without a Priest being present.

    Personally when reading the bible the spiritual message comes very strong to me even when a certain section is describing literal events.

    I'm willing to learn the difference between a literal and spiritual meaning.

    How do you explain and understand Luke 22:19-20, John 13, Matthew 26:26-30, 1 Corinthians 11:24, Acts 2:42, Acts 20:7, John 4:24, ?
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2020
  13. chevyontheriver

    chevyontheriver Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Your words were not offensive. That's not the point. You are a guest in this forum and you have the opportunity to learn and ask appropriate questions.
    There are problems with that. First being that the 'old teaching' is that of the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. While the language of transubstantiation is medieval, the real presence is original teaching. That's why we and the Orthodox and the Oriental Orthodox share the teaching. Whatever someone does in the UK, or how you interpret what you think they are doing, is not really relevant to the teaching of the Church. That said, I would be very interested in you providing any evidence for what you have claimed.
    There may be figurative spiritual meanings in addition to the literal meaning of the text. So that can be fine.
    Excellent. It can be difficult. That is why we follow the long Tradition of the Church in how we interpret these verses. Not just trying to figure it out as individuals, making it up new. We follow Jesus in this way, paying attention to how the early Church understood it.
    I have supplied the texts for you.
    As written. This is my body.
    Judas didn't accept that bread and wine would become the body and blood of Jesus.
    This too is Eucharistic.
    This verse is sufficient to show that it really is the bread and wine that become His body and blood, not reading Scripture, not a warm feeling, but that the body and blood, soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ is what the Eucharist is about. All the Orthodox know that too, and it is the literal sense of this Scripture.
    This too is Eucharistic.
    This again is Eucharistic. Paul preached a LONG time.
    I suspect you included this as if to mean that true worship can't possibly involve the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. That would be a wrong interpretation. We know from the end of John 6 that the Father gives us the grace to believe in His Son. Here we find that true worship is also a gift. That's the meaning. Not that we can make everything a metaphor and deny the presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.
     
  14. concretecamper

    concretecamper Member of His Church

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    :doh:
     
  15. spicoli

    spicoli ☩ Broman Catholic ☩

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    Not sure whether you meant just in the context of John 6, or that he never spoke literally ever. In either case, that would be wrong. Christ spoke literally on many occasions, he didn't speak exclusively in parable or apocalyptic or anything else. There are plenty of examples of literal discourse. John 6 being one of them.
     
  16. Victor in Christ

    Victor in Christ Jehovah Tsidkenu

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    I read it online from the BBC news website about as month ago. I will now try to look for it. I found it in the N.Ireland section.

    "During the time of pandemic, when people are unable to physically attend a celebration of the Eucharist, they are reminded of the ancient Catholic tradition of a spiritual communion in one's heart," the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland has said.


    Please be patient with me as you've been very patient with me. In the scriptures provided it also says 'do this in remembrance of me'.

    What is your view on 'remembrance of me'(anamnésis) in relation to 'my Father's Kingdom' (basileia)?

    Personally i believe 'my Fathers kingdom' is heaven/eternity, where Christ now sits at the right hand of his Father (our God). Christ will not drink with us in true majesty till we meet/unite with him as bride and groom with him in heaven. Rev 22:14 Christ the tree of life (the vine).
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2020
  17. concretecamper

    concretecamper Member of His Church

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    I think the disconnect with many "bible Christians" is that they do not look past the present age vernacular. I would suggest that anyone who does not understand "remembrance" research the meaning attached to the word Christ used. Here is a head start, from a Jewish Rabbi

    do this in remembrance of me – Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman, Ph.D.
     
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  18. Victor in Christ

    Victor in Christ Jehovah Tsidkenu

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    That's informative. The real 'literal/physical' presence Roman Catholic's and others believe the Eucharist holds may be similar in how Reformers seek Christ's presence on earth spiritually while always looking forward to meeting him in eternity/heaven. The only problematic area seems to be that an earthly Priest has to be present for this presence to take place.

    Now, i'm going to start looking into the Lutheran point of view that the real presence in the Eucharist takes place only by Christ our high Priest studying those words spoke by Jesus, "I tell you I shall not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom."

    God Bless
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2020
  19. chevyontheriver

    chevyontheriver Well-Known Member Supporter

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    That is quite different from the rather hinky Methodist thing expressed in the same article where everybody goes into their kitchens and gets some bread out ....

    Catholics have long had a prayer for those who cannot make it to church for some legitimate reason. It's called a 'spiritual communion' and is not a denial of the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.
    It is a making present of the Last Supper into the present time and space. This in the way the Jewish understanding of how the original Passover is made present in each Passover meal. The body and blood, the soul and divinity of Jesus Christ are as present in each mass as in the upper room. It's not like they put on a little play that helps people have a spiritual experience. It's real. You can experience the real thing.

    Here is something that links the idea of 'todah' to the Eucharist. It may be profitable for you to read: Library : The Todah Sacrifice as Pattern for the Eucharist
     
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  20. Markie Boy

    Markie Boy Looking East, Moving Slow Supporter

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    The absolute absence of a Christian ministerial priest in the New Testament is troubling for me. All my historical reading shows no minesterial priests being mentioned in the early church.
     
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