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Non-Catholics Section: The Eucharist / Mass

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Non-Catholics Section:

The Eucharist / Mass

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Do You Reject Transubstantiation or That the Eucharist is Truly Christ's Flesh and Blood Under the Mere Appearance of Bread & Wine?

Do You Reject the Catholic Church's Teaching That the Mass is a Propitiatory Sacrifice? / Do You Believe the Action is a Mere 'Commemoration'?

Do You Believe That a Protestant 'Communion' Wafer is Equivalent to the Catholic Eucharist?

Do You Believe That the Doctrine of Transubstantiation is a Recent Invention of the Catholic Church?

How Can One Believe in the Real Presence When it is Not Perceptible to the Eye?

Are You Troubled by Certain Externals in the Mass?

Do You Reject the Teaching That Reception of the Eucharist is Necessary for Salvation for Those Who Have Reached the Use of Reason?

Question

Comments

Do You Reject Transubstantiation or That the Eucharist is Truly Christ's Flesh and Blood Under the Mere Appearance of Bread & Wine?

Consider:

* If the Eucharist is not truly Christ's flesh and blood under the mere appearance of bread and wine, why does Scripture say that "anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself" (1 Cor. 11:29)? 

* If the Eucharist is not truly Christ's flesh and blood under the mere appearance of bread and wine, why does Scripture say that "whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord" (1 Cor. 11:27)? Certainly if it was mere bread and wine one would not be guilty of the body and blood of Christ!

* If the Eucharist is not truly Christ's flesh and blood under the mere appearance of bread and wine, why does Scripture say that many persons were ill, infirm, and dying specifically because they didn't discern the body (see 1 Cor. 11:30)?

* If the Eucharist is not truly Christ's flesh and blood under the mere appearance of bread and wine, how could it be said to be "a participation in the body of Christ" (1 Cor. 10:16)?

* If the Eucharist is not truly Christ's flesh and blood under the mere appearance of bread and wine, why did Christ say it was his body and his blood (and not a symbol or figure)? Why did Christ say that the bread and the contents of the cup would be given up / shed for the forgiveness of sins if the bread and the contents of the cup were only symbolic? How could mere bread and wine attain the forgiveness of sins? How could Christ call mere bread and wine his body and blood? If the bread and wine remained, in substance, along with Christ's body and blood, why did Christ say "is" instead of "contains"?

Mt. 26:26-28 (emphasis added): "While they were eating, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and giving it to his disciples said, 'Take and eat; this is my body.' Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, 'Drink from it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins.'" 

Mk. 14:22-24 (emphasis added): "While they were eating, [Jesus] took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them, and said, 'Take it; this is my body.' Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, and they all drank from it. He said to them, 'This is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed for many.'"

Lk. 22:19-20 (emphasis added): "Then [Jesus] took the bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them, saying, 'This is my body, which will be given for you; do this in memory of me.' And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, 'This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which will be shed for you.'"

* If the Eucharist is not truly Christ's flesh under the mere appearance of bread, why did Christ say that "the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world" (Jn. 6:51)?

* If the Eucharist is not truly Christ's flesh under the mere appearance of bread, why did the Jews ask "How can this man give us (his) flesh to eat?" (Jn. 6:52)? If they were mistaken, why didn't Jesus correct them? Why didn't He make the doctrine easier for them to accept? Why did Christ not mention that they shouldn't be taking Him so literally? Why did Christ - who sought unity among his followers - allow a 'misunderstanding' to divide his disciples? Why would Christ let them leave over a simple misunderstanding? Why did Christ not correct this 'misunderstanding', but instead emphasize his 'troubling' doctrine even more strongly (see Jn. 6:53)? 

* If the Eucharist is not truly Christ's flesh and blood under the mere appearance of bread and wine, why did Christ say that "unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you" (Jn. 6:53)? Do you not take Christ at His word?

* If the Eucharist is not truly Christ's flesh and blood under the mere appearance of bread and wine, why did Christ say that "my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink" (Jn. 6:55)?

* If the Eucharist is not truly Christ's flesh and blood under the mere appearance of bread and wine, why did Christ say that "Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him" (Jn. 6:56)?

* If the Eucharist is not truly Christ's flesh and blood under the mere appearance of bread and wine, why did Christ say that "the one who feeds on me will have life because of me" (Jn. 6:57)?

* If the Eucharist is not truly Christ's flesh under the mere appearance of bread, why does Jesus say that "Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread [that is, the Eucharist] will live forever" (Jn. 6:58)?

* If the Eucharist is not truly Christ's flesh and blood under the mere appearance of bread and wine - but is only symbolism - why did Christ's disciples leave Him over this doctrine (see Jn. 6:66)? Do you seriously believe they left Christ over bread? Why is it they knew Christ was speaking literally, but you don't?

* If the Eucharist is not truly Christ's flesh and blood under the mere appearance of bread and wine - but is only symbolism - why did Christ allow these disciples to leave him (see Jn. 6:66)? 

* If the Eucharist is not truly Christ's flesh and blood under the mere appearance of bread and wine - but is only symbolism - why did Christ ask his apostles if they also wanted to leave Him over this doctrine (see Jn. 6:67)? 

* Why is it that Scripture shows that those who rejected the Eucharist were the first to leave Christ - "the first 'protest-ants'", yet you (or your non-Catholic 'Christian' ancestors) have essentially left the Church over the same thing and see no problem with it? Doesn't it concern you that you reject the very thing that many of Christ's disciples rejected - the very disciples that Christ let leave Him (see Jn. 6:66)? Doesn't it bother you that those who rejected this very teaching are referred to in Scripture as the unbelievers (see Jn. 6:64)?

* What exactly is it that you imagine Christ means when He says to do "this" in memory of Him (Lk. 22:19)? Are you implying that "this" means to pretend to consume His flesh and blood?

* If the Eucharist is not truly Christ's flesh & blood under the mere appearance of bread and wine, why did the apostles teach this and why did all the earliest Christians believe this? Why were first century Christians charged with cannibalism? [Note: Of course their actions weren't really cannibalistic. Although the Eucharist is Christ's true flesh and blood - It is received sacramentally (as the Apostles received It), under the appearance of bread and wine.]

* Why is it that non-Catholic 'Christians' claim to be saved by 'faith alone', yet have no faith in the teaching of Christ which requires the most faith? Do you not realize that if you reject the Eucharist - Christ's body and blood - you are directly rejecting Christ?

* If you question whether the Catholic Church's claims regarding the Eucharist are possible - do you also question the change of water into wine noted in Scripture (see Jn. 2:1-11) and the miraculous increase of bread noted in Scripture (Mt. 14, Mk. 6, Lk. 9, Jn. 6 - one of the limited number of things mentioned in all four Gospels!)? Note that both of these events prefigure the miracle of the Eucharist! Is it that you think Christ couldn't or wouldn't accomplish this marvel (of the Eucharist)? Surely you know that Christ - being God - can do anything, and since Christ tells us He will do this (and lets the unbelievers leave him), why do you not believe that He does what He says?

* Besides the Old Testament manna, are you aware of the many passages of Scripture which foreshadow the Eucharist? Did you realize that Christ was even born in Bethlehem (meaning "House of Bread")?

* Why is it that many non-Catholic 'Christians' reject the Eucharist as being Christ's true flesh and blood, yet Satanists apparently believe that it is (they have been known to steal the Eucharist from Catholic churches for their satanic rituals)? Why is it that Satanists appear to have more 'faith' than those who go by the 'faith alone' theory? Why is it that Satanists - Christ's professed enemies - are known to steal the Eucharist from Catholic churches but are not known for stealing of bread wafers from Protestant 'churches'? Why is it that even our mortal enemies prove the Catholic Church's claims regarding the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist yet you do not believe?

* Why do you say that the Eucharist is only a symbol or figure of Christ's body and blood when the Bible never says that it is a symbol or figure - and, in fact, says the very opposite?

* If the Eucharist is not truly Christ's flesh and blood under the mere appearance of bread and wine, why have even animals recognized the presence of Christ in the Eucharist? Why have some animals even shown it reverence? Why have dogs trained to search for human flesh recognized the Eucharist as human flesh?

* If the Eucharist is not truly Christ's flesh and blood under the mere appearance of bread and wine, how can you account for the numerous - including various scientifically verified and well- documented - miracles concerning the Eucharist (e.g. bleeding Hosts, persons living only on the Eucharist, etc.)?

* Why does Christ tell us that the Eucharist is His flesh and his blood, yet you deny it? Do you imagine that you know better than Christ? If the Eucharist is not truly Christ's flesh, why did Christ say that it is? (Jn. 6:55, Mt. 26:26, Mk. 14:22, Lk. 22:19)

* Do you deny the Catholic Church's claims regarding the Holy Eucharist because you cannot understand how this change can occur or because it is "too difficult to understand"? If so, why do you subject the omnipotent God's truths to your human reasoning? Is it not fair to say that you will only have faith in that which you can understand? Why do you withhold faith in Christ's teachings because you cannot understand them fully? Why is it that you believe that God made Adam from the earth without understanding how this could be, but reject the Eucharist because you cannot understand how it could be? 

* Is it possible that you do not believe in the Catholic Church's claims regarding Eucharist not because you cannot see how this doctrine is contained in Scripture, but merely because you simply do not have enough faith? 

* Are you troubled by the fact that the Eucharist is sometimes still called "Bread and Wine" even after the consecration? If so, you should know that persons may still refer to It in that way not because they deny the Real Presence, but "because that is what It appears to be to the senses. Or it may be called such because that is what it was before the consecration (just as one might refer to a former president still as 'president')."

* Why is it that this element of the Christian religion [the Holy Eucharist] - which truly calls for faith - is one of the major points of disbelief for those in sects who fancy themselves 'saved by faith alone' and push for a 'personal relationship with Jesus'. Is it not fitting that those who deny the only true Church of Christ and claim that they are saved by "faith alone" are the ones who have no faith in the Body and Blood of Christ in the Holy Eucharist and forgo the most personal relationship with Jesus that is possible? As indicated above, we see in the Gospel that Jesus Himself let those leave Him who could not accept His doctrine concerning the Holy Eucharist.


Some Final Quotations...

"[T]he bread and the wine of the Eucharist before the holy invocation of the adorable Trinity were simple bread and wine, but the invocation having been made, the bread becomes the Body of Christ and the wine the Blood of Christ" (St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Doctor of the Church, c. 350 A.D.) 

"If some have called the bread and wine [symbols] of the Body and blood of the Lord... they said this not after the consecration but before the consecration" (St. John Damascene, Doctor of the Church, c. 8th century A.D.)

"Surely the word of Christ, who could make something that did not exist out of nothing, can change things that do exist into something they were not before. For it is no less extraordinary to give new natures to things than it is to change nature." (St. Ambrose, Doctor of the Church) 

"That Bread which you see on the altar, having been sanctified by the word of God, is the Body of Christ. That chalice, or rather, what is in that chalice, having been sanctified by the word of God, is the Blood of Christ." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church, c. 5th century A.D.)  

"And let all take care that no unbaptized person taste of the Eucharist... For it is the body of Christ to be eaten by them that believe [that is, the Eucharist is not to be eaten by unbelievers] and not to be lightly thought of." (St. Hippolytus, 3rd century A.D.) 

"So long as the prayers of supplication and entreaties have not been made, there is only bread and wine. But after the great and wonderful prayers have been completed, then the bread is become the Body, and the wine the Blood, of our Lord Jesus Christ" (St. Athanasius, Doctor of the Church, c. 373 A.D.) 

"He Himself, therefore, having declared and said of the Bread, 'This is My Body,' who will dare any longer to doubt? And when He Himself has affirmed and said, 'This is My Blood,' who can ever hesitate and say it is not His Blood?" (St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Doctor of the Church, c. 350 A.D.) 

"As to the truth of the Flesh and Blood there is no room left for doubt. For both from the declaration of the Lord Himself and from our own faith, it is truly Flesh and truly Blood. And when These are eaten and drunk, it is brought to pass that we are both in Christ and Christ in us." (St. Hilary of Poitiers, Doctor of the Church, 4th century A.D.)

"The Lord did not say: This is a symbol of My Body, and this is a symbol of My blood but: This is My Body and My Blood. He teaches us not to look to the nature of those things which lie before us and are perceived by the senses, for by the prayer of thanksgiving and the words spoken over them, they have been changed into Flesh and Blood." (Theodore of Mopsuestia, as quoted by Pope Paul VI)

"Christ did this to bring us to a closer bond of friendship, and to signify His love toward us, giving Himself to those who desire Him, not only to behold Him, but also to handle Him, to eat Him, to embrace Him with the fullness of their whole heart. Therefore as lions breathing fire do we depart from that Table, rendered objects of terror to the devil." (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church, 4th century A.D.) 

"Before it be consecrated it is bread; but where the words of Christ come in, it is the Body of Christ. Finally, hear Him saying: 'All of you take and eat of this; for this is My Body.' And before the words of Christ the chalice is full of wine and water; but where the words of Christ have been operative it is made the Blood of Christ, which redeems the people." (St. Ambrose of Milan, Doctor of the Church, c. 390 A.D.) 

"It is clear, therefore, that the Virgin gave birth contrary to the order of nature. And this Body which we consecrate is from the Virgin; why do you seek the natural order here in the case of the Body of Christ, when the Lord Jesus Himself was born of the Virgin contrary to nature? It was certainly the true flesh of Christ which was crucified, which was buried; truly, therefore, the Sacrament is a sacrament of that flesh." (St. Ambrose, Doctor of the Church, 4th century A.D.) 

"We call this food Eucharist; and no one else is permitted to partake of it, except one who believes our teaching to be true and who has been washed in the washing which is for the remission of sins and for regeneration, and is thereby living as Christ has enjoined. For not as common bread nor common drink do we receive these; but since Jesus Christ our Savior was made incarnate by the word of God and had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so too, as we have been taught, the food which has been made into the Eucharist by the Eucharistic prayer set down by Him, and by the change of which our blood and flesh is nourished, is both the flesh and blood of that incarnated Jesus." (St. Justin the Martyr, c. 148-161 A.D.) 

"Take note of those who hold heterodox opinions on the grace of Jesus Christ which has come to us, and see how contrary their opinions are to the mind of God. For love they have no care, nor for the widow, nor for the orphan, nor for the distressed, nor for those in prison or freed from prison, nor for the hungry and thirsty. They abstain from the Eucharist and prayer, because they do not confess that the Eucharist is the Flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ, Flesh which suffered for our sins and which the Father, in His goodness, raised up again. They who deny the gift of God are perishing in their disputes... It is right to shun such men, and not even to speak about them, neither in public nor in private." (St. Ignatius of Antioch, c. 110 A.D.) [Note: Notice the date of this quotation - c. 110 A.D.]

"The Body is truly united to divinity, the Body which was from that of the Holy Virgin; not that the Body which was taken up comes back down from heaven, but that the bread itself and the wine are made over into the Body and Blood of God. If you inquire into the way in which this happens, let it suffice for you to hear that it is through the Holy Spirit, just as it was through the Holy Spirit that the Lord took on Himself from the Holy Mother of God the flesh that subsisted in Himself. More than this we do not know, except that the word of God is true and effective and all powerful... For those who partake worthily and with faith, it is for the remission of sins and for life everlasting, and a safeguard to soul and body... The bread and wine are not a type of the Body and Blood of Christ - perish the thought! - but the deified Body Itself of the Lord, since the Lord Himself has said, 'This is My Body'. He did not say a type of His body, but His Body; nor a type of His Blood, but His Blood" (St. John Damascene, Doctor of the Church, c. 8th century A.D.)

"Whoever turns over the pages of the holy Fathers will easily perceive that on this doctrine (of transubstantiation) they have been at all times unanimous. St. Ambrose says: You say, perhaps, 'this bread is no other than what is used for common food.' True, before consecration it is bread; but no sooner are the words of consecration pronounced than from bread it becomes the flesh of Christ. To prove this position more clearly, he elucidates it by a variety of comparisons and examples, In another place, when explaining these words of the Psalmist, Whatsoever the Lord pleased he hath done in heaven and on earth, St. Ambrose says: Although the species of bread and wine are visible, yet we must believe that after consecration, the body and blood of Christ are alone there. Explaining the same doctrine almost in the same words, St. Hilary says that although externally it appear bread and wine, yet in reality it is the body and blood of the Lord." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

"...it can be clearly seen that the true body and blood of our Lord are contained in the Eucharist. The Apostle, after having recorded the consecration of bread and wine by our Lord, and also the administration of Communion to the Apostles, adds: But let a man prove himself, and so eat of that bread and drink of the chalice; for he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord. If, as heretics continually repeat, the Sacrament presents nothing to our veneration but a memorial and sign of the Passion of Christ, why was there need to exhort the faithful, in language so energetic to prove themselves? By the terrible word judgment, the Apostle shows how enormous is the guilt of those who receive unworthily and do not distinguish from common food the body of the Lord concealed in the Eucharist. In the same Epistle St. Paul had already developed this doctrine more fully, when he said: The chalice of benediction which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? and the bread which we break, is it not the participation of the body of the Lord? Now these words signify the real substance of the body and blood of Christ the Lord.... [Furthermore, we may consult] the Fathers who flourished in the early ages of the Church and in each succeeding century, who are the most unexceptionable witnesses of her doctrine. All of these teach in the clearest terms and with the most entire unanimity the truth of this dogma. To adduce the individual testimony of each Father would prove an endless task..." (Catechism of the Council of Trent) 

Do You Reject the Catholic Church's Teaching That the Mass is a Propitiatory Sacrifice? / Do You Believe the Action is a Mere 'Commemoration'?

Consider:

* If Christ's Church wasn't to have a perpetual sacrifice, why does the Old Testament prophet Malachi refer to a perpetual, pure sacrifice? As stated in Mal. 1:11: "For from the rising of the sun even to the going down, my name is great among the Gentiles, and in every place there is sacrifice, and there is offered to my name a clean oblation: for my name is great among the Gentiles, saith the Lord of hosts." If your non-Catholic 'Christian church' is true, why do you not have a sacrifice as Malachi predicted?

* Considering that altars are for sacrifice, why does New Testament Scripture speak of altars if there is no longer any sacrifice (e.g. see Mt. 5:23, Heb. 13:10)?

* If the Mass isn't a sacrifice, why is it that all (non-heretical) Christians before Luther believed that the Mass was a sacrifice? Why was it that "it was Satan - not God - who told Luther that the Mass was not a sacrifice"?

* If the Mass isn't a sacrifice, why does the ancient Didache ("Teaching of the Apostles") - which may date from the first to early second century - refer to it as a sacrifice? 

* If the Mass isn't a sacrifice, why did the First Council of Nicaea - a council accepted even by many Protestants - refer to the Mass as a sacrifice? "It has come to the attention of the holy and great council that in some localities and cities deacons give the Eucharist to presbyters, although neither the canon nor the custom permits those who do not offer sacrifice to give the Body of Christ to those who do not offer the sacrifice. This, too, has become known: that some deacons are now receiving the Eucharist even before the bishop. All this is to be discontinued, and the deacons are to be kept within their own proper bounds, knowing that they are the servants of the bishop and that they are less than presbyters. They are to receive the Eucharist, in accord with their rank, after the presbyters, either a bishop or a presbyter giving it to them. And neither are the deacons permitted to sit among the presbyters; for this is contrary to rule and order. If anyone, after these directives, still does not tender his obedience, he is to be deposed from the diaconate." (First Council of Nicaea, 325 A.D., emphasis added) 

* If the Christian "breaking of the bread" was to be a mere commemoration and not the actual transforming of the bread and wine into Christ's flesh and blood, why does Christ say to "do this" (Lk. 22:19)? Do you really imagine this to mean that Christians are to "pretend" that bread and wine are Christ's body and blood when Christ specifically says that this "is" His body and blood? What, then do you suggest that Christ means when he says "do this" in Lk. 22:19? How can "this" mean anything else but what occurred at that moment?

* Are you troubled by senses/appearances? While the Catholic Church teaches that Mass is a true sacrifice, she also teaches that the Eucharist has the outward appearance of bread and wine.

* Are you troubled because you think the Catholic Church claims to be "re-sacrificing Christ"? You should know that the Church never teaches such a thing! Instead, she teaches that the Sacrifice of the Mass is the re-presentation of the Sacrifice of Calvary - and not an entirely new sacrifice! Just as Jesus gave his apostles his flesh and blood at the Last Supper without his being sacrificed twice, the Catholic Church re-presents this very same sacrifice on her altars without Christ being sacrificed twice.


Some Final Quotations...

"Reverence, therefore, reverence this table, of which we all are communicants! Christ, slain for us, the Sacrificial Victim who is placed thereon!" (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church, c. 392 A.D.) 

"From this it is apparent that the Blood of Christ is not offered if there is no wine in the cup; nor is the Sacrifice of the Lord celebrated with a legitimate consecration unless our offering and sacrifice corresponds to the passion" (St. Cyprian of Carthage, 3rd century A.D.) 

"Will not your fast be more solemn if, in addition, you have stood at God's altar. The Body of the Lord having been received and reserved, each point is secured: both the participation in the sacrifice and the discharge of duty." [Tertullian ("an excellent early Christian writer" - although he would ultimately fall into heresy), c. 200-206 A.D.]

"That priest truly discharges the office of Christ, who imitates what Christ did; he offers a true and full sacrifice in the Church to God the Father, when he proceeds to offer it according to the way in which he sees Christ Himself to have offered it." (St. Cyprian, 3rd century A.D.)

"He states demonstratively, 'This is My Body,' and 'This is My Blood.' Lest you might suppose the things that are seen are a figure. Rather, by some secret of the all-powerful God the things seen are transformed into the Body and Blood of Christ, truly offered in a sacrifice in which we, as participants, receive the life-giving and sanctifying power of Christ." (St. Cyril of Alexandria, Doctor of the Church, c. 429 A.D.) 

"Lawrence and Ignatius, though they fought betimes in worldly camps, were true and spiritual soldiers of God; and while they laid the devil on his back with their confession of Christ, they merited the palms and crowns of the Lord by their illustrious passion. We always offer sacrifices [that is, the holy Sacrifice of the Mass] for them, as you will recall, as often as we celebrate the passions of the martyrs by commemorating their anniversary day [of their martyrdom]." (St. Cyprian of Carthage, 250 A.D.) 

"And thenceforth, the Apostles, and their successors in the priesthood, began to lift to heaven that 'clean oblation' foretold by Malachy, through which the name of God is great among the gentiles. And now, that same oblation in every part of the world and at every hour of the day and night, is offered and will continue to be offered without interruption till the end of time: a true sacrificial act, not merely symbolical, which has a real efficacy unto the reconciliation of sinners with the Divine Majesty." (Pope Pius XI, "Ad Catholici Sacerdotii", 1935 A.D.) 

"Therefore you hear that as often as sacrifice is offered, the Lord's death, the Lord's resurrection, the Lord's ascension and the remission of sins is signified, and will you not take the Bread of life daily? He who has a wound needs medicine. The wound is that we are under sin; the medicine is the heavenly and venerable Sacrament." (St. Ambrose, Doctor of the Church, 4th century A.D.)

"[S]ince the Sacrifice is offered everywhere, are there, then, a multiplicity of Christs? By no means! Christ is one everywhere. He is complete here, complete there, one Body. And just as he is one Body and not many though offered everywhere, so too there is one Sacrifice." (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church, c. 403 A.D.)

"[Y]et because death was not to put an end to his priesthood, at the Last Supper, the same night in which He was betrayed in order to leave to His beloved spouse the Church, a sacrifice which should be visible (as the nature of man requires), which should represent that bloody sacrifice, once and for all to be completed on the cross, which should perpetuate His memory to the end of time, and which should apply its saving power unto the remission of sins we daily commit, showing Himself made a priest forever according to the order of Melchisedech, offered to God the Father, under the appearance of bread and wine, His Body and Blood, giving them to the apostles (whom He was then making priests of the New Covenant) to be consumed under the signs of these same things, and commanded the Apostles and their successors in the priesthood to offer them, by the words 'Do this in commemoration of Me.'" (Council of Trent)

"Then, upon the completion of the spiritual Sacrifice, the bloodless worship, over that propitiatory victim [Christ] we call upon God for the common peace of the Churches [that is, the Catholic Church in various parts of the world], for the welfare of the world, for kings, for soldiers and allies, for the sick, for the afflicted; and in summary, we pray and offer this Sacrifice for all who are in need. Then we make mention also of those who have already fallen asleep...for we believe that it will be of very great benefit to the souls of those for whom the petition is carried up, while this holy and most solemn Sacrifice is laid out. And I wish to persuade you by an illustration. For I know that there are many who are saying this: 'If a soul departs from this world with sins, what does it profit it to be remembered in the prayer?' Well, if a king were to punish certain persons who had offended him, and those intervening for them were to plait a crown and offer it to him on behalf of the ones who were being punished, would he not grant a remission of their penalties? In the same way we too offer prayers to Him for those who have fallen asleep, though they be sinners. We do not plait a crown, but offer up Christ who has been sacrificed for our sins; and we thereby propitiate the benevolent God for them as well as for ourselves." (St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Doctor of the Church, c. 350 A.D.) 

"He taught the new sacrifice of the new covenant, of which Malachias, one of the twelve prophets, had signified beforehand: You do not do My will, says the Lord Almighty, and I will not accept a sacrifice at your hands. For form the raising of the sun to its setting My name is glorified among the gentiles, and in every place incense is offered to My name, and a pure sacrifice; for great is My name among the gentiles, says the Lord Almighty.' By these words He makes it plain that the former people will cease to make offerings to God; but that in every place sacrifice will be offered to Him, and indeed, a pure one; for His name is glorified among gentiles. Sacrifice as such has not been reprobated. There were sacrifices among the people; and there are sacrifices now, sacrifices in the Church... For we offer to Him those things which are His, declaring in a fit manner the gift and the acceptance of flesh and spirit. For as the bread from the earth, receiving the invocation of God, is no longer common bread but the Eucharist, consisting of two elements, earthly [e.g. the appearance] and heavenly [the Real Presence], so also our bodies, when they receive the Eucharist, are no longer corruptible but have the hope of resurrection into eternity." (St. Irenaeus, c. 190 A.D.)

Do You Believe That a Protestant 'Communion' Wafer is Equivalent to the Catholic Eucharist?

Consider:

* The difference between a Protestant communion wafer and the Catholic Eucharist, despite any similarity in appearance, is so great that it may be compared to the difference between God and man. In fact, the Protestant communion wafer is mere bread, while the Catholic Eucharist is literally the body of Christ.

* The priestly power conferred by Christ is necessary to confect the Eucharist. Protestants who have not retained valid priestly orders (including Anglicans) cannot have a valid consecration, which means their bread wafers can never contain Christ. To adore such a bread wafer - to consider it to be Christ - would be idolatry. Only those who have maintained apostolic succession and use the proper form can retain the power to effect the consecration. And, only in the Catholic Church is such power licitly used. As St. John Chrysostom has said, "For it is not man who makes the sacrificial gifts become the Body and Blood of Christ, but He that was crucified for us, Christ Himself. The priest stands there carrying out the action, but the power and the grace is of God. 'This is My Body', he says. This statement transforms the gifts." (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church, c. 4th century A.D.) 

* It has always been a condemned practice to receive the Eucharist - even if it is truly valid - outside the Catholic Church. Some relevant quotations follow:

"Let that Eucharist be valid which is offered by the bishop [of the Catholic Church] or by one to whom the bishop has committed this charge." (St. Ignatius of Antioch, 2nd century A.D.) 

"Take care, then to use one Eucharist, so that whatever you do, you do according to God: for there is one Flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ, and one cup in the union of His Blood; one altar, as there is one bishop with the presbytery and my fellow servants, the deacons." (St. Ignatius of Antioch, c. 110 A.D.)

"I follow no leader but Christ and join in communion with none but Your Blessedness, that is, with the chair of Peter. I know that this is the rock on which the church has been built. Whoever eats [Christ the Lamb of God] outside this house is profane. Anyone who is not in the ark of Noah will perish when the flood prevails." (St. Jerome, Doctor of the Church, c. 374 A.D.) 

"And the Lord too, in the Gospel, when the disciples abandoned Him while He was speaking, turned to the twelve and said, 'And do you too wish to go away?' Peter answered Him, saying, 'Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the word of eternal life: and we believe and know that you are the Son of the Living God.' There speaks Peter, upon whom the Church would be built, teaching in the name of the Church and showing that even if a stubborn and proud multitude withdraws because it does not wish to obey, yet the Church does not withdraw from Christ. The people joined to the priest and the flock clinging to their shepherd are the Church. You ought to know, then, that the bishop is in the Church and the Church in the bishop; and if someone is not with the bishop, he is not in the Church. They vainly flatter themselves who creep up, not having peace with the priests of God, believing that they are secretly in communion with certain individuals. For the Church, which is One and Catholic, is not split or divided, but is indeed united and joined by the cement of priests who adhere to one another [that is, under the bishop and in communion with the pope]." (St. Cyprian of Carthage, 254 A.D.)


Some Final Quotations...

"For not all bread, but only that which receives the blessing of Christ [through his priests], becomes Christ's body." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church, c. 5th century A.D.) 

"The bread again is at first common bread; but when the mystery sanctifies it, it is called and actually becomes the body of Christ. So too the mystical oil, so too the wine; if they are things of little worth before the blessing, after their sanctification by the Spirit each of them has its own superior operation. This same power of the word also makes the priest venerable and honorable, separated from the generality of men by the new blessing bestowed upon him." (St. Gregory of Nyssa, 4th century A.D.)  

Do You Believe That the Doctrine of Transubstantiation is a Recent Invention of the Catholic Church?

Consider:

* It is abundantly clear - and easily proved - that the Catholic Church has always maintained the doctrine of Transubstantiation. The actual word "transubstantiation', however was coined later. One should not confuse terminology used to refer to a doctrine with the doctrine itself.

How Can One Believe in the Real Presence When it is Not Perceptible to the Eye?

Consider:

* Just as Christ's divinity not perceptible to the human eye, the presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist is also not perceptible to the human eye. Instead, we are called to look "through the eyes of faith." Remember that belief in the Real Presence is essential to salvation. As Scripture says, "Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you" (Our Lord Jesus Christ, Jn. 6:53) and "anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself" (1 Cor. 11:29)

* We must have faith in this doctrine because we are told that it is true by God Himself. And, we know that God cannot lie.

* We must believe in many things even though we cannot see them (e.g. oxygen, love, that we have a soul, etc.). The fact that something cannot be seen does not mean that it is not true.


Some Final Quotations...

"Let us [St. Chrysostom] says, obey, not contradict God, although what He says may seem contrary to our reason and our sight. His works cannot deceive, our senses are easily deceived." (Catechism of the Council of Trent) 

"What you see is the bread and the chalice; that is what your own eyes report to you. But what your faith obliges you to accept is that the bread is the Body of Christ and the chalice the Blood of Christ." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church, c. 5th century A.D.)

"St. Ambrose says: Although the species of bread and wine are visible, yet we must believe that after consecration, the body and blood of Christ are alone there. Explaining the same doctrine almost in the same words, St. Hilary says that although externally it appear bread and wine, yet in reality it is the body and blood of the Lord." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

"Consider therefore the Bread and the Wine not as bare elements, for they are, according to the Lord's declaration, the Body and Blood of Christ; for even though sense suggest this to thee, yet let faith establish thee. Judge not the matter from the taste, but from faith be fully assured without misgiving, that the Body and Blood of Christ have been vouchsafed to thee." (St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Doctor of the Church, 4th century A.D.) 

Are You Troubled by Certain Externals in the Mass?

Consider:

* If you are troubled by certain externals (e.g. incense, relics in altars) at Mass, you should know that they are likely to have a scriptural basis (e.g. Rv. 8:3, Rv. 6:9). It may be wise to research the origin of any externals you find troubling and the reason for their inclusion in Mass.

* If you are troubled by a lack of reverence in Mass, you should know that faithful Catholics are also troubled by this. In the wake of the pastoral measures taken at the Second Vatican Council, irreverence has become widespread. The popes have taken measures to correct this, but there is still much to be done. This situation is much to be lamented.

* If you are troubled by the fact that the Catholic Church permits Communion under one species (bread), you should know that she allows this for many "numerous and weighty reasons" (e.g. to protect the Sacred Species, to avoid spillage, concern over spread of disease, interference with medication, inability to tolerate the species of wine, etc). She makes it clear that the species of bread also contains not just he body, but also the blood of Christ, and we know from Scripture that certain things concerning the dispensation of the Sacraments were left up to the proper ministers of Church (cf. 1 Cor. 11:34: "The other matters I shall set in order when I come."). According to the Council of Trent, "For, although Christ, the Lord, in the last supper, instituted and delivered to the apostles, this venerable sacrament in the species of bread and wine; not therefore do that institution and delivery tend thereunto, that all the faithful of Church be bound, by the institution of the Lord, to receive both species. But neither is it rightly gathered, from that discourse which is in the sixth of John - however according to the various interpretations of holy Fathers and Doctors it be understood - that the communion of both species was enjoined by the Lord: for He who said; Except you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you (v. 54), also said; He that eateth this bread shall live for ever (v. 59); and He who said, He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood hath everlasting life (v. 55), also said; The bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world (v. 52); and, in fine,- He who said; He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood, abideth in me and I in him (v. 57), said, nevertheless; He that eateth this bread shall live for ever (v. 59.)... It furthermore declares, that this power has ever been in the Church, that, in the dispensation of the sacraments, their substance being untouched, it may ordain, or change, what things soever it may judge most expedient, for the profit of those who receive, or for the veneration of the said sacraments, according to the difference of circumstances, times, and places. And this the Apostle seems not obscurely to have intimated, when he says; Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and the dispensers of the mysteries of God. And indeed it is sufficiently manifest that he himself exercised this power,- as in many other things, so in regard of this very sacrament; when, after having ordained certain things touching the use thereof, he says; The rest I will set in order when I come. Wherefore, holy Mother Church, knowing this her authority in the administration of the sacraments, although the use of both species has, from the beginning of the Christian religion, not been infrequent, yet, in progress of time, that custom having been already very widely changed, she, induced by weighty and just reasons, has approved of this custom of communicating under one species, and decreed that it was to be held as a law; which it is not lawful to reprobate, or to change at pleasure, without the authority of the Church itself... It moreover declares, that although, as hath been already said, our Redeemer, in that last supper, instituted, and delivered to the apostles, this sacrament in two species, yet is to be acknowledged, that Christ whole and entire and a true sacrament are received under either species alone; and that therefore, as regards the fruit thereof, they, who receive one species alone, are not defrauded of any grace necessary to salvation." 

Do You Reject the Teaching That Reception of the Eucharist is Necessary for Salvation for Those Who Have Reached the Use of Reason?

Consider:

* If you reject this teaching, you should consider that it is based on Christ's own words in Jn. 6:53: "Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you."

* Why is it that you accept the fact that food is necessary for the survival of your body but reject the fact that "spiritual food" is required for the soul, even though Christ - that is, God - has stated that it is so? What happens to one's body when it goes without food? What then do you think happens to the soul when it goes without its proper food?

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