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How do you view the Eucharist?
01-13-2010, 10:59 PM
Post: #1
How do you view the Eucharist?
How do you view it, Transignification, Transubstantiation, or other? A big mistake that many other Catholics make is that they believe that the Church orders us to believe in Transubstantiation, which is actually untrue. They ask us to believe in a physical presence, yes, but are there not different definitions of the word physical?

This thread was brought up by me after our Parish's RCIA class this week on the Eucharist. The information I'm providing is from one of our priests.
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01-14-2010, 02:57 AM (This post was last modified: 01-14-2010 02:58 AM by Parousia.)
Post: #2
RE: How do you view the Eucharist?
(01-13-2010 10:59 PM)Holy Babylon Wrote:  How do you view it, Transignification, Transubstantiation, or other? A big mistake that many other Catholics make is that they believe that the Church orders us to believe in Transubstantiation, which is actually untrue. They ask us to believe in a physical presence, yes, but are there not different definitions of the word physical?

This thread was brought up by me after our Parish's RCIA class this week on the Eucharist. The information I'm providing is from one of our priests.

First, transubstantiation IS Catholic dogma. The substance of the bread and wine becomes the substance of the body and blood of Christ. This is a required belief.

Quote:1376 The Council of Trent summarizes the Catholic faith by declaring: "Because Christ our Redeemer said that it was truly his body that he was offering under the species of bread, it has always been the conviction of the Church of God, and this holy Council now declares again, that by the consecration of the bread and wine there takes place a change of the whole substance of the bread into the substance of the body of Christ our Lord and of the whole substance of the wine into the substance of his blood.This change the holy Catholic Church has fittingly and properly called transubstantiation."

Catechism of the Catholic Church

Second, the presence of the body and blood of Christ is really, physically (“corporeally”) present. Only the appearance (“species”) of bread and wine remain.

Quote:CHRIST PRESENT IN THE EUCHARIST THROUGH TRANSUBSTANTIATION

46. To avoid any misunderstanding of this type of presence, which goes beyond the laws of nature and constitutes the greatest miracle of its kind, we have to listen with docility to the voice of the teaching and praying Church. Her voice, which constantly echoes the voice of Christ, assures us that the way in which Christ becomes present in this Sacrament is through the conversion of the whole substance of the bread into His body and of the whole substance of the wine into His blood, a unique and truly wonderful conversion that the Catholic Church fittingly and properly calls transubstantiation. As a result of transubstantiation, the species of bread and wine undoubtedly take on a new signification and a new finality, for they are no longer ordinary bread and wine but instead a sign of something sacred and a sign of spiritual food; but they take on this new signification, this new finality, precisely because they contain a new "reality" which we can rightly call ontological. For what now lies beneath the aforementioned species is not what was there before, but something completely different; and not just in the estimation of Church belief but in reality, since once the substance or nature of the bread and wine has been changed into the body and blood of Christ, nothing remains of the bread and the wine except for the species—beneath which Christ is present whole and entire in His physical "reality," corporeally present, although not in the manner in which bodies are in a place.

MYSTERIUM FIDEI ENCYCLICAL OF POPE PAUL VI ON THE HOLY EUCHARIST

Third, the doctrine of ‘real presence’ is only part of the story. It is contained within the doctrine of transubstantiation.

Quote:So the Catholic doctrine of Transubstantiation sets up a mighty bulwark around the dogma of the Real Presence and constitutes in itself a distinct doctrinal article, which is not involved in that of the Real Presence, though the doctrine of the Real Presence is necessarily contained in that of Transubstantiation.

Transubstantiation Catholic Encyclopedia

Summary: Transubstantiation, an article of faith, means that the bread and wine physically become the body and blood of Christ, not just contain them, despite maintaining the appearance of bread and wine.
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01-14-2010, 09:17 AM
Post: #3
RE: How do you view the Eucharist?
I just went over this with my priest on Tuesday, he told us that the church requires you to believe that Christ is present through the Eucharist physically, but there are multiple ways that you can define physical. I'm going to bring it up next time I see him, because before he told me this I thought that transubstantion was required dogma as well. Hmmm, maybe he's teaching us things that aren't to be taught.
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01-14-2010, 09:33 AM
Post: #4
RE: How do you view the Eucharist?
(01-14-2010 09:17 AM)Holy Babylon Wrote:  I just went over this with my priest on Tuesday, he told us that the church requires you to believe that Christ is present through the Eucharist physically, but there are multiple ways that you can define physical. I'm going to bring it up next time I see him, because before he told me this I thought that transubstantion was required dogma as well. Hmmm, maybe he's teaching us things that aren't to be taught.

From the sources I cited above it would seem that the only way of understanding 'physical' is in every way except appearance. I think it is clear that Paul VI intended sensible species, that is, what reaches our sense organs.
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01-14-2010, 10:10 PM
Post: #5
RE: How do you view the Eucharist?
Like I said, I originally thought that transubstantiation was our dogma, but after this week's RCIA, I have no idea what is going on. I am checking with my priest after Saturday Mass.
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01-15-2010, 03:07 PM (This post was last modified: 01-15-2010 03:14 PM by Ahmadi.)
Post: #6
RE: How do you view the Eucharist?
I want to say it as respectfully as I can. I am not trying to offend in anyway.
(01-13-2010 10:59 PM)Holy Babylon Wrote:  How do you view it, Transignification, Transubstantiation, or other?

As you have asked a question. So let me give the Muslim perspective on this. It is 'Paradox par Excellence.' What I mean, can be well described in the words of Kierkgaard. Søren Aabye Kierkegaard, who, crossing the boundaries of philosophy, theology, psychology, and literature, came to be regarded as a highly significant and influential figure in contemporary thought, had suggested:

“It is not the business of any Christian writer or preacher to dilute Christianity to suit the general educated public. The doctrine of the incarnation was to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, and so will it always be, for the doctrine not only transcends reason; it the paradox par excellence; and it can be affirmed only by faith, with passionate inwardness and interest. The substitution of reason for faith means the death of Christianity.”

The term paradox par excellence can be best applied to Eucharist and also to Trinity, which is not the subject here. Eucharist is indeed the best example of paradox par excellence because it has been said that the best way to become thoroughly convinced that Eucharist or ‘transubstantiation’ is not true is to have someone try to convince you that it is true.

Here is a link with some details:

http://knol.google.com/k/zia-shah/religi...umbuyp/78#
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01-15-2010, 04:23 PM (This post was last modified: 01-15-2010 04:25 PM by Parousia.)
Post: #7
RE: How do you view the Eucharist?
(01-15-2010 03:07 PM)Ahmadi Wrote:  I want to say it as respectfully as I can. I am not trying to offend in anyway.
The term paradox par excellence can be best applied to Eucharist and also to Trinity, which is not the subject here. Eucharist is indeed the best example of paradox par excellence because it has been said that the best way to become thoroughly convinced that Eucharist or ‘transubstantiation’ is not true is to have someone try to convince you that it is true.

I was raised Catholic and know the theology very well. But I have not been a believer for close to 50 years so you cannot offend me in this regard.

What you call paradox, the Church calls 'mystery'. Consider this:

Quote:The Church honors the Eucharist as one of her most exalted mysteries, since for sublimity and incomprehensibility it yields in nothing to the allied mysteries of the Trinity and Incarnation. These three mysteries constitute a wonderful triad, which causes the essential characteristic of Christianity, as a religion of mysteries far transcending the capabilities of reason, to shine forth in all its brilliance and splendor, and elevates Catholicism, the most faithful guardian and keeper of our Christian heritage, far above all pagan and non-Christian religions.

Eucharist Catholic Encyclopedia

The stance being taken is that these mysteries represent supernatural realities that are beyond normal reason. The implication is that without being mysterious and super-rational, they could not be divine in origin. But precisely because they are mysteries and not rational, they carry the divine imprint.

My take on it is that the idea of 'mysteries' fits in perfectly with the neurological mechanisms described by Newberg. Unusual input, physical or intellectual, are routed to the primitive brain, specifically the amygdala, a fraction of a second before they reach the frontal lobes whre consciousness resides. This allows rapid instinctual reactions to possible threats, an obvious survival mechanism.

But unusual input that is deemed not a threat, combined with conscious analysis and various other nerurological processes, can result in suppression of the portion of the brain that distinguishes the physical body from its environment. If the input is presented in the right way, the sense of self can fade and in its place, there can be the apparent perception of abstract entities outside the self. As Newberg noted, these perceptions can have all the self-justification of 'real' sensory input.

Communal rituals that triggered this state of mind and reinforced the 'perception' of the community as a real thing of which one was a part would have clear benefits for a species whose best bet for survival is an organized community. This approach permeates Catholicism in its vast panoply of rituals, communal and private, and even in its theology. Shared beliefs that identify the community as a thing distinct from other communities are self perpetuating and self reinforcing. And mysteries that get that amygdala cooking are the perfect basis for such beliefs.


That's how I see it anyway.
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01-15-2010, 11:33 PM
Post: #8
RE: How do you view the Eucharist?
You know, that concept of "mystery" used to drive me insane. It's why I only accepted fundamentalist Christianity (even as late as when I joined this forum.) Since then, I've realized the elegance of it. And I've realized that if there is a god, supernatural mysteries actually make sense, because we're no longer playing in a logical world.

This is somewhat hampered by the fact that there is no god and we are in a logical world, but at least the mythology is internally consistent.

I'm back baby! Thanks for everyone who sent me PMs asking what had happened to me.
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01-16-2010, 11:49 AM
Post: #9
RE: How do you view the Eucharist?
I got myself a new signature!

I am second coming of Thomas Paine. If you are a Christian, have you read Age of Reason?
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01-16-2010, 03:41 PM (This post was last modified: 01-16-2010 03:42 PM by Ahmadi.)
Post: #10
RE: How do you view the Eucharist?
The fact that the Christian apologists are arguing different positions in this forum would make one think that they stand for reason. But this is a false impression, until in a discussion one on one they are put in a difficult spot and then they hide behind the faith. The presence of mysteries like, Trinity, Eucharist and incarnation is proof of my claim. But let us construct a set of reasoning and quotes here, so that they have to stop doing it. This will help all religions to be subject to reason, otherwise how else would atheists or agnostics prove them wrong.

Albert Einstein said, “The further the spiritual evolution of mankind advances, the more certain it seems to me that the path to genuine religiosity does not lie through the fear of life, and the fear of death, and blind faith, but through striving after rational knowledge.”

"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with senses, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use." Galileo Galilei

When faced with a difficult argument many a Christians choose to bury their proverbial head in the sand of so called faith.

Andrew Conway Ivy writes, “One should never retreat from reason. One should use reason, and use it accurately and aggressively. A faith which is not preceded by reason is a weak faith and is vulnerable to devastating attack and to subversion. Religious faith not based on reason breeds bad character and bad conduct.”

Andrew Conway Ivy (1893-1978) was appointed by the American Medical Association as its representative at the 1946 Nuremberg Medical Trial for Nazi doctors. He became vice president of the University of Illinois, responsible for the medicine, dentistry and pharmacy schools. From 1939 to 1941 he was president of the American Physiological Society. By 1945 he was probably ‘the most famous doctor in the country.’ The article can be read online:

http://www.alislam.org/egazette/articles...200910.pdf

The introduction of the word and cocept of mystery into religion means that we can never reason with each other about religion, we can only kill each other in its name. Let us do our best to shy away from such understanding of religion!

I am second coming of Thomas Paine. If you are a Christian, have you read Age of Reason?
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