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Paul McGreevy wrote:

Hi guys,

  • Is it true that the host or wafer literally turns into the Body of Christ during Holy Communion?

Paul

  { Is it true that the host or wafer literally turns into the Body of Christ during Holy Communion? }

Mike replied:

Hi Paul,

Thanks for the question.

Yes it is true!

What our human eyes see after the consecration by the Priest are what is called the accidents or taste, touch, smell, and sight of leaven bread and grape wine but the eucharistic elements have been completely changed.

An EWTN article by Frank Sheed RIP puts it this way:

In other words, whatever the senses perceive — even with the aid of those instruments men are forever inventing to increase the reach of the senses — is always of this same sort, a quality, a property, an attribute.

No sense perceives the something which has all these qualities, which is the thing itself. This something is what the philosophers call substance; the rest are accidents which it [the thing] possesses.

Our senses perceive accidents; only the mind knows the substance.

Here is a posting that may help you understand things.

Is consuming the consecrated Host (the Eucharist) permissible for one who is a vegetarian?

Hope this helps,

Mike

Paul replied:

Hi Mike,

That seems impossible.

  • How can this be?

Paul

Mike replied:

Hi Paul,

Good question.

That's exactly what Jesus' Jewish disciples said at the time in John Chapter 6 verse 60.

Everyone left Him except St. Peter and those that followed him:

60 Many of his disciples, when they heard it, said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?” 61 But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples murmured at it, said to them, “Do you take offense at this? 62 Then what if you were to see the Son of man ascending where he was before? 63 It is the spirit that gives life, the flesh is of no avail; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. 64 But there are some of you that do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the first who those were that did not believe, and who it was that should betray him. 65 And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.”

66 After this many of his disciples drew back and no longer went about with him. 67 Jesus said to the twelve, “Will you also 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.”

(John 6:60-69)

We have a Catholic word for this: B-I-N-G-O : )

Mike

Paul replied:


I do understand but believing something does not necessarily make it true.   I still do not understand how a Communion wafer literally turns into the Body of Christ.

  • If it does indeed do this, would that not be considered cannibalism?

Paul

Mary Ann replied:

Hi Paul,

No, It wouldn't.

Christ changes the substance (reality) of the bread into the reality of Himself at the Consecration (the words Jesus told His Apostles to say.) He does not change the physics of the Host (the sight, touch, taste, small, all chemical and physical properties).

The difference between Mike's answer (Yes) and mine (No) refer to the fact that the change does not happen (at Communion), as you specified, but (at the Consecration).

Mary Ann

Mike replied:

Hi Paul,

I just wanted to follow-up on your last reply to me.

You said:
I do understand but believing something does not necessarily make it true.

Good point, but when the speaker is God Himself (Jesus), we know that God can neither deceive nor be deceived. We can totally trust His Words, not only in John 6: 50-72 but in Matthew 16:13-20 and 1 Timothy 3:15.

Hope this helps,

Mike

Paul replied:


Thank you for time and patience.

I still am confused and will probably always be. 

What Mary Ann describes is physically impossible. It doesn't make sense.

Peace be upon you always.

Thanks again!

Paul

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