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Craig wrote:

Hi, guys —

Thanks for reading this.

My girlfriend and I broke up recently, and she just sent me an e-mail talking about the Eucharist and why she doesn't believe in it among other things.  I was wondering if you might help me respond to these words of hers:

I do believe it is possible that when Christ was physically present, it may have become his actual body and blood. I believe that when Christ ascended into Heaven and gave us the Holy Spirit, that is how he is one in us. That's how I understand what he did there.

  • Do you not believe that you have to attend Mass for Christ to re-dwell in you each time?

Christ doesn't need a physical medium to be in us — that's what the Holy Spirit IS.

  • What about the secret underground Christians in China? They don't go to Mass every Sunday, but I don't believe they are sinning or have Christ in them any less than a weekly Catholic does.

  • What about the people who don't go to church but read their Bible, pray, love and help others daily by following the commandments Christ laid out?

To me, they are much more of a Christian than someone who just goes to church every Sunday! Also, I never felt welcomed in the Catholic church.  I did by you and your family, but very few people seemed happy to be there, as if they were merely there out of an obligation or the fear of hell.  Church is a privilege, not an obligation! I'll try to have a few more verses next time.

I hope for a response if anyone can help me?

Thanks!

Craig

  { How do I respond to my ex-girlfriend and how she feels about the Church? }

Mary Ann replied:

Dear Craig,

The Holy Spirit is not Christ. He is the Third person of the Blessed Trinity. The Second Person,
the Son, became Man. He and the Father send the Bond of their Love, which is the Holy Spirit, to us, so that we are united to them. We cannot receive this Holy Spirit unless we are made part of the Body of Christ, because it is His glorified Body which is the vehicle, the means, whereby we are connected to God. We become one with Him in His glorified human nature, and are thus joined to God. We are made part of the Body of Christ at Baptism, wherein the Trinity indwells by the power of the Spirit. Nevertheless, our life with God is not just a spiritual life, and we are not just spiritual beings. Like Christ, our entire humanity must be joined to God, body and soul.
Our bodies must receive the life of His Body in order for our bodies to be able to be raised again and be glorified so we can live forever as complete beings, body and soul.

Mary Ann

Mike replied:

Hi, Craig —

I'd like to respond to a few comments that your ex-girlfriend has made.

She said:
I believe that when Christ ascended into Heaven and gave us the Holy Spirit, that is how he is one in us. That's how I understand what he did there.

I'm sorry, this makes no sense. Before Our Blessed Lord ascended into Heaven he said:

"All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, [to the close of the age.|to the end of time.]"
(The End of Matthew's Gospel - 28)

If your ex-girlfriend is correct, how can [Our Lord, Jesus|God], who can neither deceive, nor be deceived, allow over 30,000 Protestant denominations to break from the Church He founded on St. Peter? Certainly, this can't be the Holy Spirit making us ONE with Him.

No, there has to be another logical meaning; it is through the Blessed Sacrament where we are ONE with Him. As Catholics, we can have confidence in this. Why? Not because it's our Church, but because historically the Catholic Christian Church is the ONE and ONLY Church Jesus established on St. Peter and His successors. This is where we get our confidence!

She said:
Christ doesn't need a physical medium to be in us

Of course, he doesn't. He can chose any means to be with us, He is God, but because Our Lord, CHOSE to become an incarnated (physical) man, like us, for our salvation, before He ascended into Heaven he CHOSE to give us the seven sacraments to transmit His Grace through the priesthood by physical means. Remember what a sacrament is:

It is an outward sign, instituted by Christ, that gives (sanctifying) Grace.

A sacrament always has a form (the words) and matter (the substance). Through Baptism, Christ dwells within the Christian, but to strengthen the Christian in confusing times like ours, before he ascended into Heaven, he told his disciples at the First Eucharist or Last Supper:

DO THIS IN MEMORY OF ME.

Not, do this, if you feel like it. When we go to Mass on Sunday, in a manner we can only accept in faith, we enter into that ONE sacrifice of Calvary, and receive many graces to help us discern good, holy choices from bad, demonic choices for that week. In the same way the Israelites were told to eat the passover lamb, each Sunday we eat the New Testament Passover Lamb, Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.

She said:
What about the secret underground Christians in China? They don't go to Mass every Sunday, but I don't believe they are sinning or have Christ in them any less than a weekly Catholic.

Who says they don't go to Mass every Sunday? The underground Church in China just celebrates its Masses underground. Why? Because they, like all Christian obey the ten commandments, not suggestions. The third commandment tells the Christian to keep the Lord's Day Holy. Catholics do this by at least attending Mass on Sundays and on Holy Day's of Obligation.

If any Chinese Catholic cannot make it to Mass for a good reason, they would be excused for that week but should say a Spiritual Communion.

She said:
What about the people who don't go to church but read their Bible, pray, and love and help others daily by following the commandments Christ laid out?

  • they will be responsible at their particular judgment for what they knew.
  • they will NOT be responsible for what they did not know YET
  • will be responsible if they purposely ignored the obligation of forming a Christian conscience or the promptings of the Holy Spirit from within, if they are non-Christians.

Being a "good person" is NOT enough. Why? Because each person has their own definition of what a "good person is". The Church defines it, ideally, as a practicing Catholic.

She said:
Church is a privilege, not an obligation!

  • Has she read the third of the ten commandments?

She said:
I'll try to have a few more verses next time.

Great! You can have some more verses for her too!

http://www.askacatholic.com/ScripturePassages

Hope this helps,

Mike

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