Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Eucharist

"And whilst they were at supper, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke: and gave to his disciples, and said: Take ye, and eat. This is my body. And taking the chalice, he gave thanks, and gave to them, saying: Drink ye all of this. For this is my blood of the new testament, which shall be shed for many unto remission of sins." (Matthew 26:26-28)

The Eucharist - Holy Communion – simply, is Christ's body, blood, soul, and divinity under the appearance of bread and wine. It is not a symbol of Christ, but rather, it is truly Jesus Christ! At the point in the Mass known as the consecration, the priest, acting in persona Christi (in the person of Christ) says "This is my Body, which will be given up for you" and "This is my Blood which will be given up for you". These were the words of Jesus when He turned the bread and wine at the Last Supper into His Body and Blood, and, by the power of God, the bread and wine become Jesus Christ.

Note: It is correct to say the Bread and wine become Jesus, not Jesus becomes bread and wine. Tip to “A Catholic Life”

At the Consecration during the Mass everyone present except the celebrant should kneel in adoration because by God's power the bread and wine become His Son, Jesus Christ. The bread and wine become Jesus Christ's Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity as Our Lord told us at the Last Supper. The only thing remaining of bread and wine is the appearance of bread and wine (called the "accidents"). Jesus Christ gave this power to his disciples.The Catechism of the Catholic Church, a collection of all Catholic beliefs, calls the Eucharist the "source and summit of our faith". It is in that moment when we receive the Eucharist that our soul is the actual body of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ loved us so much at the last Supper, even though He knew His death was near, He gave us the joy of being with Him.

Clearly we need Jesus Christ as He is the “The Way, the Truth, and the Life”.

Objections

Some people that don't believe in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist claim that Jesus meant for it to be symbolic. Such disbelievers need to merely examine the Gospel of John Chapter 6. We see this clearly when Our Lord tells them "Unless you eat my Body and Drink my Blood you will have no life within you". After Our Lord finished, His followers do one thing - they leave Him. If Jesus was speaking symbolically He would have said "No, you misunderstood”, but this time He just let them walk away. Thousands left Him, but He let them because what He spoke was true and they just couldn't accept it.

Council of Trent:
Cannon Law

(http://history.hanover.edu/early/trent/ct13ce.htm) – Source

The Thirteenth SessionON THE MOST HOLY SACRAMENT OF THE EUCHARIST
CANON I.-If any one denieth, that, in the sacrament of the most holy Eucharist, are contained truly, really, and substantially, the body and blood together with the soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, and consequently the whole Christ; but saith that He is only therein as in a sign, or in figure, or virtue; let him be anathema.

CANON lI.-If any one saith, that, in the sacred and holy sacrament of the Eucharist, the substance of the bread and wine remains conjointly with the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, and denieth that wonderful and singular conversion of the whole substance of the bread into the Body, and of the whole substance of the wine into the Blood-the species Only of the bread and wine remaining-which conversion indeed the Catholic Church most aptly calls Transubstantiation; let him be anathema.

CANON III.-If any one denieth, that, in the venerable sacrament of the Eucharist, the whole Christ is contained under each species, and under every part of each species, when separated; let him be anathema.

CANON IV.-If any one saith, that, after the consecration is completed, the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ are not in the admirable sacrament of the Eucharist, but (are there) only during the use, whilst it is being taken, and not either before or after; and that, in the hosts, or consecrated particles, which are reserved or which remain after communion, the true Body of the Lord remaineth not; let him be anathema.

CANON V.-If any one saith, either that the principal fruit of the most holy Eucharist is the remission of sins, or, that other effects do not result therefrom; let him be anathema.

CANON VI.-If any one saith, that, in the holy sacrament of the Eucharist, Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, is not to be adored with the worship, even external of latria; and is, consequently, neither to be venerated with a special festive solemnity, nor to be solemnly borne about in processions, according to the laudable and universal rite and custom of holy church; or, is not to be proposed publicly to the people to be adored, and that the adorers thereof are idolators; let him be anathema.

CANON VII.-If any one saith, that it is not lawful for the sacred Eucharist to be reserved in the sacrarium, but that, immediately after consecration, it must necessarily be distributed amongst those present; or, that it is not lawful that it be carried with honour to the sick; let him be anathema.

CANON VIII.-lf any one saith, that Christ, given in the Eucharist, is eaten spiritually only, and not also sacramentally and really; let him be anathema.

CANON IX.-If any one denieth, that all and each of Christ's faithful of both sexes are bound, when they have attained to years of discretion, to communicate every year, at least at Easter, in accordance with the precept of holy Mother Church; let him be anathema.

CANON X.-If any one saith, that it is not lawful for the celebrating priest to communicate himself; let him be anathema.

CANON XI.-lf any one saith, that faith alone is a sufficient preparation for receiving the sacrament of the most holy Eucharist; let him be anathema. And for fear lest so great a sacrament may be received unworthily, and so unto death and condemnation, this holy Synod ordains and declares, that sacramental confession, when a confessor may be had, is of necessity to be made beforehand, by those whose conscience is burthened with mortal sin, how contrite even soever they may think themselves. But if any one shall presume to teach, preach, or obstinately to assert, or even in public disputation to defend the contrary, he shall be thereupon excommunicated.

Quotations on the Eucharist:

·Since Christ Himself has said, "This is My Body" who shall dare to doubt that It is His Body?" (St. Cyril of Jerusalem)

·Go to adoration as one who would go to heaven, to the divine banquet. Our Lord will give us audience of grace and love. He is waiting for us. He is longing for us." (St. Peter Julian Eymard)

·"The soul that receives the Divine Blood becomes beautiful, as being clothed in a more precious garment, and it appears so beautifully aglow that if you could see it you would be tempted to adore it" (St. Mary Magdalene di Pazzi)

·"My children, we can never prepare ourselves too much for Holy Communion" (St. Padre Pio).

·"This Sacrament being a mystery of faith, we must believe firmly that Jesus Christ is really present in the Holy Eucharist, and that He is living and glorious there as in heaven" (St. John Vianney).

·"The Eucharist is the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ which suffered for our sins, which the Father raised up by his goodness" (St. Ignatius of Antioch).

·"Do not, therefore, regard the bread and wine as simply that, for they are, according to the Master's declaration, the body and blood of Christ" (St. Cyril of Jerusalem).

·“The Eucharist is that love which surpasses all loves in Heaven and on earth” (St. Bernard of Clairvaux).