Is the Eucharist Necessary for Salvation?

Sandro Botticelli, The Last Communion of St. Jerome (1495)
Sandro Botticelli, The Last Communion of St. Jerome (1495)

Can Protestants be saved, given that they don’t have the Eucharist? In John 6:53-55, Jesus speaks about the Eucharist in a way that seems to suggest that, without it, you cannot be saved: “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.” So should we conclude from this that the Eucharist is strictly necessary for salvation?

No, say St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas. In his typical style, Aquinas makes a helpful distinction:

First, a thing may be necessary so that without it the end cannot be attained; thus food is necessary for human life. And this is simple necessity of end.

Secondly, a thing is said to be necessary, if, without it, the end cannot be attained so becomingly: thus a horse is necessary for a journey. But this is not simple necessity of end.

We use this second sense of “necessary” frequently, usually without thinking about it. If I say that you’ll need a plane if you’re going to get from City A to City B, that’s not strictly true: a very long car or boat ride might get you there, but it’ll be a lot more difficult, and there’s a greater likelihood of things going wrong and you not arriving at your destination safely. Or if your professor says that you need a particular book for his class, he’s probably not saying that you’ll automatically fail if you don’t have the book; he’s saying that you’ll be needlessly compromising your ability to succeed, increasingly your likelihood of failure.

It’s strictly necessary to get above an “F” to pass a course: it’s literally impossible to pass with an “F.” It’s not strictly necessary to study or to pay attention, etc., but we can still coherently say that you need to do these things. We’re just using the second meaning of “necessity.” So the Eucharist is “necessary” in this second sense, but not in the sense of strict necessity. After all, Aquinas points out that “children are saved by Baptism alone without the other sacraments.”

So that leaves us with two questions: first, what do we make of Our Lord’s words? And second, does this mean that we shouldn’t worry so much about the Eucharist?

St. Augustine answers the first of these questions, by explaining that it’s about the reality of the Eucharist:

And thus He would have this meat and drink to be understood as meaning the fellowship of His own body and members, which is the holy Church in his predestinated, and called, and justified, and glorified saints and believers. Of these, the first is already effected, namely, predestination; the second and third, that is, the vocation and justification, have taken place, are taking place, and will take place; but the fourth, namely, the glorifying, is at present in hope; but a thing future in realization. The sacrament of this thing, namely, of the unity of the body and blood of Christ, is prepared on the Lord’s table in some places daily, in some places at certain intervals of days, and from the Lord’s table it is taken, by some to life, by some to destruction: but the thing itself, of which it is the sacrament, is for every man to life, for no man to destruction, whosoever shall have been a partaker thereof.

In other words, the Sacrament of the Eucharist is the Sacrament of the Lord’s Body and Blood, and it’s fellowship in this Body of Christ that is salvific. It’s not the mere reception of the Eucharist itself. As St. Paul notes in 1 Corinthians 11:27-29, unworthy reception of the Eucharist is actually damnable:

Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself.

So it’s not the mere physical reception of the Sacrament that saves, or else those who received the Eucharist unworthily would be saved, not damned. And in fact, that sort of view of the Sacraments could make it possible to not believe in Jesus at all, not even be willing to receive Communion, and have someone save you by force-feeding you the Eucharist. Augustine argues that this is against the free nature of belief and of salvation: “A man can come to Church unwillingly, can approach the altar unwillingly, partake of the sacrament unwillingly: but he cannot believe unless he is willing. If we believed with the body, men might be made to believe against their will.”

And so Augustine will argue that “the sacrament is one thing, the virtue of the sacrament another,” and that “this is what belongs to the virtue of the sacrament, not to the visible sacrament; he that eats within, not without; who eats in his heart, not who presses with his teeth.” Aquinas agrees, arguing that Jesus’ words in John 6:53-55 “are to be understood of spiritual, and not of merely sacramental, eating.” It’s not enough to receive the Body of Christ in your mouth if you won’t receive Jesus in your heart. So when Jesus says that “he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day,” He’s referring to those who receive Him in faith. Likewise, it’s this reception in faith that He’s referring to when He speaks of the necessity to “eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood.”

But notice that Augustine and Aquinas don’t go to the opposite extreme, of treating the Sacrament as merely irrelevant. As Aquinas says, it’s not enough to have “merely sacramental” eating, as if the Sacraments will save you apart from faith. But that doesn’t mean that this sacramental eating is irrelevant. Aquinas points out that “God does nothing without a purpose,” and all seven of the Sacraments instituted by Christ are given to us for good reason. Indeed, Aquinas argues that the Eucharist is the greatest of the seven Sacraments, “because it contains Christ Himself substantially” whereas the other Sacraments contain only “a certain instrumental power which is a share of Christ’s power.” Baptism saves us, and enables to receive the even-greater gift of Jesus Christ Himself, in the gift of the Eucharist. In this way, we can say both that the Eucharist is greater than Baptism, and that it’s less necessary for salvation.

Remember that the Eucharist and the other Sacraments are necessary in the second sense of necessary: that “without it, the end cannot be attained so becomingly.” Trying to get to Heaven without being able to receive absolution for your sins in Confession, or to be empowered with the gifts of the Holy Spirit in Confirmation, or to be able to receive Jesus Christ Himself in the Eucharist (with all of the graces accompanying a worthy reception of the Eucharist) is like trying to pass the class without the necessary materials, or trying to cross the ocean without taking a plane. It’s not strictly impossible, but why make things needlessly harder for yourself? God has given us these great gifts for our benefit and for the ease of our salvation, so let’s delight in them, and share this Good News with those (even other Christians!) who may not know the full means of salvation that Jesus gives us each day.

270 Comments

  1. This then makes not having the Eucharist not impossible but less likely, moreover there are no confessions or other aids. To draw the parallel, no materials in the class may make live nigh impossible, e.g. to pass – so in that way we can assume therefore that a lot less protestants will be saved.
    No works just relying on faith no Eucharist no confession makes eternal life not impossible but nearly impossible

  2. I worry sometimes about the profination of the Body and Blood. How can one know whether he is truly worthy, as over many years and the commission of sins, some mortally grave, hopefully confessed in truth and absolved in God’s mercy, he receives the Eucharist? Lord Jesus Christ Son of the Loving God, have mercy on us.

      1. Thank you for saying this Joe, as I also struggle with this — especially in the area of anxiety as to whether my Faith is sufficient or whether my Devotion is sufficient. It should be enough for me to rest on God’s mercy in this case, and trust that He’s not trying to catch me on some evil that I didn’t intend.

        1. Hi Alex,
          Sophia Institute Press offers a book which can help shed light on this: Holy Confidence: The Forgotten Path for Growing Closer to God, by Fr. Benedict Rogacci. The concepts of surrender and entrustment may also suggest contemplation….I don’t have any recommendations but I trust you’ll find some good spiritual reading out there.
          Best,

          1. Terese of Liseux also offers some ideas as to how she actually relishes her “littleness” and “weakness” because He is so good and so great and so gracious to lift her up and help her overcome what hinders her….Story of a Soul.

        2. It is Satan putting that doubt in front of you. If you are truly repentant and sorry for your sins and strive to sin no more Our Blessed Lord is faithful and you will be washed by the blood of the lamb and made white as snow.

    1. We do so in hope and faith then make every effort to repent of our actions or inactions with the strength from the grace received in reconciliation.

  3. The passage in John 6 was the clincher for my wife. How can we say we are saved by Christ alone, but then we have no desire to partake in a sacrament that literally includes Christ? The Protestant view is not Christ Alone at all, it is more like “some of Christ, the part I can wrap my mind around.”

    I think whenever talking about the necessity of sacraments, it is important to note the existence of sacraments-by-desire. Those who desire the sacramental reality, truly, attain to it. But normatively, we should be actually partaking in that sacramental reality. Orthodoxy teaches this is even true of infants. At one time, the Church east and west affirmed this is very strong terms:

    “Pope Innocent, of blessed memory, says that infants have not life without Christ’s baptism, and without partaking of Christ’s body and blood. If he should say, They will not, how then, if they do not receive eternal life, are they certainly by consequence condemned in eternal death if they derive no original sin?” (Augustine, Two Letters Against the Pelagians, Book II, Chapter 7).

    In the above we can see both 1. the importance placed on a Papal pronouncement (as Augustine uses it as evidence against the Pelagians) and 2. the Orthodox teaching on the sacrament.

    As Joe points out, this does not mean that a necessary condition is “Strictly necessary.” However, we must be careful not make what is necessary somehow the exception. In Roman Catholicism, there are still eastern rite Catholics that continue the ancient practice of the Church today 🙂

    God bless,
    Craig

    1. “The Protestant view is not Christ Alone at all, it is more like “some of Christ, the part I can wrap my mind around.”

      When Adam sinned life was no longer a simple matter. The only thing required of him was NOT to eat of the fruit of one tree in the middle of paradise. To restore this paradise for mankind is the opposite of Adam’s first condition, it is anything but simple. The Son of God Himself needed to descend to Earth and do,say and suffer many things, and this only to help SOME of the fallen children of Adam, those who would freely accept His loving gift.

      It seems that some Protestants want to make everything as simple as it was for Adam and Even in the FIRST paradise. And, their 5 ‘sola’s’ point to this. Yet, we know that things are not so simple. Christ didn’t command us to do or refrain from only ONE THING, like God demanded of Adam. Rather, Christ commanded many things to his apostles, saying “Teach them to CARRY OUT ALL that I have commanded you”. So, this is to say, many things effect our salvation and NOT only faith alone, or scriptures alone, or grace alone, etc… We need to be ‘born again’ in baptism, but we need to spiritually survive after baptism, because ‘birth is only the first part of life. Moreover there are spiritual dangers after our baptism as it is said “The devil roams through the world seeking the ruin of souls”. So, to be strengthened against the ‘evil one’, who also greatly tempted the Lord in the desert, Christians must obey Christ when He commands us to everything needed in this life. We must ‘eat’ the food of the Eucharist, His own self, to be spiritually nourished in this life; and we are also also told to “Feed my Sheep”, that is to be busy in spiritually nourishing others at the proper times needed, and useful, for them.

      So, Protestants seem to view the spiritual life as very simplistic, almost as it existed for Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. But, Jesus on the contrary teaches that the ‘new paradise’, His ‘Kingdom’ and ‘Church’, must be BUILT; and He uses his followers, His Mystical Body, to do the building. It involves physical, human, exertion, even as Jesus said: “Pray you therefore that the Lord of the Harvest will send LABORERS into the field”. And,”take up your cross and follow me”. So, for this reason, concepts of ‘faith alone’, ‘grace alone’, ‘scripture alone’, etc… don’t really make any sense after a careful consideration of the rather complex Gospel message ( which needs a lengthy catechism to adequately explain it) that was taught by Christ.

    2. Craig said, brilliantly,”How can we say we are saved by Christ alone, but then we have no desire to partake in a sacrament that literally includes Christ?” This nails it to a T!

  4. There is a popular allegory about the Christian who, upon entering heaven, is welcomed with a stack of gifts beautifully wrapped. When he asks the Lord what these gifts are, the reply is “these are all the gifts I had prepared for you in your life that you never asked for.” As I see it, for those who have rejected Jesus Christ’s clear teaching in John 6, the Eucharist is the greatest, the largest, and the most magnificent of those gifts.

    1. The greatest gift of Jesus is His ‘true presence’ with us both now, and forever. He implies this when He teaches in the Gospel, regarding Heaven: “Where I am you also may be”. And, this true presence of Christ is even signified in the name ‘עִמָּנוּאֵל (‘Immanu’el) which prophetically described the Messiah in the Book of Isaiah 7:14 : “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). So, again, Jesus’ very name signifies His True Presence with us both here on Earth and also in Heaven. Christ said:

      ” Yet a little while: and the world seeth me no more. BUT YOU SEE ME: because I live, and you shall live. In that day you shall know, that I AM IN MY FATHER, AND YOU IN ME, AND I IN YOU.” (John 14:19″

      And, is this not a very good description of the Eucharist….Jesus….”Immanuel”?

      So, I think you are right Terry. The Eucharist is the greatest and most magnificent of the gifts of God. And this is because we need God to be intimately united to us ( as Jesus says, above) to find true life and happiness in our souls…both now and forever.

  5. That just about sums it up “be quiet woman” because I’m right however wrong I am. This attitude already tells one so much about your genuine reasoning talent.
    For one I grew a Protestant, left the faith and am very glad like many others to discover the apostolic succession, and why Catholicism makes absolute sense. Some other very famous people did the same after considered opinion on studying the subject in its entirety, like Cardinal, Beata Newman. Maybe you should try that once and realise one cannot have half the faith

  6. to BB
    You use and abuse people, using derogative language. Did they not teach you anything where you went to school.
    Yes Jesus used woman to address is mother which was actually a very polite way of speaking to her/ Look it up in the greek text where he does not use woman at all, but says what is it to you and to me, (Cana) setting the two of them apart. Moreover when used the term during that time would mean lady or ma’am
    Your address to me is in the ordinary abusive english language, showing though when trying to get out of your use of it, your ignorance, about the bible text – which goes right through your litanies. I would argue with a informed nd open person – not with one who is just of on trip of what “vainglory” of his ow/ It’s very sad

  7. When I saw the number of comments at 59 I thought a good discussion was being had. Much to my chagrin it’s mostly comments by the previously banned BB and people that should know better responding to him.

    You were asked to and you agreed to not comment on this blog. You have no desire to learn and are only here to disrupt and drive people away from this site by making this site a vile place to exchange ideas and learn. Which I believe is your intent to keep people from the truth.

    My two cents.

  8. BB
    i
    I wonder who you are because there is no religion in you at all.
    But you do not deserve any comment whatsoever. And don’t bother to write anymore everybody by now has the height of you and won’t read the ill-temoered rubbish you spout

  9. ABS has not been to this blog in quite some time but he saw this post linked to at Canon 212 and he was quite disappointed to see the amount of time and space devoted to responding to an obvious troll.

    It seems that “nice” Catholics simply can not stop volunteering to be abused by one riven with enmity and antipathy.

    ABS does not blame BB, he is who he is, and he is a heretical antiChrist who is a willing slave of Satan and he is one whom the New Testament told us to mark as a heretic and avoid.

    Catholics, when are you going to stop repeatedly falling for the same tactic?

    1. Well Said, ABS. I would add that the concept of an “internet troll” is relatively new to those that were born prior to the advent of the internet and some can’t help but respond when a question is asked, that being said, you can only go so far before the blog post turns into meaningless chaos.

      1. Even if no one answered him, he’d still fill and clog the discourse with his hate-filled, retarded, flat-out lying invective.

        Flounder adds nothing of value – two years of this have borne that out – and he needs to be flat blocked.

        Matt 10:14 and 7:6 apply.

        1. Hi AK,
          This one led to chuckle: “Christ does not NEED to often himself often, let alone daily” He may not NEED to, yet He does, many many times/day, and for many many people. That’s a lot of often (or is that “offen”?)

          1. Margo, LLC, Awlms….et al., does this seem familiar?

            Ultimately it was hoped to make articulate speech issue from the larynx without involving the higher brain centres at all. This aim was frankly admitted in the Newspeak word duckspeak […]. Like various words in the B vocabulary, duckspeak was ambivalent in meaning. Provided that the opinions which were quacked out were orthodox ones, it implied nothing but praise, and when the Times referred to one of the orators of the Party as a doubleplusgood duckspeaker it was paying a warm and valued compliment.

            — Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four

            If it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, without involving the higher brain centres, then it’s our Calvinist mascot….quack….quack….

  10. Barry,

    I hope you will consider. Jesus DIED for you. He loves you and wants you to live forever. Surrender. You are Catholic. Give it up. Call upon Him.

  11. This will be my last post. But happily, to make my case even stronger, I was just reminded that another Pope in 1935 reaffirmed that the priest offers Christ…”DAILY”….making Mr. Heschmeyer’s profession a total and complete waste of time.
    See #35

    http://w2.vatican.va/content/pius-xi/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-xi_enc_19351220_ad-catholici-sacerdotii.html

    Thus, there is no way out of it. This idea of a “daily” offering is contrary to the plain teaching of Scripture (Hebrews 7:27, 9:12, 9:25-26, 9:28, 10:10, 10:12, 10:14, 10:18), putting a cataclysmic end to your “eucharist angel” delivering the transubstantiated sacrifice to God’s foot stool 24/7 until kingdom come. It is a lie straight from the pit of hell and it always WAS a lie, but the lies had to metastasize in accord with God allowing this religious monstrosity to arise for his own good reasons (Rev 17).

    Naturally, I’d stake my life on the fact that each and every one of you will try to water down the “daily” shenanigans of the two Popes I mentioned, and then attempt to lessen their impact, blow smoke over their words, pull out your hair and try to convince yourselves that…”oh the Pope didn’t really mean what you think he meant” –as you always try to do with Scripture, except for one verse: when Christ said to “EAT ME”, oh yes, THAT he meant!

    Now I trust I have made my point and I will leave the naysayers to their delusion, but for others, the seed has been planted for an open heart to see that “Christ does not NEED to often himself often, let alone daily” as Scripture unambiguously teaches.

    Good day.

    1. “Christ does not NEED to ofter himself often”…

      Christ might not NEED it, but we weak humans do. God adapted Himself to humanity via the incarnation. And He continues to work and adapt to humanity through His Mystical Body here on Earth. Jesus Himself instituted the Eucharist for His flock’s welfare and benefit. The Church is merely the recipient of this most important teaching of His. So, even as Jesus Himself said, that the “Sabbath is made for man and not man for the Sabbath”, so too, “The Eucharist is made for man and not man for the Eucharist”. He said: ” Take ye, and eat: this is my body, which shall be delivered for you: THIS DO for the commemoration of me.” I believe your perspective of Christian theology (including an understanding of the NT) lacks insight and wisdom, and this is why you can’t understand the mysteries of the sacraments taught by Christ and His Church. May God enlighten your eyes to better understand His ways.

    2. Hi BB,

      Of course, “daily” is a human way of speaking. Our minds are yet incapable of grasping, let alone expressing the eternal realities. The Sacrifice of Our Lord is in an eternal dimension, “a sacrifice without blemish being offered from when the sun rises till it sets”. The priests do not offer Christ. Jesus is the only True Priest, the only intercessor on our behalf, offering Himself as the only Victim without blemish agreeable in the eyes of the Father. He did it once, within time, as a Man, suffering and dying on the Cross. As God the Son, He offers Himself eternally, without suffering and dying. The Holy Mass, is just a portal into that eternal dimension where the One Sacrifice is happening. Not really a “daily” offering of Christ by a priest. Just a poor “priest” whose body, gestures, voice, are borrowed for a moment by Christ, so He Himself, the Eternal Priest can open the portal for us, so we can partake in His Holy Body and join in His sacrifice. Because we live in time, maybe we can bring our meager daily offerings to the Holy Mass, and have Jesus make them holy and of eternal value by adding them to His own eternal sacrifice.

      Do not doubt the power of God. Follow Jesus’ advice to Nicodemus, and make yourself as a little child, and just believe in the Infinite Love of your Father. Nothing is impossible to God.

      P.S. As with Holy Scripture, the documents of Church Magisterium must be understood in context (the hermeneutics of continuity). Even though the encyclical you quote does seem to imply that the priest offers Christ, if you study the Catholic doctrine on the Holy Mass, you will understand that it is not really the circumstantial priest who offers the Sacrifice, but Christ Himself. In the moment of consecration the circumstantial priest (whose priesthood is a mere participation in Christ’s priesthood) is “possessed” by THE Priest, and acts only “in persona Christi”.

      1. Hebrews 7:27 says of Christ: “Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.”
        Later writings need to be compatible with this.

  12. BB,
    “This will be my last post” = please do not make promises you do not intend to maintain (Ecclesiastes 5:5).
    As for the document to which you make reference in your post, please read it in its entirety, again, lest you inadvertently make a buffoon of yourself and of your point. The “idea of daily offering”, which seems to bother you gravely, doesn’t refer to the need of making a daily offering, but simply to the fact that every day, somewhere, the Eucharist is celebrated, which is entirely Biblical (1 Cor 11:24; Luke 22:19, for example). The difference, as enormous and substantial as it is, always seems to elude you.

    1. LLC says,

      “The “idea of daily offering”, which seems to bother you gravely, doesn’t refer to the need of making a daily offering, but simply to the fact that every day, somewhere, the Eucharist is celebrated”.

      I answer: I cannot agree. I checked the two links and there is definitely the claim of an offering being made, not merely a celebration. If I understand you correctly, you are saying that the two documents mentioned in BB’s comments >>>merely>>> mean that the priest in the Catholic Church >>>celebrates>>> the eucharist daily somewhere around the world. I don’t think BB would dispute that. His point, as I see it, is that the book of Hebrews wants us to know that Jesus doesn’t need to >>>offer>>> himself daily at all, and it doesn’t leave any room for the Pope’s opinion as far as I know, nor does it narrow it down to a mere celebration So I can’t blame BB for being “gravely concerned”. The first encyclical (if that’s what it’s called) says Jesus “offers himself daily for our redemption”. (don’t agree with that at all). Then I noticed in the second encyclical (#34) that the Pope claims catholic priests “sacrifice the Divine Lamb”. (I say that’s another serious problem in light of Hebrews telling us around 5 times that it was a one time sacrifice). Then in #35, it says the priest offers the eucharist sacrifice >>>to>>> God. So it’s not >>>just>>> (as you would have it) that something is done everyday (no one argues that), it is that this something is >>>offered to>>> God, and the first encyclical defines that >>>to>>> God business as “Jesus offering himself daily”. This is extremely problematic, if not totally contradictory to Scripture.

      What say you? I would listen to your rebuttal if you have one, but if you quote the catechism, I don’t have a copy, but will check anything you say by an on-line version, so be sure to give me the section #.

      1. Hi D. Hanna!

        It will help to bring in some background from the same encyclical, from paragraph 13:

        For, in the first place, as the Council of Trent teaches, Jesus Christ at the Last Supper instituted the sacrifice and the priesthood of the New Covenant: “our Lord and God, although once and for all, by means of His death on the altar of the cross, He was to offer Himself to God the Father, that thereon He might accomplish eternal Redemption; yet 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.’ “ (http://w2.vatican.va/content/pius-xi/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-xi_enc_19351220_ad-catholici-sacerdotii.html)

        So, according to Catholic Theology, there are two kinds of oblations with respect to Christ’s Sacrifice — bloody and unbloody. In a bloody sacrifice there is the slaying of the victim and the offering of the victim (such as the sacrifice of a lamb), and in an unbloody sacrifice there is an offering of the gift only (such as a wave offering). The Eucharist in this case is a unbloody offering, a re-manifestation of Christ’s one, once offered, Bloody Sacrifice. Two different meanings for offering/oblation/sacrifice.

        So we read Hebrews as referring to Christ’s bloody Sacrifice being offered only once on the Cross, but able to be represented and offered many times in an unbloody manner for our sake, so that we may participate in it. So it is offered once in a bloody manner (which is what we read in Hebrews), and offered many times in an unbloody manner (which is what we read in other parts of Scripture, and is alluded to in Hebrews only once or twice — St. Paul had a different intention here than to explain the Holy Eucharist). This unbloody Sacrifice is taught most notably the Gospel account of the Last Supper “Do this in commemoration of me.” The sacrificial language is not clear in English translations, but it is in the original languages, as Craig Truglia has explained above (quoting him again here) — [ἀνάμνησιν which] is commonly translated, “do this in remembrance of me” literally means “memorial sacrifice” in the Greek. The key to this distinction in Hebrews is here (Hebrews 9:23-26):

        It is necessary therefore that the patterns of heavenly things should be cleansed with these: but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Jesus is not entered into the holies made with hands, the patterns of the true: but into heaven itself, that he may appear now in the presence of God for us. Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holies, every year with the blood of others: For then he ought to have suffered often from the beginning of the world: but now once at the end of ages, he hath appeared for the destruction of sin, by the sacrifice of himself.

        So we have the fulfillment of the New Testament with better sacrifices (plural), but Christ must be offered only once lest he suffer from the beginning of the world (which signals that St. Paul is using the word “offering” to mean “bloody offering”, since he says there only can be an offering if Christ suffers).

        I highly recommend Craig’s article on the matter, as it goes much more into depth than my measly explanation can: https://orthodoxchristiantheology.com/2017/11/25/is-the-eucharist-a-memorial-sacrifice-or-both/

        1. Alex says,
          “For, in the first place, as the Council of Trent teaches, Jesus Christ at the Last Supper… He was to offer Himself to God the Father”

          DH>>> I will not accept that Jesus “died on Calvary” at the Last Supper. This is playing fast and loose with the Scriptures! Mr. Truglia also confirms in his article, “the Scriptures are *explicit* that Christ’s sacrifice was presented before the crucifixion”

          https://orthodoxchristiantheology.com/2017/05/08/how-can-christs-sacrifice-be-in-every-service-when-he-was-sacrificed-once-and-for-all/

          On the contrary, the Scriptures are by no means “explicit” on this and, and I would argue, rail against it. At the top of his page it reports he is an orthodox. If he misses this post, would you ask him if he would link me to a statement from the ortho’s which “explicitly” state that Scripture “explicitly” teaches this. If he can’t provide it, then why isn’t he a Catholic?

          AF>>> in order to leave to His beloved spouse the Church, a sacrifice which should be visible (as the nature of man requires)

          DH>>> When I look at the character of Jesus, I see him getting annoyed at the thought of — “the nature of man which requires a sign”. He has already given a billion “signs” by the number of things he’s created in the universe — so it seems unlikely that he is the “type” to bow his knee to “what puny man requires”. In addition, as you know, no one can see, taste, touch, smell or hear our Lord (whom you say is contained in the Eucharist) so it seems to be a lame claim to tell us that what has happened after consecration, is “visible” !

          AF>>> the apostles (whom He was then making priests of the New Covenant)

          DH>>> You see, these kinds of statements are always and forever going to be the “elephant in the room” to “Bible Christians” — which we have been disparagingly called. (actually, I consider it a compliment). But anyway, I see no activity on the part of the apostles that shows they were “priests” in the Catholic sense of the word. It is a bare naked assertion and is offensive to those who try not to exceed the biblical record in light of God telling us to essentially “stay put” by not adding or subtracting to his instructions.

          AF>>> So, according to Catholic Theology, there are two kinds of oblations with respect to Christ’s Sacrifice — bloody and unbloody. In a bloody sacrifice there is the slaying of the victim and the offering of the victim (such as the sacrifice of a lamb), and in an unbloody sacrifice there is an offering of the gift only (such as a wave offering). The Eucharist in this case is a unbloody offering

          DH>>> If you’re going to tell me that when Jesus said to the apostles (now “priests”) to “do this” for the forgiveness of sins, there is a problem. Hebrews says that without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins. Well? If the Mass is an “unbloody” sacrifice, Catholics are wasting their time hoping to be forgiven at Mass, are they not? Also, the claim that the Mass is the “same” sacrifice as Calvary (to escape the charge of it being a repeated sacrifice) falls flat. Simple common sense tells us that a bloody and unbloody sacrifice cannot both be the “same thing” no matter how you slice it.

          AF>>> So we read Hebrews as referring to Christ’s bloody Sacrifice being offered only once on the Cross, but able to be represented and offered many times in an unbloody manner for our sake, so that we may participate in it.

          DH>>> This whole business of Christ being “offered many times” is simply too troublesome for words! If what your church teaches is true, the Holy Spirit would have made some exception for what Catholics believe when it was stated more than once that there are now “no more offerings for sin”. But he didn’t. I conclude, “no more offering for sin” means just that and we ought not go beyond the plain meaning.

          AF>>> This unbloody Sacrifice is taught most notably the Gospel account of the Last Supper “Do this in commemoration of me.” The sacrificial language is not clear in English translations, but it is in the original languages, as Craig Truglia has explained above (quoting him again here) — [ἀνάμνησιν which] is commonly translated, “do this in remembrance of me” literally means “memorial sacrifice” in the Greek. The key to this distinction in Hebrews is here (Hebrews 9:23-26):

          DH>>> I’ll get to the “better sacrifices” of Heb 9:23 in a second. But If what you say is true, the “Do this” command of Jesus would only pertain to future Catholic priests. I deny. Of course, you will tell me that the laity may “participate”, but you fail to acknowledge is that what Protestants engage in at communion is actually no more and no less than “participating in memorializing a sacrifice”, so we’re at a stand-still on this one. As a result, you have not proved your case.

          AF>>> (re: Heb 9)… “It is necessary therefore that the patterns of heavenly things should be cleansed with these: but the heavenly things themselves with better *sacrifices* than these”

          DH>>> If I am reading you right, by putting the word “sacrifices” in bold, you wish to say that these multiple sacrifices refer to the thousands of masses that go on each day which God somehow — “needs”— to constantly be appeased with. You conclude, “So we have the fulfillment of the New Testament with better sacrifices [plural], but Christ must be offered only once” [singular].
          However, I would once again deny this for the primary reason that I simply believe “his report” (as in, “who will believe our report”? Isa 53) and trust that is the essence of what he requires. In other words, if I am already in Christ by faith, what need then is there for us to repeatedly go through a ritual to remind him of that? It seems superfluous.
          Now a little research has revealed that the use of the plural (in this case, “sacrifices”), to describe the singular (in this case, what happened only once at Calvary as you admit) is ***not*** at all unheard of. For instance, “the sacrifices of God [plural] are a broken spirit [singular]” — (Psalm 51:17). In “Believer’s Bible Commentary” by Mr. McDonald, we read that the verse in Hebrews is a figure of speech known as the “plural of majesty”. This means that the earth-shattering event at Calvary, which was a single event in time, is expressed in the plural merely to convey its superiority over the multitudinous Levitical sacrifices of old. Another instance would be Isaiah 43:10, “ye are my witnesses (plural) my servant (singular) whom I have chosen”. Thus, the nation of Israel is collectively addressed (plural) as being the servant of Jehovah, singular (cf. 41:8).

          More in an hour –my pot roast is almost done.

          1. AF>>> I highly recommend Craig’s article on the matter

            DH>>> I did look it over (and another one) but I find fault.

            CT>>> Quite frankly, accusing the Orthodox or Roman Catholics of masquerading in repeating the sacrifice of Christ is idiotic and completely ignores the theological rationalizations that have been given for the Eucharist for nearly 2,000 years.

            DH>>> Exactly. They are rationalizations, and pretty poor ones at that. Personally, I have never accused Catholics of “repeating” the sacrifice; rather I accuse them of being —“idiotic”–by proposing that an event from the past, can now manifest itself in the future, and still be the “same thing”. The excuse Mr. Truglia uses to justify it all is the silly, “God is outside of time” apology. That’s cute, but not convincing. I refuse to base my theology on philosophical, arm-chair gymnastics.

            CT>>> other than a few fanatics such as Zwingli, generally agreed that Christ was present, somehow, in the Eucharist.

            https://orthodoxchristiantheology.com/2017/11/25/is-the-eucharist-a-memorial-sacrifice-or-both/

            DH>>> First of all, I notice the word “somehow”. This word leads me to conclude that the general stance has always been “you will never know the specifics, so don’t ask any questions and do as we say.” I recoil at this because it presents God as being vague when it comes to such a vital matter. Certainly, all those who pass through heaven’s gate will get there with an incomplete theology. Some things simply must be taken on faith, like the virgin birth. But the V.B. is something I do not have to interact with and am happy to comply with the “bare naked” claim. But the Eucharist, on the other hand, is something your church equates with salvation itself and must be tangibly interacted with without a speck of evidence to the casual observer that “the greatest miracle of its kind” stands before their eyes. At the very least, it certainly has the ***potential*** of being a great deception. With so many “eucharistic miracle” happening” (with none of them ever obligatory or denied), I say, “wait a minute…didn’t you just finish telling me this is supposed to be an ***invisible*** miracle? Well, which is it? Catholics appear to want to have their eucharistic cake and eat it too.

            Next, I would object to calling Zwingli a “fanatic”. How can a man be a fanatic when he ***already*** believes in the “real presence”? In other words, Zwingli believed, as do I, that the Lord is, “not far from any one of us” ( Matt 18:20 & Ax 17:27). “If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I lie down with the dead, there you are” (Psalm 139:8). Jeremiah also states that he is a God near at hand (Jer 23:23). Well if that’s so, when we add to this that Jesus is designated as “Immanuel” (God with us), Zwingli is vindicated for promptly rejecting the “Real Presence” because, “nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him with whom we have to do” (Heb 4:13). Will God condemn Mr. Z for believing he is ever present? Definitely not. Therefore, Mr. Z’s objections are anything but objectionable.

            CT>>> Well if “this is my body” was figurative why did a mere few decades after the Last Supper no one understood it this way?

            “On the Lord’s own day, assemble in common to break bread and offer thanks [literally “Eucharist” in the Greek]; but first confess your sins, so that your sacrifice may be pure.

            DH>>> Yes, “eucharist” in the greek, but remember, this is clearly indicating “offering thanks” and certainly not a sacrifice to God in the form of a transubstantiated wafer.
            I would also say that this document does not include any salutation of the Mass as a sacrifice in any way indicative of Roman Catholic teaching. It refers to the elements as “spiritual food and drink”, which I believe Mr. T omitted to say. I can refer to the elements in the same way ya know. And I do.
            The use of the phrase “so that your sacrifice may be a pure one” seems logically to refer to the Eucharist as the BELIEVER’S sacrifice, which leans more towards the idea of self-giving through an offering of praise and thanksgiving for the finished work of Christ –(so says Irenaeus). William Webster reports that Irenaeus “characterized the Eucharist as a thank-offering. He maintained that the real sacrifice intended were the prayers of true believers which came from pure hearts undefiled by sin” (The Writings of Irenaeus, by Roberts & Donaldson, p. 430, in Against Heresies IV.17.5-6). The same for Tertullian.

            https://www.the-highway.com/eucharist_Webster.html

            Mr. Truglio is trying to squeeze out of The Didache , its mention of Malachi 1:11, a meaning that is inappropriate. The word used there in my KJV is “offering”, and in context, it is being used of a grain or food offering–which was a voluntary act of gratitude and NOT a sacrifice for sin (Lev 6:14-23). It simply cannot be used to justify the Mass! This author errs badly here.

            Mr. T then refers to Justin Martyr.

            “For we do not receive these things as common bread or common drink; but as Jesus Christ our Savior being incarnate by God’s Word took flesh and blood for our salvation, so also we have been taught that the food consecrated by the Word of prayer which comes from him, from which our flesh and blood are nourished, by ***transformation*** is the flesh and blood of that incarnate Jesus”

            I just called a friend of mine to verify that Catholics do NOT believe Jesus is actually digested, but disappears a few minutes after the wafer is consumed. How long afterwards, she didn’t know. So if the Vatican is going to say that his “real presence’ ***leaves***, you may well understand why those opposing you then think that the “real presence” doctrine is something of a farce. The “transformation” Justin refers to here is certainly not “transubstantiation” upon closer examination. He simply says that our own flesh and blood is nourished by the Eucharist in the same way as regular food. Now if the early church, as exampled by Justin, thought they were being nourished by the eucharist by it actual passing the stomach partition into the small intestines to be absorbed, how can Catholics believe ***today*** that Jesus doesn’t make it past the stomach partition? I would conclude that this shows that the early church was not on the same page as the modern magistrates. Who will we then believe? Shall it be Justin, or the change some unknown person that came after him? I choose to believe neither because I say God does not make things complicated when it comes to salvation. I see a whole host of complications which either cannot be reconciled –as in the case of Justin and modern Catholicism, or extremely debatable opinions, as with Mr. Truglia, whose case is certainly not air-tight.

            I’m being given a used catechism with Kool-aid stains on it tomorrow and I’m going to look and see if they pinpoint exactly how long they think Jesus “stays” after consumption. Honestly, if they actually address this issue and it’s anything less than 24 hours a day, as I have been told, then I will be even less interested in the catholic jesus than before.

          2. Just going to pick a few points here to elaborate, my goal is to educate, not so much convince.

            DH: Hebrews says that without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins. Well? If the Mass is an “unbloody” sacrifice, Catholics are wasting their time hoping to be forgiven at Mass, are they not?

            No, I would say we are not. Since it is the same sacrifice, the bloodshed has already occurred and does not need to be repeated.

            DH: Also, the claim that the Mass is the “same” sacrifice as Calvary (to escape the charge of it being a repeated sacrifice) falls flat. Simple common sense tells us that a bloody and unbloody sacrifice cannot both be the “same thing” no matter how you slice it.

            I’m afraid I can’t agree with you here. A sacrifice is distinguished by the gift offered, not the manner in which the gift is offered. So our Lord’s body and blood offered (bloodily) on the Cross is the same gift as our Lord’s body and blood offered (unbloodily) in the Holy Eucharist, and thus (at least in the Catholic mind) the same sacrifice. I wouldn’t say that’s against common sense.

            St. Ambrose ,commenting on Hebrews 10:1 — “there is but one victim,” namely that which Christ offered, and which we offer, “and not many victims, because Christ was offered but once: and this latter sacrifice is the pattern of the former. For, just as what is offered everywhere is one body, and not many bodies, so also is it but one sacrifice.”

            Your rebuttal to my emphasis on Sacrifices is good food for thought, and it seems St. Thomas Aquinas agrees with you to one some level in his commentary on Hebrews (that the plural refers to the multiplicity of O.T. Sacrifices which prefigure the one sacrifice). I do appear to have been mistaken there. However, I still don’t think Hebrews 9-10 militates against a continued offering of Christ’s Body and Blood.

          3. I also recommend (if you wish) to engage with Craig on his blog. He is quite open-minded, intelligent, and pleasant to debate with (I speak from the time when he was still reformed).

          4. I anticipate a counter in that I said that “Sacrifices are two kinds, bloody and unbloody” and “Sacrifices are distinguished by the gift offered”. I can’t have it both ways, and you would be correct. I should have said in my first statement “Sacrifices may be offered in one of two ways”, rather than attributing a difference of kind.

          5. AF >>> I anticipate a counter in that I said that “Sacrifices are two kinds, bloody and unbloody” and “Sacrifices are distinguished by the gift offered”. I can’t have it both ways, and you would be correct. I should have said in my first statement “Sacrifices may be offered in one of two ways”, rather than attributing a difference of kind.

            DH >>> Fine. Thanx for the clarification. It’s a good thing when we can attempt to accurately clarify both of our positions.

          6. AF >>> I also recommend (if you wish) to engage with Craig on his blog. He is quite open-minded, intelligent, and pleasant to debate with (I speak from the time when he was still reformed).

            DH >>> I will definitely go over to his article again and (if the combox is still open) ask him once more what I did on this very page (with no answer). He claims the the Scriptures are ***explicit*** that Christ’s sacrifice was presented before the crucifixion”, and I asked him where, in his own church writings, has one of the big boys gone on record to reiterate this bomb-shell truth?

            In any case, I think you understand that if one is convinced that any one particular doctrine of your church is false, it only follows that the entire edifice must come crashing down and one either leaves the Catholic Church, or never considers it to begin with. In this case, if it is ***not*** true that Jesus offered himself at the Last Supper (as I submit) then of course the Mass is a hoax and Catholics have a big shock to the system waiting for them when this old world is through. It is an OH so serious question, and I strongly advise us all to continue to examine the evidence to this very question. My own personal bias for rejecting the notion is simply to look at John 12:48, where Jesus says we will be judged by his word alone: (sorry to disappoint you, but because the only place we may find his word is in the Bible, this is evidence for Sola Scriptura).
            OK. So Mr. Truglia says the Scriptures are ***explicit*** on a pre-crucifixion theology. I say they most certainly are not, and having just received the catechism today, I have as yet to find this “explicit” statement in support of the Mass. (I will apologize if I run across it later). Anyway, I say this earth shattering truth is not contained in the plain meaning of Scripture, and therefore, we will simply not be accountable for holding to a “pre-crucifixion” theology according to John 12:48.

          7. DH: My own personal bias for rejecting the notion is simply to look at John 12:48, where Jesus says we will be judged by his word alone: (sorry to disappoint you, but because the only place we may find his word is in the Bible, this is evidence for Sola Scriptura).

            I don’t think I agree with either assertion that Christ’s words are only contained in Scripture, or that even if that were the case that John 12:48 were evidence of Sola Scriptura. This is since Christ’s words can point to believing other sources, such as if Christ had said “you must believe everything that Plato said” (he did not say this, but this is a hypothetical), John 12:48 would require us to listen to Plato as well, since Christ’s words would demand it.

            This, when paired with Christ’s promise that “the gates of hell will not prevail” against the church, and that “he who listens to you listens to me, and he who rejects you, rejects me”, as well as St. Paul’s teaching to anathematize anyone who would not listen to the Church, demonstrates that there is another source — the institutional Church and that Sola Scriptura is not true.

            I think after this post, I think I’ll step out of this debate. Nice chatting with you.

          8. AF >>> Just going to pick a few points here to elaborate, my goal is to educate, not so much convince.

            DH >>> If I understand the Scriptures correctly, nobody is able to convince anyone of anything, so you must never feel guilty. It isn’t your job. Only the Spirit can turn on the light as a result of a seed planted from a humanoid and then He must decide to either allow it to germinate or lay dormant. In either case, you did all that was required: plant seeds.
            Still, our general tenor is to have (as you say) the “goal” of 2 Cor 5:

            “knowing the terror of the Lord, we persuade men” (2 Cor 5).

            Last time, I wrote >>> “Hebrews says that without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins. Well? If the Mass is an “unbloody” sacrifice, Catholics are wasting their time hoping to be forgiven at Mass, are they not?”

            AF >>> No, I would say we are not. Since it is the same sacrifice, the bloodshed has already occurred and does not need to be repeated.

            DH >>> OK, Catholics believe the blood has already been shed. Got it. The first problem that comes to mind is, it seems contradictory to make a big deal about the Mass being unbloody, then go on to say that within the liquid form of the eucharist, there is contained the “actual” blood of Christ! Thus, the claim of an “unbloody” mass on the one hand, wherein the actual “body, blood, soul and divinity” is present on the altar, on the other, is a pimple on the Pope’s face. Asking us to further drink this “unbloody blood” turns into a case of acne.
            When all is said and done, I find fault with the claim due of

            1) Catholics always wanting to have it both ways in light of the contradiction. I hear your explanation, but it is lackluster at best.
            2) The fact that most Catholics world-wide do not ever really drink anything at Mass, makes their fidelity to the word of God, suspect. I read the magisterium’s explanation as to why drinking is not necessary, so one is forced to judge if these reasons are straight from heaven, or the worst deception ***this side*** of heaven.
            3) I do understand (very well in fact) their explanation that because a natural body contains blood –and since the bread (supposedly being his body) already contains blood, there is no reason to drink. Well OK, that makes sense at the get-go, but when I press further, I recall that Jesus made a big fuss to consume both of the elements, and so once again, the Christian must judge if it stand to reason that he would approve of the switch? In my opinion, this comes dangerously close to outright disobedience and (for me at least) would not want to chance taking only one element and find out later I was wrong.
            4) So while I see where you’re coming from as it relates to the bread, Catholicism asks us to jump through a second hoop (i.e., that the blood in the cup contains his body also). Do you see the crux of my discontent? Yes, a natural body, in and of itself, does have blood, and so I will not waste time arguing that claim. However, I wonder how many Catholics have stopped to consider that natural blood ***is not made up of body parts***. This is one of the areas in which I think your theology fails. There is no symmetry between the two claims for the bread and wine. You ask me to “swallow” a doctrine that grinds on my frontal lobes, and so, unless the Pope wishes to perform a lobotomy on me, I must reject the metaphysical claims of the eucharist.
            🙂

            5) I noticed that the catechism rightly criticizes the repeated offerings of the Old Testament as inadequate (CCC 1540). Good. But at the same time, they endorse the repeated offering of Christ in the Eucharist until the end of time. More problems, especially the verse of there being “no more offerings for sin” without any exceptions to justify the Roman think tank.
            I’m not forgetting your retort on this page to try and iron things out by stating, “The Eucharist is a unbloody offering, a re-manifestation of Christ’s one”, but find it unacceptable for the simple reason that a past event cannot be “re-manifested” in the future! I have no choice but to brand this idea as science fiction. Ever see, “Back to the Future”?

            6) Jesus was more than a little “alive” when He said, “This is my blood of the New Testament”. Since no one denies that, I conclude that a pre-crucifixion, blood-eating sacrifice in the upper room, leads to a theology of a ***live*** sacrifice going on right there at the table, which means that the blood was is still in it no matter how you look at it. The point is that God strictly forbid the practice of eating a live sacrifice with the blood still in it (Lev 17:11-14).

            Ultimately, Catholicism leaves more questions than it answers, and the “simplicity” of the gospel, as the Bible describes it, is obscured.

      2. Please excuse my behavior with BB. I have a very bad habit of getting into fruitless arguments and matching the tone of the person involved — it is a sin of mine that I need to stop and that I need prayer for.

        I harbor no hostility to protestants in general, and welcome your additions to this blog.

        1. Alex F says,

          “Please excuse my behavior with BB, I have a very bad habit of getting into fruitless arguments”

          Reply: Never gave it a second thought. I look past emotions to the facts. You use the word “fruitless” in an ambiguous way. If you mean to say you think >>your>> arguments are fruitless, well…that wouldn’t be true because it’s always better to speak out to get the ball rolling. I think it’s in the book of Micah that the Lord listens to those who speak about him and as a result, he creates a book of remembrance of these discussions. Now, if you mean to say that BB’s arguments were fruitless, I would say while that may be your opinion, he has just as much right to dispute in the reverse as long as it’s not all huff and puff and “shows us the beef”. And frankly, I did see “beef”, not just bones. Paul “disputed” many times in the book of Acts (let alone Jesus) so disputing is clearly not a sin, nor is it in vain. If anything, it should spark us to look deeper into these issues.
          I will answer your combox to me when I get off work.

          1. What I meant by “fruitless”, is that I don’t believe that it was worthwhile to engage with BB on my part and that I should have abstained, it’s a personal judgement and doesn’t have much to do with the content of the arguments, and more with my experience debating with him in the past and present.

      3. DH,
        “His point, as I see it, is that the book of Hebrews wants us to know that Jesus doesn’t need to >>>offer>>> himself daily at all, and it doesn’t leave any room for the Pope’s opinion as far as I know, nor does it narrow it down to a mere celebration” = I disagree with your analysis. Firstly, BB has the tendency to misrepresent the teachings of the Catholic Church, and in his post (forgive me if I quote from memory, as the post has since been removed) he stated that the priest must present a daily offering, and, if you allow, he meant a “new” offering, insinuating that the Catholic Church teaches that Jesus’ sacrifice, which started at the Last Supper and ended on the Cross, was not enough. This is a common misunderstanding among Protestants, but in BB’s case it was more a puerile attempt to grossly misrepresent what the Church actually teaches to make a point. As Saint Chrysostom wrote in his homily on Hebrews 17, “What then? Do we not offer daily? Yes, we offer, but making remembrance of his death; and this remembrance is one and not many. How is it one and not many? Because this sacrifice is offered once, like that in the Holy of Holies. This sacrifice is a type of that, and this remembrance a type of that. We offer always the same, not one sheep now and another tomorrow, but the same thing always. Thus there is one sacrifice. By this reasoning, since 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 is there one sacrifice”. If you wish, the Mass is celebrated outside of time, therefore it is as if we were at the Last Supper, and the Priest, in Persona Christi, is pronouncing the words for the first time. As Saint Ambrose of Milan said, “We saw the prince of priests coming to us, we saw and heard him offering his blood for us. We follow, inasmuch as we are able, being priests, and we offer the sacrifice on behalf of the people. Even if we are of but little merit, still, in the sacrifice, we are honorable. Even if Christ is not now seen as the one who offers the sacrifice, nevertheless it is he himself that is offered in sacrifice here on Earth when the body of Christ is offered. Indeed, to offer himself he is made visible in us, he whose word makes holy the sacrifice that is offered” (Commentaries on Twelve Psalms of David 38:25).
        Secondly, in my rebuttal, I did not say that the Mass is “merely a celebration”. I did say that “simply” a Mass is celebrated every day. The Catechism says it at best at 1363 and 1364: “In the sense of Sacred Scripture the memorial is not merely the recollection of past events but the proclamation of the mighty works wrought by God for men. In the liturgical celebration of these events, they become in a certain way present and real. This is how Israel understands its liberation from Egypt: every time Passover is celebrated, the Exodus events are made present to the memory of believers so that they may conform their lives to them” (no. 1363). In the New Testament, and in the time of the Church, the memorial takes on a new and deeper meaning: “When the Church celebrates the Eucharist, she commemorates Christ’s Passover, and it is made present: the sacrifice of Christ offered once for all on the Cross remains ever present” (no. 1364).

        1. Margo Cargo!

          Yep, do you get the feeling that “peel-off’ and schism – in whatever form – is the favored implement in Old Scratch’s toolkit? Nothing like the appearance and/or actuality of disunity to enable one’s foes to be picked off piecemeal. The little storefront church, or the big tent, theologically standing alone, are easy targets.

          There is hope. In the RCIA class I am teaching, there’s an entire lovely family – husband, wife, three adolescent kids. Mom, recounting their amazement at the devoutness of rural Belgian Catholics with whom they lived on a military tour, said two things that resonated. First, that the worldwide unity and beauty of Catholic belief to which they were first exposed in Belgium just “blew them away.” Second, “my kids will **never ** have to go church-shopping..” Just one example of what I see more and more, both locally and globally.

          God has a plan, in His own time.

          1. A-OK, AK!

            Hey! Yep. There is hope and it is good that we stay focused on the positives, the resurrection, the salvation (power of the Eucharist!) Hanna said some encouraging words to Folkerts–about all conversation leaving some memory trace. It is all God’s work; we’re instruments. By the way, I received a piano for Christmas!

            Now I really do have a lot of weight to move, in addition to my good works!

            God bless.

          2. Hey Margo, I was actually a bit confused by the “memory trace” thing. Mind explaining it to me, since you seem to be on the same page?

          3. AF>>> Hey Margo, I was actually a bit confused by the “memory trace” thing. Mind explaining it to me, since you seem to be on the same page?

            DH>>> I believe she was referring to where I mentioned to you the “memory trace” of Malachi 3:16: “Then those who feared the LORD talked with each other, and the LORD listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning them.”

          4. Hi Alex,
            Memory trace refers to the idea that our brain has the capacity to encode and store experience as biochemical/neurological reactions. So all that we attend to, read, hear, etc. is held there and may influence us. The theory is that some miniscule structural change occurs with the storage.

            The ‘encouragement’ of Hanna? He seemed to say that you haven’t wasted your breath in speaking to BB. BB read and attended to what you said, and your words BB now carries with him. Your words are like seeds.

            [The question is: What type of ground have your seeds gone into?]

            An explanation of memory trace may be had at Wikipedia “Memory” or “Memory Trace.”

            St. John of the Cross talks about memory, intellect, and will in his book Ascent of Carmel. All these are ‘faculties’ of the soul.

        2. Alex,
          St. John’s book is “Ascent of Mt. Carmel”
          And instead of intellect as a faculty of the soul, he calls it ‘understanding’

  13. D. Hanna,

    Regarding the Mass as a ‘perpetual’ sacrifice, consider this explanation, with Fathers of the Church to back it up:

    From Catholic.com:

    “The Eucharist is a true sacrifice, not just a commemorative meal, as “Bible Christians” insist. The first Christians knew that it was a sacrifice and proclaimed this in their writings. They recognized the sacrificial character of Jesus’ instruction, “Do this in remembrance of me” (Touto poieite tan eman anamnasin; Luke 22:19, 1 Cor. 11:24–25) which is better translated “Offer this as my memorial offering.”

    Thus, Protestant early Church historian J. N. D. Kelly writes that in the early Church “the Eucharist was regarded as the distinctively Christian sacrifice. . . . Malachi’s prediction (1:10–11) that the Lord would reject Jewish sacrifices and instead would have “a pure offering” made to him by the Gentiles in every place was seized upon by Christians as a prophecy of the Eucharist. TheDidache indeed actually applies the term thusia, or sacrifice, to the Eucharist. . . .

    “It was natural for early Christians to think of the Eucharist as a sacrifice. The fulfillment of prophecy demanded a solemn Christian offering, and the rite itself was wrapped in the sacrificial atmosphere with which our Lord invested the Last Supper. The words of institution, ‘Do this’ (touto poieite), must have been charged with sacrificial overtones for second-century ears; Justin at any rate understood them to mean, ‘Offer this.’ . . . The bread and wine, moreover, are offered ‘for a memorial (eis anamnasin) of the passion,’ a phrase which in view of his identification of them with the Lord’s body and blood implies much more than an act of purely spiritual recollection” (J. N. D. Kelly, Early Christian Doctrines [Full Reference], 196–7).

    The Didache

    “Assemble on the Lord’s day, and break bread and offer the Eucharist; but first make confession of your faults, so that your sacrifice may be a pure one. Anyone who has a difference with his fellow is not to take part with you until he has been reconciled, so as to avoid any profanation of your sacrifice [Matt. 5:23–24]. For this is the offering of which the Lord has said, ‘Everywhere and always bring me a sacrifice that is undefiled, for I am a great king, says the Lord, and my name is the wonder of nations’ [Mal. 1:11, 14]” (Didache 14 [A.D. 70]).

    Pope Clement I

    “Our sin will not be small if we eject from the episcopate those who blamelessly and holily have offered its sacrifices. Blessed are those presbyters who have already finished their course, and who have obtained a fruitful and perfect release” (Letter to the Corinthians 44:4–5 [A.D. 80]).

    Ignatius of Antioch

    “Make certain, therefore, that you all observe one common Eucharist; for there is but one Body of our Lord Jesus Christ, and but one cup of union with his Blood, and one single altar of sacrifice—even as there is also but one bishop, with his clergy and my own fellow servitors, the deacons. This will ensure that all your doings are in full accord with the will of God” (Letter to the Philadelphians 4 [A.D. 110]).

    Justin Martyr

    “God speaks by the mouth of Malachi, one of the twelve [minor prophets], as I said before, about the sacrifices at that time presented by you: ‘I have no pleasure in you, says the Lord, and I will not accept your sacrifices at your hands; for from the rising of the sun to the going down of the same, my name has been glorified among the Gentiles, and in every place incense is offered to my name, and a pure offering, for my name is great among the Gentiles . . . [Mal. 1:10–11]. He then speaks of those Gentiles, namely us [Christians] who in every place offer sacrifices to him, that is, the bread of the Eucharist and also the cup of the Eucharist” (Dialogue with Trypho the Jew 41 [A.D. 155]).

    Irenaeus

    “He took from among creation that which is bread, and gave thanks, saying, ‘This is my body.’ The cup likewise, which is from among the creation to which we belong, he confessed to be his blood. He taught the new sacrifice of the new covenant, of which Malachi, one of the twelve [minor] 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 from the rising 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’ [Mal. 1:10–11]. 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 the Gentiles” (Against Heresies 4:17:5 [A.D. 189]).

    Cyprian of Carthage

    “If Christ Jesus, our Lord and God, is himself the high priest of God the Father; and if he offered himself as a sacrifice to the Father; and if he commanded that this be done in commemoration of himself, then certainly the priest, who imitates that which Christ did, truly functions in place of Christ” (Letters 63:14 [A.D. 253]).

    Serapion

    “Accept therewith our hallowing too, as we say, ‘Holy, holy, holy Lord Sabaoth, heaven and earth is full of your glory.’ Heaven is full, and full is the earth, with your magnificent glory, Lord of virtues. Full also is this sacrifice, with your strength and your communion; for to you we offer this living sacrifice, this unbloody oblation” (Prayer of the Eucharistic Sacrifice 13:12–16 [A.D. 350]).

    Cyril of Jerusalem

    “Then, having sanctified ourselves by these spiritual hymns, we beseech the merciful God to send forth his Holy Spirit upon the gifts lying before him, that he may make the bread the Body of Christ and the wine the Blood of Christ, for whatsoever the Holy Spirit has touched is surely sanctified and changed. Then, upon the completion of the spiritual sacrifice, the bloodless worship, over that propitiatory victim we call upon God for the common peace of the churches, for the welfare of the world, for kings, for soldiers and allies, for the sick, for the afflicted; and in summary, we all pray and offer this sacrifice for all who are in need” (Catechetical Lectures 23:7–8 [A.D. 350]).

    Citation: https://www.catholic.com/tract/the-sacrifice-of-the-mass

    ************************************************************************

  14. Poster AWLMS quotes Catholic Answers:

    “The Eucharist is a true sacrifice, not just a commemorative meal, as “Bible Christians” insist. The first Christians knew that it was a sacrifice and proclaimed this in their writings. They recognized the sacrificial character of Jesus’ instruction, “Do this in remembrance of me” (Touto poieite tan eman anamnasin; Luke 22:19, 1 Cor. 11:24–25) which is better translated “Offer this as my memorial offering.”

    My reply is that I cannot accept this “better translation” to >>>offer this as my memorial offering>>> in light of Hebrews taking a very low view as it regards any further “offerings” at all. And I don’t see that book making any room for what the Vatican wishes us to believe. C.A. refers to Luke 22:19 to prove that the offering is supposed to be Christ’s sacrifice. (how does one offer a past event — in the future? Doesn’t make sense). Anyway, the word “anamnesis” doesn’t even mean sacrifice. It simply means to remember, which is what I see the plain reading of the verse to teach.
    I noticed the quote of Cyril also saying to “offer this sacrifice” also, but I’m really unconvinced we have to “offer” anything. If people were being forgiven left and right in the gospels by faith — without any “offering”, then I can be forgiven in the same manner.
    I think you can guess by now I am not of the Catholic persuasion, but my acquaintances are, which has led me to investigate further.

    1. Anamesis is a word that is used in the original Greek New Testament and the earliest Christian liturgies, and thus is very important in understanding what Our Lord actually said as well as understanding Catholic Sacramental Theology and Liturgical Theology. The highly respected U.S. Lutheran liturgical scholar the Rev. Dr Frank C. Senn has written, “This Greek word is practically untranslatable in English. ‘Memorial,’
      ‘commemoration,’ ‘remembrance’ all suggest a recollection of the past, whereas anamnesis means making present an object or person from the past. Sometimes the term ‘reactualization’ has been used to indicate the force of anamnesis.”
      In other words, when we see the English words “remembrance,” “memorial,” “recalling” in the New
      Testament, in the liturgy, or in Sacramental and Liturgical Theology, they are deceptively inadequate
      translations of the original Greek word anamnesis (making actually present again; reactualizing) which was used to record what Jesus Christ Himself said at the Last Supper.

      And he took bread, and when he had given thanks he broke it and gave it to them, saying,“This is
      my body, which is given for you. Do this in anamnesis of me.” (St Luke 22.19)
      …the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said,“This is my body which is for you. Do this in anamnesis of me.” In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying,“This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as
      you drink it, in anamnesis of me.” (I Corinthians)

      From St. Pauls Parish
      Riverside, Illinois

      1. Duane says,

        “anamnesis means making present an object or person from the past”

        I simply respond that you’re asking me to believe the impossible.
        (please…no “with God all things are possible” sermons).
        Now you know better. No person from antiquity has ever materialized into the present. You appear to want to have the satisfaction and be so ***certain*** that this concept is true, that you end up exchanging what we know to be real, for a certainty that does not exist.

        You also quote the command to “drink”. Yes, as a matter of fact, I did so just a few days ago.
        May I ask you when was the last time you drank anything at communion?

        1. Do Hanna,

          No person from the past….Really?

          So you don’t believe in the Transfiguration when Peter, James, and John saw two people from the past in their midst? Oh ye of little faith.

          I drink every week at communion. What is your point?

          Was Jesus talking to everyone about drinking His blood, or to priests?

          1. D >>> No person from the past [ever materialized] ? So you don’t believe in the Transfiguration when Peter, James, and John saw two people from the past in their midst?

            DH >>> No person has ever materialized form the past in an “anamnesis” context. That is what I meant.
            Neither does Jesus “appear” to anyone in bodily form at any Mass.

            D >>> I drink every week at communion. What is your point?

            DH >>> The point is, Vatican officials say you don’t have to! I’m judging your religion by what they officially teach, and so your own personal obedience of taking both elements is of no consequence.

          2. D Hanna,

            D Hanna:

            No person has ever materialized form the past in an “anamnesis” context. That is what I meant.
            Neither does Jesus “appear” to anyone in bodily form at any Mass.

            So you have no problem with bringing people from the past to a future time, but you draw the line at bringing an event from the past to a future time? Okaaaaay 😉

            D Hanna:

            The point is, Vatican officials say you don’t have to! I’m judging your religion by what they officially teach, and so your own personal obedience of taking both elements is of no consequence.

            If it’s of no consequence if I partake of both elements, why did you specifically ask when was the last time I drank anything at communion?

          3. So you have no problem with bringing people from the past to a future time, but you draw the line at bringing an event from the past to a future time?

            ^^^^^

        2. D. Hanna said:

          I simply respond that you’re asking me to believe the impossible.
          (please…no “with God all things are possible” sermons).
          Now you know better. No person from antiquity has ever materialized into the present.

          Let’s see here. You have no problem believing that Sarah became pregnant well past childbearing years, that Moses parted the Red Sea, in the Virgin birth of Christ, that Peter walked on water for a little bit, and that Jesus rose from the dead, and on and on….but you draw the line at somehow a past event made present to us in the here and now? Okaaaaaay 😉

          1. D >>> Let’s see here. You have no problem believing that Sarah became pregnant well past childbearing years, that Moses parted the Red Sea, in the Virgin birth of Christ, that Peter walked on water for a little bit, and that Jesus rose from the dead, and on and on….but you draw the line at somehow a past event made present to us in the here and now? Okaaaaaay 😉

            DH >>> Correct. All of the miracles you mention I joyfully accept because they are stated in no uncertain terms to have happened. However, the idea that the original sacrifice which occurred on Calvary is then jettisoned into the future, and is to be considered the “same” sacrifice henceforth in all communion proceedings, is no where stated. So my position has nothing to do with denying the power of God to do this or that. It has to do whether he did in fact, ordain this to be so. He asks us to “reason things out”. And so I have. The end result being that the mind-bending claim which states that in the Eucharist, there is an “event” going on — taught to be exactly the “same” sacrifice which occurred on Calvary, is unacceptable…especially if you posit the first as bloody, and those that follow… unbloody. They therefore cannot be the “same”, and so the claim is disingenuous at best; outright false at worst.

          2. D Hanna,

            D Hanna:

            DH >>> Correct. All of the miracles you mention I joyfully accept because they are stated in no uncertain terms to have happened. However, the idea that the original sacrifice which occurred on Calvary is then jettisoned into the future, and is to be considered the “same” sacrifice henceforth in all communion proceedings, is no where stated. So my position has nothing to do with denying the power of God to do this or that. It has to do whether he did in fact, ordain this to be so. He asks us to “reason things out”. And so I have. The end result being that the mind-bending claim which states that in the Eucharist, there is an “event” going on — taught to be exactly the “same” sacrifice which occurred on Calvary, is unacceptable…especially if you posit the first as bloody, and those that follow… unbloody. They therefore cannot be the “same”, and so the claim is disingenuous at best; outright false at worst.

            So if I lived before any of those miracles were written down, but after they had happened, then you seem to be saying it is okay to not accept them as inspired by God and did not have to be believed, is that what you are saying?

            Why have you, who has been given no Divine Authority to bind and loose, bind yourself to only what is written, when the written nowhere says to do that?

            Do you see the dilemma for a Catholic? I believe that Jesus founded a Church with the power to bind and loose, yet you most likely belong to a denomination that does not claim that authority, so why should I believe them over one that does claim that authority? That would be incoherent. Yet that is what many Protestants do.

            Why should I believe the Church when she teaches that the Scriptures are inspired but not when she teaches what to believe about the Eucharist?

            Why should I hold to sola scriptura when Moses came down from Sinai with both the Oral Torah and Written Torah, and Jews felt that the Oral was just as important as the written? Jesus Himself draws directly from the Oral Torah in His Sermon on the Mount, yet not once do we see Jesus say the Oral Torah was not binding.

            Furthermore, anamnesis in the bible is always used in the context of a sacrifice. Jesus is saying offer this sacrifice as often as you drink my blood.

            The following is taken from this website, notice how St. Paul directly links what they are doing to a sacrifice: https://www.catholic.com/magazine/print-edition/is-the-mass-a-sacrifice

            During the Last Supper, the Lord said to his disciples, “Do this in memory of me.” In Greek, this statement reads, “Touto poieite eis tan eman anamnesin.” There are two.aspects of this phrase that deserve consideration. For one, the phrase touto poieite can be translated as do this or as offer this. In the Old Testament, God commands the Israelites “you shall offer (poieseis) upon the altar two lambs” (Ex. 29:38). This use of poiein is translated as offer this or sacrifice this over seventy times in the Old Testament. So the same word that is used for the sacrifice under the Old Covenant is used for the sacrifice of the Mass in the New.

            The second key aspect of this phrase is Our Lord’s use of the word anamnesin. If you were to ask a Protestant to look in a Greek Translation of his Bible, every time this word (anamnesis) appears it is within a sacrificial context (see, for example, Numbers 10:10). It also can be translated as memorial offering or memorial sacrifice. While these nuances are lost in the English translation, Jewish ears would have understood the sacrificial meaning of Christ’s words.

            Another New Testament passage that testifies to the sacrificial nature of the Mass is 1 Corinthians 10:14–21. Here Paul argues that participation in the Lord’s table means refusing to participate in the sacrifices of demons. Paul contrasts two groups: The first are those who participate in one altar (the table of demons), eating the sacrifice and drinking from the cup of demons. The second are those who partake of the table of the Lord (which, according to Malachi 1:7 is synonymous with an altar of sacrifice) and drink from the cup of the Lord. Paul’s argument is based upon the parallelism between the demonic sacrifice and the Christian sacrifice. Hebrews 13:10 follows this thought, saying that we have an altar from which those who serve the tent (Jewish priests serving in the temple) have no right to eat.

            Clement of Rome, who knew the Apostles, and is mentioned in Scripture, in his letter to the Corinthians clearly says that the Church offers sacrifice.

            Lastly, Psalm 110 predicts Jesus would offer a sacrifice in the manner of Melchizedek which was bread and wine, and Malachi says an offering would be made by the Gentiles from sunup to sundown.

            Does your denomination present a pure offering of bread and wine from sunup to sundown every day?

    2. Hi D. Hanna,

      The idea of offering a past event in the future is a difficult concept. The scripture passages about God’s time not equating to our concept of time apply here. One day to him is as a thousand years, etc. The eternal limitlessness of God also applies. His sacrifice, once in humantime, was known to God from the beginning (before it happened) and its effects shall be felt for all time.

      These ideas about time are encapsulated in Catholic sacramental theology. That is why we say that God is present today and in his body, in his believers, in our world.

    3. D. Hanna,

      I ask the same to you as I asked to Barry, is it reasonable to throw away almost the entirety of Early Christian History in favor of a 16th century invented theology that didn’t exist in the first millennium of Christianity, except for maybe a few of-the-cuff sayings from some otherwise very Catholic ‘Fathers’? You have above, the quotes from various fathers of the Church. You have the text of the Didache readily available on-line to read the entire contents of, and in only 1 hour of study. You have Eusebius’ Church History easily available which details multitudes of events, martyrdoms, heresies, the development of the canon of scripture, the succession of bishops, and so many other historical proofs of the nature of the Church prior to 300 AD. And all of these historical resources mean nothing to proving the true identity and nature of Christ’s holy Church?

      Jesus said many things concerning the nature of His Mystical Body, His future Church. First He taught that He “will be with it always even until the end of the world”. And, He taught us how to distinguish true Christians from false ones, even as the Didache also teaches. Jesus said, “you will know them by their fruits”. And, “A good tree does not produce bad fruits”. Do these sayings mean anything, and cannot we consider the conversion of the entirety of European civilization, the entirety of the ancient Roman Empire, as well as all of the countless barbarian peoples who occupied Europe before the advent of Christ….as one of these ‘good fruits’ that Jesus talked about? Or, is this history of Christ’s conquest to be merely ignored as nothing special, or significant in world history? Was not the cessation of persecutions and torture of the Christians in 313 AD considered a great blessing for world Christianity, and all the sufferings of those who defended the Christian faith during that time …who witnessed to Christ through the torture of their bodies…are all those testimonies not ‘good fruits’ such as Jesus taught that we would recognized His ‘disciples’? Did those martyrs described in chapter 8 of Eusebius’ Church History NOT do exactly what Jesus taught his true disciples to do, i.e…. ” anyone who does not pick up his cross and follow me is not worthy of me”? Were all of those martyrs described by Eusebius, not the same crowd of Christians who learned their faith through the catechetical courses of the Early Church bishops…and described in such early catechetical/liturgical works as “The Apostolic Constitutions”, the “Apostolic Traditions of Hippolytus”, and the many writings of Clement of Alexandria, all easily reviewed by a simple Google search online? Or, maybe, ere all of these martyrs really “bad fruits”, as Jesus described….really deserving of their death because indeed they weren’t servants of Christ at all, but apostates and heretics following the Beast as describe in the “Book of Revelation”? What were the…good fruits or bad fruits?

      For one who carefully considers all of Church history, all of the synods and councils, all of the ancient writings, including great works such as the” Didache”, “The Shepherd of Hermas”, the many writings of Clement of Alexandria ad Origin, “the Catechetical Lectures of Cyril of Jerusalem”, “The canons of the Synod of Alvira”…when one digests all of this excellent Early Christian theology and Christian history….Protestantism seems to be completely absurd. It is divorced from almost the entirety of Christian history; be it in theological writings, Christian biography, Christian liturgy, Christian missionary conquest, the development of Christian civilization over 1000+ years, Christian architecture, music and art (monumentally beautiful cathedrals, etc..); and also, Christian institutions such as monasticism and Cathederal schools, which institutions diligently transcribed sacred scripture and preserved ancient Christian writings for all future generations of humanity, until the advent of modern printing.

      I ask you what I asked Barry many times….where were the Protestants in all of this history? The Catholics have the biographies of 1000’s of Saints stored in the Vatican library. Where are the Protestant libraries of their saints? Or, are all of these ‘catholic saints’ really mere devils, wherein their biographies never have beed saved in the first place, but rather, burned and used as fertilizer for the vegetable garden? That is, are the saved writings and biographies of people like St. Patrick, (who wrote his own autobiography), St. Bede who wrote the life of many English Saints and also the history of founding of the English nation and people, as well. And, also, saints such as St. Francis of Assisi: I guess that his life also should have never been written as he is also a mere heretical follower of the great beast, or Satan?

      Jesus said “You will know them by their fruits”. But where are the fruits of ancient Protestantism? Where are they stories saved for all future generations to study? Who diligently labored to catalogue and transcribe them through centuries of wars, plagues, famines and other miseries? But, then again, how can there be fruits….if there wasn’t even a tree to produce those visible fruits (as Jesus said there would be) until the 16th century of European civilization? Where is the tree of Protestantism to be found in the first millennium, before 1000 AD? Where are the great biographies and noble deeds of Protestant Christians….which should be very visible as Jesus taught “you will know them”…by what they do…whether it be good or evil. These actions of Christ’s servants are their visible and tangible, and ‘fruits’. But, ancient Protestantism has none of this: No Fruits. And, if so, demonstrate them, even as Catholics can demonstrate their mtitudes of good fruits thoughout 2017 years of Christian History.

      So, again, Protestantism is completely absurd in the light of ancient Christian history.

      Otherwise, please give us some names of early Protestants to study.

      But, good luck finding them. I’ve been waiting for any Protestant to provide this history for a very long time, but am always disappointed.

      1. Please pardon the typos. But, I think a reasonable Christian should in all charity try to answer the questions above. It pertains to the overall history of the Church that Jesus said He would build. I’m just asking for some Protestants, and there are plenty of them reading here, to demonstrate some of the building blocks that were raised in those early centuries. Clearly the Catholic Church has thousands of these, the likes of these can be found both in the Vatican library as well as in compilations such as Butler’s ‘Lives of the Saints’.

        I’m just wondering if Protestants who claim to have some historical existence in antiquity are not just indulging in day dreams or mere fantasy. And, if evidence indeed does exist, then why won’t they provide some historical proofs as the Catholics and Orthodox clearly do? Maybe because their religion was really invented only 500 years ago, in 1517, and by a rather disturbed monk who probably never should have entered the monastic state, and taken vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, in first place?

        1. Al – between the wry witticisms (acne?) and the “don’t debate, lecture and ignore clear Scripture for a nonsensically confusing and Pharisaical pick-apart of the Eucharistic species” all so similar to what Barry inflicted for two years….I rather suspect someone like Parster Jimmy White is running a Cynical Calvinist Catholic-Bashers School with canned tactics (more late-night talk show host than theology) for trying to create chaos on learned Catholic blogs. Bottom line, we outlasted Barry and the gates of hell represented by this latest reformoid pencil-neck will not prevail.

    4. Hi again, D. Hanna,

      If God is love, should we not show him that we know who and what he is? What better way do we have than to re-enact what he himself has asked us to do in commemoration of him? Call it an offering. Call it a sacrifice. Call it His Body and His Blood. Call it Love, given to us as Gift. We’ll repeat it as often as we have breath and life within us.

      Best,

  15. Concerning the Eucharist I have to ask — how old is the Roman Canon? If it has pre-Constantinian elements maybe it will lay to rest some objections concerning whether this concept of sacrifice is not biblical in origin.

    It hardly matters either way. The default position of non-Catholics and non-Orthodox is “the Catholic Church is wrong and so is the Orthodox”, and rare are the cases where our arguments are listened to. It’s just “no you’re wrong” to our faces, over and over, in ten thousand different variations.

    1. Q>>> The default position of non-Catholics and non-Orthodox is “the Catholic Church is wrong and so is the Orthodox”, and rare are the cases where our arguments are listened to.

      DH>>> Not so. I listen to your arguments. What irks you is that I just don’t accept them. Did Jesus listen to “their” arguments? Yes he did, and concluded, “you do greatly err, not knowing the Scriptures”.

      1. Hey..is anyone here ‘irked?’ Just askin’….certainly not me.

        Mildly amused, though, on several levels.

        First, your smarmy little comment about the ‘Koolaid-stained Catechism.” Perhaps you’re too young to remember the genesis of that phrase. It refers to the cyanide-laced Purple Jesus force-fed to the “Peoples Temple” followers of a ‘theologian’ by the name of Jim Jones. And who was Jim? A charismatic – aren’t they all – hand-wavin,’ Jeebus-shoutin’ pompadoured ordained parster of the “Disciples of Christ.’ Someone whose genetic lineage is on a straight line from 1820’s New York State’s “Burnt Over District” along with Mormons, 7th Day Adventists, transmorped Calvinists, all manner of Fundamentalist offshoots. In his case, a theologically poisonous concoction of Marxism, Methodism, and Fundamentalism whose peculiarly-American homebrew-theology paradigm puts him right at home with the same big ol’ tent congregations that slavishly still follow genetically Sola-everything hucksters Swaggart, the Bakkers, Haggard, Osteen….you get the idea. So – in the spirit of ‘do what you want religion’ please feel free to refer to Catholic Kool-Aid, but beware of unintended consequences that come from the truth.

        Second, regarding the Eucharist, all Protestant apologetic has going for it is tortuous nuance and mind-numbing obfuscation, desperately confirmation-biased in an effort to compete with +30,000 (non) denoms for butts in seats. The language and intent of John 6, both the Greek and English, could not be more clear. The teachings of those who learned directly from the Apostles, or their successors, such as Ignatius of Antioch, are also bell-clear – Awlms and others here have amply demonstrated with quotes and references. Now, in time-honored Calvinist contra-Joe-blog tradition, you’re welcome to “refruit” – and even sincerely to believe – with a (to paraphrase you) gymnastic apologetic convolution that “it’s all metaphor.”

        We’ll disagree, and civil disagreement is what makes venues like this work.

        1. “The language and intent of John 6, both the Greek and English, could not be more clear. ”

          Forgot to include the Synoptic “Last Supper” narratives as well…..

        2. AK >>> First, your smarmy little comment about the ‘Koolaid-stained Catechism.” Perhaps you’re too young to remember the genesis of that phrase. It refers to Jim Jones.

          DH >>> No, I’m in my 50’s and know all about JJ. For the record, the catechism I received was indeed stained, altho perhaps not with Kool-aid per say, by the looks of it. Anyhow, the book did confirm that the “real presence” does indeed leave after the eucharist is destroyed in the mouth (as I had feared) but am now justified even more so by denying this doctrine in light of Jesus saying he would be with us ***always***, leaving your doctrine quite opposed to his promise. I’m trying to imagine why church officials would even want to even come up with Jesus saying good-by so quickly…but it might be due to the implications left by Justin Martyr. This guy ***did*** allow for Jesus to pass the stomach barrier into the intestines to be absorbed, with the intention that we be “transformed” by those nutrients in Christ’s body, in the same way regular food is absorbed. I think you need to face it. This is what the early church believed, so your constant referral to those who were so close to the apostles, does not carry the weight you want it to. Justin was clearly wrong according to modern day popery. I can’t say for sure, but I can only speculate that the magisterium came along later on and put a stop to the Savior bypassing the stomach because of the very horrible thought that would run through people’s mind: that being, ending up in the dreggs of the city sewer.

          AK >>> The language and intent of John 6, both the Greek and English, could not be more clear.

          DH >>> I agree. In John 10, they come to him and demanded he speak plainly because they were miffed he wasn’t speaking “clearly” enough to their liking. In 16:2, he reconfirms and says more often than not he would be speaking in a figurative manner! It is clear then that because the episode in chapter 6 occurs before the time the Lord was going to “plainly” speak his mind, that means he was speaking metaphorically in the Bread of Life discourse. This conclusion is solidly based on “right dividing the word of truth”…in conjunction with the simple fact that Jesus did not provide a way for them to really chomp on him in a literal sense anyway. No one of course dared come up to him and bite off his leg, right? Then what were they to do to satisfy the demands of Christ to eat his flesh? Does he give commands that are unattainable and impossible to follow through with? Since the answer is no, and no one there ever did eat his flesh, the words of Christ must be taken metaphorically. When I believe in Christ, I am “eating” him, after which I have “tasted and seen that the Lord is good”…(that’s somewhere in Psalm’s I think).

          AK >>> The teachings of those who learned directly from the Apostles, or their successors, such as Ignatius of Antioch, are also bell-clear

          DH >>> They are not as “clear” as you think. Ignatius for example, probably spoke metaphorically more than any early Christian, and his comments on the flesh of Christ can easily be proved to be just that. I’m seeing a trend here with Catholics in general. I quoted Mr. Truglia earlier in that he said the book of Hebrews “explicitly” teaches that Christ offered himself in sacrifice while sitting at the table.
          Explicitly??? No way. I well understand ***why*** you need this to be so…because if the Last Supper was not the first mass, the entire edifice of your religion is destroyed. I say, with the reasonable mind God gave us, that a pre-crucifixion sacrifice prior to Calvary is obnoxious. Made even more so by then being asked to believe that when Calvary was finished with, that very same sacrifice is supposedly jettisoned into the future at every Mass. What?! These are time-warp enigmas that the Bible knows nothing about, and must be abandoned.

          You say, “it is ever so clear” about this and that. But you say can say that all you want, but there are objections galore to each of your supposedly “ever so clear” contentions.

          AK >>> Awlms and others here have amply demonstrated with quotes and references.

          DH >>> You insult me, insinuating that my quotes and reference are worthless. I am not impressed. I think they can stand up to yours any day.

          AK >>> We’ll disagree, and civil disagreement is what makes venues like this work.

          DH >>> Quite so.

          1. Hi D. Hanna,

            Time allows only one remark in reference to “…
            the catechism… did confirm that the ‘real presence’ does indeed leave after the eucharist is destroyed in the mouth…”

            Do you get this information from Point 1377 which states: “The Eucharistic presence of Christ begins at the moment of the consecration and endures as long as the Eucharistic species subsist.”

            Your words are not the words of the catechism. First, the eucharist is not ‘destroyed.’

            The lack of a EUCHARISTIC PRESENCE DOES not being preclude Christ’s presence in myriad other immaterial ways or in other substantive/material forms we may not recognize. For example, Mary Magdalene did not immediately recognize the resurrected Christ. The disciples on the road to Emmaeus did not recognize the resurrected Christ. Paul did not recognize the Body of Christ as he wrought his persecutions upon it.

            In the same way, the lack of the Eucharist does not imply a complete lack of Christ’s presence. Christ did say he would be with us always. And He is.

            Trying to imagine why [Catholic] church officials “come up with Jesus saying good-bye” is an exercise doomed to fail since Catholic Church officials have never taught or said such a thing. Some people do continue to try to see her do the things they imagine she ought.

          2. What these theological desperados, through their, ummmm… desperation fail to see is the simplicity of Jesus’ exhortation that His Flesh is…food. Nourishment for body and soul. Simple as that. All this parsing of what happens to this both earthly and Divine subsistence after ingestion is the obfuscation to which in earlier referred, served up with a steaming side of neurotic Calvinist toilet obsession.

            Along with the “metaphor narrative,” this bit of canned Calvintoon theogical gedanken has all the credibility of the sound Mormon Egyptology that validates old Joseph Smith’s Scroll of the Book of Abraham…

          3. DH,
            “Anyhow, the book did confirm that the “real presence” does indeed leave after the eucharist is destroyed in the mouth (as I had feared) but am now justified even more so by denying this doctrine in light of Jesus saying he would be with us ***always***, leaving your doctrine quite opposed to his promise” = a common mistake in the Protestant understanding of the Mystery of the Real Presence. What does leave is the physical presence of Christ; spiritually and sacramentally, He’s always with us.
            “In John 10, they come to him and demanded he speak plainly because they were miffed he wasn’t speaking “clearly” enough to their liking. In 16:2, he reconfirms and says more often than not he would be speaking in a figurative manner!” = your conclusion is incorrect. John 10 et subseq refer to Jesus’ use of parables. In John 6, Jesus does not speak figuratively, as clearly indicated in John 6:61-62.
            “I say, with the reasonable mind God gave us, that a pre-crucifixion sacrifice prior to Calvary is obnoxious” = again, incorrect. Does the offering on the Cross exclude Jesus’ trial? His flogging? His arrest? His carrying the Cross on the Via Crucis? When do you put the beginning of His sacrifice, then?
            “Made even more so by then being asked to believe that when Calvary was finished with, that very same sacrifice is supposedly jettisoned into the future at every Mass” = again, incorrect. Catholics believe that the Jesus’ sacrifice is outside of time, and it’s not “jettisoned […] at every Mass”.
            “You insult me, insinuating that my quotes and reference are worthless” = not so. They are not worthless; simply Biblically, Historically and Theologically incorrect.

          4. M >>> the lack of the Eucharist does not imply a complete lack of Christ’s presence. Christ did say he would be with us always. And He is.

            DH >>> My husband just told me, “Hey, you guys are the one who says he leaves, not us!”
            I agree.
            Well then, since I already believe his promise to be with us through the instrumentality of the Spirit, I simply have no need for the physical presence. He promised the Spirit, not his physical presence.

            M >>> Trying to imagine why [Catholic] church officials “come up with Jesus saying good-bye” is an exercise doomed to fail since Catholic Church officials have never taught or said such a thing.

            DH >>> What? They do teach that he leaves! He leaves! He leaves!
            It’s right there in your catechism! To deny it is to lie. Someone along the line had to suppress the ideology of Justin which allowed Jesus to bypass the stomach. That is a fact. I am assuming It happened because of the implications of ending up in the toilet. I can;’t stand talking about this, but it is your church, not mine, which begs these questions.
            So tell me, when and by whom did they come up with this teaching that the real presence dissipates just as quickly after the wafer dissipates?

            If you say “I don’t know and it doesn’t matter because everything my church teaches is correct”, I’m not going 2 B impressed.

    1. Duane:

      Yup. Or some kind of interning protégé. Thought that from the first few DH posts. See my earlier thoughts on the possibility of a Calvinist School for Catholic Bashers. Whatever. These folks just-don’t-get:

      – That Catholics know Scrip-tcha as least as well as, and usually better, than crusading Reformistas;

      – That we have Church History on our side, solidly;

      – And that we are pretty much immune to their dogged but lame and ineffectual implementations of Alinsky’s Rule #5.

        1. AK >>> that Protestantism continues to fragment is the ultimate proof of its fallacy and in-authenticity.

          DH >>> Did not the 6:00 news report just a few months ago that the Pope was adverse to the death penalty even if the intruder chopped up your next of kin? I just checked and the catechism says just the opposite. You can well understand why your comments about “Protestants continue to fragment” lands on deaf ears in light of this and a 100 other examples of Catholicism’s duplicity.

          1. Hey Barry – how nice to see you again.

            And the Pope’s undogmatized **personal opinion** on a political issue affects the Catechism, how? In a way that can be explained – once again – to your intellect, such as it is addled by consuming prepper-bunker leaded-paint-chip-flavored mac n’cheese?

            Otherwise, p*** off.

            Joe, respectfully, IP-blocking is your friend, and ours.

          2. Hello,

            Hanna/h says: “My husband just told me.” So now he has become a she?

            Hannah also says, ” I’m not going 2 B impressed.” S/He him/herself has said so. Seems as if s/he is in fact ‘ 2, ‘ or ‘ BB, or ‘Barry Bulldog,’ ‘Barry Baritone.’

            Butterfly Bye.

          3. Mornin’ Margo….

            Hey, maybe s/he is a Calvinist Crossover. I guess as long as you hate Catholics and love Tulips (your salvation closely depending on whether yer a 5 or 4 point Calvoonian) it’s OK to wear panties or boxers depending On How You Feel That Day (Give us This Day our Daily Gender…).

            H/she should read the next entry in Joe’s blog. Might find it enlightening.

          4. Margo,

            Let me explain this to you. There are obviously multiple personalities residing in the one body of Mr./Mrs. Barry Calvin Hannah Bulldog. To further complicate things, two of those personalities are married to each other. And those two personalities have produced other vile offspring. I am sure in the future of this blog, we shall see some of these offspring make an appearance.

            Someone better call an exorcist, there’s a demon named Barry Hannah Calvin Bulldog…….on the loose.

          5. Duane,

            Thanks! 🙂 Apples are said not to fall far from the tree. The interning protégé is very much his teacher.

      1. Duane, I cast a vote for interning protégé. AK – The canned version of Calvintoon gedanken which you describe? You appropriately allude to its lack of logic. 🙂

      2. AK: See my earlier thoughts on the possibility of a Calvinist School for Catholic Bashers.

        I suspect that it’s less of a “School” per se, and more just the sum of all James White fans.

        1. This character is saying the **exact same crap** as BBozo.

          He’s going to keep pulling this act until he’s blocked at the IP level.

          1. Yes,

            But every time I read Barry/Hannah, I fall on my knees and thank Jesus, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and all the saints for the wonderful gift of Catholicism. Reading him made me appreciate Catholicism even more.

          2. Duane:

            I like the way you put that, for a reason.

            One of the things It (for short) said awhile back, multiple times, is Its purpose in coming here it to “make people think.” It’s hope, of course, was, through constant battering, Orwellian repetition, and Alinskyite ridicule, to get people to question Catholicism. Lotta success It’s had with that.

            Can you imagine Satan grimacing and snarling every time a pursued soul sees the Light, chooses Life and converts? Or finds his or her faith affirmed?

            That has to be It’s reaction every time It leaves this blog thread both vilified and unsatisfied….

            Drop that kneeler, friend – you’ve got pew company!

        2. AK,

          I concur!

          “I like the way you put that, for a reason.
          ….
          Drop that kneeler, friend – you’ve got pew company!”

          1. Thank you Margo!

            I don’t by a long shot think we’ve seen the last of Crossover Barry…but then again, the devil keeps coming back….what else is new?

  16. Actually Jesus said if you do not eat or drink his body and blood you have no life in you.
    So no Eucharist no life.
    This and the other sacraments are necessary for salvation, without them there no life. Faith in Christ and baptism are the beginnings and entrance into the kingdom not the end all be all.
    Otherwise Jesus would not have stated faith and baptism are necessary for coming into the kingdom of which Paul, Peter and Titus concur.
    The Eucharist is the new covenant in his blood and those who partake of in faith willingly partake of Christ himself and the new covenant, outside of which there is no salvation.
    Augustine and Aquinas are great examples but the are other church fathers who would disagree that the Eucharist is only partly necessary.

  17. Also, Paul talking of the body and blood in 1 Corinthians 10 states that it is his body and blood and this body and blood is a sacrifice as he puts the table of the Lord in the context of a sacrifice as he explains the Lords table and the table of demons of which the Jews now were doing because the kingdom was now in the Church. Hebrews states the same thing when the writer states that we have a table that they cannot eat from, referring to the Jews.
    So there is only one table and this is the table of the Lord where the body and blood are offered as a bloodless sacrifice as Malachi states in 1:11 and we see in Corinthians.
    Any other is not the body and blood and as Paul says is an offering to demons.
    There only one place that has the body and the blood, the churchtahat Paul describes in Ephesians 2 which has been built on the foundations of the prophets and apostles, which is the household of God where the saints dwell and is where the covenants of Israel are at, including the new covenant in His blood of which the Eucharist is.
    There is only one church of Christ and therefore God which was handed down to the apostles which was handed down to their successors of which we see today with an unbroken lineage of Popes,
    Thus the Cathoic Church, which was the only church until the Protestant Heresy.
    The interesting thing about that heresy is the fact that it has produced over 3,000 denominations, that is by definition not “one”.

    1. Good points, Ken.

      Jesus also says “I am the door”, and a for signifies something whereby there is an inside the door and outside the door, simple as it is. Both receiving Baptism and receiving the Eucharist are very simple things for Christians to do. It’s not like a person needs to climb Mt. Everest or row a boat across the Pacific Ocean. So these sacraments are actually simple, as easy as walking through a door. It only takes a second to walk over the thresh hold, and you are inside. It only takes about a second to have water poured on your head and you are baptized. And also, even the most poor, sick and dying, can be capable of receiving Jesus in this way, that is how charitable Christ is in instituting such sacraments; He makes them available to all those who have the humility to understand His divine ways. So, these sacraments are sign posts that ones faith is sufficiently formed to enter into God’s Kingdom. And for infants, the faith and promise of the parents to demonstrate to them by their faithful example, and teach them the faith as they grow, is also sufficient to let the child enter the Kingdom through the ‘door’ of baptism.

      It’s something so simple for those who have simple hearts, even as easy as walking through a door, but something so difficult for the proud, who prefer to follow their own ways; the same who don’t pray to God, but rather to themselves, as Jesus noted with His comment on the self-complimenting Pharisee. The poor and humble are heard by God when they pray and receive the sacraments. The proud are heard by their own selves and are too honorable to have water poured over them, or to eat a little nickel sized sliver of consecrated bread. Thus, the camel of pride is too big to enter through the narrow gate, or needle eye of the life giving sacraments.

  18. Quite ironically one verse of that beautiful Eucharistic hymn, the Pange Lingua Gloriosi, does have mention of faith alone. Except it’s not the kind that non-Catholics would like to hear:

    Verbum caro, panem verum
    verbo carnem efficit:
    fitque sanguis Christi merum,
    et si sensus deficit,
    ad firmandum cor sincerum
    sola fides sufficit

    Watch me get flak for posting this, those who despise Catholics will think I just posted a spell of some sort.

    1. One of Martin Luther’s laments after reviewing the fruits of his ‘reform’ in his later years, was that Protestants were losing interest in studying Latin. He could appreciate it’s intrinsic value for overall education, as this is what classical education was based on for over a millennia. You needed to know Latin to study not only the Roman classics, and philosophy, but all of the other sciences as well. I think only ignoramus’ despise the use of Latin in theology, because once they grow brains and study botany or medicine, etc..they see how beneficial it is to know it for understanding their various scientific and technical classifications and definitions.

  19. I don’t see how the Eucharist is the greatest of the sacraments. We need to be in the state of sanctifying grace before we participate in the Eucharist. It does not put us in the state of grace. This means that the Spirit of Christ needs to be in us prior to the Eucharist. It is the earnest of our inheritance. The sacraments of receiving the Spirit of Christ are Baptism and Confirmation.
    At the end of Johns account of eating and drinking Christ’s body and blood in John 6, Jesus asks In verse 62: “What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before?” If Jesus ascends, how can they literally eat His flesh and have life in them? Then He goes on to say in verse 63: “It is the spirit that quickeneth [gives life]; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” Jesus makes it clear that what He said is not literal.
    Christ’s words were not fulfilled before Pentecost. The apostles could not fully comprehend what Jesus said even when it was explained to them because Christ’s Spirit was made available at Pentecost, and not before.
    In Romans 8:10-11, Paul provides the answer: “And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.”

    1. Hi Peter,
      So you believe that the sanctifying grace conferred by Baptism and Confirmation always remains? Is it not possible that a person may lose that grace? So once a person is baptized and confirmed, no matter what else happens afterward, they are saved? Now I don’t know for sure, but wasn’t Hitler baptized and confirmed. Wouldn’t his murderous policies somehow suggest he may have negated the effect of those sacraments?

    2. Peter,

      Some questions for you. I will address your other points later.

      Was Jesus lying when He said this: 55 For my flesh is true food,

      ?

      Why call something true if it’s not?

      I’ve never once heard a person say their words are true, and they be speaking metaphorically. When you say you are being truthful about something, should your acquaintances assume you are not being literal? That is what you are asking us to do with Jesus’ words. It is quite clear to the majority of Christians that Jesus was being literal.

      1. Isn’t Jesus saying that His words are not literal in John 6:62-63? John’s gospel doesn’t have an account of the Last Supper and doesn’t even connect Jesus’ words with the Eucharist.

        1. Don’t think so Peter. All Jesus is saying it, the flesh – material desires – is of no import, while belief and faith in Christ is paramount.

          Compare this with the **emphatic** language of John 6:53, which Christ reiterated, highlighting with even more metaphor-demolishing weight on the physical act of Eucharistic eating in 64-55 – even as it cost him some of the disciples who walked away.

          And all three Synoptics describe the Eucharistic gift and cast of the Last Supper. My Biblical Studies indicate that one of the strengths of the written canonical Gospels is that they all do not agree 100% with each other, which would indicate collusion in “fake news” two millennia ago….in this case, the account of John 6 bolsters the Synoptics.

          1. If Aquinas says that the Eucharist is the greatest of the seven Sacraments because it contains Christ Himself substantially, why doesn’t it put us in the state sanctifying grace? The state of sanctifying grace is the place of our salvation.
            He says that the other Sacraments contain only “a certain instrumental power which is a share of Christ’s power.” The instrumental power, which is a share of Christ’s power, can only be in us if we have already received the Spirit of Christ in us prior to the Eucharist. This is how the power is imparted to us. Christ’s Spirit puts us in the state of grace.
            There is no mention of the Eucharist in John’s gospel or any of his epistles. You can correct me if I am wrong.
            Is it possible that he doesn’t give it the same priority as the Catholic Church does?

          2. Peter:

            What part of ‘one must **already be** in a state of grace to receive the Eucharist’ is incomprehensible to you? Or is the message of 1 Corinthians 11:27 completely lost on you? There’s more but from this alone you might just get the idea. Please don’t demonstrate that yours is a case of Matt 7:6….

            Newly-minted and enthusiastic fundamentalists are looking through the darkened windshield of their own blind pride. They think they see clearly but until they turn into the Light of the True Faith they cannot errors caused by their arrogation of Scriptural interpretation away from the Church ordained at Matt 16:18. One manifestation of this pride is latching onto a single thought – as if you were the first one to think it – and ignoring or denigrating clear rebuttals. In your case it’s the lack of a Eucharistic narrative in John’s recounting of the Last Supper. Hate to crack your windshield but we’ve been to this rodeo before, and in this particular thread. Here, let me cut/paste from my post above:

            “And all three Synoptics describe the Eucharistic gift and cast of the Last Supper. My Biblical Studies indicate that one of the strengths of the written canonical Gospels is that they all do not agree 100% with each other, which would indicate collusion in “fake news” two millennia ago….in this case, the account of John 6 bolsters the Synoptics.”

            In other words, Peter, **it doesn’t matter** that there’s no Eucharistic narrative in John’s Last Supper. All the Gospels, indeed all of Scripture, in its entirety, bolsters itself as a grand tableau of salvation history. But if you’re lost in fundamentalist cherry-picking la-la land – fundamentalists **have** to cherry-pick, what else do they have? – such a simple and magnificent concept may be lost on you.

  20. Peter said:

    Isn’t Jesus saying that His words are not literal in John 6:62-63?

    Nope

    John 6:51-63

    51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.”

    52 The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us [his] flesh to eat?”

    53 Jesus said to them, “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.

    54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day.

    55 For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.

    56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him.

    57 Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me.

    58 This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever.”

    59 These things he said while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.

    60 Then many of his disciples who were listening said, “This saying is hard; who can accept it?”

    61 Since Jesus knew that his disciples were murmuring about this, he said to them, “Does this shock you?

    62 What if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before?

    63 It is the spirit that gives life, while the flesh is of no avail. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and life.

    What makes you think Jesus is talking about His flesh in verse 63? Notice the one time He doesn’t say “my flesh” is the one verse some Protestants use to negate the literalness of what Jesus said earlier. Except, it is clear that Jesus is not talking about His flesh in verse 63. If He is, wouldn’t that also make His flesh of no avail when it was crucified?

    Your metaphorical argument really runs off the rails when you consider the Greek behind it. In verses 49-53, John uses the word phago when Jesus says “eat”. Phago is primarily used literally, though it can be used metaphorically. But in John 54-58, John changes the word for eat from phago to trogo, a word that is only used literally, never metaphorically. No one has ever found trogo used metaphorically before the time of Christ, during the time of Christ, or after. Yet you would have me believe that in this one instance, John broke grammatical rules with the word trogo, when if he wanted to convey Jesus as not being literal, he could have left the word phago unchanged. Do you also have swampland in Florida you want me to buy?

    I noticed you still have not answered how Jesus is not a liar if His flesh is not true food when He said it is?

    1. Duane:

      Seen this guy before. Get ready:

      – first, to have your salient (i.e., inarguable) rebuttal points ignored, and…

      – to have some other cherry-picked sola branch shaken at you, repeatedly, with an “ah, got you now, deluded papist…”

    2. To me it is not clear that Jesus is not talking about His flesh. What precedes verse 63 is all about His flesh. In verse 62 Jesus is asking how people are going to eat His physical flesh after He ascends. Verse 63 is the answer to that. They probably didn’t understand His response. They would later.

      1. Wrong again. All verse 62 is asking the crowd, who didn’t believe what He was teaching, would they believe what Jesus said if they were to see Him ascend, and realize that He did come down?

        1. As predicted, no defensible apologetic on your recounting of Jesus clear language of command, made more emphatic as he went on in John 6. Nothing on my logic regarding Scriptural integrity vis. the diatribe about the Gospel of John’s “lack” of a Last Supper Eucharistic narrative. Just more ‘it doesn’t seem to me that’s what Jesus was saying’ without any coherent or credible linguistic, logical or Scriptural defense. More “feelings” and less revelation which is what has driven the Reformed movement especially since the “Second Great Awakening.” Hey, that’s OK, one can put one’s feelings paramount over the God’s clear command. People make choices.

          Not the first time I have seen a lapsed Catholic, poorly catechized and vulnerable, who listened to a preacher-man, cracked open a Bible, found a contrary “Answer” all by his or her own self, and a re lost to the Faith (until they revert). New Evangelization is starting to reverse this (as are the patently absurd and ludicrous antics of the Bakkers, Haggards, Swaggarts, Hinns and Osteens) but there’s still so much more work to be done.

          1. I think that Dei Verbum is saying that its not only the hierarchy that is part of tradition. We can all contribute, from top to bottom. The help of the Holy Spirit is available to everyone who has the Holy Spirit, from top to bottom.

          2. OK, a cut/paste of Dei Verbum from your post:

            “This happens through the contemplation and study made by believers, who treasure these things in their hearts (see Luke, 2:19, 51) through a penetrating understanding of the spiritual realities which they experience, and through the preaching of those who have received through episcopal succession the sure gift of truth”.

            Now, what you just wrote:

            “We can all contribute, from top to bottom. The help of the Holy Spirit is available to everyone who has the Holy Spirit, from top to bottom.”

            Fair enough, Peter, as long as your statement does not conflict with the last statement of the Dei Verbum excerpt. When the private interpretation of any individual, cleric or lay, comes into conflict with the collective, historical, Holy Spirit-guided Truth of the “episcopal succession” ordained in Matt 16:18, that individual is courting heresy and is NOT contributing to sacred tradition – except as an example of what not to do.

            I do believe an example would be promulgating your personal idea that the Eucharist is at best superfluous and at worst, a sham. An idea in varying degrees shared by most Reformed, which the Church holds as heresy with good Scriptural and traditional reason.

          3. Paul gives two reasons for the Eucharist. In 1Corinthians 10:16-17, he speaks of the communion or fellowship of the Body of Christ. It is a sacrament of our interconnectedness in the mystical Body of Christ. In 1Corinthians 11: 26 Paul says that it shows or teaches the death of the Lord til He returns. It is not superfluous and a sham because you can die a premature death if you don’t participate properly. I question Aquinas’ comment that it is the most important of sacraments. I think that Baptism and Confirmation, which are the sacraments of receiving the Spirit of Christ, are more important. I believe that they are listed before the Eucharist because of this. They are the sacraments of our peace and strength.

        2. Jesus did use the literal language of eating His flesh and drinking His blood; but if Jesus intended it to be taken literally, even the Eucharist would not comply with what He said. Jesus said that if you are not literally a cannibal, you have no life in you; and He repeated it. Why would the Eucharist be more compliant with that than the Spirit of Christ? Both are not the literal flesh that the hearers were complaining about.
          I believe that the Spirit of Christ that was made available after the ascension is what actually brings us eternal life.
          I think that Jesus was testing even His disciples to see how many would give Him the benefit of the doubt and continue to walk with Him even though they did not comprehend. Many left Him. The apostles did not.
          Jesus did use graphic language at other times. Jesus told Nicodemus that you need to be born again in order to see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus responded by asking whether you can go back into you mother’s womb a second time and be born. When Jesus said to pluck your eye out if it offends you, did He mean that literally?

          1. “Why would the Eucharist be more compliant with that than the Spirit of Christ?”

            Maybe because Jesus said, emphatically, truly, truly, amen, amen (as we have pointed out numerous times, and pointed out the pointing out) that one should ‘eat His Flesh and drink His Blood’ and then, further to underscore, all three Synoptics have Him holding up the Bread and the Cup, saying “Take and eat/drink…This is My Body and My Blood…”

            “Why would the Eucharist be more compliant with that than the Spirit of Christ?” Again, take it up with Jesus. He is the one who commanded thus.

            If you want to compare this clear literal language of John and the Synoptic Last Supper narratives to random parables and off the cuff discussions with Nicodemus, you are welcome to do so and believe it as well. But there’s a difference between “graphic” (vividly or plainly shown or described) – which can be metaphoric – and “literal” (taking words in their usual or most basic sense without metaphor or allegory) – which can’t.

            “I think” and “I believe” is the start of the problem with your apologetic, as it is with all Reformed and Gnostic offshoots of Christianity. Private interpretation because it is convenient/useful/profitable and NOT because it is based on revelation or Church tradition as commanded by Scripture.

          2. This, by the way, is very similar to my treatment of the “metaphor” apologetic as applied to St. Ignatius of Antioch in the “What if Protestants are Right about the Eucharist” recent thread. Seems some Reformed, having read the letter of Ignatius where he described his captors as “leopards,” feel justified in describing his Eucharistic narratives in the Letter to the Smyrnaeans as metaphor. So, anytime a writer anywhere speaks in metaphor, why, that justifies a permanent judgement on all other work as 100% metaphor. Or at least, dismissing as metaphor in whatever way fits the narrative of whatever +30,000 flavor of Reformed is generating the apologetic.

            Be careful what you ask for, Peter, lest all those sola justifications out of Scripture be dismissed as metaphors for the Eucharist. What’s good for the goose….

          3. “I think that Jesus was testing even His disciples to see how many would give Him the benefit of the doubt and continue to walk with Him even though they did not comprehend. Many left Him. The apostles did not.”

            You’re right. The Apostles believed His literal words and continued to follow Him, through the Eucharistic Last Supper (with a temporary fail at the Crucifixion), to Pentecost and ultimately, mostly to their own martyrdoms. The ones who did not, decided his words were too hard to bear and went with their own interpretation of the way things ought to be.

            There’s a straight line running from the latter group to Wittenberg, to 1820’s NY State’s Burnt-Over District, to the big tents of Swaggart, Bakker, Hinn, Haggard and Osteen, finally to the millions of Barry Baritone’s, and to you.

          4. “Were Augustine and Aquinas writing their opinion of what they read in Scripture or elsewhere?”

            Opinion on the Eucharist, or something else? What point are you trying to make?

          5. When we read Scripture, we all form an opinion about what we read. It is not Reformed or Gnostic; otherwise, Augustine and Aquinas would be Reformed or Gnostic.
            Even personal experiences are not off the table. Isn’t the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23 a personal experience of Christ’s Spirit within us?
            We can all contribute to tradition. There is an interesting quote from Vatican II’s Dei Verbum 8 which states: “This tradition which comes from the Apostles develop in the Church with the help of the Holy Spirit. (5) For there is a growth in the understanding of the realities and the words which have been handed down. This happens through the contemplation and study made by believers, who treasure these things in their hearts (see Luke, 2:19, 51) through a penetrating understanding of the spiritual realities which they experience, and through the preaching of those who have received through episcopal succession the sure gift of truth”.

          6. When we read Scripture, we all form an opinion about what we read. It is not Reformed or Gnostic; otherwise, Augustine and Aquinas would be Reformed or Gnostic.
            Even personal experiences are not off the table. Isn’t the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23 a personal experience of Christ’s Spirit within us?
            We can all contribute to tradition.

            Me-This all true but unfortunately for Protestantism there is no single authority to separate opinion from truth. In the end if ones interpretation of scripture supports their view then it’s true. It’s the equivalent of “I have my truth and you have yours”. In the end Christianity has been watered down to just believe in Jesus which means different things to different people. All these groups can point to their “truth” to support their belief, instead of having an authoritative council settle the matter just like the early Christians.

            This discussion on what the Eucharist is or isn’t it’s a perfect example.

            Protestantism is like communism in the way it sounds great in theory but doesn’t work in real life. Instead of of less confusion you have more and we all know the devil loves confusion and chaos.

            View on gay marriage, abortion, depends on ones truth. Protestantism as designed does not allow one to submit and go against ones gut feeling if they “feel” their gut feeling is biblical.

            It’s a mess..

          7. No Jesus did not say if you are not literally a cannibal you have no life in you. Nice try Peter. In cannabalism, that which is eaten is diminished. Jesus makes it clear that He will not be diminished when He is eaten.

          8. OK, Peter, given the context of the blog subject, what do you think the “Dei Verbum” excerpt is saying?

  21. Furthermore, verse 63, which is clearly not talking about Jesus’ flesh, else the crucifixion would be of no avail, explains 62. In 62, Jesus asks would you believe if you saw Him ascend? And in 63, He says His listeners/us can’t believe what He has just taught without the Spirit.

    1. The Protestant case, seemingly made by Peter Aiello, is that after the sanctifying grace imputation of personal acceptance of Jesus (and for some protestants, baptism – they do have lots of differing opinions, don’t they?) there is nothing else necessary, that the Eucharist is not only spurious but superfluous.

      My answer is, take it up with Jesus. Having failed credibly to discount any of the NT Scriptural mandates to take actual part in the eating of the Bread of Heaven, Reformed like Peter Aiello are left with …what? Their own indefensible Reformation-based belief in sola fide, and the necessity to perform outlandish linguistic and theological gymnastics to debunk the clearly Savior-commanded path to one doing what is necessary to ‘have Life within you…’

      Oh well…inform, not convince.

      1. This is actually a reply to what you posted earlier.

        1.) Was Jesus really born of a virgin, or is it just a metaphor for something else?

        2.) Did Jesus really mean that we need to be baptized, or is that just a metaphor for something else?

        3.) Did Jesus really feed 5,000, or is that just a metaphor for everyone came together and shared what they had? (This is a common interpretation of this miracle in many circles)

        4.) Did Jesus really die on the cross, or is this a metaphor for something else.

        5.) Did Jesus really….

        One can read a metaphor into everything, if they don’t want to believe the truth, even if it hit them in the face.

        Like the latest slogan. Speak your truth. (But your truth may not be my truth).

    2. Duane: Because Jesus was not talking about cannibalism, even though his hearers thought He was, and it sounded like He was; what was he really talking about? This is what we have been debating. Whether the answer is the Eucharist or the Spirit of Christ, both are not exactly what it sounded like He was talking about; both are something other than the literal.

      1. It was literal, Peter. That’s the meaning of Transubstantiation. You think it’s beyond the power of God to transform His Flesh into the appearance of bread and wine, for our eternal benefit, and to tell His followers thus – however some of them reacted? He was asking for faith now, understanding later. The ones who responded to God’s Grace stayed and were rewarded with the Bread of Heaven at the Last Supper…as are all who have believed for the past two millennia.

        You refer to Aquinas a lot. He belief and devotion to the Eucharist was nothing short of passionate.

        1. I would like it noted that Aquinas is said to have singlehandedly written the propers for the feast of Corpus Christi, as well as several of the great Eucharistic hymns, if not all of them.

          1. Yes, I believe motivated by the Eucharistic Miracle of Bolsena.

            What in this life could be more beautiful than “Adoro Te Devote…?”

      2. Peter,

        Think about it.

        1.) The Eucharist is the literal. It is literally the flesh. It is not something other than the literal. You cannot believe it without the Spirit. I am sorry to tell you that. Your interpretation of John 6, is absolutely something other than the literal. And this you admit. What absolutely makes no sense, and is an impossibility, is eating someone’s spirit. Which you try to foist on Catholics as plausible.

        2.) Jesus says He will give His followers His flesh to eat.

        3.) His followers ask how can this man give us his flesh to eat? Meaning they understood him as literal.

        4.) The sacred writer, St. John, now uses a word in the Greek, trogo, a word which has never been used metaphorically, to remove any doubt that Jesus was speaking metaphorically. He could have left the word phago, and doubt would remain.

        5.) Your interpretations, no matter how you twist them, absolutely make Jesus a liar in verses 51 and 55.

        5a.) If Jesus is not speaking literally, then either He lied when He said His flesh is true food, or 55 is a useless verse, with no bearing on humanity.

        5b.) If the Eucharist is only Jesus present Spiritually, then He lied in 51, and He has not given His flesh for the world to eat.

        5c.) The Eucharist then becomes superfluous, as I can receive Jesus spiritually in other ways.

        6.) Ask yourself, why is St. John writing his gospel after the others have written their’s, and why is his so different? The Church is up and running. What group is making an appearance on the scene, denying that Christ really was human?

        7.) How did the disciple of St. John, St. Ignatius, one who walked with St. John, also get his mentor so wrong that when he also writes against the Docetists, he chides them for not believing the Eucharist is the flesh of Jesus?

        8.) Under your belief about the Eucharist, what is so hard about the teaching? If you say they walked away because they misunderstood, Jesus, being fully Divine, would know they misunderstood. No matter where you go in the world, if a teacher lets a student walk away, where the student thinks he understands, but the teacher knows the student does not understand, everyone calls that teacher a poor teacher. Except in this one case, Protestants are not willing to call Jesus a poor teacher if he let his disciples walk away, knowing they did not understand. Why not? If your interpretation of John 6 is correct, Jesus is absolutely a poor teacher.

  22. “Paul gives two reasons for the Eucharist. In 1Corinthians 10:16-17, he speaks of the communion or fellowship of the Body of Christ. It is a sacrament of our interconnectedness in the mystical Body of Christ. In 1Corinthians 11: 26 Paul says that it shows or teaches the death of the Lord til He returns. It is not superfluous and a sham because you can die a premature death if you don’t participate properly.”

    Peter, you’re all over the map. First you argue that Jesus (John 6) was speaking in metaphor – soundly debunked – and that the Eucharist is not the Flesh of Jesus, which would make the Eucharist a lie, and thus worse than unimportant. Now it’s an important sacrament (just not as important as baptism) which we kill us if taken improperly, but only in some mystical, new-agey manner of ‘spiritual interconnectedness.’ Seems to me this apologetic line is pointing to Peter Aiello promulgating a Protestant redefinition of the Eucharist as, like, a really important symbolic memorial thingy but nothing more than that.

    Millions of others believe as you do, Peter. Trouble is, that belief and all its +30,000 varied corollaries have their genesis in 1517, out of the minds of men, not God.

    Flannery O’Connor was attending a dinner party. The non-Catholic party host, knowing she was Catholic and wanting to say something nice, said ‘the Eucharist is a “really important symbol.” O’Connor quietly responded “if it’s just a symbol, then to hell with it….”

    I second Miss O’Connor. Heartily.

    1. AK: I didn’t say that the Eucharist was not the flesh of Christ. That is a theological question about what happens to the bread and wine. I’m saying that the elements that we consume taste like bread and wine. This makes it different from John 6 because there, Christ is implying that we would taste flesh and blood; and that is how the hearers received it; and that is why many of Christ’s own disciples walked away from Him. We do not taste flesh and blood regardless of how you interpret Christ’s words.

      1. Peter,

        Nope. You are wrong again. Christ never once inplied that what He would give would taste like flesh and blood. If anything, Christ implies, as does Hebrews, that His flesh will taste like bread. Christ said He will give them bread, and the bread He will give is His flesh, for the life of the world. As a listener, if you believed Him, knowing that He had just compared himself to manna, I would infer that what He would give, would look and taste like bread. Now how He could do that, not knowing He was God incarnate, would be what I doubted.

        And Hebrews says He is a priest after the order of Melchizadek. What did Melchizadek offer? Bread and wine.

        1. Bread can also be interpreted as food in general; but it was interpreted by the hearers as flesh and blood. When Jesus explains it in John 6:63, He goes from flesh to Spirit that gives life, and not from flesh to bread.
          I believe that Jesus’ words were primarily fulfilled at Pentecost when the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit. The only way to receive the Spirit of Christ is by faith. There is no eternal life in any other way. The Holy Spirit is the earnest of our inheritance. Without this, the Eucharist has no value because it not the sacrament of putting us in the state of grace. It is not its purpose.
          The Church teaches that it is a sacrilege to participate in the Eucharist without being properly disposed. I don’t see how it can be the most important sacrament as Aquinas says.

          1. Peter,

            What is the main reason for the Eucharist in all the pre-Deformation churches? Once you understand that, the reason the Eucharist is the most important becomes obvious.

            Peace

            Duane

        2. Duane: I haven’t checked Protestant theology that carefully to figure it all out. I going by what I read in the Bible. After the two passages in First Corinthians, there is no more mention of the Eucharist in the remainder all of the epistles. Christ is present in the New Testament Church by His Spirit. We walk in the Spirit to obtain His benefits, which is the fruit of the Spirit. This is what brings us victory over the flesh.
          The last Adam was made a life giving Spirit. This is the emphasis that I see in the New Testament Church; and this is what is the most important for me in my personal life. My initial Catholic upbringing did not bring me this understanding. It came later directly through Scripture, which by the way, is supposed to regulates everything in Christianity according to the Church. It also regulates everything in my personal Christianity. This is why the Church compiled it in the fourth century. It’s not only for use of the hierarchy.

          1. “My initial Catholic upbringing did not bring me this understanding.’

            There’s been **a lot** of poor catechesis over the last 6 or 7 decades. The nun who brought me into the Church in 1963 gave me her personal illustrated Bible, and I never forgot it, but that’s the last time in the next 9 years of Catholic schooling I cracked a Bible. I didn’t realize until my 50’s that there were multiple versions, some of which had been excised from in a capricious manner by Reformation heretics. Peter, this is changing.. I just last year finished four years of the Denver Catholic Biblical School, created and administered by the Augustine Institute. From DCBS, I got the correct Biblical perspective, that of the Church ordained by Matt 16:18. And this is just one part of the New Evangelization. It’s a challenging and exciting time to be Catholic.

            Sounds like you were poorly catechized as well. And so, having a natural human yearning for God you went out on your own….with the result we see in your posts. All “how it works for me personally.” News for you, Christianity is not your personally tailored creation, it is Christ’s through His Church, with Scripture, saints, Doctors, dogma, doctrine, sacraments, rules and traditions. We follow, or we don’t….it’s that simple. Oh yes, within the established framework, we can add to it. That’s how saints are made. Outside, not so much, difficult at best.

            Oldest story in the book for lapsed Catholics. Not a far leap from that to +30,000 denoms, pompadoured big-tent prosperity gospel preacher-men, ‘spiritual but not religious,’ New Age reiki and crystals and shamanism, the occult…..without God and His Ordained Church to teach, spiritually govern, and sanctify all men, the father of lies and chaos puts his foot in the door – just have look around……

          2. Peter,

            Did you understand my question? I was not asking for Protestant theology. All the pre-Deformation Churches taught, and continue to teach the same thing about the Eucharist, and what it is primarily for. I will give you a hint, the primary reason for the Eucharist is not for the reception of the communicants.

            One other question for you. For those who rejected Christ’s teachings, was the fault with Him, or the listeners?

          3. Duane: I go to First Corinthians for an explanation of the Eucharist. I’m not interested in any other explanation.
            Christ did talk in parables, partly so that some would not understand. For those who rejected Christ’s teaching in John 6, Jesus says that it was His Father’s fault (John 6:65).
            I don’t believe that you can un-Catholic yourself regardless of how Protestant you may sound.
            All teaching has to filter through and be accepted by our personal conscience in order to be binding on us. We look through a glass darkly.
            Many continued to reject the conclusion of the Jerusalem council after it was over. I believe they were wrong, but God is the ultimate judge of the heart when we accept or reject something.
            Paul complained when people disagreed with him, but he seemed powerless to do anything about it, although he did deliver someone over to Satan as punishment. He says that all of Asia turned away from him.
            The Church may have to accept the fact that there will not be perfect unity. There certainly isn’t today, even within the Church.

          4. Peter,

            It is not Scripture that regulates everything for you. It is your reading of Scripture that regulates everything. But Jesus nowhere promised to protect your interpretation from error, as He promised the Church.

            For those Christians that followed their reading of Scripture, and rejected the Apostles teaching at the Council of Jerusalem (and we know such a Christian community came into existence shortly after that council), were they right to reject the Apostles, and follow their interpretation of Scripture?

          5. Peter,

            I must say your answers get stranger and stranger to me. Truly, in your doctrine, and it is your doctrine, you make it clear that you filter everything by your reading of Scripture, and it is only your reading of Scripture that is binding on you. Unfortunately for you, Jesus makes it clear that this is not the case. Jesus told Peter, whatever He binds on Earth, shall be bound in Heaven. Not whatever Peter Aiello agrees is binding on him. You have granted to yourself the keys of binding and loosing. This is what all Protestants have done, whether they realize it or not. You may call yourself Catholic, but by your own actions, and words, you are fully Protestant. I see know difference between you and those that rejected the Council of Jerusalem, or between you and Joseph Smith, or you and John Nelson Darby, or you and Mary Baker Eddy….Your just another individual who thinks his own interpretation of the Bible is what defines Christianity for him. Only the Apostle Peter warns Catholics about people like you. Nor does Jesus anywhere say that if you have a question on the content of faith, to turn to the bible. That is just another misinterpretation by you.

          6. Duane: I made a general statement about personal conscience. I was not specific about the source of the teaching that filters through it. Vatican II says: “On their part, all men are bound to seek the truth, especially in what concerns God and His Church, and to embrace the truth they come to know, and to hold fast to it. This Vatican Council likewise professes its belief that it is upon the human conscience that these obligations fall and exert their binding force. The truth cannot impose itself except by virtue of its own truth, as it makes its entrance into the mind at once quietly and with power.” (Dignitatis Humanae 1).

          7. Peter,

            You are misinterpreting DH. Truth is objective. And it says it is TRUTH that is binding. But what if you, in good conscience, believe a falsehood, which to me, you clearly do? Is that still binding on you? Clearly in your religion of yourself, yes!!!! Did Jesus leave an authority outside of ourselves, to determine between two people who disagree about the truth conveyed in Scripture, just what is the Truth, and say that his or their decision is binding? Clearly yes. But you reject that, and have made yourself the authority.

            To read DH the way you do is to say it argues for solo scriptura, which becomes laughable to anyone who has actually read the documents.

        3. Duane: Am I misinterpreting the catechism?

          Catechism of the Catholic Church 1790 A human being must always obey the certain judgment of his conscience. If he were deliberately to act against it, he would condemn himself. Yet it can happen that moral conscience remains in ignorance and makes erroneous judgments about acts to be performed or already committed.

          Catechism: 1782 Man has the right to act in conscience and in freedom so as personally to make moral decisions. “He must not be forced to act contrary to his conscience. Nor must he be prevented from acting according to his conscience, especially in religious matters.”

          1. Peter I’d like to make an observation. This is what you posted.

            Duane: Am I misinterpreting the catechism?

            Catechism of the Catholic Church 1790 A human being must always obey the certain judgment of his conscience. If he were deliberately to act against it, he would condemn himself. Yet it can happen that moral conscience remains in ignorance and makes erroneous judgments about acts to be performed or already committed.

            Catechism: 1782 Man has the right to act in conscience and in freedom so as personally to make moral decisions. “He must not be forced to act contrary to his conscience. Nor must he be prevented from acting according to his conscience, especially in religious matters.”

            Me- I find this amazing. You are actually reading the catechism of the Catholic Church and coming up with your own religion! This is a perfect example of how you paradigm is flawed. You take the parts you like and ignore what you don’t.

            Those paragraphs are something Jesus would say if you did not know He is the Son of God. Once you know and don’t submit to His teachings all bets are off. But remember you have the choice not to follow Him.
            Same thing with the Catholic Church. The Church is the church Christ founded and as such has the authority to infallibly rule on a matters of faith and morals and we must submit or risk the consequences. I’m sure the CCC has a paragraph on this but something tells me you choose to ignore it.

          2. Is there unanimous agreement as to the teaching of Christ even within the Catholic Church? We need to “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good” (1Thessalonians 5:21). I think that this is the gist of what both Vatican II and the catechism are saying. We are not robots.

          3. Is there unanimous agreement as to the teaching of Christ even within the Catholic Church? We need to “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good” (1Thessalonians 5:21). I think that this is the gist of what both Vatican II and the catechism are saying. We are not robots.

            Me- of course not, but if you know that Peter is the first Pope and was given the authority to loose and bind on earth and Heaven and that authority was passed down then you better be looking to understand what the Church teaches and if you can’t grasp it accept it on faith. Again, no different than when the Apostles figured out Jesus is God. The Church doesn’t interpret every verse but very few. You can interpret them anyway you want just as long as it doesn’t deviate from dogma and teaching. It is a fence that keeps us from falling off the mountain. So if you read the Bible and come away with the Eucharist as just a symbol, double predestination, no loss of salvation, Jesus is not Go, baptism a symbol only etc.. you follow catholic dogma because of her authority. Otherwise you are outside the fence and your soul is in danger.

            Following Church rules/dogma doesn’t make one a robot because you can choose not to follow just like one can choose not to follow Jesus.

          4. It seems like Vatican II would disagree that interpretation of Scripture is subject to what the Church now teaches. It’s the other way around. Dei Verbum 21 says: “Therefore, like the Christian religion itself, all the preaching of the Church must be nourished and regulated by Sacred Scripture.”
            The Church does not regulate Scripture. Scripture regulates the Church. It is the fence that keeps us from falling off of the mountain.
            Scripture limits the extent of Church authority. Authority is not unlimited.
            Saint Paul, in 2Corinthians 1:24 says: “Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand.” Paul adds the dimension of personal faith to the mix.

          5. Peter are you trolling us? Do you even understand what the Catholic Church teaches? No wonder you are all over the place. You pick this ignore that and somehow you think you are being consistent.

            I really do think you are trolling everyone here.

          6. All the Catechism is saying is, you must be free of coercion, to believe what you will…even if you are in severe error (“remains in ignorance and makes erroneous judgments”) as you have repeatedly shown you most certainly are. No Calvinists here….you have free will….choose wisely what you believe and promulgate.

            If you want disingenuously to ask “where am I in error?” refer to the past few days dozen or so posts on the Gospel of John.

          7. “We are not robots.”

            The red light means “stop.” You of course, not being a robot, are free to interpret the red light – with its clear meaning – as something other than “stop,” and act according to your non-robotic free will.

            Actions have consequences. Even for robots.

          8. Then who needs this Jesus fella? Work it out yourself! Seems to be your intent, along with cherry picking your justifications. You don’t have to justify anything to us.

            As I said, good luck with that.

          9. It seems like Vatican II would disagree that interpretation of Scripture is subject to what the Church now teaches….etc., etc….”

            I just finished four years of the Denver Catholic Biblical School, under the Augustine Institute. I did not attend the Church School of Peter Aiello’s Head, so I really can’t cipher what’s going on in there, but I can tell you the ‘seems’ and ‘surmises’ (post Vatican II or otherwise) you are posting are not remotely like anything the Church teaches.

            I am with CK and vote for troll.

          10. I’ve found it rewarding to go to original documents when they are available rather than reading someone else’s opinion of what they say. There is always something that they leave out which may be important for us.

          11. “I’ve found it rewarding to go to original documents when they are available rather than reading someone else’s opinion…”

            So, let’s review. I mention DCBS and you immediately follow with ‘oh, I check original documents instead of listening to someone else’s opinion….

            What were you implying?

          12. When someone quotes the Bible, V2 documents, or the catechism, I like for them to include the reference so that I can read it for myself and see if I arrive at the same conclusion that they have.

          13. I say again, quote from you:

            “It seems like Vatican II would disagree that interpretation of Scripture is subject to what the Church now teaches….etc., etc….”

            Pretty broad statement and I don’t see a tome of quotes from **anywhere** supporting it. All I said was, I am a DCBS grad and in 4 years saw/heard nothing reflective of pretty much anything you said regarding Church teaching on Scripture or anything else.

            You are in your own planet here. If it works for you….

      2. What part of ‘faith now, understanding later’ – which I posted earlier – do you not get? This was a test. Christ was asking for blind faith – not so blind, really, in light of His Miracles – and some passed the test, some didn’t. The ones that did, found out at the Last Supper about the Bread of Heaven, and their faith that Christ would not ask something so blasphemous as anything that smelt/felt/tasted like cannibalism, was rewarded with understanding.

        You think that because we don’t “taste flesh and blood” that despite the clear and emphatic language recounted here ad infinitum, Jesus was speaking metaphorically about spirit, a conceit that is possible only in the tortured logic and fevered imaginations of those willingly mislead by Wittenberg, Geneva and 1820’s New York State.

          1. And we certainly have had this discussion, about metaphor, again ad infinitum.

            I default to St. Bernadette’s dictum about informing, not convincing.

          2. “I feel that the original New Testament spirituality needs to be presented to the modern world because it is usually not presented in its purest form by contemporary Christianity, which is infected with viruses.”

            I took that right off your website, Peter. of course, **you** are the one ordained not only to recognize that Christianity is ‘infected by viruses,’ but to lead humanity back to that ‘pure, original hidden treasure’ that has been corrupted by evil organized religion.

            You and every other fundamentalist who reads the Bah-bule, self-discerns “The Truth” and starts his own storefront charch. Move over, Martin Luther, Joe Smith, Mary Baker Eddy, Charles Taze Russell, AJ Tomlinson, Ted Haggard, here’s Peter Aiello. What arrogance, even if you personally, are ostensibly a well meaning and humble man, and can’t see it. There are none so blind….

            Good luck with that.

        1. AK: At least I didn’t become a liberal Catholic. I felt that adding a bit of fundamentalist Catholicism to the mix would help diversify what we have today.
          I did have K thru 16 Catholic schooling from Salesians, Christian Brothers, and Jesuits before Vatican II. I would not call that being poorly catechized from a Catholic perspective. I got it from all sides and ended up agnostic when I was 20.
          I got into the Bible at about 30 years old and found a Christianity that made sense to me, and it changed my life. It brought me out of my period of agnosticism. I did stay away from the Church for many years; but didn’t see a need for that after reading some of the Vatican II documents.
          Knowing that the Bible was compiled by the Catholic Church, I never considered myself a Protestant even though I shunned the Catholic label for a period of time. The Bible contains the original Catholic doctrine. That’s why it worked for me. The later version didn’t.

          1. Peter,

            Not considering yourself a Protestant, does not mean that you are not one in your heart. There are literally millions of Catholics who consider themselves Catholic, but in essence are Protestant.

          2. ” I felt that adding a bit of fundamentalist Catholicism to the mix would help diversify what we have today.”

            I don’t consider questioning the nature or provenance of the Church’s teaching on the Eucharist to be “fundamentalist” (read: orthodox) Catholicism. Even SSPX trads and SJW lib Catholics that at Mass – whether Tridentine or Novus Ordo – bread and wine are transubstantiated into the ‘real food and drink’ of the Eucharist.

            I hold you seem to be all over the map in the land of private interpretation. Not my place to judge your soul, but I will observe and comment on what you feel is, or should be, correctly Catholic theology. And as Duane observed, your cherry-picked “John 6 as metaphor, no Eucharistic narrative in John” is right outta Barry Blowhard’s Calvinist/Tim Kauffman blog playbook. Not a thing Catholic about it.

  23. Peter Aiello,

    Since you have said Jesus was metaphorically telling us to eat His flesh. Can you tell me how Jesus is not a liar in John 6 when He says truly My flesh is real food?

    If someone were to say to you, truly I will be with you to help you tomorrow, and you waited all day for them, and they never showed up. Would you accept if they told you the next day?: “I meant I would be with you in Spirit. Truly doesn’t mean what everyone thinks it means.”

      1. Wow..do you understand transubstantiation? That’s emphatically and literally **not** a metaphor.

        I **know** someone in that K-16 explained that to you, sometime. This is beginning to sound like a choice rather than poor catechesis. So I agree with your earlier post. You just didn’t like what you were taught. Just as you didn’t like (or just ignored) my post on Christ, faith, and not-cannibalism.

        We all make choices, unless you’re a Calvinist and think you are affected with the “I” in TULIP. Good luck with yours.

      2. Peter,

        If He was speaking metaphorically, then His flesh is not real food.

        Peter, I am going to take it the only thing you know about Judaism is how you interpret the Old Testament. If Jesus’ was telling His disciples to metaphorically eat Him, He would be commanding them to sin against Him.

        Not only that, but Jesus clearly speaks in metaphors in other passages of the Gospels, it’s clear that His audience is aware He is speaking symbollically. Not so in John 6.

        In conclusion, if we Catholics were to accept your interpretation of John 6, then Jesus has just told His followers to commit a sin. That is why His followers were really perplexed. If Jesus is being literal, they have to think it’s impossible. And if He’s being metaphorical, He’s just commanded them to sin.

        1. I think that those who stayed with Jesus figured that there was a deeper meaning to what He was saying even though they didn’t understand what it was at the time, and even after He explained it to them.

          1. “I think that those who stayed with Jesus figured that there was a deeper meaning …”

            You mean to say you actually read and internalized my post, Jan 29, 8:50 AM? Good for you.

            They were right, BTW, and passed the test.

          2. Peter,

            I am going to address this one more time. You face a trilemma, though you do not realize it because you have not thought your position thoroughly through. We all agree that there are only two options in John 6. Either Jesus is literally telling them to eat His flesh, which comports with the literal language that the sacred writer employed, language I might add where even many Protestant scholars admit has only been used in a literalistic sense, never in a metaphorical sense. No one has been able to find trogo used in other Greek writings used metaphorically, and it is only used literally in other parts of the New Testament. Yet you would have us believe that in this one instance, and only this one instance, that not only is trogo used metaphorically, but that also the few people who were literate, would know to interpret that word in a manner they had never interpreted it before. That is one of the reasons it is more logical to believe in Mormonism, than your view of John 6.

            Or Jesus is speaking metaphorically, as you believe. The only problem is, if Jesus is telling His followers to metaphorically eat Him, then He is commanding them to sin, for eating someone metaphorically in the OT is a sin. So to go with your view, Scripture must be lying when it says He was like us in all ways but sin. Commanding someone to sin, which Jesus would be doing if He were telling His followers to metaphorically eat Him, is a sin.

            The third problem you face, is that all the early writings we have on the subject show that the literal view was believed. Can you show me an early writing where the author takes your metaphorical view?

          3. Christ is telling everyone to sin if He is speaking literally and not metaphorically. Cannibalism is a sin. This is what the hearers heard. If they suspected that He was talking metaphorically, they would not have walked away from Him. He was actually talking metaphorically because if He wasn’t, you would have to literally taste flesh and blood at communion if you believe that it applies to the Eucharist. When He explained it to His disciples, in John 6:63, He made it clear that He was talking metaphorically and not talking literally because He said that it is the spirit that gives life and that the flesh profits nothing. He was not actually telling people to sin even though it sounded like it.
            At Pentecost, they consumed Him by consuming His Spirit presence. Christ’s Spirit is the main thing that the epistles emphasize for eternal life, and this is what I have found to be important for me. The Eucharist is only mentioned in First Corinthians in all of the epistles, and it explains its purpose. I leave it at this, and let others debate it further. This is the extent of my present understanding.

  24. Lol Peter,

    This is the beauty and the cleverness of Christ. He foresees your argument, and it is dealt with. On the surface you look correct. No matter which way you view it, seemingly Christ is commanding His followers to sin. Now you have a dilemma on your hands. In your view, and in those who heard Him, no matter if Jesus is literal, or metaphorical, He has seemingly commanded sin in teaching His followers to eat Him. He cannot be God, and command sin. If you believe Christ is metaphorically speaking, then He is not God, and Scripture is in error, NO IFS, ANDS, or BUTS.

    There is one exception, to what Jesus taught being a sin, one that the Apostles could not understand until the Last Supper. But that exception is not open to the metaphorical view. Only, if Jesus can give Himself to us literally, in such a way that; we do not kill Him, He is not diminished, and in a different mode, is it not cannabalism, and therefore not a sin. And that’s the beauty of it. The Eucharist meets all three of the non-cannabalism requirements. Only, and I repeat only, if you believe in the Real Presence in the Eucharist, can Jesus be God in the biblical sense. That way is the only path to where Jesus is not commanding sin, when He said eat His flesh.

    Can you show me where it says the Apostles consumed the Spirit at Pentecost?

    1. He was not commanding sin because He was talking metaphorically. He is God and He spoke metaphorically at the same time. There is no dilemma. I don’t believe that the disciples fully understood until Pentecost. Even at the last supper, Jesus’ words in John 6 remained metaphorical because they were not eating physical flesh. If they did, Jesus would have been killed and could not continue on to complete the redemption. It all has to be metaphorical regardless of how you interpret it.
      My comment about consuming the Holy Spirit was obviously metaphorical. Pentecost is when Christ entered into them and were changed. There is no indication of this at the last supper. Jesus had to ascend before it was possible for His Spirit to be poured out and give them life. Only the Spirit gives life. I believe that this is the ultimate fulfillment of John 6.

  25. Lol Peter,

    If Jesus is speaking metaphorically He is telling His listeners to sin. That is clear according to the OT. To accept your argument is to make Scripture a liar. Any kind of metaphorical eating of another is a sin.

    The only way the Apostles could be eating Him and not sinning at the Last Supper, was if they were actually eating His literal flesh, and that when they finally understood John 6.

    By the way, how is Jesus telling His listeners to eat Him metaphorically not a sin, when the God’s word in the OT says it is? Did Jesus change something, and only tell you?

      1. We agree on the definition Peter. What you fail to understand is that even metaphorically eating someone was condidered a sin. To metaphorically eat someone in the OT means to wish to persecute that person. So if, as you say Jesus is talking metaphorically, He is telling His audience to persecute Him. If Jesus was teaching metaphorically in John 6, and His listeners understood Him as being metaphorical, Jesus would be teaching them to sin. In fact, if Jesus is metaphorical on John 6, then by crucifying Him, they would be simply following what He told them to do, and that’s persecute Him. That’s why the metaphorical option is closed in John 6.

        There is only one pathway out of John 6, and that is somehow literally eating Him, without it being cannabalism. That’s why it was such a hard teaching for the Apostles. Only, I repeat only, after Jesus said: “this is my body,” did the Apostles understand how Jesus could literally give His flesh to them to eat and it not be cannabalism.

        By the way, if you were to say, metaphorically eating Jesus does not mean persecuting Him to you, that is of no consequence. For the Jews who heard Him, that is how they would have understood it, which would be consistent with Scripture.

        1. Duane – spot on again.

          Great scene in “Passion of the Christ.” Jesus’ Cross is being raised, and John is looking on. The scene is juxtaposed with cuts to the Last Supper where Jesus is raising the Bread of the first Eucharist, and saying ‘This is My Body….” Then a cut to John again,….and his wide-eyed look of “NOW I get it!” One of, if not the, the most orthodox Catholic movie scenes ever filmed…..and perfectly illustrative of the point we have been making contra Peter all along.

          Implied cannibalism, indeed…..the whole premise is loopy to the point of blasphemy.

          1. “Jesus was talking figuratively, but his audience interpreted it a cannibalism.”

            Duane covered this. So did I Jan 29, 8:50 AM. Also beautifully covered in Fr. Romano Guardini’s masterwork, “The Lord.” The ones of little faith, that had just witnessed both the miracles of walking on water and the loaves and fishes, and who were expecting an earthly messiah-king to restore the temporal glory of Davidic Israel, were the ones who walked away, unable and unwilling to comprehend, or have faith sufficient to stay with Jesus until they understood. The ones of faith who stayed, even though they didn’t fully comprehend, were rewarded with understanding at the Last Supper.

            So here’s the bottom line. Jesus said “My Flesh” absolutely meaning “My Flesh.” Some in the crowd interpreted it as cannibalism, and walked. Some probably felt the same way, and were confused, but were sufficiently infused with grace and faith to stay and see what the heck Jesus really meant. The institution of the Eucharist (the 5th Luminous Mystery) at the Last Supper, the Flesh and Blood of Jesus under the appearance of bread and wine, gave them – and all of us who believe – that gift.

            However one yoga-twists the English of metaphor, literal, figurative, etc….this is what happened. John could not be more clear no matter how anyone wants to interpret this otherwise for themselves.

            Now, Peter, go ahead and ignore everything I just wrote.

          2. In other words, per many previous posts, it-was-a-test……some passed, some didn’t.

            Some still do and some still don’t, today.

          3. I would agree with your surmise about Pentecost. That, after all, seemed to be the purpose of the Holy Spirit’s visit. An instant infusion that would prepare them for their roles as the first post-Ascension evangelists.

          4. Doesn’t matter.

            Figuratively telling someone to eat you was still a sin in the OT. Meant you are telling them to persecute you. That’s consistent with Scripture. So if Jesus figuratively told people to eat His flesh, then Jesus is NOT without sin.

    1. Duane – Peter’s conceit on metaphor – just like BB’s- has to stand or their invented narrative just falls apart. If it does, he doesn’t sell any books. Lincoln’s dictum about who you can fool and when, applies.This is not a good place to test it. Perhaps on beggarsallreformation? Or Timmy Kauffman’s blog?Lots of low-info theologists at both places.

      1. Would changing the word “metaphor” to “figurative” help. It might clear up some misunderstandings. It sounds like “metaphor” has been confused with “literal”. By the way, my book is online for a free download. Google “Peter Aiello Hidden Treasure” to find it.

        1. Hi Peter,

          No, changing the word ‘metaphor’ to ‘figurative’ does not help. Metaphor is simply one type of figurative language.

          For example, see

          https://www.bing.com/search?q=types+and+examples+of+figurative+language&form=WNSGPH&qs=SW&cvid=7c17ce15214a478dbe4919332aac2b71&pq=types+and+examples+of+figurative+language&cc=US&setlang=en-US&nclid=8AD09FABFFE837238B9F5A3C272B65F8&ts=1517513715346

          Figurative language is any figure of speech which depends on a non-literal meaning of some or all of the words used. There are many types of figurative language, including literary devices such as simile, metaphor, personification, and many pun examples, to name just a few.

          Or, see https://www.bing.com/search?q=difference+between+metaphor%2C+literal+and+figurative+language&form=WNSGPH&qs=SW&cvid=5bdc2f066c6c4c9b9933ef67f633ceff&pq=difference+between+metaphor%2C+literal+and+figurative+language&cc=US&setlang=en-US&nclid=8AD09FABFFE837238B9F5A3C272B65F8&ts=1517513621724

          The difference between literal and figurative language is a concept that is taught throughout grades K-12. Recognizing the difference between literal and figurative language is a key skill when learning reading comprehension. Using a mixture of these types of language creates compelling writing.

        2. Peter,

          We understand what metaphor means. You were not the only one who was educated in Catholic schools their whole educational life. Maybe you don’t understand what literal means. Or when someone says the words real or truly.

          What you do not seem to understand, is that there is only one way that Jesus’ listeners can eat His flesh and drink His blood, and what they are doing not be a sin. Your belief is flat out contradicted in Scripture. Any form of metaphorical eating of another was considered persecuting another, and a sin. Any form of cannibalism was considered a sin. So when the listeners ask: ” how can you do this?”, it is because they only see two options. Here’s the kicker. Jesus knows there is a third option, one which He will reveal at the Last Supper It is only if Jesus’ can literally give His flesh in another mode, such as under the appearance of bread and wine, where He is not diminished in any way, and where He is not immolated, that He would not be telling us to sin. He does exactly that, in the Eucharist. That is the only path open where there would be no sin involved as to what Jesus taught in the Bread of Life discourse.

          If what you believe is true, and that Jesus is only present Spiritually, then really, why care? You don’t receive Him Spiritually there? So what? John 6 becomes redundant! After all, Jesus describes other ways to receive Him Spiritually. Only in the Catholic view, and a few others, does John 6 suddenly have any real meaning.

          1. In Scripture, I don’t know of any other way to receive Christ outside of His Spirit; and this is before we are allowed to participate in the Eucharist. Maybe you can point it out.

          2. “In Scripture, I don’t know of any other way to receive Christ outside of His Spirit; ”

            Jeremiah 5:21……

          3. Where one person of the Trinity is, the others are too, and God is everywhere. Correct me if I am wrong. If one shares in God’;s grace, the Spirit as well as the Father as well as the Son are present.

          4. Margo: I believe that they are all present; but I have some complicated thoughts on this.
            The Godhead of today was configured at Pentecost. It includes Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It has the additional component of Christ’s ascended body which was not available for us prior to Pentecost. This provides for our redemption because the humanity of the Son, as the God-man, can now be present in us. Christ contains all of the fullness of the Godhead bodily, and we are complete in Him. This is how we have access to the Father through Him. His humanity also gives Him the capacity to be our High Priest mediator between the Father and us. His divinity allows us to treat Him as God. We can have faith and unconditional trust in Him because of this and receive His Spirit.
            During the gospel period, Christ’s humanity was part of the Godhead, but it was not available for us because Christ had not finished His mission on earth and ascended.
            During the Old Testament period, the Godhead was Father, Word, and Holy Spirit. It had no human component at all. It did when the Word was made flesh.
            Prior to Pentecost, those that had the Holy Spirit had no redemption at that point. I’m not sure if those who received the Holy Spirit of the Old Testament and the gospel period received only the person of the Holy Spirit or the Godhead of Father, Word, and Holy Spirit.

  26. My simple Catholic thoughts on why after Baptism all of us still need the Eucharist is,
    At Baptism it restores back divine life in our soul but the stain of original sin is still there.
    St.Paul complain on this in Romans7:15 but later on he overcomes this weakness.
    How?
    Thru the Holy Eucharist. The Holy Eucharist is needed to wash-away the stain of original sin.
    And when one is deeply devoted to the Holy Eucharist that where satan becomes powerless because the
    malice that he breathes on Eve and then infected Adam was removed by the “flesh & blood” of Jesus.
    Our soul now is strengthen and our flesh & blood is freed from concupiscence.

    While, I agree that our Christian brothers will still be save, God’s Providence is not lacking on them too, but they are deprived of the means to “transfigure” their physical body into a sinless body, which will be the preparation when our bodies will be resurrected.
    Look up to the incorruptible bodies of the saints, when the Final Hour comes, their glorified soul will be reunited to their transfigured bodies here on earth, and the degree of glory is proportional to their transfigured bodies. This will conincides with Book of Revelation description of our glories according to works.
    Godbless

    1. jong: The fruit of the Spirit temperance or self-control is the remedy for concupiscence (see Galatians 5:23). There is nothing in Saint Paul’s writings which say that he overcame concupiscence with the sacrament of the Eucharist.
      The sacraments associated with receiving the Spirit and the fruit of the Spirit are Baptism and Confirmation. They are also the sacraments for the cleansing of original sin. The sacrifice of Christ on the cross enabled this outpouring of the Holy Spirit to happen. This is how we become new creatures in Christ Jesus.
      When people received the Holy Spirit in the New Testament, there is no mention of the Eucharist. This is not its purposes. Paul discusses its purposes in 1Corinthians 10:16-17 and 11:20-34. There is no further mention of the Eucharist anywhere else in the New Testament epistles.
      My peace and strength to deal with concupiscence came from casting all of my cares on the Lord and being anxious for nothing (see 1Peter 5:5-7 and Philippians 4:6-7).

  27. I wouldn’t waste much more of your time speculating on the spiritual fate of Protestants. We celebrate the Holy Eucharist just like all other actual Christians. It’s sad to see that most of your threads are along the same silly line of barely concealed self-congratulation, like little girl groups comparing clothes. Still, at least Protestants provide the little girls with a group reinforcement: someone has to be on the outside of the group so the “in group” can share the warm communalitity of shared rejection and distaste.

    1. I don’t think that the fate of protestants is the point of the post. I also think it’s clear that Jesus presents the Eucharist more as an insurance rather than a condition for salvation. In other instances, salvation is made dependent on faith in the Son (famous John 3:16), or works of mercy, as in the parable of the sheep and goats. In other words, Eucharist just makes salvation so much more certain that I feel it’s very selfish, if not downright dishonest, to give up insisting and entreating our protestant brothers to fully join us in the banquet of the Lamb. I daresay we Catholics are the ones who come out worse off when we don’t do our best to share the Body of our Lord with our separated brothers, because charity obligates us even more forcefully than with the case of a corporal work of mercy.

    2. james: Neither Catholics nor Protestants take John 6 literally. The Eucharist, for Catholics, does not taste like flesh and blood. The Spirit of Christ within us is what saves us. In John 6:63, Jesus says that it is the Spirit that enlivens, and that His words are spirit and life. Participation in the Eucharist is not what saves us. That is not its purpose. Paul gives two reasons for the Eucharist. In 1Corinthians 10:16-17, he speaks of the communion or fellowship of the Body of Christ. It is a sacrament of our interconnectedness in the mystical Body of Christ. In 1Corinthians 11: 26 Paul says that it shows or teaches the death of the Lord til He returns. The Eucharist is only mentioned in these two passages of Scripture in all of the NT epistles.

  28. Peter, read what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says about the Eucharist: there’s no doubt that John 6 is to be taken literally. And, looking at history, in the writings of the Church Fathers and others, including non Christians (see Pliny The Younger), there’s no doubt at all about there being a widespread firm belief in the Real Presence among the earliest Christian communities, a belief that remained undiluted until the Reformation. And even Luther’s doctrines do not constitute a denial of the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Still nowadays not all protestant denominations agree on the nature of Jesus’ presence in the consecrated host, whereas the orthodox denominations still hold a strong faith on the Real Presence. It is no doubt the hardest thing to believe in Catholic teaching. And John certainly sends that message when he’s careful to point out the reaction of the people who heard Jesus utter those astounding words. Yet, there must be something of tremendous importance in those words for Jesus not to recant, not even in the face of a massive desertion of disciples.
    Now, what really saves us is the grace that Jesus won for us by his death on the cross and glorious resurrection. Union with Him, means union with the Lamb sacrificed for the forgiveness of our sins, thus participating in His death and resurrection. Through faith and works of mercy, we identify spiritually with the Christ; but only in Communion with His true Body we identify also physically with Him: through it, He remains in us, and us in them. In the Mass, which is the eternal sacrifice of the perfect Lamb, we eat the Lamb, we become physically one with Him. In the act of consummating the Holy Matrimony husband and wife become one flesh. Therefore, they not only are one spiritually but also physically. Likewise, in the supper that celebrates the marriage of the Lamb that offers Himself for His bride, the Church, in an eternal sacrifice that we can access from within our temporal dimension in the Holy mass, the Eucharistic Communion is the Consummation of that wedding feast, by which power we, the Church, bride of Christ the bridegroom, become physically united in one flesh with the suffering body of our glorious Redeemer. Thus, our own bodies are offered together with Christ’s in the Eternal Sacrifice of the Cross. There’s no “penal substitution”. We must become one with the victim. And we become victim with Christ when we receive His Body in the Holy Eucharist.

    1. If you don’t taste flesh and blood when you participate in the Eucharist, you are not taking John 6 literally either. You are using an interpretation or explanation of John 6. Jesus Himself in John 6:62-63 asks the disciples how His words are going to be fulfilled after He ascends; and He answers by saying that it is the Spirit that enlivens, and that the flesh profits nothing.

      1. “If you don’t taste flesh and blood when you participate in the Eucharist, you are not taking John 6 literally either.” >one might agree, if one makes the common epistemological error – most common in Christian Reformed “theology” – of taking this chapter and verse out of situational context. The context is, John 6 took place during Passover one year before the Triduum. As we know, Holy Scripture is shot through with foreshadowings of all types. Jesus knew His “customers”….during this Passover He was giving them a foreshadow of the Eucharistic nature of His sacrifice for several reasons. First, he weeded out those unwilling to believe Him unconditionally. Second, those who were confused but willing, he gave them something about which to think – even in back of their minds – for the following year. Thus, in the Eucharistic Narratives of the Last Supper, he did not “spring” on the Apostles the concept of eating His Flesh and Blood…he answered the unanswered question in their minds “how can we eat His Flesh and drink His Blood?” by showing them he would offer His both to them – and to all faithful Christians from then on, for all time until His return – under the appearance of bread and wine. Must’ve been quite an “a-ha” moment for them. Especially after His passion, death, and resurrection. This is borne out in the Emmaus narrative of Luke 24:13-35, where Jesus appears to the two disciples, and basically enacts the first post-resurrection Mass, liturgy of both Word and Eucharist…where the disciples suddenly see Jesus when He – you guessed it – blessed and broke the Bread.

        Works a lot better than the airily dismissive, uncontextual and flatly unscriptural Reformed “oh, he was talking about faith alone in John 6” or your vaguely new-Agey “spiritual” explanation. Neither of which had any adherents until the heresies of 1517.

        1. I believe that John 6 was fulfilled at Pentecost when the Spirit was poured out because of what Jesus says in John 6:62-63. He says that it is the Spirit that enlivens and that the flesh profits nothing. Notice that there is no Last Supper account in John’s gospel, and no mention of the Eucharist in his epistles.

          1. “He says that it is the Spirit that enlivens and that the flesh profits nothing..” > Yes, I have heard this novel interpretation of John 6 before. Wonder what Aquinas would have said? I don’t think “Eureka…”

            Basically, it has to ignore the emphatic language of the previous Eucharistic Narrative and substitute something more…fanciful. As well as the three Synoptic Last Supper narratives, pretending that the Gospels not only all stand alone, not buttressing each other, but contradicting. That is a tack of someone so desperately seeking to validate his own one-off, that he denies the unity of Christianity’s root documents – and thus, the validity of Christianity itself.

            But if it works for you…..

          2. It’s not a question of leaving something out. It’s a question of priorities and importance. Both the Eucharist and the Spirit have their place and importance.

          3. “Both the Eucharist and the Spirit have their place and importance. It’s a question of priorities and importance.” > I would posit the care and effort Jesus expended – both before and after His passion, death and resurrection – on educating, instituting, and validating – places the Eucharist in a place of Divinely sublime transcendence outside the bounds of human-conceived “priorities.” St. Paul and the Church Fathers, by their letters and writings, agree. Along with 2,000 years of Catholic traditIon and dogma. I suppose they could all be wrong and Peter Aiello, right…..

            So…..John 6: 63, Jesus is not talking about His own flesh, but weak humanity in general vs the spirit (both of which the Eucharist nourishes). Note, when He speaks “Eucharistically,” it’s always “MY” Flesh. In John 6:63, He says “THE” flesh. Pretty substantial difference. Then he says “The words I have spoken to you are spirit and life” What words? Perhaps the ones he just said, again and again – the emphatic command to “eat My flesh and drink My blood.”

            Bottom line, there’s nothing in 63 that conflicts nor detracts from the Eucharistic narrative, or serves your ‘spirit vs Eucharist’ contention without significant hermeneutic gymnastics. Rather, the words of the subject verse, read correctly, buttress the Eucharistic narrative.

            I understand you have your own idea about this; seems to me it is yours alone. And if it makes you happy…..

          4. Outside of the two passages in First Corinthians, where else is the Eucharist mentioned in all of the epistles? I believe that there is misplaced emphasis in the later Catholic Church.

          5. Peter, I have seen this from you before. My response is, along with the Gospels, why isn’t that enough? As well, *for just one,* the Eucharistic narrative in St. Ignatius of Antioch’s “Letter to the Smyrnaeans” – written pretty darn early in the history of Christianity – demonstrate the Eucharist and it’s centrality was not a whimsy invented by some idle prelates whiling away a moment of time in the breakroom at Nicaea in 325 AD….

            I humbly suggest you find something new to make your case.

          6. Is the Church in better shape today with all of its developed doctrine than it was during the New Testament times?
            I think that it is safer to stay with the basics.

          7. So, I see you’ve shifted away from trying apologetically to prove your point, to “Catholics should do something doctrinally different, because I say so.” Thanks for the validation that I’ve made mine.

            As for abandoning dogma based on the eternal, inerrant and divine – the basics, so to speak – due to issues temporal, that’s not an option to still remain Catholic. And…going against God’s Will doesn’t work – we have the examples all the way back to 1517. However, if you think Reformista denominational metastasizing and doctrinal fractionation of Christianity is a good thing, there are 30,000 flavors from which to choose…heck, you can even start your own.

          8. “I settle for being one of the 30,000 (or more) flavors of Catholicism.” > New-agey cute. The rest are something other than Catholicism and you know it. By your statement, first, you don’t care and second, and second, that’s what your free will is all about. Go in good health.

            “You sound like a very rigid Catholic.” You mean one who – with humility – follows both the Catechism and Nicene Creed, and respects the Matt 16:18 authority of the See of Peter? Yep, guilty. No, I don’t think the theological cafeteria is acceptable. Both Old and New Testaments have interesting “didn’t turn out well” accounts of those who do.

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