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What if the Protestant Interpretation of John 6 is Correct?

"And he said unto them, The Sabbath was made for man, And not man for the Sabbath." Mark, II, 27.
Let’s talk about the Bread of Life discourse in John 6:22-70. The Catholic interpretation makes sense, but it's a shocking one. We think that this lengthy passage is about the Eucharist, and that Jesus Christ literally means that we eat His Flesh and drink His Blood in Communion. This teaching, radical to twenty first-century ears, was no less radical to first-century ears, and even many of Jesus’ own disciples stopped following Him upon hearing it. Protestants typically disagree with this interpretation, arguing that Jesus’ commands that we should eat His Flesh and drink His Blood are just metaphors. Often, both sides are so busy debating the credibility of the Catholic interpretation that neither stop to seriously ask, “Does the Protestant interpretation make any sense?” The obvious question is if Jesus is speaking metaphorically, what’s it a metaphor for? What is Jesus actually saying?

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The Trouble with Jerome

Marinus van Reymerswaele, St. Jerome (1541)
Protestants frequently claim that there are only 66 books in the Bible. This isn't the Bible used by early Christians, by Luther, by Calvin, or by the Catholic, Orthodox, or Coptic Churches. So where do they draw support? Strangely, they cite a single fourth century Church Father: St. Jerome. But there's a problem with that approach. Or more accurately: four problems.

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How the Early Church Disproves Protestant Claims About the Eucharist and the Church

Why should we care about the writings of the Church Fathers, or early Church history? Consider the Church of the early 100s. Protestants typically (a) reject the doctrine of the Real Presence of Christ, that the Eucharist becomes His Flesh and Blood; and (b) believe that once you are saved, you'll never permanently fall away from the faith. But holding these views would require believing that the very same Symrnaean and Ephesian Christians praised by Christ in 96 A.D. are heretics by 107 A.D.

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Why Care About the Perpetual Virginity of Mary?

Simone Martini, Annunciation Triptych (1333)
Why do Catholics care about the perpetual Virginity of Mary? And does the doctrine make any sense, or does it just reflect an unhealthy disdain for marital sex? After all, why shouldn't a married woman, like St. Mary, engage in sexual relations with her husband? Such relations aren't just not sinful: they're good. So why have Christians from the time of the earliest days of the Church onwards consistently insisted upon Mary's perpetual virginity, even after the birth of Christ?

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Your Soul is Worth More than Your Vote

Ary Scheffer, The Temptation of Christ (1854)
It's election season again, and this one's a particular mess. "While our broken civilization will inevitably cease to be someday, the same isn't true of our souls. And it's these immortal souls that we are rushing to sacrifice on the altar of partisanship. We're sacrificing the eternal for the temporal, and not even managing to swing the outcome of the election (an election that turns out to matter a lot less than we've been made to believe). It's a Faustian bargain beneath our human dignity. "

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