Real Presence? Real Deal!

As Catholics, we sometimes take the Eucharist for granted. We take part in this incredible sacrament at least once a week, which sometimes makes us forget how special it is.

Many of our Protestant sisters and brothers don’t believe in the Real Presence of the Eucharist. They believe that Jesus gives us bread and wine to symbolically show his Sacrifice. But we Catholics believe that the Eucharist is literally, I repeat LITERALLY, the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.

I don’t really want to get into apologetics in this post, but if you want proof, check out John 6, the writings of the early church fathers and saints, metaphysics (explains how something can look like one thing but be another), and Eucharistic miracles.

Somehow, after all those years of religious ed, I never learned about the Real Presence. And I was paying attention in class too! So either A) I missed class on ALL the days they talked about it (unlikely), B) The teacher quickly mentioned it but didn’t make to big of a deal about it (possible), or C) the teacher didn’t mention it at all (also possible).

So then I have my Confirmation, God changes something in me, and all of the sudden I’m all Catholic and stuff. (I wasn’t really too Catholic before that–see my conversion story for more details. You kind find it on the menu on the left.) At that point I started researching Catholicism…and there was the Real Presence staring me in the face. And I had trouble accepting it for a while. After all, it IS pretty mind-boggling. After a lot of research, I started to accept it more. Then learning about Eucharistic miracles helped me. Prayer also helped. The biggest cause for my belief in the Real Presence was undoubtedly the faith in the Church I was granted during my Confirmation. I had my conversion experience in the Catholic Church. My life changed for the better because of a Catholic Sacrament. The Catholic Church teaches Truth, Real Presence included.

Then I started noticing life experiences that have lead me to believe further.

For example, why does if feel so special when you walk into a Catholic church, even when no one is sitting in the pews? Even when it’s dark in there? Shouldn’t it just be an empty room that elicits no feeling? No! Because Jesus is there in the tabernacle!

Why do I think to myself come Thursday or Friday, “Boy, I could really go for Mass about now!”

Why do I feel “off” if I go to Sunday Mass instead of my usual Saturday vigil? Why does seven days with out the Eucharist seem so much longer than six?

Why is sitting in Adoration for two hours not boring? Why is it so incredibly peaceful? Plain-old bread can’t do that.

Next time the Eucharistic minister or priest or deacon says, “The Body of Christ,” remember what you are consuming.

But don’t forget to say “Amen.” 🙂

Advertisements

Catholic Humor #1

Just replace “at the Last Supper” with “at Capernaum,” and then it’s perfect. Picture Sourc: http://9gag.com/gag/5166663

Did you get the joke?

If not, let me clear it up for you.

This image plays on one of the most (if not THE most) significant aspect of Catholic teaching: the Real Presence of the Eucharist.

Every Mass, we consume the Eucharist, which is the Body and Blood of Christ. Like, for real. It really is His Body and Blood. (While it keeps the appearance of bread and wine, in its very essence it IS Jesus.) I know, I know…it’s a tough thing to swallow (pun intended).

Depending on how much you know about Catholicism, maybe you’re thinking to yourself, “Say what? Sounds a little like cannibalism to me…”

Yeah, it sounds bizarre and it might not make sense to our meager human minds. But how can we possibly understand all of God’s doings through human reason? We can’t. That’s where faith comes in. And it’s not blind faith, mind you.

There’s so much evidence for the Real Presence of the Eucharist. All sorts of Eucharist miracles have happened through the ages: levitating hosts, hosts turning to actual human flesh before parishioners’ eyes, people living for decades on the Eucharist alone…

But the joke in the above picture is based on the Biblical evidence for the Real Presence. John 6 is the place. In this part of the Bible, Jesus is teaching that people must eat His flesh and drink His blood to have eternal life. And a lot of those listening are confused and even leave him because they think what he’s saying is outrageous. Let’s take a look at this part of John 6 from the New American Bible (http://old.usccb.org/nab/bible/john/john6.htm):

48I am the bread of life.49Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died;50this is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die.51I 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.52The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us (his) flesh to eat?”53Jesus 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.54Whoever eats 19 my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day.55For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.56Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him.57Just 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.58This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever.”59These things he said while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.6020 Then many of his disciples who were listening said, “This saying is hard; who can accept it?”61Since Jesus knew that his disciples were murmuring about this, he said to them, “Does this shock you?62What if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? 2163It is the spirit that gives life, while the flesh 22 is of no avail. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and life.64But there are some of you who do not believe.” Jesus knew from the beginning the ones who would not believe and the one who would betray him.65And he said, “For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by my Father.”66As a result of this, many (of) his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him.

The above image is based off of Jesus’s conversation in John 6, as you can now see.

In the image, “Yahweh” (another name for God) means “Yeah way.”

Pretty funny, huh? 🙂