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Body of Christ

Discussion in 'Catholic DIR' started by johnnys4life, Mar 4, 2005.

  1. johnnys4life

    johnnys4life Pro-life Mommy

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    I already posted this at CA today, here, http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?p=484325#post484325

    It's about the real presence. I just don't understand how Jesus could be sitting right there holding a piece of bread and saying "this is my body", how could it be literally his body if he is sitting right there?

    But I was disatisfied with the answers I got. I still have to argue this with my husband, and there is no way I am going to win it. What do you think about this? Is this just a matter of faith, then?
     
  2. No*s

    No*s Captain Obvious

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    The same logic that applies to the Incarnation applies to the Eucharist. How could God possibly become a man, assume a body, grow, and learn? It doesn't make much sense when you think about it. Jesus being both God and man is dramatically counter-intuitive.

    So, we could really go down the route and deny that God could be incarnated in a man. That same logic, however, is the same logic used to deny the Eucharist when we take it to its core. How could God incarnate Himself in bread and wine as His Body and Blood? There's nothing special about it. We could test it under a microscope, and there'd be nothing special. Ask these same questions about the Incarnation, and you get the same answers.

    In the end, the same reasoning you use for the Incarnation of Christ applies to the Eucharist on the "how" and the "making sense" of it.
     
  3. johnnys4life

    johnnys4life Pro-life Mommy

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    Right, but we know WHY he became a man. It totally baffles me why he would want to be actually in a piece of bread for someone else to eat. Didn't he say, "Do this in remembrance of me?" That is, just to remember his sacrifice on the cross, you know? So there isn't anything "magic" in the actual bread, then, because the real thing is to remember the cross, or so I'm told.
     
  4. No*s

    No*s Captain Obvious

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    The bread serves the exact same purpose as the Incarnation. I know Roman Catholicism has a doctrine like this, but not formed in the exact same fashion, so Scott can correct me on how far off it strays.

    God created man for union with God. When man sinned, we were "separated" from God. This isn't so much as separation, as our divine image was broken and tarnished. Thus, we were subject to death and destruction. This image, and the effects of sin, could only be repaired by God bringing divinity down to us (hence, God becoming man).

    Paraphrasing that popular axiom in the Early Church, "God became man so that men might become gods." Our purpose is to unite to God in such a way that He is incarnated in us. The tarnished image still ensures that whatever we do to anyone, we do to Him...but we need it repaired, or else it can never function right (hence, Hell). Thus, we have the Incarnation, so that Christ can bring the divine down to the mundane.

    It didn't just cure us, though. The problem is as much in us as a broken image: our desires, our life, our consequences. It takes time. Therefore, God incarnates Himself through the Eucharist and sacraments to give us God's grace (in Orthodoxy, grace==energy, but it's good will in the RCC), which enables us to overcome our sins and their consequences, which allows Christ to be incarnated in us, and thus, forming the Church (the Body of Christ).

    The Eucharist is, thus, necessary for salvation from that perspective :). I hope that helps some.
     
  5. jimbob

    jimbob The Celt

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    Easy Answer, Jesus is God, he can do anything, so it would be no problem for him to make the bread be him, just still appear as in the presence of bread.
     
  6. Scott1

    Scott1 Well-Known Member

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    Hmmm.... some pretty good answers..... I don't know any of the responders..... let me see if I can help.
    It was not his body. Jesus was showing the Apostles how to worship when he was no longer physically with them (after his death).

    That's the key = he was physically with them at the time..... and is physically present in the Eucharist. Christ was showing the Apostles.... and affirming Catholic doctrine..... that he would remain with them physically (not just in Spirit) utill the end of time.

    Well, I pray your arguments are not too heated.... we're praying for the both of you. As far as your question..... yes, it is a matter of faith. Our entire theology is..... if you don't have faith that the Bible is the Word of God, then you won't believe what it says..... if you don't believe in the Church, then you won't believe what she teaches. There will be no "missing link", no special catch phrase that makes a person believe or win an argument. It is the Grace of God that made you have faith in Christ, and it is the same Grace that is drawing you towards His Church. Let His will be done.... not on your terms.... but on HIS terms.

    Ok.... that said.... let's work on this from a Biblical perspective.... I know this way is easier for you to understand, and it should be easier for your husband to understand.
    Read John 6:26-59.
    Let's review:
    First, Jesus defines what we must do ("work") for God: we must believe in Jesus. The Jews then ask for a sign from Jesus to prove he is worthy of belief. Jesus responds by claiming that he is "the bread of life". This is an analogy just like "I am the door" or "I am the vine". It could be understood in a multitude of ways.... unless Jesus goes on to explain his analogy. He does just that: "This bread is my flesh, which I give for the life of the world.: Jesus says the bread of life IS HIS FLESH. Lest we not understand whether he means "flesh" in a real, physical, touchable way, he tells us next that it is the same flesh that will be given up on the Cross! He goes on to say that this flesh must be eaten by his followers. The analogy has been clearly explained. There is no doubt about its meaning. If the fleash we eat for eternal life is meant only in a "figurative way" in "remembrance"...... then so is the flesh of the crucifixion! Jesus equates the two. Jesus did.... not me, not you.... not a Pope or a Church leader.... JESUS equates the two. Either they are BOTH literal.... or they are BOTH figurative.

    There is so much more scriptural and historical evidence.... but I hope this is a good start.

    Much love, dear friend.
    Scott
     
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  7. johnnys4life

    johnnys4life Pro-life Mommy

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    Thank you for your prayers, we did talk about and my husband got out the Bible and read the entire chapter John 6 and explained to me how he interpreted it, and it did make sense, but that one verse just lingers in my mind, how Jesus said, "For my flesh is real food, and my blood real drink". But then again, Jesus did say that he was the living water for any man to drink of and have eternal life. That's why my husband said it's all figurative. I just don't know. I'm not a scholar or an apologist, so I always have much to learn. The way he explained it did make sense, but I'm still struck also by the fact that most of Christendom didn't interpret it that way for many centuries...

    I like what you wrote above, it gives me a lot to think about. I will probably still be going back and forth with the people on CA some more about it. I told my husband I still think I want to be Catholic, but unlike you, for me it is more about confession - my one weakness - and the one thing my husband can NOT argue biblically against.
     
  8. Scott1

    Scott1 Well-Known Member

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    I don't understand this...... confession is your weakness?
     
  9. johnnys4life

    johnnys4life Pro-life Mommy

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    Yeah I don't confess nearly enough. I have trouble even remembering my sins. All the other "problems" people have with the Catholic church aren't real biggies to me, I just want to know the truth, but confession is the one thing I feel like (and I know this is really bad) that even if I know you guys are right about confession in the church, I would still have trouble accepting it. I hope that makes some sense?
     
  10. Scott1

    Scott1 Well-Known Member

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    I hear ya..... confession is the Sacrament that is the most personal in nature.... for it to be effective, we must have a contrite heart.... we must face the evil in us and admit that we have transgressed against our God who loves us..... VERY difficult to do for most people (Catholics and non alike).

    Maybe you can start a thread about confession some day;)
     
  11. Natural Submission

    Natural Submission Active Member

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    Nonsense. Eating the "flesh" and drinking the "blood" of "Christ" is a Pagan Cult ritual of Mithraism. Jesus NEVER claimed he was God, this is a man-made innovation and slander. These are rituals of Paganism and an abomination to the REAL teachings of Jesus.
     
  12. Prima

    Prima Well-Known Member

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    Seeing as how this is an open-minded religions forum, I wouldn't call Pagan practices 'filthy' if I were you.
     
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