Posted by: Joe of St. Thérèse | March 9, 2008

Transubstatiation II

The last time that I discussed Transubstantiation, I talked about how while the English translation, while imperfect was still completely valid, and how Transubstantiation still occurs. I this time am going to talk more in detail about what Transubstantiation is.

Transubstantiation is the word that the Council of Trent defined (not invented as some mis-believe) to be what happens when the Holy Spirit is invoked and the words of consecration are said.

However, in order for us to understand what transubstantiation is, we must know what in the world we’re talking about.

Trans is the Latin translation of the Greek μετα which means to change. Substantia is the Latin translation of the Greek υπωσασιs which means substance in this example, or the essence of what something. tion is also from the Latin, the state of being.

In Philosophy there are two terms that are essential to our understanding of the Catholic Dogma of Transubstantiation.

def: accident: physical properties that make up a substance.

def: substance: what the mind comes to understand through the given accidents.

eg 1: What are the accidents in unleavened bread?

Solution: unleavened bread is made out of wheat, water and flour. The bread is flat, has a density ascribed to it. All these make up the accidents of unleavened bread.

eg 2: What are the accidents of a bookshelf?

Solution: Wood, density, etc.

The important thing to understand about accidents are that they can be seen, or measured. There exists a concrete way of finding what these are.

eg 3. what is the substance of wheat, flour and water?

Solution: The substance is bread, as this through what we see (the accidents)…Note that I did not answer the Body of Christ even though this is true as well, but I’ve yet to explain what exactly is going on, so I should do so now.

The doctrine is called TranSUBSTANTIAtion NOT TransACCIDENTIAtion. This is extremely important.

Unleavened Bread: wheat, flour, water

Body, Blood, Soul, Divinity of Jesus: wheat, flour, water

Notice that the accidents are the same for both, however the substance completely changes. If you were to go to science lab, you’d find that you’d get the properties of bread. We could have told you that without having to spend anywhere near that much money to have a scientist figure it out. The ACCIDENTS DO NOT CHANGE in Transubstantiation.

None of this can occur without the Holy Spirit, when it is invoked, (We ask Lord that you bless and approve these offerings….Let your Spirit come down upon these gifts may, they become the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ).

When the words of consecration are said, Jesus comes down from heaven and remains at the altar of Sacrifice.

Proof of concept: Luke 24, 13-35: That very day two of them were going to a village named Emmasus about seven miles from Jerusalem, and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them. But there eyes were kept from recognizing him. And he said to them, “What is this conversation which you are holding with each other as you walk?” And they stood still looking sad. Then one of them named Cleopas answered him, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know he things that have happened there in these days?” An he said to them, “What things?” And they said to him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all of the people, and how our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death and crucified him. But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. yes, and beside all this, it is now the third day since this happened. Moreover, some women of our company amazed us. They were at his tomb early int he morning and did not find his body; and they came back saying that they had seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. Some o those who were with us went to the tomb, and found it just as the woman had said; but him they did not see. And he said to them, “O foolish men and slow of heart to believe all hat the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these tings and enter into his glory?” And beginning with Moses ad all the prophets he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. So they drew near to the village to which they were going. He appeared to be going further but they constrained him, saying, “Stay with us for it was toward evening and the day is now far spent.” So he went in to stay with them. When he was at the table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened and they recognized him; AND HE VANISHED OUT OF THEIR SIGHT. They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?” And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the Eleven gathered together and those who were with them, who said, “The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread.

What’s important to notice?

1. The disciples did NOT recognize Jesus UNTIL they broke the Bread. (Proof of the Catholic Belief in the Real Presence of Christ)

2. Christ disappeared when the bread was broken. (Christ is PHYSICALLY PRESENT in the Eucharist (otherwise the disappearance doesn’t make any sense))

There are some people that believe that Jesus was only speaking symbolically when he talked about “This is my body” however, analyzing of the text shall prove that this is not the case.

Lk 22, 19; Mk 14, 22; Matt 26, 26, The Greek text says τoυτo εστιv τo σo;μα μo;υ

τoυτo means This, which obviously is referring to the bread.

εστιv is a form of the verb to be. (is in English)

σo;μα means body.

μo;υ means my.

If Jesus wanted to make a metaphor, or mean, this is like my body, he would have thrown in a form of the ωs in the text. Thus saying τoυτo εστιv τo σo;μα μo;υ ωs (This is like my body)

And many Protestants celebrate a mere meal of fellowship, but as St. Paul tells us, the Eucharist is much more than that 1 Cor 11, 27-33: Whoever, therefore eats the bread or drinks of 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 anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. But if we judged ourselves truly, e should not be judged. But when w are judged by the Lord we are chastened so that we may not be condemned along with the world. So then, my brethren, when you come together to eat wait for one another–if anyone is hungry let him eat at home–lest you come together to be condemned. About the other things, I will give directions when I come.

What’s important here?

1. Anyone who eats and drinks of the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the Body and Blood of our Lord. (In other words, ITS NOT A SYMBOL PEOPLE)

2. Let a man examine himself and eat of the bread and drink of the cup. (When you say Amen in the NO Mass, you better well believe that it’s the Body and Blood of our Lord, otherwise it’s condemnation for you :))

3. If any one’s hungry let him eat at home. (In other words, this isn’t something ordinary)

When we eat food, the digestive processes works to make the food one with our body. In other words, if you were to withdraw blood from the body and look for the piece of meat that you had earlier, or the tea that you had earlier, you would not find it, because it has become one with the body.

In 1 Cor 10, 16-17 it states: The cup of blessing which we bless is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many one body, for we all partake of the one bread.”

What is important here?
1. The bread and wine when consecrated are a participation in the Body of Christ.

Thus it should make sense when I say that when we eat of the Body of Christ, that we become one with our Lord Jesus Christ in the most personal way possible… with Him inside of us. In The Gospel of St. John 6, 55 the Greek word used αληθηs means True, real.. (just needed to throw that in for more proof of concept)

Another thing to understand is that he remains, isn’t just present at the words of Consecration, but stays throughout until the so called rite of purification (where Jesus is moved from the altar)….(However he stays in the consecrated Hosts until the means by which they’re there disappear (in other words, as long as no thing’s added to the bread, it stays.)

The sections in the Catechism for reference are 1373-77.

Now that we have an appreciation for what is going on at the Altar, let us be anew ed when we receive the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Amen!

© JP 2008

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