"Some men accordingly, not paying heed to
these things, have contended that Christ's body and blood are not in this
Sacrament except as in a sign, a thing to be rejected as heretical, since it is
contrary to Christ's words. Hence Berengarius, who had been the first deviser
of this heresy, was afterwards forced to withdraw his error, and to acknowledge
the truth of the Faith." - St. Thomas Aquinas ("Summa
Theologica" 13th century A.D.)
"And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake [it], and gave unto
them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of
me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup [is] the new testament
in my blood, which is shed for you." - Luke
"I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of
this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh,
which I will give for the life of the world. The Jews therefore strove among
themselves, saying, How can this man give us [his] flesh to eat? Then Jesus
said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the
Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh,
and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last
day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth
my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him." - John
"The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the
blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body
of Christ? For we [being] many are one bread, [and] one body: for we are all
partakers of that one bread." - 1 Corinthians 10:16-17
"For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you,
That the Lord Jesus the [same] night in which he was betrayed took bread: And
when he had given thanks, he brake [it], and said, Take, eat: this is my body,
which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also
[he took] the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in
my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink [it], in remembrance of me. For as
often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death
till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink [this] cup of
the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But
let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of [that] bread, and drink of
[that] cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh
damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body." - 1 Corinthians
Catechism of the Catholic Church says on the "Eucharist:"
1106. "Together with the anamnesis, the epiclesis is at the heart of
each sacramental celebration, most especially of the Eucharist: You ask
how the bread becomes the Body of Christ, and the wine . . . the Blood of
Christ I shall tell you: the Holy Spirit comes upon them and accomplishes what
surpasses every word and thought . . . Let it be enough for you to understand
that it is by the Holy Spirit, just as it was of the Holy Virgin and by the
Holy Spirit that the Lord, through and in himself, took flesh. [St. John
Damascene, De fide orth 4, 13: PG 94, 1145A.]"
1324. "The Eucharist is 'the source and summit of the Christian life.'
[LG 11.] 'The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and
works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented
toward it. For in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good
of the Church, namely Christ himself, our Pasch.' [PO
1327. "In brief, the Eucharist is the sum and summary of our faith:
'Our way of thinking is attuned to the Eucharist, and the Eucharist in turn
confirms our way of thinking.' [St. Irenaeus, Adv. haeres. 4, 18, 5: PG 7/l,
1329. "The Lord's Supper, because of its connection with the supper
which the Lord took with his disciples on the eve of his Passion and because it
anticipates the wedding feast of the Lamb in the heavenly Jerusalem.
[Cf. 1 Cor ; Rev 19:9.]
The Breaking of Bread, because Jesus used this rite, part of a Jewish meat when
as master of the table he blessed and distributed the bread, [Gal .] above all at the Last Supper. [Cf. Mt
26:26 ; 1 Cor .] It is by this
action that his disciples will recognize him after his Resurrection, [Cf. Lk
24:13-35.] and it is this expression that the first Christians will use to
designate their Eucharistic assemblies; [Cf. Acts 2:42, 46 ; Acts 20:7, 11.] by
doing so they signified that all who eat the one broken bread, Christ, enter
into communion with him and form but one body in him. [Cf. 1 Cor -17.] The Eucharistic assembly
(synaxis), because the Eucharist is celebrated amid the assembly of the faithful,
the visible expression of the Church. [Cf. 1 Cor -34
1336. "The first announcement of the Eucharist divided the disciples,
just as the announcement of the Passion scandalized them: 'This is a hard
saying; who can listen to it?' [Jn 6:60 .] The Eucharist and the Cross are
stumbling blocks. It is the same mystery and it never ceases to be an occasion
of division. 'Will you also go away?': [Jn 6:67 .] the Lord's question
echoes through the ages, as a loving invitation to discover that only he has 'the
words of eternal life' [In 6:68.] and that to receive in faith the gift of his
Eucharist is to receive the Lord himself."
1340. "By celebrating the Last Supper with his apostles in the course
of the Passover meal, Jesus gave the Jewish Passover its definitive meaning.
Jesus' passing over to his father by his death and Resurrection, the new
Passover, is anticipated in the Supper and celebrated in the Eucharist, which
fulfills the Jewish Passover and anticipates the final Passover of the Church
in the glory of the kingdom."
1355. "In the communion, preceded by the Lord's prayer and the
breaking of the bread, the faithful receive 'the bread of heaven' and 'the cup
of salvation,' the body and blood of Christ who offered himself 'for the life
of the world': [Jn .]
Because this bread and wine have been made Eucharist ('eucharisted,' according
to an ancient expression), 'we call this food Eucharist, and no one may take
part in it unless he believes that what we teach is true, has received baptism
for the forgiveness of sins and new birth, and lives in keeping with what
Christ taught.' [St. Justin, Apol. 1, 66,1-2: PG 6, 428.]"
1356. "If from the beginning Christians have celebrated the Eucharist
and in a form whose substance has not changed despite the great diversity of
times and liturgies, it is because we know ourselves to be bound by the command
the Lord gave on the eve of his Passion: 'Do this in remembrance of me.' [1 Cor
1359. "The Eucharist, the sacrament of our salvation accomplished by
Christ on the cross, is also a sacrifice of praise in thanksgiving for the work
of creation. In the Eucharistic sacrifice the whole of creation loved by God is
presented to the Father through the death and the Resurrection of Christ.
Through Christ the Church can offer the sacrifice of praise in thanksgiving for
all that God has made good, beautiful, and just in creation and in
1360. "The Eucharist is a sacrifice of thanksgiving to the Father, a
blessing by which the Church expresses her gratitude to God for all his
benefits, for all that he has accomplished through creation, redemption, and
sanctification. Eucharist means first of all 'thanksgiving.'"
1365. "Because it is the memorial of Christ's Passover, the Eucharist
is also a sacrifice. The sacrificial character of the Eucharist is manifested
in the very words of institution: 'This is my body which is given for you' and
'This cup which is poured out for you is the New Covenant in my blood.' [Lk
22:19-20.] In the Eucharist Christ gives us the very body which he gave up for
us on the cross, the very blood which he 'poured out for many for the
forgiveness of sins.' [Mt 26:28 .]"
1367. "The sacrifice of Christ and the sacrifice of the Eucharist are
one single sacrifice: 'The victim is one and the same: the same now offers
through the ministry of priests, who then offered himself on the cross; only
the manner of offering is different.' 'In this divine sacrifice which is
celebrated in the Mass, the same Christ who offered himself once in a bloody manner
on the altar of the cross is contained and is offered in an unbloody manner.'
[Council of Trent (1562): DS 1743;
cf. Heb 9:14, 27.]"
1368. "The Eucharist is also the sacrifice of the Church. The Church
which is the Body of Christ participates in the offering of her Head. With him,
she herself is offered whole and entire. She unites herself to his intercession
with the Father for all men. In the Eucharist the sacrifice of Christ becomes
also the sacrifice of the members of his Body. The lives of the faithful, their
praise, sufferings, prayer, and work, are united with those of Christ and with
his total offering, and so acquire a new value. Christ's sacrifice present on
the altar makes it possible for all generations of Christians to be united with
his offering. In the catacombs the Church is often represented as a woman
in prayer, arms outstretched in the praying position. Like Christ who stretched
out his arms on the cross, through him, with him, and in him, she offers
herself and intercedes for all men."
1369. "The whole Church is united with the offering and intercession
of Christ. Since he has the ministry of Peter in the Church, the Pope is
associated with every celebration of the Eucharist, wherein he is named as the
sign and servant of the unity of the universal Church. The bishop of the place
is always responsible for the Eucharist, even when a priest presides; the
bishop's name is mentioned to signify his presidency over the particular
Church, in the midst of his presbyterium and with the assistance of deacons.
The community intercedes also for all ministers who, for it and with it, offer
the Eucharistic sacrifice: Let only that Eucharist be regarded as
legitimate, which is celebrated under (the presidency of) the bishop or him to
whom he has entrusted it. [St. Ignatius of Antioch,
Ad Smyrn. 8:1; SCh 10, 138.] Through the ministry of priests the
spiritual sacrifice of the faithful is completed in union with the sacrifice of
Christ the only Mediator, which in the Eucharist is offered through the priests'
hands in the name of the whole Church in an unbloody and sacramental manner
until the Lord Himself comes. [PO 2 # 4.]"
1374. "The mode of Christ's presence under the Eucharistic species is
unique. It raises the Eucharist above all the sacraments as 'the
perfection of the spiritual life and the end to which all the sacraments tend.'
[St. Thomas Aquinas, STh III, 73, 3c.] In the most blessed sacrament of the
Eucharist 'the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity, of our Lord
Jesus Christ and, therefore, the whole Christ is truly, really, and
substantially contained.' [Council of Trent
(1551): DS 1651.] 'This presence is called 'real' - by which is not intended to
exclude the other types of presence as if they could not be 'real' too, but because
it is presence in the fullest sense: that is to say, it is a substantial
presence by which Christ, God and man, makes himself wholly and entirely
present.' [Paul VI, MF 39.]"
1378. "Worship of the Eucharist. In the liturgy of the Mass we express
our faith in the real presence of Christ under the species of bread and wine
by, among other ways, genuflecting or bowing deeply as a sign of adoration of
the Lord. 'The Catholic Church has always offered and still offers to the
sacrament of the Eucharist the cult of adoration, not only during Mass, but
also outside of it, reserving the consecrated hosts with the utmost care,
exposing them to the solemn veneration of the faithful, and carrying them in
procession.'[Paul VI, MF 56.]"
1384. "The Lord addresses an invitation to us, urging us to receive
him in the sacrament of the Eucharist: '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.' [Jn .]"
1396. "The unity of the Mystical Body: the Eucharist makes the
Church. Those who receive the Eucharist are united more closely to
Christ. Through it Christ unites them to all the faithful in one body -
the Church. Communion renews, strengthens, and deepens this incorporation
into the Church, already achieved by Baptism. In Baptism we have been called to
form but one body. [Cf. 1 Cor
.] The Eucharist fulfills this call: '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 are one body, for we all partake of the one bread:' [1 Cor -17.] If you are the body and
members of Christ, then it is your sacrament that is placed on the table of the
Lord; it is your sacrament that you receive. To that which you are you respond
'Amen' ('yes, it is true!') and by responding to it you assent to it. For you
hear the words, 'the Body of Christ' and respond 'Amen.' Be then a member
of the Body of Christ that your Amen may be true. [St.
Augustine, Sermon 272: PL 38, 1247.]"
"Unless we have a passionate love for our
Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament, we shall accomplish nothing." - St.
Peter Julian Eymard ("Let Us Love The Most Blessed Sacrament" 19th
"Wherefore, he that eateth not this bread,
nor drinketh this blood, hath not this life; for men can have temporal life
without that, but they can in no way have eternal life. He then that eateth not
His flesh, nor drinketh His blood, hath no life in him; and he that eateth His
flesh, and drinketh His blood, hath life. This epithet, 'eternal,' which He
used, answers to both. It is not so in the case of that food which we take for
the purpose of sustaining this temporal life. For he who will not take it shall
not live, nor yet shall he who will take it live. For very many, even who have
taken it, die; it may be by old age, or by disease, or by some other casualty.
But in this food and drink, that is, in the Body and Blood of the Lord, it is
not so. For both he that doth not take it hath no life, and he that doth take
it hath life, and that indeed eternal life. This it is, therefore, for a man to
eat that meat and to drink that drink, to dwell in Christ, and to have Christ
dwelling in him. Consequently, he that dwelleth not in Christ, and in whom
Christ dwelleth not, doubtless neither eateth His flesh nor drinketh His
blood." - St.
Hippo ("Tractate 26 on the Gospel of St. John" 4th century A.D.)
Jesus lost many disciples when He stated that they would have to eat His
Body and drink His Blood (John 6:60, 66 ). Yet He did not
"call back" these disciples stating "I was just speaking
figuratively." He let them leave. Why? If He had been
speaking figuratively, wouldn't He have called them back and
"explained" the doctrine?
Here is an example where the Catholic Church rightly takes these passages
literally while many non-Catholic Christian denominations take it figuratively because
it would be too hard of a doctrine to accept otherwise just as it was for the
disciples who left Christ.