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Real Presence is Key to Immortality

St. Ignatius of Antioch said in 100 a.d., Eucharist is the medicine of immortality so we do not die but live forever in Jesus. Catholics profoundly believe that their participation in the mass, and their participation in Communion will help them gain the eternal life with Jesus. During the mass though the Holy Spirit, bread and wine Is transfigured into the body and blood of Jesus, and gives the believers in the  Real Presence the promise of eternal life.

Though the ages,  the Saints have given opinion in on the subject of the Real Presence and the significance and roll in the Eucharist in salvation. St. Irenaeus in his writing Against the Heresies,, who is known for forming doctrine and combating heresies in the early church,  said that “our bodies, having received the Eucharist are no longer corruptible, because they have the home of the resurrection.

The word transubstantiation has been used since the middle ages to describe the changing of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Our Lord. The word actually means it changes the substance although visibly they maintain the same color, shape and chemical makeup. The reality is the substance changed.

The Real Presence does remain after consecration and transubstantiation. The remaining hosts are placed in the tabernacle and the remaining Blood is consumed by the priest or Eucharistic minister. The remain Communion hosts are saved for the sick or  the dying, what the church calls the Viaticum. Additionally the hosts are also left so that the faithful can spend time with the Lord in prayer and worship.

Despite the fact that the Bible is very clear on the Real Presence, polls seemed to indicate there are issues with the Post Vatican II Catholics who don’t believe that Eucharist is nothing more than a symbol and NOT the Real Presence. Jesus himself said “This is my body.” This leaves no room for discussion.

 One of the earliest writings, the First Apology written by St. Justin Martyr said  in which he said that the bread and wine is made into the Eucharist by the Eucharistic pray. The early church always insisted that when receiving Eucharist you were receiving the real fresh of Christ and Blood. Any believe to the contrary was to be defined as a heresy.

What is amazing is that the belief in the Real Presence is of the most long lasting doctrines within the Catholic Church. It has never faltered or changed throughout the ages.  The early Christ long used the Eucharist as their sacrifice of the real Jesus though the breaking of the bread.

And most of all the early church was committed to make sure the words and actions of Christ at the Last Supper honored. Jesus himself instituted the Eucharist at the Last Supper and there for it was their mission to make sure that it was honored. They recognized exactly what St. Ignatius said in the first century, that our immortality was directly tied to the Eucharist.

 

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This article was published on Friday 18 April, 2008.



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