Tag Archives: Corpus Christi

Transubstantiation: The real presence as a fact

17 Jun

The Last Vision Of Fatima

Transubstantiation is the conversion of the substance of the Eucharistic elements into the body and blood of Christ at the consecration, only the appearances of bread and wine still remaining. The Catholic Church teaches that the substance, or essence, of the Eucharistic offering, is changed into both the body and blood of Christ.Belief in this doctrine was made obligatory by the Fourth Council of the Lateran in 1215. In the Greek Orthodox Church, the doctrine has been discussed under the term of metousiosis, coined as a direct loan-translation of transsubstantiatio in the 17th century. In Eastern Orthodoxy in general, the Sacred Mystery (Sacrament) of the Eucharist is more commonly discussed using alternative terms such as “trans-elementation”. So is it just a doctrine of Catholic and Orhtodox churches? Let’s look at the accounts of early Christian writers who had direct contact with the apostles of Jesus(For example Ignatius of Antioch)

It is appalling to see many Christians still deny it, in spite of almost all Early Christian writers upholding Transubstantiation in their writings and practices.
“I desire the bread of God, which is the flesh of Jesus Christ.” Saint Ignatius of Antioch to the Romans, written in about AD 106

“..stand aloof from such heretics”, because, among other reasons, “they abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they confess not the Eucharist to be the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ, which suffered for our sins, and which the Father, of His goodness, raised up again.” Saint Ignatius of Antioch to the Christians of Smyrna, written in about AD 106

“Not as common bread and common drink do we receive these; but in like manner as Jesus Christ our Savior, having been made flesh by the Word of God, had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so likewise have we been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word, and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished, is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh.” Justin Martyr, Written in 105 AD

“Now it is evident, that in this prophecy [allusion is made] to the bread which our Christ gave us to eat, in remembrance of His being made flesh for the sake of His believers, for whom also He suffered; and to the cup which He gave us to drink, in remembrance of His own blood, with giving of thanks.” Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho, ch 70

“Let the bishop give the oblation, saying, The body of Christ; and let him that receiveth say, Amen. And let the deacon take the cup; and when he gives it, say, The blood of Christ, the cup of life; and let him that drinketh say, Amen.” The Apostolic Constitutions (compiled c. 380)

Perhaps you will say, “I see something else, how is it that you assert that I receive the Body of Christ?” … Let us prove that this is not what nature made, but what the blessing consecrated, and the power of blessing is greater than that of nature because by blessing nature itself is changed. … For that sacrament which you receive is made what it is by the word of Christ. But if the word of Elijah had such power as to bring down fire from heaven, shall not the word of Christ have the power to change the nature of the elements? … Why do you seek the order of nature in the Body of Christ, seeing that the Lord Jesus Himself was born of a Virgin, not according to nature? It is the true Flesh of Christ which was crucified and buried, this is then truly the Sacrament of His Body. The Lord Jesus Himself proclaims: “This Is My Body.” Before the blessing of the heavenly words another nature is spoken of, after the consecration, the Body is signified. He Himself speaks of His Blood. Before the consecration, it has another name, after it is called Blood. And you say, Amen, that is, It is true. Let the heart within confess what the mouth utters, let the soul feel what the voice speaks.” Saint Ambrose of Milan (d. 397)

“For as Christ says ‘I am the true vine,’ it follows that the blood of Christ is wine, not water; and the cup cannot appear to contain His blood by which we are redeemed and quickened, if the wine be absent; for by the wine is the blood of Christ typified, …” Augustine in 400 AD quoting Cyprian (AD 200)

The Eucharist is “the source and summit of the Christian life.”