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The Eucharist

“You Catholics are idolators, adoring bread and wine as the body and blood of Jesus Christ! How can you believe such a thing?”

“They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer,” wrote the great St Ignatius around 107 A.D., “because they do not confess the Eucharist to be the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ, which was offered for our sins and which the Father, in His goodness raised up again. They who deny the gift of God are perishing in their disputes.”

Apart from those referred to by Ignatius, we know of no church or Christian movement in the first millennium of Christian history that did not confess Jesus to be truly present in the Eucharist. This was the faith of the fathers of the early Church, the faith of St Augustine, the universal faith of Christians essentially until the time of the Reformation in the 16th century.

Vatican II described the Holy Eucharist as “the source and summit of the Christian life.” St Ignatius referred to it as “the medicine of immortality” through which we receive the very life God. It’s critical that Catholics understand a feel confident to defend what scripture, tradition and the Church teach about this most important subject.

A few Good Articles

A few Good Talks

Understanding the Eucharist

by Scott Hahn

In this talk, this once militant opponent of the Catholic Church highlights the key misunderstandings people have about the Eucharist and explains the Church’s teaching from a scriptural and historical perspective in an entertaining and thorough fashion.

The Mass Explained

by Fr. Larry Richards

Inspiring speaker Fr. Larry Richards presents wonderful insights into the history, spirituality, and biblical foundations of the Eucharist. He opens the door for us to enter more profoundly into this most perfect prayer and unite our offering with that of the priest. Great lessons that can change the way you experience the Mass.

The Holy Eucharist

by Fr. William Casey C.P.M.

According to Fr. William Casey, Superior General of the Fathers of Mercy, “We are living at the time of the greatest loss of faith in the 2000-year history of the Catholic Church.” Discover how faith in the Real Presence and prayer before the Blessed Sacrament can remedy this desperate situation and help us grow spiritually.

A few Good Books

This Is My Body: An Evangelical Discovers the Real Presence

by Mark Shea

This little book is a great place for a convert to start reading about the Catholic teaching on the Eucharist. Mark Shea tells the story of his own discovery of the Real Presence in terms engaging and accessible to Evangelical Protestants. He treats standard misconceptions and objections to the Catholic teaching showing the errors in thinking Evangelicals make. Great book!

The Hidden Manna: A Theology of the Eucharist

by James T. O’Connor

“This book is a comprehensive study of the Church’s meditation on the Mystery of the Eucharist from the first centuries to our won times…. For the lay reader who wants a rich understanding…The Hidden Manna is a superb work” – John Cardinal O’Connor

Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist

by Brant Pitre

This is a book of biblical theology, meaning that the author works to help us understand the Eucharist within the context of Jewish history and practice and as the fulfillment of all the Old Testament images of the Passover, the Manna, the Bread of the Presence in the tabernacle. This book will really open your eyes to the Scriptural background to our Lord’s institution of the Blessed Sacrament!

A few Good Links

There are many, many great resources out there for learning the Catholic Faith.
Lighthouse Catholic Media is a fantastic place to start. You can also explore the solid Catholic apostolates linked below to go as far and deep as you like in your study of the Faith.

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To learn more about all the Sacraments of the Catholic Church Look Here