“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.
Check out the Eucharist page at Calling All Converts, where you’ll find some great videos to watch from Dr. Scott Hahn and Bishop Robert Barron (as well as Chris Stefanick’s video just below). We also recommend some solid orthodox recorded talks and books on the Holy Eucharist — more than enough for you to become quickly and deeply versed in the Church’s teaching.