Communion

From Teach The Net
Jump to: navigation, search

"How much wiser and better to confess our ignorance on mysteries, than idly dispute on them." -Augustine

Bible

Mark 14:22-24
While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take it; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and they all drank from it. “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many,” he said to them.
John 6:35-59
Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.” At this the Jews there began to grumble about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” They said, “Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, ‘I came down from heaven’?” “Stop grumbling among yourselves,” Jesus answered. “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day. It is written in the Prophets: ‘They will all be taught by God.’ d Everyone who has heard the Father and learned from him comes to me. No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father. Very truly I tell you, the one who believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, yet they died. But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them. Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your ancestors ate manna and died, but whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.” He said this while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.
1 Corinthians 10:16-17 AD 53
"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 Corinthians 11:23-27 AD 53
"For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, 'This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.' In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, 'This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.' For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes. Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord."


Appendix, Historical Belief in nature of Eucharist

65 AD: The Didache

"Let no one eat and drink of your Eucharist but those baptized in the name of the Lord; to this, too the saying of the Lord is applicable: 'Do not give to dogs what is sacred'".

"On the Lord's own day, assemble in common to break bread and offer thanks; but first confess your sins, so that your sacrifice may be pure. However, no one quarreling with his brother may join your meeting until they are reconciled; your sacrifice must not be defiled. For here we have the saying of the Lord: 'In every place and time offer me a pure sacrifice; for I am a mighty King, says the Lord; and my name spreads terror among the nations.'"

80 AD: Clement of Rome

"Since then these things are manifest to us, and we have looked into the depths of the divine knowledge, we ought to do in order all things which the Master commanded us to perform at appointed times. He commanded us to celebrate sacrifices and services, and that it should not be thoughtlessly or disorderly, but at fixed times and hours. He has Himself fixed by His supreme will the places and persons whom He desires for these celebrations, in order that all things may be done piously according to His good pleasure, and be acceptable to His will. So then those who offer their oblations at the appointed seasons are acceptable and blessed, but they follow the laws of the Master and do not sin. For to the high priest his proper ministrations are allotted, and to the priests the proper place has been appointed, and on Levites their proper services have been imposed. The layman is bound by the ordinances for the laity."

"Our sin will not be small if we eject from the episcopate those who blamelessly and holily have offered its Sacrifices."

Letter to the Corinthians

110 AD: Ignatius of Antioch

I have no taste for corruptible food nor for the pleasures of this life. I desire the bread of God, which is the flesh of Jesus Christ, who was of the seed of David; and for drink I desire his blood, which is love incorruptible. (St. Ignatius of Antioch, ca. AD 110)

But consider [the gnostics who deny that Christ came in the body], how opposed they are to the will of God. They have no regard for love; no care for the widow, or the orphan, or the oppressed; of the bond, or of the free; of the hungry, or of the thirsty. They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer because they do not confess that the Eucharist is the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ, flesh which suffered for our sins and which that Father, in his goodness, raised up again. (St. Ignatius of Antioch, ca. AD 110)



St. Ignatius of Antioch (Student of St. John the Evangelist, was ordained by St. Polycarp who was ordained by St. John, Successor of St. Peter as Bishop of Antioch) Letter to the Smyrnaeans AD 80

"Consider how contrary to the mind of God are the heterodox in regard to the grace of God which has come to us. They have no regard for charity, none for the widow, the orphan, the oppressed, none for the man in prison, the hungry or the thirsty. They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they do not admit that the Eucharist is the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ, the flesh which suffered for our sins and which the Father, in His graciousness, raised from the dead."

St. Ignatius’ Letter to the Ephesians AD 80

"Come together in common, one and all without exception in charity, in one faith and in one Jesus Christ, who is of the race of David according to the flesh, the son of man, and the Son of God, so that with undivided mind you may obey the bishop and the priests, and break one Bread which is the medicine of immortality and the antidote against death, enabling us to live forever in Jesus Christ."

St. Ignatius’ Letter to the Romans AD 80

"I have no taste for the food that perishes nor for the pleasures of this life. I want the Bread of God which is the Flesh of Christ, who was the seed of David; and for drink I desire His Blood which is love that cannot be destroyed."

St. Ignatius’s Letter to the Philadelphians AD 110

"Take care, then who belong to God and to Jesus Christ - they are with the bishop. And those who repent and come to the unity of the Church - they too shall be of God, and will be living according to Jesus Christ. Do not err, my brethren: if anyone follow a schismatic, he will not inherit the Kingdom of God. If any man walk about with strange doctrine, he cannot lie down with the passion. Take care, then, to use one Eucharist, so that whatever you do, you do according to God: for there is one Flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ, and one cup in the union of His Blood; one altar, as there is one bishop with the presbytery and my fellow servants, the deacons."


151 AD: Justin Martyr

For not as common bread nor common drink do we receive these; but since Jesus Christ our Savior was made incarnate by the word of God and had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so too, as we have been taught, the food which has been made into the Eucharist by the Eucharistic prayer set down by him, and by the change of which our blood and flesh is nurtured, is both the flesh and the blood of that incarnated Jesus. (St. Justin Martyr, ca. AD 151)

St. Justin Martyr, First Apology AD 148

"This food we call the Eucharist, of which no one is allowed to partake except one who believes that the things we teach are true, and has received the washing for forgiveness of sins and for rebirth, and who lives as Christ handed down to us. For we do not receive these things as common bread or common drink; but as Jesus Christ our Savior being incarnate by God's Word took flesh and blood for our salvation, so also we have been taught that the food consecrated by the Word of prayer which comes from him, from which our flesh and blood are nourished by transformation, is the flesh and blood of that incarnate Jesus."

St. Justin’s Dialogue with Trypho AD 130-160

"God has therefore announced in advance that all the sacrifices offered in His name, which Jesus Christ offered, that is, in the Eucharist of the Bread and of the Chalice, which are offered by us Christians in every part of the world, are pleasing to Him."

”Moreover, as I said before, concerning the sacrifices which you at that time offered, God speaks through Malachias, one of the twelve, as follows: 'I have no pleasure in you, says the Lord; and I will not accept your sacrifices from your hands; for from the rising of the sun until its setting, my name has been glorified among the gentiles; and in every place incense is offered to my name, and a clean offering: for great is my name among the gentiles, says the Lord; but you profane it.' It is of the sacrifices offered to Him in every place by us, the gentiles, that is, of the Bread of the Eucharist and likewise of the cup of the Eucharist, that He speaks at that time; and He says that we glorify His name, while you profane it."

Irenaeus of Lyon

St. Irenaeus of Lyon (Second Bishop of Gaul and successor to St. Pothinus, student of and ordained by St. Polycarp) Against Heresies AD 180

[Christ] has declared the cup, a part of creation, to be his own Blood, from which he causes our blood to flow; and the bread, a part of creation, he has established as his own Body, from which he gives increase to our bodies."

"So then, if the mixed cup and the manufactured bread receive the Word of God and become the Eucharist, that is to say, the Blood and Body of Christ, which fortify and build up the substance of our flesh, how can these people claim that the flesh is incapable of receiving God's gift of eternal life, when it is nourished by Christ's Blood and Body and is His member? As the blessed apostle says in his letter to the Ephesians, 'For we are members of His Body, of His flesh and of His bones' (Eph. 5:30). He is not talking about some kind of 'spiritual' and 'invisible' man, 'for a spirit does not have flesh an bones' (Lk. 24:39). No, he is talking of the organism possessed by a real human being, composed of flesh and nerves and bones. It is this which is nourished by the cup which is His Blood, and is fortified by the bread which is His Body. The stem of the vine takes root in the earth and eventually bears fruit, and 'the grain of wheat falls into the earth' (Jn. 12:24), dissolves, rises again, multiplied by the all-containing Spirit of God, and finally after skilled processing, is put to human use. These two then receive the Word of God and become the Eucharist, which is the Body and Blood of Christ."

"For just as the bread which comes from the earth, having received the invocation of God, is no longer ordinary bread, but the Eucharist, consisting of two realities, earthly and heavenly, so our bodies, having received the Eucharist, are no longer corruptible, because they have the hope of the resurrection."

202 AD: Clement of Alexandria

"The Blood of the Lord, indeed, is twofold. There is His corporeal Blood, by which we are redeemed from corruption; and His spiritual Blood, that with which we are anointed. That is to say, to drink the Blood of Jesus is to share in His immortality. The strength of the Word is the Spirit just as the blood is the strength of the body. Similarly, as wine is blended with water, so is the Spirit with man. The one, the Watered Wine, nourishes in faith, while the other, the Spirit, leads us on to immortality. The union of both, however, - of the drink and of the Word, - is called the Eucharist, a praiseworthy and excellent gift. Those who partake of it in faith are sanctified in body and in soul. By the will of the Father, the divine mixture, man, is mystically united to the Spirit and to the Word."

"The Word is everything to a child: both Father and Mother, both Instructor and Nurse. 'Eat My Flesh,' He says, 'and drink My Blood.' The Lord supplies us with these intimate nutrients. He delivers over His Flesh, and pours out His Blood; and nothing is lacking for the growth of His children. O incredible mystery!"

The Instructor of the Children

249 AD: Cyprian of Carthage

St. Cyprian of Carthage’s The Unity of the Catholic Church AD 249

"So too the the sacred meaning of the Pasch lies essentially in the fact, laid down in Exodus, that the lamb - slain as a type of Christ - should be eaten in one single home. God says the words: 'In one house shall it be eaten, ye shall not cast its flesh outside.' The flesh of Christ and the Lord's sacred body cannot be cast outside, nor have believers any other home but the one Church."

St. Cyprian of Carthage’s The Unity of the Catholic Church AD 249

"So too the the sacred meaning of the Pasch lies essentially in the fact, laid down in Exodus, that the lamb - slain as a type of Christ - should be eaten in one single home. God says the words: 'In one house shall it be eaten, ye shall not cast its flesh outside.' The flesh of Christ and the Lord's sacred body cannot be cast outside, nor have believers any other home but the one Church.",

St. Cyprian’s The Lapsed AD 250

"Listen to what happened in my presence, before my very eyes. There was a baby girl, whose parents had fled and had, in their fear, rather improvidently lift it in the charge of its nurse. The nurse took the helpless child to the magistrates. There, before the idol where the crowds were flocking, as it was too young to eat the flesh, they gave it some bread dipped in what was left of the wine offered by those who had already doomed themselves. Later, the mother recovered her child. But the girl could not reveal or tell the wicked thing that had been done, any more than she had been able to understand or ward it off before. Thus, when the mother brought her in with her while we were offering the Sacrifice, it was through ignorance that this mischance occurred. But the infant, in the midst of the faithful, resenting the prayer and the offering we were making, began to cry convulsively, struggling and tossing in a veritable brain-storm, and for all its tender age and simplicity of soul, was confessing, as if under torture, in every way it could, its consciousness of the misdeed. Moreover, when the sacred rites were completed and the deacon began ministering to those present, when its turn came to receive, it turned its little head away as if sensing the divine presence, it closed its mouth, held its lips tight, and refused to drink from the chalice. The deacon persisted and, in spite of its opposition, poured in some of the consecrated chalice. There followed choking and vomiting. The Eucharist could not remain in a body or mouth that was defiled; the drink which had been sanctified by Our Lord's blood returned from the polluted stomach. So great is the power of the Lord, and so great His majesty!"

"There was a woman too who with impure hands tried to open the locket in which she was keeping Our Lord's holy body, but fire flared up from it and she was too terrified to touch it. And a man who, in spite of his sin, also presumed secretly to join the rest in receiving sacrifice offered by the bishop, was unable to eat or even handle Our Lord's sacred body; when he opened his hands, he found he was holding nothing but ashes. By this one example it was made manifest that Our Lord removes Himself from one who denies Him, and that what is received brings no blessing to the unworthy, since the Holy One has fled and the saving grace is turned to ashes."

St. Cyprian wrote to the Ephesians AD 258

"The priest who imitates that which Christ did, truly takes the place of Christ, and offers there in the Church a true and perfect sacrifice to God the Father."

St. Cyprian’s The Lords Prayer AD 252

As the prayer proceeds, we ask and say: 'Give us this day our daily bread.' This can be understood both spiritually and simply, because either understanding is of profit in divine usefulness for salvation. For Christ is the bread of life and the bread here is of all, but is ours. And as we say 'Our Father,' because He is the Father of those who understand and believe, so too we say 'our Bread,' because Christ is the bread of those of us who attain to His body. Moreover, we ask that this bread be given daily, lest we, who are in Christ and receive the Eucharist daily as food of salvation, with the intervention of some more grievous sin, while we are shut off and as non-communicants are kept from the heavenly bread, be separated from the body of Christ as He Himself declares, saying: 'I am the bread of life which came down from heaven. If any man eat of my bread he shall live forever. Moreover, the bread that I shall give is my flesh for the life of the world.' Since then He says that, if anyone eats of His bread, he lives forever, as it is manifest that they live who attain to His body and receive the Eucharist by right of communion, so on the other hand we must fear and pray lest anyone, while he is cut off and separated from the body of Christ, remain apart from salvation, as He Himself threatens, saying: 'Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink His blood, you shall not have life in you.' And so we petition that our bread, that is Christ, be given us daily, so that we, who abide and live in Christ, may not withdraw from His sanctification and body."

Athanasius

St. Athanasius of Alexandria’s Sermon to the Newly Baptized AD 373

”'The great Athanasius in his sermon to the newly baptized says this:' You shall see the Levites bringing loaves and a cup of wine, and placing them on the table. So long as the prayers of supplication and entreaties have not been made, there is only bread and wine. But after the great and wonderful prayers have been completed, then the bread is become the Body, and the wine the Blood, of our Lord Jesus Christ. 'And again:' Let us approach the celebration of the mysteries. This bread and this wine, so long as the prayers and supplications have not taken place, remain simply what they are. But after the great prayers and holy supplications have been sent forth, the Word comes down into the bread and wine - and thus His Body is confected.",

John Chrysostom

St. John Chrysostom’s Homilies on the Second Epistle to Timothy AD 397

"I wish to add something that is plainly awe-inspiring, but do not be astonished or upset. This Sacrifice, no matter who offers it, be it Peter or Paul, is always the same as that which Christ gave His disciples and which priests now offer: The offering of today is in no way inferior to that which Christ offered, because it is not men who sanctify the offering of today; it is the same Christ who sanctified His own. For just as the words which God spoke are the very same as those which the priest now speaks, so too the oblation is the very same."

Ambrose of Milan

St. Ambrose of Milan The Sacraments AD 380

”You perhaps say: 'My bread is usual.' But the bread is bread before the words of the sacraments; when consecration has been added, from bread it becomes the flesh of Christ. So let us confirm this, how it is possible that what is bread is the body of Christ. By what words, then, is the consecration and by whose expressions? By those of the Lord Jesus. For all the rest that are said in the preceding are said by the priest: praise to God, prayer is offered, there is a petition for the people, for kings, for the rest. When it comes to performing a venerable sacrament, then the priest uses not his own expressions, but he uses the expressions of Christ. Thus the expression of Christ performs this sacrament."

Jerome

St. Jerome’s Commentaries on the Gospel of Matthew AD 398

”After the type had been fulfilled by the Passover celebration and He had eaten the flesh of the lamb with His Apostles, He takes bread which strengthens the heart of man, and goes on to the true Sacrament of the Passover, so that just as Melchisedech, the priest of the Most High God, in prefiguring Him, made bread and wine an offering, He too makes Himself manifest in the reality of His own Body and Blood."

Cyril of Alexandria

St. Cyril of Alexandria’s Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew AD 428

"Christ said indicating (the bread and wine): 'This is My Body,' and "This is My Blood," in order that you might not judge what you see to be a mere figure. The offerings, by the hidden power of God Almighty, are changed into Christ's Body and Blood, and by receiving these we come to share in the life-giving and sanctifying efficacy of Christ."

Augustine

St. Augustine of Hippo’s Sermons

"You ought to know what you have received, what you are going to receive, and what you ought to receive daily. That Bread which you see on the altar, having been sanctified by the word of God, is the Body of Christ. The chalice, or rather, what is in that chalice, having been sanctified by the word of God, is the Blood of Christ."


The bread which you see on the altar is, sanctified by the word of God, the body of Christ; that chalice, or rather what is contained in the chalice, is, sanctified by the word of God, the blood of Christ. {Sermo 227; on p.377}

Christ bore Himself in His hands, when He offered His body saying: “this is my body.” {Enarr. in Ps. 33 Sermo 1, 10; on p.377}

Nobody eats this flesh without previously adoring it. {Enarr. in Ps. 98, 9; on p.387}

[Referring to the sacrifice of Melchizedek (Gen 14:18 ff.)] The sacrifice appeared for the first time there which is now offered to God by Christians throughout the whole world. {City of God, 16, 22; on p.403}

Christ is both the priest, offering Himself, and Himself the Victim. He willed that the sacramental sign of this should be the daily sacrifice of the Church. {Ibid, 10, 20; on p.99}

He took flesh from the flesh of Mary . . . and gave us the same flesh to be eaten unto salvation . . . we do sin by not adoring. {Explanations of the Psalms, 98, 9; on p.20}

Not all bread, but only that which receives the blessing of Christ, becomes Christ’s body. {Ibid., 234, 2; on p.31}

What you see is the bread and the chalice . . . But what your faith obliges you to accept is that the bread is the Body of Christ and the chalice the Blood of Christ. {Ibid., 272; on p.32}

Not only is no one forbidden to take as food the Blood of this Sacrifice, rather, all who wish to possess life are exhorted to drink thereof. {Questions of the Hepateuch, 3, 57; on p.134}

The Sacrifice of our times is the Body and Blood of the Priest Himself . . . Recognize then in the Bread what hung upon the tree; in the chalice what flowed from His side. {Sermo iii. 1-2; on p.62}

The Blood they had previously shed they afterwards drank. {Mai 26, 2; 86, 3; on p.64}

Eat Christ, then; though eaten He yet lives, for when slain He rose from the dead. Nor do we divide Him into parts when we eat Him: though indeed this is done in the Sacrament, as the faithful well know when they eat the Flesh of Christ, for each receives his part, hence are those parts called graces. Yet though thus eaten in parts He remains whole and entire; eaten in parts in the Sacrament, He remains whole and entire in Heaven. {Mai 129, 1; cf. Sermon 131; on p.65}

Out of hatred of Christ the crowd there shed Cyprian’s blood, but today a reverential multitude gathers to drink the Blood of Christ . . . this altar . . . whereon a Sacrifice is offered to God . . . {Sermo 310, 2; cf. City of God, 8, 27, 1; on p.65}

He took into His hands what the faithful understand; He in some sort bore Himself when He said: This is My Body. {Enarr. 1, 10 on Ps. 33; on p.65}

The very first heresy was formulated when men said: “this saying is hard and who can bear it [Jn 6:60]?” {Enarr. 1, 23 on Ps. 54; on p.66}

Thou art the Priest, Thou the Victim, Thou the Offerer, Thou the Offering. {Enarr. 1, 6 on Ps. 44; on p.66}

Take, then, and eat the Body of Christ . . . You have read that, or at least heard it read, in the Gospels, but you were unaware that the Son of God was that Eucharist. {Denis, 3, 3; on p.66}

The entire Church observes the tradition delivered to us by the Fathers, namely, that for those who have died in the fellowship of the Body and Blood of Christ, prayer should be offered when they are commemorated at the actual Sacrifice in its proper place, and that we should call to mind that for them, too, that Sacrifice is offered. {Sermo, 172, 2; 173, 1; De Cura pro mortuis, 6; De Anima et ejus Origine, 2, 21; on p.69}

We do pray for the other dead of whom commemoration is made. Nor are the souls of the faithful departed cut off from the Church . . . Were it so, we should not make commemoration of them at the altar of God when we receive the Body of Christ. {Sermo 159,1; cf. 284, 5; 285, 5; 297, 3; City of God, 20, 9, 2; cf. 21,24; 22, 8; on p.69}

It was the will of the Holy Spirit that out of reverence for such a Sacrament the Body of the Lord should enter the mouth of a Christian previous to any other food. {Ep. 54, 8; on p.71}

Leo the Great

St. Leo the Great’s Sermons

"When the Lord says: 'Unless you shall have eaten the flesh of the Son of Man and shall have drunk His blood, you shall not have life in you,' you ought to so communicate at the Sacred Table that you have no doubt whatever of the truth of the Body and the Blood of Christ. For that which is taken in the mouth is what is believed in faith; and in do those respond, 'Amen,' who argue against that which is received."

Council of Trent

"our Redeemer instituted this so admirable a sacrament at the last supper, when, after the blessing of the bread and wine, He testified, in express and clear words, that He gave them His own very Body, and His own Blood; words which, - recorded by the holy Evangelists, and afterwards repeated by Saint Paul, whereas they carry with them that proper and most manifest meaning in which they were understood by the Fathers, - it is indeed a crime the most unworthy that they should be wrested, by certain contentions and wicked men, to fictitious and imaginary tropes, whereby the verity of the flesh and blood of Christ is denied, contrary to the universal sense of the Church, which, as the pillar and ground of truth, has detested, as satanical, these inventions devised by impious men" (session 13, chapter 1, "On the real presence of our Lord Jesus Christ in the most holy sacrament of the Eucharist.")

"Since Christ our Redeemer said that that which he offered under the appearance of bread was truly his body, it has therefore always been held in the Church of God, and this holy Synod now declares anew, that through consecration of the bread and wine there comes about a conversion of the whole substance of the bread into the substance of the body of Christ our Lord, and of the whole substance of the wine into the substance of his blood. And this conversion is by the Holy Catholic church conveniently and properly called transubstantiation." (session 13, chapter 4, "Decrees Concerning the Most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist")

Prot Arguments

reformed

http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2008/06/eucharist-in-ignatius-and-other-fathers.html http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2018/11/eating-god.html

ECF quotes against transsubstantiation

1) There are also many ECF quotes that do not sound like something a believer in True Presence by transubstantiation would say.


2) The most we can gather from the ECFs is that the True Presence is in some sense valid, but only in a "significant and mystical/ineffable way," and probably not the neoaristotelian substance-swap currently taught.


Tertullian, Against Marcion

"'Having taken the bread and given it to His disciples, Jesus made it His own body by saying, 'This is My body,' that is, the symbol of My body. There could not have been a symbol, however, unless there was first a true body. An empty thing or phantom cannot be symbolized so." St. Clement of Alexandria, Paedagogus

"The Scripture, accordingly, has named wine the symbol of the sacred blood." St. Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho

"The cup ... He taught us to offer in the Eucharist, in commemoration of His blood." St. Cyprian, Epistle 63

"I marvel much whence this practice has arisen, that in some places, contrary to Evangelical and Apostolic discipline, water is offered in the Cup of the Lord, which alone cannot represent the Blood of Christ." St. Eusebius of Caesarea, Demonstratia Evangelica

"For with the wine which was indeed the symbol of His blood... For since He no more was to take pleasure in bloody sacrifices, or those ordained by Moses in the slaughter of animals of various kinds, and was to give them bread to use as the symbol of His Body..." St. Augustine, Tractates on the Gospel of John

"This, then, He has taught us, and admonished us in mystical words that we may be in His body, in His members under Himself as head, eating His flesh, not abandoning our unity with Him. ... If only they [who left him] understood. For they supposed that He was going to deal out His body to them... His grace is not consumed by tooth-biting." St. Athanasius, Festal Letter

"What He says is not fleshly but spiritual. For how many would the body suffice for eating, that it should become the food for the whole world? But for this reason He made mention of the ascension of the Son of Man into heaven, in order that He might draw them away from the bodily notion, and that from henceforth they might learn that the aforesaid 'flesh' was heavenly eating from above, and spiritual food given by Him." Note St. Augustine's specific argument by reductio ad absurdum:

St. Augustine, On Christian Doctrine

"'Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man,' says Christ, 'and drink His blood, ye have no life in you.' This seems to enjoin a crime or a vice [literally eating flesh/blood, the absurdum]; it is therefore a figure [conclusion by reductio ad absurdum], enjoining that we should have a share in the sufferings of our Lord, and that we should retain a sweet and profitable memory of the fact that His flesh was wounded and crucified for us."


Response by a dude:

The Church fathers were developing the idea of what is now being taught.

Now to your recommendation regarding researching the church fathers... I’m working on it. But come on man, ambiguous quotes from St.Augustine is only helpful in winning internet arguments and not flushing out the truth. Nobody who has read Augustine would deny his belief in the True Presence.



Something can be both literal and symbolic. A president can be both the president and the symbol of the presidency. A king can be both the king and the symbol of the throne.

Likewise, the Eucharistic sacrifice is both literally the Body and Blood of Jesus and the symbolic remembrance of his sacrifice for us. This is how St. Augustine of Hippo describes it. Nothing you’ve quoted contradicts my argument, it only supplemented it.