At the conclusion of our preceding article the Romish Fathers Rumble and Carty were confronted by the Scriptural expressions that Christ is the door and also the vine. We will recall that Rome contends that the Scriptural passage: “This is My body,” must be understood in the natural sense of the word. The meaning is that the bread of Communion has actually become the body of the Lord. Faced with the objection, that this same natural interpretation must then also be applied to such Scriptural expressions as: “I am the door,” or: “I am the vine,” they replied that this assertion of Protestantism is wholly erroneous and illogical. In addition to our remarks on this in our preceding article, we would also like to remark that the Romish clergy would find it extremely difficult to apply their interpretation of the passage: “This is my body,” to another Scriptural expression where Jesus calls the wicked Jews white-washed sepulchers. Were those evil Jews such sepulchers in the literal-natural sense of the word? And did not our Lord’s audience know exactly what He meant with that expression? Or, what must Rome’s explanation be of that word which Jesus speaks to His disciples when, referring to Herod, He says unto them: “Tell that fox.” Does this mean that Herod had been changed into a fox? Or, more in harmony with Rome’s doctrine of transubstantiation, does the Lord mean that a fox had been changed into Herod while at the same time retaining the appearance and all the characteristics of a fox? And now we continue with the Radio Replies by Rumble and Carty.
770. Is not Christ, since His resurrection, a spirit?
“Christ rose in His complete human nature, and, therefore, in His material body. It was after His resurrection that He said to the Apostles, “See My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself; handle and see: for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as you see Me to have.” Luke 24:39. At the same time it is certain that, whilst Christ rose with the same body and blood, His material substance had undergone a radical change, and had been endowed with quite new qualities proper rather to spiritual entities than to matter as we know it. So His body could enter a closed room without any hindrance from doors and walls. But, though subject to different conditions, it was still that same body in which He had lived and died.”
This is all well and good. But, in the text: “this is My body,” and in the context of John 6, quoted by the Romish Church as a main support for their doctrine of transubstantiation, where Jesus declares to His disciples that they must eat His flesh and drink His blood, there is not the slightest mention of His resurrected body which was endowed, according to Rumble and Carty, with quite new qualities proper rather to spiritual entities than to matter as we know it. Understanding the text, that we must eat Christ’s flesh and drink His blood, in the literal-natural sense of the word, one can never conclude anything else from this passage than that the Lord is speaking of His body as before His death and resurrection. Besides, if we must “eat His flesh and drink His blood,” what must we do with that Scripture that informs that “flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God,” I Cor. 15:50?
771. Where does the blood come from? A spirit has no blood.
“Christ did not rise from the dead in a purely spiritual state. He rose in His material body, even though His material substance was subject to new conditions and qualities. And He retained the very substance of His flesh and blood. But your question, ‘Where does His blood come from?’ is dictated by a grossly materialistic outlook on the merely natural plane from which the Catholic doctrine completely abstracts. Any notion of a liquid stream of blood flowing from Christ now must be put aside altogether. For the idea of liquid, or of flowing, has to do, not with the substantial reality of blood in itself, but qualities and space-time notions which are inapplicable to the Eucharistic Presence. The substance of Christ’s, body and blood is present without the manifestation of those ordinary external qualities we usually associate with a body or with blood in a merely natural state. So it’s useless to appeal to natural external qualities.”
So, Jesus arose from the dead in the sense that He retained the very substance of His flesh and blood. Yet, the substance of Christ’s body and blood is now present without the manifestation of those ordinary qualities which we usually associate with a body or with blood in a merely natural state. And, although according to Rumble and Carty Jesus arose in the sense that He retained the very substance of His flesh and blood, the holy apostle declares in I Cor. 15:50 that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God.
772. Has your Church ever proved her claim by chemical analysis of a Host?
“No chemical test could possibly prove or disprove the Catholic doctrine. Chemicals could affect only the qualities of bread, and at best would prove that the qualities of bread remain. As the Catholic Church declares that they do remain, no progress is made by chemical tests. The inner substantial reality cannot be reached by chemicals.”
This is a most interesting question. Questions 773 and 774 also deal with this problem. But why shouldn’t Rome submit the Host to a chemical analysis? Doesn’t Rome teach that the bread is no longer bread and the wine is no longer wine? But, notice the following. . . .
773. How would the process of decay act in a consecrated and an unconsecrated Host?
“In exactly the same way since the qualities of bread remain the same before and after consecration.”
774. Would there by any material difference between the two substances after decomposition?
“Possibly not. In the process of decomposition, as the proper qualities of bread undergo their change and cease to be the qualities of bread as such, the substantial presence of Christ’s body is withdrawn by Divine Power, God providing the connatural substance to the new character of the corrupted qualities.”
We understand, of course, the problem here. And the Fathers Rumble and Carty understood it also. That they understand it is beyond the shadow of any doubt. That appears from the way in which they begin their answer to Question 774: “Possibly not.” They could have added or stated: “Of course not.” Imagine what we have here. Why should the process of decomposition set in after the bread had been changed into the Body of our Lord? There is no bread anymore. It may look like bread, taste as bread tastes, act as bread acts, but there is no bread. That bread has been changed into the body of Christ. But the body of Christ is incorruptible, is it not? The resurrected, glorified body of Christ is a spiritual body (this does not mean that Jesus is a spirit), above all powers of corruption and decay. That is what the apostle teaches us about this body of our Lord in I Cor. 15. So, what must Rome do? They concede that the bread that has not been eaten is subject to decay and decomposition. So, what is their solution? The bread, once changed into the body of Christ, now undergoes a second change. Having changed into the body of our Lord, that body of the Lord is now changed into ordinary bread. God withdraws from the consecrated bread the presence of Christ’s body. This is nothing else than baseless and wicked sophistry. But, this is not all. Presuppose once that that bread, before its consecration, contained poison. Having been changed into the body of Christ, it certainly must have been delivered of this poison. Of course! It is no longer bread. It has become the body of our Lord. What would happen to us should we eat of this bread after its consecration? We would surely become sick and die. Finally, does not Answer 722 concede that a chemical analysis could not possibly prove or disprove the Catholic doctrine exactly because such a chemical analysis could only effect the qualities of bread? And this means, does it not, that the bread not only retains the appearance of bread but also its very qualities. In other words, to state it simpIy and succinctly, the bread has not undergone any essential change whatever. Such a chemical analysis would only prove that the bread is exactly what it was before the consecration. So, the whole Romish theory is a big hoax, fraud.
775. Is there a separate presence of God in the Eucharist?
“There is not a separate presence of God in the Blessed Sacrament; but there is a new and distinct mode of presence. He is equally present there, but in a new and additional way. Thus, since God is everywhere, in Him we all live and move and have our being. And the humanity of Christ did this just as the human nature of any other individual man. But there was an additional mode of God’s presence in Christ which has never been realized in others, insofar as the very personality of Christ was the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity. And the complete Christ, body, blood, soul, and divinity, is present in a new substantial and sacramental way in the Blessed Sacrament.”
So, the bread and wine of the Eucharist have been changed into the complete Christ, human and Divine.
776. Where and what is this human soul of our Lord at this present time?
“It is still His human soul, forming an integral part together with His body of His glorified human nature. As Christ ascended into heaven in His human nature, His human soul is in heaven as part of that human nature.”
777. We are told that, in the Eucharist, we receive His body and soul, as well as His divinity.
“That is true. The substantial presence of Christ in the Eucharist requires that. But we must note that in the Eucharist we have the presence of the body and soul of the risen and glorified Christ, which abstracts from merely earthly conditions as we know them. And also, our Lord’s presence is according to His substantial being in a way which further abstracts from accidental modifications such as those which enable us to calculate dimensions, shape, color, resistance and other phenomenal manifestations of ordinary material things.”
778. How many persons are there present in the Holy Eucharist?
“All three Divine Persons are present in the Holy Eucharist, for God is there present. But the Father and the Holy Spirit are there by associations. When the priest consecrates the Host, the immediate effect is the presence of the body of Christ. By direct association His soul and His divinity are present. By indirect association owing to His divinity, the First and Third Persons are present together with the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity.
779. Is the Trinity received in Communion, or the Second Person only?
Since we receive Christ in Holy Communion, and since Christ is God, we receive God. And in receiving God, we receive all three Divine Persons. But where we receive the Second Person directly by reason of His immediate union with the body of Christ, we receive the Father and Holy Spirit indirectly by reason of Their association with the Second Person in the Divine Nature.”