Tag Archives: Catholic Answers

ADW Blog Reviews “The Rite”

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Cover via Amazon

In 2009, Matt Baglio was a guest on Catholic Answers LIVE. That is when I heard about his book The Rite: The Making of a Modern Exorcist. As Msgr. Pope rightly states in his post, The Rite is a well-researched book that represents the subject matter in a manner that is anything but horrific. The facts concerning exorcism, exorcists and the rite itself are in line with Church teachings and impartially presented.

However, upon seeing the first trailer for the film my hopes of the seeing the same on the silver screen were quickly dashed. I should know better but I am a serial optimist. Anyway, check out the blurb below and click on the link to read Msgr. Pope’s entire post. It is very insightful. I would also like to suggest that you buy or borrow Mr. Baglio’s book; it is good stuff.

I have also read the book The Rite: The Making of a Modern Exorcist by Matt Baglio. The movie is only very loosely based on the book. The main subject in the book is not a troubled seminarian but an experienced priest of strong faith. The greatest strength of the book is that it is carefully researched and draws deeply on the Catechism, scripture, and the official instructions of the Church for exorcists. The movie, as you might expect goes more for the sensational and takes a lot of cinematic liberty with Catholic rites. The book however is careful and balanced, depicting the Church as also careful and balanced when it comes to exorcism. I strongly recommend the book for any who wish to learn more of this ancient Rite of the Church.

I would like to say a few things about exorcism that are important to know and remember, especially when sensationalistic movies etc. take liberties. Allow these observations of mine in no particular order.

via Movie Review: “The Rite” And A Reflection on the Church’s Rite of Exorcism | Archdiocese of Washington.

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ADW Blog Reviews “The Rite”

Cover of "The Rite: The Making of a Moder...

In 2009, Matt Baglio was a guest on Catholic Answers LIVE. That is when I heard about his book The Rite: The Making of a Modern Exorcist. As Msgr. Pope rightly states in his post, The Rite is a well-researched book that represents the subject matter in a manner that is anything but horrific. The facts concerning exorcism, exorcists and the rite itself are in line with Church teachings and impartially presented.

However, upon seeing the first trailer for the film my hopes of the seeing the same on the silver screen were quickly dashed. I should know better but I am a serial optimist. Anyway, check out the blurb below and click on the link to read Msgr. Pope’s entire post. It is very insightful. I would also like to suggest that you buy or borrow Mr. Baglio’s book; it is good stuff.

I have also read the book The Rite: The Making of a Modern Exorcist by Matt Baglio. The movie is only very loosely based on the book. The main subject in the book is not a troubled seminarian but an experienced priest of strong faith. The greatest strength of the book is that it is carefully researched and draws deeply on the Catechism, scripture, and the official instructions of the Church for exorcists. The movie, as you might expect goes more for the sensational and takes a lot of cinematic liberty with Catholic rites. The book however is careful and balanced, depicting the Church as also careful and balanced when it comes to exorcism. I strongly recommend the book for any who wish to learn more of this ancient Rite of the Church.

I would like to say a few things about exorcism that are important to know and remember, especially when sensationalistic movies etc. take liberties. Allow these observations of mine in no particular order.

via Movie Review: “The Rite” And A Reflection on the Church’s Rite of Exorcism | Archdiocese of Washington.

Catholic Bibles: Blizzard Contest

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The new Second Catholic Edition of the RSV. The cover illustration is called The Four Evangelists by Christopher J. Pelicano. Image via Wikipedia.

The Catholic Bibles blog is looking to give away some pretty cool reading gifts (read more below):

On the eve of not only a massive snow storm which will be hitting the Great Lakes later this evening, but more importantly the feast of the Presentation of the Lord, I thought it would be a great time to have a contest giveaway.

Prize: Brand new copies of Edward Sri’sThe Bible Compass: A Catholic Guide to Navigating the ScripturesandRevelation: A Devotional Commentary from the Word Among Us Press.

Here are the rules:

  • If you have a blog, please advertise this contest on your site. (If you don’t, you can still enter the contest.)
  • This contest is only for people who are in the United States or Canada. (Again, overseas shipping costs are a bit too high for me right now. Sorry.)
  • The question you need to answer in the comment box: In one sentence, what is your Bible translation of choice and why? (Remember, I will only accept one sentence, so be concise. (Humor is also something I look for, but is not necessary.)
  • The contest ends on Saturday at 11:59PM EST.
  • One entry per person.
  • via Catholic Bibles: Blizzard Contest.

    Here goes my answer and entry:

    The Ignatius Bible (RSV-CE2) is the one for me as it offers familiar, traditional phraseology coupled with modern English and is present in a manner that is not thereatening to Protestants and chock full of orthodox footnotes.

    A slightly more expanded explanation is:

    My Bible translation of choice is the Revised Standard Version 2nd Catholic Edition as published by Ignatius Press. This is not really much of a surprise for many Catholics who follow EWTN, Catholic Answers, etc. However, the primary reason for this being my translation of choice is due mostly to the seeming balance of in terms of familiar, traditional phraseology in English for both Catholics and Protestants (real nice to use when evangelizing our separated brethren) and solid, orthodox footnotes. This is a vast improvement to the our USCCB-endorsed translation the New American Bible.

    The NAB is a great translation when sticking to the verses, with exception to the manner in which Mary is addressed by Gabriel in the first chapter of Luke; however, it is the confusing and sometimes unorthodox footnotes that does this translation in when considering it for study and daily reading. This was made very apparent to me when a Protestant was using this very translation to refute our deutercanon. Very sad in my opinion.

    Anyway, it is the RSV-CE 2 for me and I literally carry it with me every where I go. Just love it!

    Catholic Bibles: Blizzard Contest

    The new Second Catholic Edition of the RSV. Th...

    The Catholic Bibles blog is looking to give away some pretty cool reading gifts (read more below):

    On the eve of not only a massive snow storm which will be hitting the Great Lakes later this evening, but more importantly the feast of the Presentation of the Lord, I thought it would be a great time to have a contest giveaway.

    Prize: Brand new copies of Edward Sri’sThe Bible Compass: A Catholic Guide to Navigating the ScripturesandRevelation: A Devotional Commentary from the Word Among Us Press.

    Here are the rules:

    1. If you have a blog, please advertise this contest on your site. (If you don’t, you can still enter the contest.)
    2. This contest is only for people who are in the United States or Canada. (Again, overseas shipping costs are a bit too high for me right now. Sorry.)
    3. The question you need to answer in the comment box: In one sentence, what is your Bible translation of choice and why? (Remember, I will only accept one sentence, so be concise. (Humor is also something I look for, but is not necessary.)
    4. The contest ends on Saturday at 11:59PM EST.
    5. One entry per person.

    via Catholic Bibles: Blizzard Contest.

    Here goes my answer and entry:

    The Ignatius Bible (RSV-CE2) is the one for me as it offers familiar, traditional phraseology coupled with modern English and is present in a manner that is not thereatening to Protestants and chock full of orthodox footnotes.

    A slightly more expanded explanation is:

    My Bible translation of choice is the Revised Standard Version 2nd Catholic Edition as published by Ignatius Press. This is not really much of a surprise for many Catholics who follow EWTN, Catholic Answers, etc. However, the primary reason for this being my translation of choice is due mostly to the seeming balance of in terms of familiar, traditional phraseology in English for both Catholics and Protestants (real nice to use when evangelizing our separated brethren) and solid, orthodox footnotes. This is a vast improvement to the our USCCB-endorsed translation the New American Bible.

    The NAB is a great translation when sticking to the verses, with exception to the manner in which Mary is addressed by Gabriel in the first chapter of Luke; however, it is the confusing and sometimes unorthodox footnotes that does this translation in when considering it for study and daily reading. This was made very apparent to me when a Protestant was using this very translation to refute our deutercanon. Very sad in my opinion.

    Anyway, it is the RSV-CE 2 for me and I literally carry it with me every where I go. Just love it!

    Catholic Bible Topic Tabs: A Great Tool and Stocking Stuffer

    General Description: Topic Tabs are the perfect way to mark your favorite Bible verses and be prepared for discussions with Fundamentalists.

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    Catholic Answers Topic Tabs. Available at AquinasandMore.com

    Features include:

  • 80 durable glossy coated tabs
  • Color and icon coded for easy recognition
  • Sub-divided into ten different apologetic categories
  • Each tab has book, chapter, and verse
  • Compatible with all Bible translations
  • Color category guide sticker to place on inside front flap or to use as a bookmark
  • via Catholic Bible Topic Tabs.

    Initial Thought

    Normally, I do not start off my review of a product with the description provided by either the publisher/producer or the seller (at least I do not recall if I do/did.) But in the case of Catholic Answers’ Topic Tabs I wanted to make an exception.

    Topic Tabs are no ordinary product they are an apologetics tool. As the description states above, it is [at least one of] “the perfect ways to mark your favorite Bible verses.” I would not go so far as to say favorite verses as much as I would say “proof-text” equivalent verses. And yes, they will prepare you discussions with Fundamentalists – so long as you read the Word.

    For me, this product is a Bible study gem and must-have item for any Catholic, especially amateur apologists. You know, the guy who always has an answer in defense of the Church and is not afraid to charitably correct those who misunderstanding Catholic doctrine, etc. even if that means he gets to taste a little dirt from the bottom of his feet? Yours truly is one of them.

    Quality

    For $12.95, these topic tabs are a bargain. They are of quality construction and are so specific in nature that it had me wondering during application, why the cost was not more. As with many things Catholic, especially from Catholic Answers, the instructions are short, detailed and well-written. Furthermore, Catholic Answers does well in warning the user not take care during application as the glue on the stickers is meant to keep it in place. My thoughts are that they foresaw the potential toss across the room at a particularly stubborn and annoying opponent. Not a recommended tactic for any person, especially one defending the Church, but surely one that has crossed the minds of even the most experienced professional Catholic Apologist.

    Thoroughness

    To reiterate what I wrote above, the product came with very detailed instructions part of which included a ruler for proper placement and, what I will call, the “2-second apologist’s card.” The latter is placed on the inside of the back cover of your Bible and acts as a cheat sheet for your cheat tabs. For example, if you get stuck explaining something or need to refresh/compose your argument or response, this is the place to go. This 8-page (7 with content), fold-out card effectively navigates you through the 80 tabs that are now scattered throughout your Bible, especially within the New Testament.

    After meticulously applying all of the tabs, I was impressed by being able to see the Biblical roots of Our Faith in 3-dimensions. Couple that with the knowledge that these tabs only scratch the surface of Catholicism and you may have to remember to close your jaw before that fly buzzing around your office decides to take residence.

    These 80 tabs span across 15 major apologetics topics divided into 10 color-coded rows with icons to match:

    1. The Holy Trinity and The Holy Spirit
    2. The Divinity of Christ
    3. Mary and The Saints [Should be a Motown-sound Catholic praise band.]
    4. Baptism
    5. The Bible Plus [Defense against Sola Scriptura.]
    6. The Pope, St. Peter
    7. The Holy Eucharist
    8. Faith Plus [Defense against Sola Fide.]
    9. Purgatory and Statues
    10. Fathers (Priests), Celibacy and Confession

    That is a lot of content to fit in 80 tabs.

    Usability

    Here is where the rubber meets the road or better yet, where the thumb meets the tab. Thanks to the Tiber River Blogger Review Program, Catholic Answers’ Topic Tabs have been in my possession for a couple of months now. I purposely delayed writing any review on the product due to its nature and the intent expressed by the publisher: apologetics. This means the Tabs had to be road-tested for placement, ease and durability.

    I took my time applying the stickers and had my share of minor difficulties but that is my bad not theirs. (I looked over the instructions instead of actually reading them so some of my tabs are a bit too far inward.) After applying the tabs I flipped through them and tried to made myself comfortable with the order and placement as I waited for an opportunity to actually use them. Thanks be to God, I did not wait too long and the in the time I waited, I was unknowingly preparing for a 3-week long discussion on the Deuterocanon and some of our Catholic doctrines rooted therein.

    For 3-weeks straight, I was invited and re-invited to a Protestant bible study on the “Apocrypha” and with my Ignatius Press Catholic Bible (RSV-CE 2nd Edition) – tabs an all – plus by Thomas Nelson New American Bible, Catholic Study edition and the Catechism of the Catholic Church plus some Sacred Scripture cheat sheets in tow. Needless to say, the open nature of the discussion had me relying on my Topic Tabs more than any other extra-Biblical resource.

    When pressed to response to some accusation or utterance against Catholic doctrine, I was quickly able to find a Biblical passage to back up my explanation. Furthermore, these tabs held up and did not cause any problems with my Bible and still look as though I put them on yesterday, although they lean back a bit because I carry my Bible in a heavily loaded commuter backpack during the week.

    Anyway, I can safely say that these tabs are not only usable, they are essential. However, they are of no value to the user unless that user studies the Word of God with the Heart of the Church. This is essential because many of the passages that we use in defense of Catholicism are often followed with verses, before or after, that are used to contradict the Fullness of Truth as revealed by God to His spouse the Church.

    Like any tool, proper instruction and practice is required prior to being able to use it at full capability.

    Conclusion

    Buy one for each Bible that is not a family heirloom. Also buy one for your kids and family members – heck, buy Topic Tabs as stocking stuffers for Christmas!

    You can purchase this book here.

    I wrote this review of Catholic Bible Topic Tabs for the Tiber River Blogger Review program, created by Aquinas and More Catholic Goods, your source for Oplatki and Advent Calendars. For more information and to purchase, please visit Aquinas and More Catholic Goods.

    Tiber River is the first Catholic book review site, started in 2000 to help you make informed decisions about Catholic book purchases.

    I receive free product samples as compensation for writing reviews for Tiber River.

    Catholic Bible Topic Tabs: A Great Tool and Stocking Stuffer

    General Description: Topic Tabs are the perfect way to mark your favorite Bible verses and be prepared for discussions with Fundamentalists.

    topic tabs

    Features include:

    • 80 durable glossy coated tabs
    • Color and icon coded for easy recognition
    • Sub-divided into ten different apologetic categories
    • Each tab has book, chapter, and verse
    • Compatible with all Bible translations
    • Color category guide sticker to place on inside front flap or to use as a bookmark

    via Catholic Bible Topic Tabs.

    Initial Thought

    Normally, I do not start off my review of a product with the description provided by either the publisher/producer or the seller (at least I do not recall if I do/did.) But in the case of Catholic Answers’ Topic Tabs I wanted to make an exception.

    Topic Tabs are no ordinary product they are an apologetics tool. As the description states above, it is [at least one of] “the perfect ways to mark your favorite Bible verses.” I would not go so far as to say favorite verses as much as I would say “proof-text” equivalent verses. And yes, they will prepare you discussions with Fundamentalists – so long as you read the Word.

    For me, this product is a Bible study gem and must-have item for any Catholic, especially amateur apologists. You know, the guy who always has an answer in defense of the Church and is not afraid to charitably correct those who misunderstanding Catholic doctrine, etc. even if that means he gets to taste a little dirt from the bottom of his feet? Yours truly is one of them.

    Quality

    For $12.95, these topic tabs are a bargain. They are of quality construction and are so specific in nature that it had me wondering during application, why the cost was not more. As with many things Catholic, especially from Catholic Answers, the instructions are short, detailed and well-written. Furthermore, Catholic Answers does well in warning the user not take care during application as the glue on the stickers is meant to keep it in place. My thoughts are that they foresaw the potential toss across the room at a particularly stubborn and annoying opponent. Not a recommended tactic for any person, especially one defending the Church, but surely one that has crossed the minds of even the most experienced professional Catholic Apologist.

    Thoroughness

    To reiterate what I wrote above, the product came with very detailed instructions part of which included a ruler for proper placement and, what I will call, the “2-second apologist’s card.” The latter is placed on the inside of the back cover of your Bible and acts as a cheat sheet for your cheat tabs. For example, if you get stuck explaining something or need to refresh/compose your argument or response, this is the place to go. This 8-page (7 with content), fold-out card effectively navigates you through the 80 tabs that are now scattered throughout your Bible, especially within the New Testament.

    After meticulously applying all of the tabs, I was impressed by being able to see the Biblical roots of Our Faith in 3-dimensions. Couple that with the knowledge that these tabs only scratch the surface of Catholicism and you may have to remember to close your jaw before that fly buzzing around your office decides to take residence.

    These 80 tabs span across 15 major apologetics topics divided into 10 color-coded rows with icons to match:

    1. The Holy Trinity and The Holy Spirit
    2. The Divinity of Christ
    3. Mary and The Saints [Should be a Motown-sound Catholic praise band.]
    4. Baptism
    5. The Bible Plus [Defense against Sola Scriptura.]
    6. The Pope, St. Peter
    7. The Holy Eucharist
    8. Faith Plus [Defense against Sola Fide.]
    9. Purgatory and Statues
    10. Fathers (Priests), Celibacy and Confession

    That is a lot of content to fit in 80 tabs.

    Usability

    Here is where the rubber meets the road or better yet, where the thumb meets the tab. Thanks to the Tiber River Blogger Review Program, Catholic Answers’ Topic Tabs have been in my possession for a couple of months now. I purposely delayed writing any review on the product due to its nature and the intent expressed by the publisher: apologetics. This means the Tabs had to be road-tested for placement, ease and durability.

    I took my time applying the stickers and had my share of minor difficulties but that is my bad not theirs. (I looked over the instructions instead of actually reading them so some of my tabs are a bit too far inward.) After applying the tabs I flipped through them and tried to made myself comfortable with the order and placement as I waited for an opportunity to actually use them. Thanks be to God, I did not wait too long and the in the time I waited, I was unknowingly preparing for a 3-week long discussion on the Deuterocanon and some of our Catholic doctrines rooted therein.

    For 3-weeks straight, I was invited and re-invited to a Protestant bible study on the “Apocrypha” and with my Ignatius Press Catholic Bible (RSV-CE 2nd Edition) – tabs an all – plus by Thomas Nelson New American Bible, Catholic Study edition and the Catechism of the Catholic Church plus some Sacred Scripture cheat sheets in tow. Needless to say, the open nature of the discussion had me relying on my Topic Tabs more than any other extra-Biblical resource.

    When pressed to response to some accusation or utterance against Catholic doctrine, I was quickly able to find a Biblical passage to back up my explanation. Furthermore, these tabs held up and
    did not cause any problems with my Bible and still look as though I put them on yesterday, although they lean back a bit because I carry my Bible in a heavily loaded commuter backpack during the week.

    Anyway, I can safely say that these tabs are not only usable, they are essential. However, they are of no value to the user unless that user studies the Word of God with the Heart of the Church. This is essential because many of the passages that we use in defense of Catholicism are often followed with verses, before or after, that are used to contradict the Fullness of Truth as revealed by God to His spouse the Church.

    Like any tool, proper instruction and practice is required prior to being able to use it at full capability.

    Conclusion

    Buy one for each Bible that is not a family heirloom. Also buy one for your kids and family members – heck, buy Topic Tabs as stocking stuffers for Christmas!

    You can purchase this book here.

    I wrote this review of Catholic Bible Topic Tabs for the Tiber River Blogger Review program, created by Aquinas and More Catholic Goods, your source for Oplatki and Advent Calendars. For more information and to purchase, please visit Aquinas and More Catholic Goods.

    Tiber River is the first Catholic book review site, started in 2000 to help you make informed decisions about Catholic book purchases.

    I receive free product samples as compensation for writing reviews for Tiber River.

    Can science help us to understand transubstantiation?

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    Eucharist Wallpaper. By Jim Lersch via PHATMASS.

    How can science help us to understand transubstantiation?


    Greetings,I am currently enrolled in RCIA at St. Francis Solano in Sonoma, Ca. (Diocese of Santa Rosa). My question is regarding the Church’s teaching of the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist.

    I’m clear about what St. John writes, reporting what Jesus said about eating His flesh and drinking His blood. I am also clear that with the exception of a few heresies that the Real Presense has been taught from the early church fathers to the Counsel of Trent and on until today. This information was provided to me by the two priests at St. Francis and through the RCIA classes.

    However none of this changes the fact that when properly consecrated bread and wine is examined in a modern laboratory at a chemical and or a subatomic level, precisely nothing has changed … it is just bread and wine.

    Thus my question. How can this be reconciled? How does an intelligent person approach this? Obviously St. Thomas Aquinas and others did not have modern scientific equipment or methods to discover what we know today. How might their opinions differ, if at all, in the light of today’s scientific evidence against the doctrine of transubstantiation.

    Your assistance with this would be most appreciated. This is the single block that I have remaining on my path to conversion. I simply must find a way through it. Any recommendations for recent (specifically not historical) apologetics that take into account modern science would be a God-send.

    Thank you so very much for your time and attention,

    May God richly bless you


    Last edited by Fr. Vincent Serpa; Yesterday at 2:24 pm.

    Fr. Vincent Serpa
    Catholic Answers Apologist


    Hi,Saint Thomas would not have been helped by modern science if it had been present in his time. The question is a theological one and science doesn’t have the tools to determine theological matters. He used Aristotelian philosophy as a tool which works quite well. The substance or essence (that which makes a thing what it is) of the bread and wine changes, while the accidents or non-essentials (the appearance and all that is physically measurable) remain the same. There is no physical way of determining the change. There never was. It remains a matter of faith for us—no less than it was for the apostles.

    When so many of His disciples left because they couldn’t accept the idea of consuming His flesh and blood (Jews were not allowed to consume ANY kind of blood), Jesus turned to the twelve and said: “Will you also go away? Simon Peter answered him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life; and we have believed and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God’” Jn 6: 68. The apostles didn’t understand any more than those who left understood. But they trusted Him because they loved Him. They couldn’t prove that a change would take place that couldn’t be verified by physical examination. Nor can we. The question remains, do we love Him enough to trust Him in this. For over two thousand years millions of Catholics have.

    I do pray that, after considering the fact that God would allow Himself to be tortured and put to death by people He created from nothing-because of a love so beyond our minds to fathom, you will be one of them.

    Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.


    Additional recent answers by Fr. Vincent Serpa


    Last edited by Fr. Vincent Serpa; Today at 12:03 am.

    via How can science help us to understand transubstantiation? – Catholic Answers Forums.

    As usual, a very good question is answer in a very excellent way by Fr. Vincent Serpa.

    The Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist is a doctrine that existed from the moment of the Last Supper (Luke 22:19-20, Mark 14:22-24, Matthew 26:26-28) and is the fulfillment of what Christ promised in the Bread of Life Discourse found in John 6:22-59. To go one step further, Saint Paul affirms that Jesus is indeed substantially present under that accidents of bread and wine in his First Letter to the Corinthians:

    Abuses at the Lord’s Supper
    But in the following instructions I do not commend you, because when you come together it is not for the better but for the worse. For, in the first place, when you assemble as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you; and I partly believe it, for there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized. When you meet together, it is not the Lord’s supper that you eat. For in eating, each one goes ahead with his own meal, and one is hungry and another is drunk. What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I commend you in this? No, I will not.

    The Institution of the Lord’s Supper
    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.

    Partaking of the Supper Unworthily
    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. Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. But if we judged ourselves truly, we should not be judged. But when we are judged by the Lord, we are chastened so that we may not be condemned along with the world. So then, my brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for one another — if any one is hungry, let him eat at home — lest you come together to be condemned. About the other things I will give directions when I come. (1 Corinthians 11:17-34)

    Saint Paul’s words are extremely powerful and instruct the faithful concerning the Sacramental Presence of Our Blessed Lord in the Most Holy Eucharist. This letter supports the Catholic doctrine to a tee and even sheds light on the required fast (1 hour) prior to receiving Holy Communion.

    In reiteration of Fr. Serpa’s response above, science does not have the capability to prove or disprove the Real Presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. This is due in part, to the fact that all Truth is a revelation from God. So much of what science teaches remains in the realm of practical theory and not absolute truth. What is certainly a proved truth, such as the fact that life begins at conception, is affirmed and accepted by the Church.

    However, the truth of the Eucharist is a reality of faith and theological and not physically tangible in the same manner as the reality of the accidents themselves. Thus the reason why this is a mystery, which is, “any truth that is unknowable except by divine revelation” and “anything that is kept secret or remains unexplained or unknown” (Dictionary.com: Mystery). The Real Presence is of course a truth that is not kept secret but rather the full understanding about how God performs this miracle every day, all over the world remains unknown and elicits the same questions from non-believers and those Christians who lack the faith as were asked by many of the Jews who heard Jesus refer to Himself as the “Bread of Life.” Marinate on the following passages and the responses by both the unfaithful and the faithful:

    The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you…”

    Many of his disciples, when they heard it, said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?” But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples murmured at it, said to them, “Do you take offense at this? Then what if you were to see the Son of man ascending where he was before?

    It is the spirit that gives life, the flesh is of no avail; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.

    But there are some of you that do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the first who those were that did not believe, and who it was that would betray him. And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.” After this many of his disciples drew back and no longer went about with him.

    Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also wish to go away?”

    Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life; and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” (John 6:52-53, 61-69)

    Media_httptrustinjesu_ovdye

    Eucharist wallpaper via Life Teen.

    Do you desire to be like Judas and the others who abandoned Our Blessed Lord because they desired to NOT BELIEVE in the very words of Jesus? Or do you desire to emulate faithful Peter, the rock and foundation of Jesus’ visible Church, and ACCEPT, BELIEVE and OBEY the words of Our Lord even while being unable to understand or comprehend? The choice is always your but consider the following words of the LORD on the issue of understanding Him and His mystery:

    For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9)

    Lastly, I wanted to add this somewhat related audio segment from NPR’s Talk of the Nation: Science Friday titled Can Science Shape Human Values? And Should It?

    The audio, for me, is related because there is voiced contempt for the Church by one of the guests in addition to there being a presupposition that science can fully measure the validity of morals and determine whether some issues are good or bad. The physical sciences can in no way make any determination of good or evil because the truths uncovered by these sciences are not influenced by good or evil. Get what I am saying?

    Can science help us to understand transubstantiation?

    jimlersch_eucharist1024

    How can science help us to understand transubstantiation?


    Greetings,I am currently enrolled in RCIA at St. Francis Solano in Sonoma, Ca. (Diocese of Santa Rosa). My question is regarding the Church’s teaching of the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist.

    I’m clear about what St. John writes, reporting what Jesus said about eating His flesh and drinking His blood. I am also clear that with the exception of a few heresies that the Real Presense has been taught from the early church fathers to the Counsel of Trent and on until today. This information was provided to me by the two priests at St. Francis and through the RCIA classes.

    However none of this changes the fact that when properly consecrated bread and wine is examined in a modern laboratory at a chemical and or a subatomic level, precisely nothing has changed … it is just bread and wine.

    Thus my question. How can this be reconciled? How does an intelligent person approach this? Obviously St. Thomas Aquinas and others did not have modern scientific equipment or methods to discover what we know today. How might their opinions differ, if at all, in the light of today’s scientific evidence against the doctrine of transubstantiation.

    Your assistance with this would be most appreciated. This is the single block that I have remaining on my path to conversion. I simply must find a way through it. Any recommendations for recent (specifically not historical) apologetics that take into account modern science would be a God-send.

    Thank you so very much for your time and attention,

    May God richly bless you


    Last edited by Fr. Vincent Serpa; Yesterday at 2:24 pm.

    Fr. Vincent Serpa
    Catholic Answers Apologist


    Hi,Saint Thomas would not have been helped by modern science if it had been present in his time. The question is a theological one and science doesn’t have the tools to determine theological matters. He used Aristotelian philosophy as a tool which works quite well. The substance or essence (that which makes a thing what it is) of the bread and wine changes, while the accidents or non-essentials (the appearance and all that is physically measurable) remain the same. There is no physical way of determining the change. There never was. It remains a matter of faith for us—no less than it was for the apostles.

    When so many of His disciples left because they couldn’t accept the idea of consuming His flesh and blood (Jews were not allowed to consume ANY kind of blood), Jesus turned to the twelve and said: “Will you also go away? Simon Peter answered him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life; and we have believed and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God’” Jn 6: 68. The apostles didn’t understand any more than those who left understood. But they trusted Him because they loved Him. They couldn’t prove that a change would take place that couldn’t be verified by physical examination. Nor can we. The question remains, do we love Him enough to trust Him in this. For over two thousand years millions of Catholics have.

    I do pray that, after considering the fact that God would allow Himself to be tortured and put to death by people He created from nothing-because of a love so beyond our minds to fathom, you will be one of them.

    Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.


    Additional recent answers by Fr. Vincent Serpa


    Last edited by Fr. Vincent Serpa; Today at 12:03 am.

    via How can science help us to understand transubstantiation? – Catholic Answers Forums.

    As usual, a very good question is answer in a very excellent way by Fr. Vincent Serpa.

    The Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist is a doctrine that existed from the moment of the Last Supper (Luke 22:19-20, Mark 14:22-24, Matthew 26:26-28) and is the fulfillment of what Christ promised in the Bread of Life Discourse found in John 6:22-59. To go one step further, Saint Paul affirms that Jesus is indeed substantially present under that accidents of bread and wine in his First Letter to the Corinthians:

    Abuses at the Lord’s Supper
    But in the following instructions I do not commend you, because when you come together it is not for the better but for the worse. For, in the first place, when you assemble as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you; and I partly believe it, for there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized. When you meet together, it is not the Lord’s supper that you eat. For in eating, each one goes ahead with his own meal, and one is hungry and another is drunk. What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I commend you in this? No, I will not.

    The Institution of the Lord’s Supper
    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 b
    roke 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.

    Partaking of the Supper Unworthily
    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. Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. But if we judged ourselves truly, we should not be judged. But when we are judged by the Lord, we are chastened so that we may not be condemned along with the world. So then, my brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for one another — if any one is hungry, let him eat at home — lest you come together to be condemned. About the other things I will give directions when I come. (1 Corinthians 11:17-34)

    Saint Paul’s words are extremely powerful and instruct the faithful concerning the Sacramental Presence of Our Blessed Lord in the Most Holy Eucharist. This letter supports the Catholic doctrine to a tee and even sheds light on the required fast (1 hour) prior to receiving Holy Communion.

    In reiteration of Fr. Serpa’s response above, science does not have the capability to prove or disprove the Real Presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. This is due in part, to the fact that all Truth is a revelation from God. So much of what science teaches remains in the realm of practical theory and not absolute truth. What is certainly a proved truth, such as the fact that life begins at conception, is affirmed and accepted by the Church.

    However, the truth of the Eucharist is a reality of faith and theological and not physically tangible in the same manner as the reality of the accidents themselves. Thus the reason why this is a mystery, which is, “any truth that is unknowable except by divine revelation” and “anything that is kept secret or remains unexplained or unknown” (Dictionary.com: Mystery). The Real Presence is of course a truth that is not kept secret but rather the full understanding about how God performs this miracle every day, all over the world remains unknown and elicits the same questions from non-believers and those Christians who lack the faith as were asked by many of the Jews who heard Jesus refer to Himself as the “Bread of Life.” Marinate on the following passages and the responses by both the unfaithful and the faithful:

    The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you…”

    Many of his disciples, when they heard it, said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?” But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples murmured at it, said to them, “Do you take offense at this? Then what if you were to see the Son of man ascending where he was before?

    It is the spirit that gives life, the flesh is of no avail; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.

    But there are some of you that do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the first who those were that did not believe, and who it was that would betray him. And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.” After this many of his disciples drew back and no longer went about with him.

    Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also wish to go away?”

    Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life; and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” (John 6:52-53, 61-69)

    eucharistwallpaper1280

    Do you desire to be like Judas and the others who abandoned Our Blessed Lord because they desired to NOT BELIEVE in the very words of Jesus? Or do you desire to emulate faithful Peter, the rock and foundation of Jesus’ visible Church, and ACCEPT, BELIEVE and OBEY the words of Our Lord even while being unable to understand or comprehend? The choice is always your but consider the following words of the LORD on the issue of understanding Him and His mystery:

    For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9)

    Lastly, I wanted to add this somewhat related audio segment from NPR’s Talk of the Nation: Science Friday titled Can Science Shape Human Values? And Should It?

    The audio, for me, is related because there is voiced contempt for the Church by one of the guests in addition to there being a presupposition that science can fully measure the validity of morals and determine whether some issues are good or bad. The physical sciences can in no way make any determination of good or evil because the truths uncovered by these sciences are not influenced by good or evil. Get what I am saying?

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