Christianity, Current events, faith

Eucharistic Miracles…The True Presence of Christ

“And whilst they were at supper, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke: and gave to his disciples, and said: Take ye, and eat. This is my body. And taking the chalice, he gave thanks, and gave to them, saying: Drink ye all of this. For this is my blood of the new testament, which shall be shed for many unto remission of sins.” (John 26:26-28)

 ”I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever; and the bread that I will give, is my flesh, for the life of the world. The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying: How can this man give us his flesh to eat? Then Jesus said to them: Amen, amen I say unto you: Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath everlasting life: and I will raise him up in the last day.” (John 6:51-55)

The Holy Eucharist is the main focus for Catholics and Orthodox. These are the two groups of the Christian faith that fully believe in the actual presence of the body/blood/soul/divinity of Jesus Christ in the communion bread and wine. Most of Christendom believes that Communion is only a representative rite and not a literal one. But if you read the words of Christ in John 6, you will see that Christ did not present it as only bread. And for those that say they believe Sola Scriptura (Scripture alone) then they lie if they don’t believe the words of Christ himself.

In a 2019 Pew Research Poll (https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/08/05/transubstantiation-eucharist-u-s-catholics/) an amazing 69% of modern Catholics in the US believe more as Protestants, that the Eucharist is only a representation of Christ. The poll goes on to show that a huge percentage either do not believe the church’s teaching or do not even know what the church teaches. This issue is because of the cultural shift within the Catholic church. A loss of belief in the teachings of the church (despite biblical backing) in seminary, CCD, and RCIA.

Some would argue that the Real Presence is a concoction of the Catholic Church. However, those people would be in error. This teaching continued with the original Apostles since they taught the teachings of Christ. We can see within the earliest followers of Christianity (or known as The Way back in their time).

Ignatius of Antioch (a Syrian) was the third Bishop of Antioch around the year 110 AD (CE). He was a father and writer of the early church. He wrote “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. (Letter to the Romans7:3)

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… (Letter to the  Philadelphians 4:1)

They [i.e. the Gnostics] 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 the Father, in his goodness, raised up again. (Letter to Smyrnians 7:1)

This was agreed with by others of his era in the faith. So it can be seen that belief in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist dates back to the earliest periods of the Christian church.

In the 13th session of the Council of Trent in 1551 (https://www.ewtn.com/catholicism/library/thirteenth-session-of-the-council-of-trent-1479), the Council fully recognized the Real Presence in the Eucharist. Chapter 1 states in part “First of all, the holy council teaches and openly and plainly professes that after the consecration of the bread and wine, our Lord Jesus Christ, e God and true man, is truly, really, and substantially contained in the august sacrament of the Holy Eucharist under the appearance of those sensible things”.

This brings us to the nature of this article. Eucharistic miracles that aid in the faith of the believer. To start this, I would like to point out that one of the Evangelical movements most prominent pastors Benny Hinn has spoken on the Eucharist and its miracle ability. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vyfWeVAbyw) In a message to his followers, he stated that study had shown that more people are cured in the Catholic Church than in Pentecostal churches. He attributes this to the Catholic faith of the Real Presence in the Eucharist. He even goes on to admit that Christ did not say the bread and wine were symbols, but body and blood. He speaks of the healing, end of demon possession, etc. And believes himself of the True Presence in the Eucharist. Which actually makes one wonder why he is not Catholic.

The first Eucharistic miracle that is mentioned here is the most recent. In the town of Zapotlanejo, Mexico at the Our Lady of the Rosary Parish, a Eucharistic miracle took place. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IeVx6NT2FFw) On July 22, 2022 the Host was being viewed during service. At some point during the service, the Host appeared to be beating. This was eventually captured on a cell phone. When discovered, a doctor that was attending service investigated and stated that the rhythm of the beat was that of a human heart. It was notice by many including a visiting priest, Fr. Carlos Spahn who had opened the adoration service after Mass. As of this article, the Archdiocese of Guadalahara has not made a statement.

Father Spahn also stated that just before this event took place, a photograph of the first millennial born person on his way to sainthood, Blessed Carlos Acutis, was leaking an oil. Blessed Acutis is a young computer wizard from England (Italian by blood) that fell in love with the Eucharist and spread the message of it’s power in the faith.

Another Eucharistic miracle is elated to Blessed Acutis. In 2006 in the town of Tixtla in Mexico, a Eucharistic Host started to appear to bleed. After a few years of research, it was determined that blood was real and the same type of a former Eucharistic miralce in Italy and blood remnants from the Shroud of Turin. ( https://thecatholictravelguide.com/destinations/mexico/tixtla-mexico-eurcharistic-miracle-of-tixtla/)

Two miracles of the same type took place in a church in Guatemala. In both 2021 and 2022, immediately after the Host had been consecrated, the Host started to glow. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2lQWS4HvOM)

There are multiple verified accounts of Eucharistic miracles. From the aforementioned to others where there were healings and the Host becoming human flesh. One could write this things off if it were a few number of people or only a few times. But it has occurred in multiple time periods, multiple geographical locations and witnessed by small crowds and large.

Even if one is a skeptic, logic would dictate that the unexplainable is happening. For others, it is proof that Christ is truly and physically present in the consecrated Host. Yes, there have been miracles of all types proven false. But it is those that can not be debunked through any logical means of investigation that one must ponder the reality of the Real Presence.

The greatest miracles of these events is not the miracles of the Host, but the personal changes in witnesses. Whether it is bringing the faithful to a better walk with Christ, bringing those that left back, or bringing the lost to a point of accepting Christ’s invitation to Salvation through Him. The real miracle is that these events touch the human heart.

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Christianity, faith

From the Darkness

I needed some time to contemplate my life and faith. I was raised with protestant parents, saved in a protestant church but became Roman Catholic in the last year of the 20th century. Since then, there have been times when I have stepped from the church to get air so to speak. But this was different.

Catholics, and maybe protestants as well, have a period known as the dark night of the soul. My definition and tradition, this is where one thinks God has stepped from your life and you seek Him in earnestness. The fall of 2021 was mine.

I had gotten back into my faith fully in the last couple of years after issues that affected me and ended the family unit I had known for 20 years. At that time, the stress had caused my health to falter and my spirit to cry out. For the first time since being a Catholic, I hit my knees, wept, and prayed. It led me into my Catholic Christian faith unlike before.

But for some reason, this fall had played havoc within my mind and spirit and I needed to refresh, think, and clear the cobwebs. So, while not leaving my faith, I stepped away from the building that had become my church home. I had only planned on it being about a month. What it led to was something I had not really expected.

What it led me to, instead of free wheeling life and secular enjoyment, was deeper. It led me to deeper scriptural study. Instead of just one translation, I started using multiple including translations like the King James, New American, and New International. But it also included the Stone edition Tanach and the Douay-Rheims. In the mix of these, I started finding new influence and messages that hit my spirit and mind. It called me to self examination. This then led to a deeper prayer life. And to deeper study.

For all of this time, I had attended a Methodist church with a couple of my children and found that, like the Catholic faith, believed not in only a bread and juice remembrance of the last supper of Christ and His apostles, but in the beautiful truth of the words of Christ himself when He spoke “This is My body…and this is My blood”.

This self imposed sabbatical and longing search went beyond the month I had expected and lasted until the 3rd week of Dec this year. A former priest had passed and I went to his viewing, out of the respect that I had for him. As I stepped into the first parish I ever attended, and my Catholic home for most of my time in the faith, the noise and chaos faded away. There is that sanctuary, among the scent of the decades of incense and visuals of the life of Christ and the saints, that small still voice came. Not like a voice or whisper, but something more distant yet comforting. Only 2 words, “you’re home”.

This, the 4th Sunday of Advent, I returned to the little parish I had stepped out of months ago. As I sat there, taking in the visuals of Advent and the liturgical music and homily, I found myself with an inner peace that I had not had in awhile. Like someone who had left home and traveled the world, only to return to the place he was raised, I had indeed come home. That type of peace can only truly be found in a home.

During my 50 plus years I have been protestant and Catholic, Christian and pagan. During my walks outside of the faith of Christ, the pagan pantheons never answered, spoke, or given me any divine inspiration. And of my 25 years as a Christian, first as a protestant Christian and now as Roman Catholic Christian, this is the first encounter with that small still voice.

While the pagan pantheons are once again raising their heads, and yes infighting between Christians and the Pope himself having and promoting heretical ideas, have I seen for myself that one light and hope in this world of darkness. An old country tradition is to leave a candle lit in a window to guide home those that wander off from the homestead. Mine was the only light brighter than a million suns. When others have dimmed and gone out, this light will shine for an eternity.

The revelation of the Apocalypse witness and recorded by St. John on Patmos said that the Light of God will be so bright in Heaven and the new Jerusalem that there will be no need of a physical sun. That is the light that leads me, that calls me, and the comforts me.

What I thought was to be only a few weeks brought me back at a perfect time for a new beginning. What a better place and time to start a new and refreshed path than at a little cave hewn out as a place of birth for beginning of our Salvation. To behold the One that created the whole of everything and yet started His human life the way we all do.

May God the Father always guide you, bring you unto Himself through Christ the Lord, endow you with the Holy Spirit in wisdom and guidance, and comfort you on your journey through this temporary landscape of life.

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