Choose a topic from Vol 3:


Reason proves God's existence
Primitive monotheism
Mystery of God's inner nature
Personality of God
Providence of God and the problem of evil


Immortal destiny of man
Can earth give true happiness?
Do human souls evolve?
Is transmigration possible?
Animal souls
Freedom of will
Free will and faith


Religion and God
The duty of prayer
The mysteries of religion
Can we believe in miracles?

The Religion of the Bible

Historical character of the Gospels
Canonical Books of the Bible
Original Manuscripts
Copyists' errors
Truth of the Bible
New Testament "contradictions"

The Christian Religion

Christianity alone true
Not the product of religious experience
Compared with Buddhism, Confucianism, Mahometanism, Bahaism, etc.,
Rejected by modern Jews
The demand for miracles
The necessity of faith
Difficulties not doubts
Proofs available
Dispositions of unbelievers

A Definite Christian Faith

One religion not as good as another
Changing one's religion
Catholic convictions and zeal
Religious controversy
The curse of bigotry
Towards a solution

The Problem of Reunion

Efforts at the reunion of the Churches
The Church of England as a "Bridge-Church"
Anglicans and the Greek Orthodox Church
The "Old Catholics" of Holland
Reunion Conferences
Catholic Unity
The Papacy as reunion center
Protestant hostility to Catholicism
The demands of charity

The Truth of Catholicism

Necessity of the Church
The true Church
Catholic claim absolute
A clerical hierarchy
Papal Supremacy
Temporal Power
Unity of the Church
Holiness of the Church
Catholicity of the Church
Catholic attitude to converts
Indefectible Apostolicity
Necessity of becoming a Catholic

The Church and the Bible

Catholic belief in the Bible
Bible-reading and private interpretation
Value of Tradition and the "Fathers"
Guidance of the Church necessary

The Dogmas of the Catholic Church

Dogmatic certainty
Credal statements
Faith and reason
The voice of science
Fate of rationalists
The dogma of the Trinity
Creation and evolution
The existence of angels
Evil spirits or devils
Man's eternal destiny
The fact of sin
Nature and work of Christ
Mary, the mother of God
Grace and salvation
The sacraments
Holy Eucharist
The Sacrifice of the Mass
Holy Communion
Marriage and divorce
Extreme Unction
Man's death and judgment
Resurrection of the body
End of the World

Moral Teachings of the Catholic Church

Catholic intolerance
The Spanish Inquisition
Prohibition of Books
Liberty of worship
Forbidden Socieities
Church attendance
The New Psychology
Deterministic philosophy
Marriage Legislation
Birth Prevention
Monastic Life
Convent Life
Legal defense of murderers
Laywers and divorce proceedings
Judges in Divorce
Professional secrecy

The Church in Her Worship

Why build churches?
Glamor of ritual
The "Lord's Prayer"
Pagan derivations
Liturgical symbolism
Use of Latin
Intercession of Mary and the Saints

The Church and Social Welfare

The Church and Education
The Social Problem
Social Duty of the Church
Catholicism and Capitalism

Holy Communion

869. Does it not seem like cannibalism to devour the body of Christ in Communion?

Christ is not present in the Eucharist under a form in which cannibalism could be possible. His body is really and substantially present, but not in a natural way. It is an entirely supernatural mode of presence which you may not believe, but which at least excludes all notions of cannibalism. You give the same objection as that which came to the minds of the Jews when Christ told them of His intention in regard to the future Eucharist. Christ said to the Jews, "He that eateth Me, the same shall live by Me." Many of the Jews said, "This is a hard saying, who can hear it?" And they forsook Christ, saying, "How can this man give us His flesh to eat?" They pictured a cannibalistic eating of raw human flesh and the drinking of human blood. Christ did not intend to be received in such a way, but did intend to leave the substance of His bodily being under the qualities of bread, for the purpose of uniting us as really to His humanity as His humanity is united to His divinity, the union in our case being sacramental and in His case personal or hypostatic. So Christ reiterated to the Jews, even though knowing their thoughts of a cannibalistic eating, "Amen, Amen, I say to you: Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man you shall not have life in you." Instead of having any real faith in Christ and the humility to ask in what way He intended to leave His body and blood, in a sacramental form, they proudly took their own concept for granted, asked no further light, and departed. However, though Christ is really received in the Blessed Sacrament, it involves no cannibalistic devouring of human flesh in the sense you imagine together with those who abandoned Christ rather than believe.

870. When a cannibal eats human flesh, it is not to appease hunger, but a ceremonial.

At times cannibalism has been practiced through sheer hunger. However, it is true that it has had an almost entirely ceremonial significance amongst various primitive and pagan races.

871. The cannibal has the belief that he is assimilating the courage, prowess, etc., of the victim.

Such a notion certainly prevailed.

872. Is not this the basic idea of a similar ceremonial of the Christian religion, to assimilate the virtues of Christ in the form of body and blood?

The answer to that is a decided negative. Any linking of the two notions would be an exceedingly superficial process of thought. I need not delay to point out at any great length the fact that no one in his senses would suggest any idea that the Christian doctrine of Communion has been derived from cannibalistic superstitions. Here I will confine myself to the question of detached similarity. Now in the first place, no Christian has any idea of eating Christ under the external forms of body and blood. Christ exists in the Eucharist under the forms of bread and wine. According to Catholic doctrine, the very substance of Christ's body and blood is present under the forms of bread and wine. The external act of receiving Communion is nothing like the act of cannibalism. Nor is the significance of the act anything like the significance imagined for their rites by superstitious cannibals. Their outlook is one of natural, materialistic, automatic magic. The Christian concept is supernatural, spiritual, non-automatic, and in no way suggestive of occult forces superstitiously believed to be inherent in nature itself.

873. I read in a book recently that, during the Mass there is a mystical separation of Christ's Body and Blood, but no actual separation.

It is because there is no actual separation of Christ's body and blood that he who receives Communion under either kind receives Christ entirely, body, blood, soul and divinity.

874. What the difference between mystical and actual separation may be,I am not qualified to say.

The difference is that between an external symbolism and an interior reality. From the mystical point of view, the separate consecrations under solid and liquid forms represent the separation of Christ's body and blood in the Sacrifice of Calvary. Actually, however, no real separation of the two can occur in the risen Christ, and, therefore, He must be completely present either under the appearances of bread or under the appearances of wine. For the Mass, as a Sacrifice, the external mystical symbolism is required. For Communion it is not required. The Eucharist, as a Sacrament, demands only that it be received under one kind or the other. The Church has restricted the distribution of Communion to the form of bread.

875. Whatever the difference may be, it seems to me that by His words at the Last Supper, "Drink ye all of this," Christ must have intended the chalice to be given to all.

By the fact that His Church, exercising His own authority, has decreed that Communion is to be given under one kind only we are quite certain that that was not His intention. Had that been His intention, the Holy Spirit would never have permitted the Church to entertain the idea of such legislation. But even apart from the fact that the legislation of the Church rules out any possibility that our Lord intended the chalice to be given to the laity as essential to Communion, the text and context of Scripture in no way supports the idea. When speaking, to the ordinary multitude on the occasion when He promised the Eucharist, our Lord said simply, "If any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever." John VI., 52. St. Paul, who certainly knew the mind of Christ, said clearly, "Whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord." 1 Corinthians XI, 27. When our Lord said, "Drink ye all of this" He was addressing the Apostles only, and His words then applied only to priests called upon to celebrate the Sacrifice of the Mass. This is evident from His further words to those present, "Do this for a commemoration of Me," words which have reference only to priests lawfully ordained.

876. A separation of the Body and Blood of Christ, mystical or otherwise, suggests that Communion should be given under both kinds, whether Christ be entirely present under either kind or not.

An actual separation would require that. A mystical separation does not even remotely suggest it. The consecration under two forms gives an external symbolism which in no way affects the reality of Christ's complete presence under either kind. The priest, in receiving Communion under both kinds, receives no more than those who receive under one kind, for it is impossible to receive more than the complete Christ. Having offered Mass as a sacrifice, he receives the same Christ in two different ways.

877. We are told that we are to receive both the body and the blood, for in St. John VI., 54, we read, "Except you eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink His blood, you shall not have life in you."

That is correct. But, since the complete Christ is present under either form, one who receives Communion under either form receives both the body and the blood of Christ.



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