The Catholic Defender: My Discussion with a Pentecostal Friend on the Eucharist
While in my travels across Missouri, I had the opportunity to work with people from across the Country who are strongly pro-life and work towards ending abortion.
There is a frustration that after 48 years, many politicians are "pro-life" to get the votes for political purposes.
The ending of abortion is not the primary mission to them as keeping the battle is giving them votes.
We need to put a stop to abortion after 48 years and over 60,000,000 unborn children sacrificed to the god of convenience. Can we call abortion a "Satanic human sacrifice"? This is exactly what it is and how sad when Christians participate in this sacrament of the Left.
There are many people to thank for their hospitality and love supporting us ensuring that we were never in need on this journey. The food was really great everywhere we went before and after the Rally for Life on 22 January 2011 at Jefferson City at the Capital Building to the recent Conference in Jackson Missouri 13 - 14 August 2021.
It was at one such dinner engagement that the following story develops. As the Ladies were preparing dinner, I was sitting at the dining room table with a small group of people.
It is important to note that the vast majority of those present were Catholic, but there was this one Pentecostal friend who began to discuss his thoughts on the Catholic Church. Being the Catholic Defender, what is the obvious response? You got it, a fun debate ensues.
As we began to enter into this discussion, people began to gather around because most of them have never heard a Catholic response to some of the Protestant accusations.
My Pentecostal friend was not an ignorant man. He was a Doctor very dedicated to his beliefs. He also ran for office in the State of Ohio and lost by a small majority. He is a very articulate speaker. But on this night, at this time, he had the misfortune of challenging the Catholic Defender in his own backyard (lol).
Don't you just love the rhetoric? His challenge was quick and to the point. He felt that we, as Catholics, were "idol worshipers" because our belief in Jesus in the Eucharist.
My first response to this was John 6:53-56, "Jesus said to them, 'Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him".
I shared with him that just as people in those days had problems with this teaching, many people today can't accept this either. His response was a bit odd to me, he began to reason that if you believe in transubstantiation, then you are in effect saying you are God?
That sense of reasoning made no sense to me. Especially coming from a Pentecostal who has no problem recognizing the Holy Spirit entering into people's hearts. I responded back to him the importance of the definition of transubstantiation and the 4th Lateran Council in 1215.
Pope Innocent III was having to deal with heresies at that time especially attacking the apostolic teaching on the Eucharist. New "gospels" developed by "Fr" John Huss and John Wycliffe challenged the Lord Jesus Christ denying the truths of the Catholic Church.
The problem wasn't so much the vernacular version of the bible as much as it were the problems associated with misinterpreting the scriptures. Those were tough times in those days as the common man still did not know how to read and write.
The ignorance of people made it difficult, so the priests were expected to teach the word as they have always done from the tradition of the Apostles. Acts 2:42 states, "They devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles and to the communal life, to the breaking of the bread and to the prayers".
That is the Mass! They did not carry bibles with them to Mass to hear the Apostles teach. The Word was proclaimed to them. I also refereed to Matthew 28:19, "Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you".
Jesus didn't say to hand out bibles here, the Catholic Church hands out the scriptures to enrich us with the very sacred text itself. In the beginning, this had to be developed just as the understanding of the apostolic witness.
The Church has no power to change the teachings of Christ. People who have took that upon themselves do so at their own peril.
The response to this was even more odd as my friend began to question how long does Christ remain in you. Is Christ present in waste. That was a bit over the top to me, it is believed that the Lord's presence leaves before that process. Actually, his presence is spiritual once consumption was completed and dissolved into the body.
I took it to 1 Corinthians 11:16, "The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ"? The obvious answer is yes. By this time some of the women were gathering around listening in. I think they were there longer, but this was when I noticed we were gaining an audience behind me.
I next went to 1 Corinthians 11:27-30, "Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord. A person should examine himself, and so eat the bread and drink the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many among you are ill and infirm, and a considerable number were dying".
By this time, my Pentecostal friend began to recognize Christ was present in a "sense". I responded that Jesus was present totally, body, blood, soul, and divinity.
To illustrate this point, I moved to Luke 24:30, "And it happened that, while he was with them at table, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them. With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him, but he vanished from their sight".
I continued following verse 33-35, "So they set out at once and returned to Jerusalem where they found gathered together the eleven and those with them who were saying, 'The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon'! Then the two recounted what had taken place on the way and how he was made known to them in the breaking of the bread".
I shared a number of Eucharistic Miracles to show that we still recognize Jesus being made known to us through the "breaking of the bread".
He challenged me questioning if this happens at every Mass? I responded, Yes! As a result of this opportunity to tell the truth, I was able to share with him this thought: If we disagree on the truth of the Eucharist, it would be dishonest to call Catholics "idol worshipers" as you now understand what Catholics believe.
At this point another friend who had claimed to have left the Catholic Faith began to consider the points I was making. That was very important to me.
Also several of the Ladies who had been listening in on the discussion all came to me wanting more on the Catholic Faith. It was a great experience to share the truth of God's holy Church!