Chapters

  • Introduction
  • Preparing for Mass
  • Introductory Rites
  • Entrance
  • Greeting
  • Penitential Rite
  • Kyrie Eleison
  • Gloria
  • Opening Prayer
  • Liturgy of the Word
  • Biblical Readings
  • Responsorial Psalm
  • Gospel
  • Homily
  • Profession of Faith
  • Prayer of the Faithful
  • Liturgy of the Eucharist
  • Preparation of the gifts
  • Prayer over the offerings
  • Eucharistic Prayer - Preface
  • Eucharistic Prayer - Acclamation
  • Eucharistic Prayer - Invocation
  • Eucharistic Prayer - Institution Narrative
  • Eucharistic Prayer - Elevation
  • Transubstantiation - Miracle of Miracles
  • Eucharistic Prayer - In Memory of Him
  • Eucharistic Prayer - Offering
  • Eucharistic Prayer - Intercessions
  • Eucharistic Prayer - Great Amen
  • Lord’s Prayer
  • Sign of Peace
  • Breaking of the Bread - Lamb of God
  • Holy Communion
  • Concluding Rites
  • Conclusion

CHAPTER 24

TRANSUBSTANTIATION —
MIRACLE OF MIRACLES

"This is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.” (cf. John 6:50-51)

Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood you have no life in you … he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me and I in him” (cf. John 6:53-56). These are the words of Christ and present us with an awesome truth. But how can we even begin to understand them?

TRANSUBSTANTIATION —
MIRACLE OF MIRACLESSt. Thomas Aquinas tried to explain it by using the philosophical terms identified by the Greek philosopher Aristotle1. There are two key elements: substance and accident. For Aquinas (and Aristotle), “substance” is the quality that makes a particular thing be that thing. For example, the reality that makes a piece of wood be wood. All wood is wood, even though different pieces may have different shapes, different colors, and different hardness. It is still wood. The quality that makes it “wood” is called “substance.” The differences between the various woods are called “accidents.” They are not essential to the reality that underlies them.

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