Communion is a uniting, Godly, experience.
God is directly present in the communion bread, (and the wine), which are literally his body and blood. Partaking in God, unites the believers in spirit to one another (1 Corinthians 10:17). They become one body, by partaking in the Eucharist, what else could St.Paul have meant when he said: “… are one single body, for we all share in the one loaf.” Corinthians 10:17 New Jerusalem Bible. http://www.catholic.org/bible/book.php?id=46&bible_chapter=10
Eucharist based on John chapter 6 and The Last Supper
Catholics eat the Eucharist, following the command in John chapter 6, as well as Jesus Command at the Last supper, which unlike some others, they interpret literally. This Literal interpretation, is also present quite strongly in the church fathers (writers of importance in early Christianity, especially before the bible was compiled in the 4th century). The fact that Jesus did not tell the many who had left him on this teaching- that it “was only symbolic” or “only a metaphor”, shows that he must have meant it literally. He lost many disciples because they were not prepared to partake of his flesh.
Communion is both “symbolic” and literal-
“Symbolic” -in that it is a ceremony in remembrance of the crucifixion.
“Literal”, in that, by acting in obedience, God gives grace and miracles via the Sacraments. We really eat Jesus’ flesh, and blood in the Eucharist, as he commanded, we also take part in the crucifixion, in a mysterious way. This sacrament forgives venial sin, as well as enabling health in body and mind, in many circumstances. The Eucharist gives us strength to live out the Christian message. Next to baptism, it is one of the centers of Catholic worship. The mass is structured around Communion, in which Baptized Catholics may take part. Catholics cannot take communion at a church not in communion with the pope. Communion unites the church as one body, in bonds of Spirit and Love, in their one hope and Faith. To take communion at a non-catholic church would represent a united body that does not exist, and would create deceptive false perceptions.
God saves, Communion can’t save apart from God
Paul Also notes
“1 I want you to be quite certain, brothers, that our ancestors all had the cloud over them and all passed through the sea.
2 In the cloud and in the sea they were all baptised into Moses;
3 all ate the same spiritual food
4 and all drank the same spiritual drink, since they drank from the spiritual rock which followed them, and that rock was Christ.
5 In spite of this, God was not pleased with most of them, and their corpses were scattered over the desert.
6 Now these happenings were examples, for our benefit, so that we should never set our hearts, as they did, on evil things;
7 nor are you to worship false gods, as some of them did, as it says in scripture: The people sat down to eat and drink, and afterwards got up to amuse themselves.
8 Nor, again, are we to fall into sexual immorality; some of them did this, and twenty-three thousand met their downfall in one day.
9 And we are not to put the Lord to the test; some of them put him to the test, and they were killed by snakes.
10 Never complain; some of them complained, and they were killed by the Destroyer.
11 Now all these things happened to them by way of example, and they were described in writing to be a lesson for us, to whom it has fallen to live in the last days of the ages.
12 Everyone, no matter how firmly he thinks he is standing, must be careful he does not fall. ” I Corinthians 10 v 1 to 12
All should always be careful, less they loose their salvation. We must not only rely on the sacraments, but on the grace of them, and the God, who can make us good.
Paul notes of Baptism, and Catholic unity-
Communion- only with/for those in communion with the Church
““In the same way, all of us, whether Jews or Gentiles, whether slave or free, have been baptized into one body by the same spirit, and we have been given one spirit to drink” St. Paul- 1 Corinthians 12 Verse 13- Good News Bible.” http://kindstuff.scripturelink.net/bibleonbaptism
and of the church
1 Timothy 3:14-16 from the Niv Tramslation:
“if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth. “”http://kindstuff.scripturelink.net/bibleonbaptism
Showing that the church is a united body, and the family and body of God. It would be wrong to celebrate communion with those who do not believe as we do. Such would be disrespecting God, and acting against their conscience.
Also, because it can create false perceptions, the following should be noted:
“28 But if someone says to you, ‘This food has been offered in sacrifice,’ do not eat it, out of consideration for the person that told you, for conscience’s sake-
29 not your own conscience, I mean, but the other person’s. Why should my freedom be governed by somebody else’s conscience?
30 Provided that I accept it with gratitude, why should I be blamed for eating food for which I give thanks? ” New Jerusalem Bible, I Corinthians Chapter 10 verses 28 to 30
Communion is also based on the same bases as all sacraments:
(1 Peter 3:21-22) where it is Christ acting with Grace above nature, and exchanging obedience, and a physical sign with Grace. This grace comes directly from the Cross.
One Sacrifice, not many
It is noted that there are not many sacrifices, but only one, or Christ would have had to have suffered many times.
They would also point out that Paul, in speaking to the Corinthians, said that some were sick or even died, because they had disregarded the presence in the Eucharist (1 Corinthians Chapter 11 verses 27 to 34- New Jerusalem Bible).
“27 Therefore anyone who eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily is answerable for the body and blood of the Lord.
28 Everyone is to examine himself and only then eat of the bread or drink from the cup;
29 because a person who eats and drinks without recognising the body is eating and drinking his own condemnation.
30 That is why many of you are weak and ill and a good number have died.
31 If we were critical of ourselves we would not be condemned,
32 but when we are judged by the Lord, we are corrected by the Lord to save us from being condemned along with the world.
33 So then, my brothers, when you meet for the Meal, wait for each other;
34 anyone who is hungry should eat at home. Then your meeting will not bring your condemnation. The other matters I shall arrange when I come.”
“14 For that reason, my dear friends, have nothing to do with the worship of false gods.
15 I am talking to you as sensible people; weigh up for yourselves what I have to say.
16 The blessing-cup, which we bless, is it not a sharing in the blood of Christ; and the loaf of bread which we break, is it not a sharing in the body of Christ?
17 And as there is one loaf, so we, although there are many of us, are one single body, for we all share in the one loaf.”
Copyright 2007. Marc Aupiais. All Rights Strictly Reserved. (except those which are specifically given up below).