One of the seemingly eternal objections of the Protestants regards the True Presence of Jesus Christ in the Sacrament of the Eucharist.
The Church teaches that Jesus Christ is truly and substantially present in the Eucharist: Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. Since, therefore, the whole and entire Christ - God and Man - resides in the Eucharist, it is true and proper to worship the Eucharistic Lord.
The Protestant, on the other hand, regards the worship of the Eucharist as idolatry as they regard the Eucharist as purely a symbolic act.
We could, as many have done both in the past and at present, argue on the interpretation of Scripture. And that is all fine and good, but what needs to be spoken about is how the early Christians understood the Eucharist. Did the early Christians regard it as purely symbolic, as the Protestants do, or as a Sacrament in which Jesus Christ is truly present, and in which His Body and Blood are truly present as Catholics believe? Well, to answer this question, we have to read the Church Fathers, those great teachers of the early Church who recorded the beliefs of the Christians of their times.
I wish to present here some of these Fathers. I will highlight the poignant parts that show what the early Christians believed about the Eucharist. Please note the dates of these quotes, as they will show a continuity of belief (which prove those Protestants false who argue that Constantine the Great founded the Church and from whom She supposedly got Her teachings from).
Ready? Here we go:
“[The heretics] abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they confess not the Eucharist to be the flesh of our Saviour Jesus Christ, which suffered for our sins, and which the Father, of His goodness, raised up again.” Ignatius of Antioch, Epistle to Smyrnaeans, 7,1 (A.D. 110).
So, my dear reader, what is the answer to the question: What did the early Christians believe about the Eucharist?
Answer: They believed exactly as Catholics do, namely, that the Eucharist is the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, and incidentally, that the Mass is truly a propitiatory sacrifice in which Christ is re-presented to the Father.
These quotes also show that it is un-Christian to deny the Catholic belief in the Eucharist and the Mass, and, to be frank, that the Catholic Church is not only right in what She teaches, but that She is the only true Church since She teaches today what She taught in the past. ALL Protestant sects deny the Eucharist, which shows they are not the true Church. They also, sadly, deny the very words of Christ Himself, in Whom they claim to believe. Well, if you deny the plain teachings of the One in Whom you claim to believe, do you really believe in Him?
And on this Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist, I pray that the holy Precursor of Christ will pray for those who have separated themselves from the Catholic Church and fallen into heresy, that they may be given the light of the Faith, and come to believe in the Catholic Faith, especially to come to see what a glorious and holy gift is given to us, namely, the Holy Eucharist, in which Jesus Christ Himself is truly present, waiting for them to come to Him!