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Quote Archive: The Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist

The “Becoming Catholic” series presents the biblical, philosophical, and historical evidence for why Eternal Christendom Founder, Joshua Charles, became and remains Catholic. The series table of contents is here.

This Quote Archive on the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist is part of the Becoming Catholic series. Each archive of quotes is intended to serve as a reference source on the various topics addressed in the articles. They are periodically updated as more research is completed.

St. Ignatius of Antioch (died c. 107) (EAST)

St. Ignatius of Antioch, Letter to the Romans (Ch. 7) (c. 107)

(Ch. 7) …I have no delight in corruptible food, nor in the pleasures of this life. I desire the bread of God, the heavenly bread, the bread of life, which is the flesh of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who became afterwards of the seed of David and Abraham; and I desire the drink of God, namely His blood, which is incorruptible love and eternal life.

St. Ignatius of Antioch, Letter to the Smyrnaeans (Ch. 6-7) (c. 107)

(Ch. 6) …But consider those who are of a different opinion with respect to the grace of Christ which has come unto us, how opposed they are to the will of God…

(Ch. 7) They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they confess not the Eucharist to be the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ, which suffered for our sins, and which the Father, of His goodness, raised up again. Those, therefore, who speak against this gift of God, incur death in the midst of their disputes

St. Ignatius of Antioch, Letter to the Philadelphians (Ch. 4) (c. 107)

(Ch. 4) Take heed, then, to have but one Eucharist. For there is one flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ, and one cup to [show forth] the unity of His blood; one altar; as there is one bishop, along with the presbytery and deacons, my fellow-servants: that so, whatsoever you do, you may do it according to [the will of] God.

St. Justin Martyr (c. 100-165) (EAST)

St. Justin Martyr, First Apology (Ch. 66) (c. 151)

(Ch. 66) And this food is called among us Εὐχαριστία [the Eucharist], of which no one is allowed to partake but the man who believes that the things which we teach are true, and who has been washed with the washing that is for the remission of sins [baptism], and unto regeneration, and who is so living as Christ has enjoined. For not as common bread and common drink do we receive these; but in like manner as Jesus Christ our Savior, having been made flesh by the Word of God, had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so likewise have we been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word, and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished, is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh. For the apostles, in the memoirs composed by them, which are called Gospels, have thus delivered unto us what was enjoined upon them; that Jesus took bread, and when He had given thanks, said, “This do ye in remembrance of Me, this is My body” [Luke 22:19]; and that, after the same manner, having taken the cup and given thanks, He said, “This is My blood”; and gave it to them alone. Which the wicked devils have imitated in the mysteries of Mithras, commanding the same thing to be done. For, that bread and a cup of water are placed with certain incantations in the mystic rites of one who is being initiated, you either know or can learn.

St. Irenaeus of Lyon (c. 130-c. 202) (EAST/WEST)

St. Irenaeus of Lyon, Against Heresies (Book 4, Ch. 33, §2; Book 5, Ch. 2, §§2-3) (c. 180)

(Book 4, Ch. 33, §2)

(§2) …Moreover, how could the Lord, with any justice, if He belonged to another father, have acknowledged the bread to be His body, while He took it from that creation to which we belong, and affirmed the mixed cup to be His blood?

(Book 5, Ch. 2, §§2-3)

(§2) But vain in every respect are they who despise the entire dispensation of God, and disallow the salvation of the flesh, and treat with contempt its regeneration, maintaining that it is not capable of incorruption. But if this indeed do not attain salvation, then neither did the Lord redeem us with His blood, nor is the cup of the Eucharist the communion of His blood, nor the bread which we break the communion of His body. [1 Cor. 10:16] For blood can only come from veins and flesh, and whatsoever else makes up the substance of man, such as the Word of God was actually made. By His own blood he redeemed us, as also His apostle declares, “In whom we have redemption through His blood, even the remission of sins.” [Col. 1:14] And as we are His members, we are also nourished by means of the creation (and He Himself grants the creation to us, for “He causes His sun to rise, and sends rain when He wills” [Matt. 5:45]). He has acknowledged the cup (which is a part of the creation) as His own blood, from which He bedews our blood; and the bread (also a part of the creation) He has established as His own body, from which He gives increase to our bodies.

(§3) When, therefore, the mingled cup and the manufactured bread receives the Word of God, and the Eucharist of the blood and the body of Christ is made, from which things the substance of our flesh is increased and supported, how can they affirm that the flesh is incapable of receiving the gift of God, which is life eternal, which [flesh] is nourished from the body and blood of the Lord, and is a member of Him?—even as the blessed Paul declares in his Epistle to the Ephesians, that “we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones.” [Eph. 5:30] He does not speak these words of some spiritual and invisible man, for a spirit has not bones nor flesh [Luke 24:39]; but [he refers to] that dispensation [by which the Lord became] an actual man, consisting of flesh, and nerves, and bones—that [flesh] which is nourished by the cup which is His blood, and receives increase from the bread which is His body. And just as a cutting from the vine planted in the ground fructifies in its season, or as a grain of wheat falling into the earth and becoming decomposed, rises with manifold increase by the Spirit of God, who contains all things, and then, through the wisdom of God, serves for the use of men, and having received the Word of God, becomes the Eucharist, which is the body and blood of Christ; so also our bodies, being nourished by it, and deposited in the earth, and suffering decomposition there, shall rise at their appointed time, the Word of God granting them resurrection to the glory of God, even the Father, who freely gives to this mortal immortality, and to this corruptible incorruption [1 Cor. 15:53], because the strength of God is made perfect in weakness [2 Cor. 12:3], in order that we may never become puffed up, as if we had life from ourselves, and exalted against God, our minds becoming ungrateful; but learning by experience that we possess eternal duration from the excelling power of this Being, not from our own nature, we may neither undervalue that glory which surrounds God as He is, nor be ignorant of our own nature, but that we may know what God can effect, and what benefits man receives, and thus never wander from the true comprehension of things as they are, that is, both with regard to God and with regard to man. And might it not be the case, perhaps, as I have already observed, that for this purpose God permitted our resolution into the common dust of mortality, that we, being instructed by every mode, may be accurate in all things for the future, being ignorant neither of God nor of ourselves?

St. Clement of Alexandria (c. 150-c. 215) (EAST)

St. Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor (Book 1, Ch. 6) (c. 197)

(Ch. 6) …“Eat ye my flesh,” He says, “and drink my blood.” [John 6:53-54] Such is the suitable food which the Lord ministers, and He offers His flesh and pours forth His blood, and nothing is wanting for the children’s growth. O amazing mystery! We are enjoined to cast off the old and carnal corruption, as also the old nutriment, receiving in exchange another new regimen, that of Christ, receiving Him if we can, to hide Him within; and that, enshrining the Savior in our souls, we may correct the affections of our flesh…

Tertullian (c. 155-c. 220) (WEST)

Tertullian, Resurrection of the Flesh (Ch. 8) (c. 210)

(Ch. 8) …[T]here is not a soul that can at all procure salvation, except it believe whilst it is in the flesh, so true is it that the flesh is the very condition on which salvation hinges. And since the soul is, in consequence of its salvation, chosen to the service of God, it is the flesh which actually renders it capable of such service. The flesh, indeed, is washed, in order that the soul may be cleansed; the flesh is anointed, that the soul may be consecrated; the flesh is signed (with the cross), that the soul too may be fortified; the flesh is shadowed with the imposition of hands, that the soul also maybe illuminated by the Spirit; the flesh feeds on the body and blood of Christ, that the soul likewise may fatten on its God

St. Hippolytus of Rome (c. 170-235) (WEST)

St. Hippolytus of Rome, Fragment on Proverbs 9:1 (c. 217)

“And she has furnished her table”: That denotes the promised knowledge of the Holy Trinity; it also refers to his honored and undefiled body and blood, which day by day are administered and offered sacrificially at the spiritual divine table, as a memorial of that first and ever-memorable table of the spiritual divine supper

Origen (c. 184-c. 253) (EAST)

Origen, Homily 7 on Numbers (§2) (c. 249)1

Formerly there was baptism in an obscure way…Now, however, in full view, there is regeneration in water and in the Holy Spirit. Formerly, in an obscure way, there was manna for food; now, however, in full view, there is the true food, the flesh of the Word of God, as he himself says: “My flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.” [John 6:56]

St. Cyprian of Carthage (c. 210-258) (WEST)

St. Cyprian of Carthage, Treatise 3: On the Lapsed (§§15-16) (251)

(§15) …[Paul] threatens, moreover, the stubborn and forward, and denounces them, saying, “Whosoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily, is guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord.” [1 Cor. 11:27]

(§16) All these warnings being scorned and despised, [lapsed Christians will often take Communion] before their sin is expiated, before confession has been made of their crime, before their conscience has been purged by sacrifice and by the hand of the priest, before the offense of an angry and threatening Lord has been appeased, [and so] violence is done to his body and blood; and they sin against their Lord more with their hand and mouth than when they denied their Lord

St. Cyprian, Treatise 4: On the Lord’s Prayer (§18) (c. 251/252)

(§18) …And we ask that this bread [“our daily bread” in the Lord’s Prayer] should be given to us daily, that we who are in Christ, and daily receive the Eucharist for the food of salvation, may not by the interposition of some heinous sin be separated from Christ’s body by being withheld from communicating and prevented from partaking of the heavenly bread

St. Aphrahat the Persian (c. 280-c. 345) (EAST)

St. Aphrahat the Persian, Demonstrations (Book 12, §6) (c. 340)

(§6) …Our Lord said these things [at the Last Supper] and arose, from where He had celebrated the Passover sacrifice and had given His body to eat and His blood to drink, and He went out with His disciples to that place, where He was seized. For after He had eaten His body and drank His blood, He was counted with the dead.

Our Lord gave His body and by His own hands to eat. He gave His blood to drink before He was crucified…And He was among the dead in the night during which the fifteenth dawned, the night of Sabbath, the whole day and three hours in Friday, and in the night during which Sunday dawned, at the time He had given His body and blood to His disciples, He rose from the Sheol.

St. Cyril of Jerusalem (c. 313-386) (EAST)

St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lecture 19 (§7) (c. 350)

(§7) Moreover, the things which are hung up at idol festivals, either meat or bread, or other such things polluted by the invocation of the unclean spirits, are reckoned in the pomp of the devil. For as the Bread and Wine of the Eucharist before the invocation of the Holy and Adorable Trinity were simple bread and wine, while after the invocation the Bread becomes the Body of Christ, and the Wine the Blood of Christ, so in like manner such meats belonging to the pomp of Satan, though in their own nature simple, become profane by the invocation of the evil spirit.

St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lecture 22 (§§6, 9) (c. 350)

(§6) Consider therefore the bread and the wine not as bare elements, for they are, according to the Lord’s declaration, the body and blood of Christ; for even though sense suggests this to you, let faith establish you. Judge not the matter from the taste, but from faith be fully assured without misgiving, that the body and blood of Christ have been vouchsafed to you

(§9) Having learned these things, and been fully assured that the seeming bread is not bread, though sensible to taste, but the body of Christ; and that the seeming wine is not wine, though the taste will have it so, but the blood of Christ; and that of this David sung of old, saying, “And bread strengthens man’s heart, to make his face to shine with oil, strengthen your heart,” by partaking of it as spiritual, and “make the face of your soul to shine.”…

St. Gregory of Nyssa (c. 335-395) (EAST)

St. Gregory of Nyssa, The Great Catechism (Summary; Ch. 37) (c. 380)

(Summary) …Ch. 37—The Eucharist unites the body, as Baptism the soul, to God. Our bodies, having received poison, need an Antidote; and only by eating and drinking can it enter. One Body, the receptacle of Deity, is this Antidote, thus received. But how can it enter whole into each one of the Faithful? This needs an illustration. Water gives its own body to a skin-bottle. So nourishment (bread and wine) by becoming flesh and blood gives bulk to the human frame: the nourishment is the body. Just as in the case of other men, our Savior’s nourishment (bread and wine) was His Body; but these, nourishment and Body, were in Him changed into the Body of God by the Word indwelling. So now repeatedly the bread and wine, sanctified by the Word (the sacred Benediction), is at the same time changed into the Body of that Word; and this Flesh is disseminated amongst all the Faithful.

(Ch. 37) But since the human being is a twofold creature, compounded of soul and body, it is necessary that the saved should lay hold of the Author of the new life through both their component parts.

Accordingly, the soul being fused into Him through faith derives from that the means and occasion of salvation; for the act of union with the life implies a fellowship with the life. But the body comes into fellowship and blending with the Author of our salvation in another way. For as they who owing to some act of treachery have taken poison, allay its deadly influence by means of some other drug (for it is necessary that the antidote should enter the human vitals in the same way as the deadly poison, in order to secure, through them, that the effect of the remedy may be distributed through the entire system), in like manner we, who have tasted the solvent of our nature [Eve eating the fruit?], necessarily need something that may combine what has been so dissolved, so that such an antidote entering within us may, by its own counter-influence, undo the mischief introduced into the body by the poison.

What, then, is this remedy to be? Nothing else than that very Body which has been shown to be superior to death, and has been the First-fruits of our life. For, in the manner that, as the Apostle says, a little leaven assimilates to itself the whole lump, so in like manner that body to which immortality has been given it by God, when it is in ours,  translates and transmutes the whole into itself. For as by the admixture of a poisonous liquid with a wholesome one the whole draft is deprived of its deadly effect, so too the immortal Body, by being within that which receives it, changes the whole to its own nature. Yet in no other way can anything enter within the body but by being transfused through the vitals by eating and drinking.

It is, therefore, incumbent on the body to admit this life-producing power in the one way that its constitution makes possible. And since that Body only which was the receptacle of the Deity received this grace of immortality, and since it has been shown that in no other way was it possible for our body to become immortal, but by participating in incorruption through its fellowship with that immortal Body, it will be necessary to consider how it was possible that that one Body, being forever portioned to so many myriads of the faithful throughout the whole world, enters through that portion, whole into each individual, and yet remains whole in itself.

In order, therefore, that our faith, with eyes fixed on logical probability, may harbor no doubt on the subject before us, it is fitting to make a slight digression in our argument, to consider the physiology of the body.

Who is there that does not know that our bodily frame, taken by itself, possesses no life in its own proper subsistence, but that it is by the influx of a force or power from without that it holds itself together and continues in existence, and by a ceaseless motion that it draws to itself what it wants, and repels what is superfluous? When a leathern bottle is full of some liquid, and then the contents leak out at the bottom, it would not retain the contour of its full bulk unless there entered in at the top something else to fill up the vacuum; and thus a person, seeing the circumference of this bottle swollen to its full size, would know that this circumference did not really belong to the object which he sees, but that what was being poured in, by being in it, gave shape and roundness to the bulk.

In the same way the mere framework of our body possesses nothing belonging to itself that is cognizable by us, to hold it together, but remains in existence owing to a force that is introduced into it. Now this power or force both is, and is called, nourishment. But it is not the same in all bodies that require aliment, but to each of them has been assigned a food adapted to its condition by Him who governs Nature. Some animals feed on roots which they dig up. Of others grass is the food, of others different kinds of flesh, but for man above all things bread; and, in order to continue and preserve the moisture of his body, drink, not simply water, but water frequently sweetened with wine, to join forces with our internal heat.

He, therefore, who thinks of these things, thinks by implication of the particular bulk of our body. For those things by being within me became my blood and flesh, the corresponding nutriment by its power of adaptation being changed into the form of my body.

With these distinctions we must return to the consideration of the question before us. The question was, how can that one Body of Christ vivify the whole of mankind, all, that is, in whomsoever there is Faith, and yet, though divided amongst all, be itself not diminished? Perhaps, then, we are now not far from the probable explanation. If the subsistence of every body depends on nourishment, and this is eating and drinking, and in the case of our eating there is bread and in the case of our drinking water sweetened with wine, and if, as was explained at the beginning, the Word of God, Who is both God and the Word, coalesced with man’s nature, and when He came in a body such as ours did not innovate on man’s physical constitution so as to make it other than it was, but secured continuance for His own body by the customary and proper means, and controlled its subsistence by meat and drink, the former of which was bread—just, then, as in the case of ourselves, as has been repeatedly said already, if a person sees bread he also, in a kind of way, looks on a human body, for by the bread being within it the bread becomes it, so also, in that other case, the body into which God entered, by partaking of the nourishment of bread, was, in a certain measure, the same with it; that nourishment, as we have said, changing itself into the nature of the body. For that which is peculiar to all flesh is acknowledged also in the case of that flesh, namely, that that Body too was maintained by bread; which Body also by the indwelling of God the Word was transmuted to the dignity of Godhead.

Rightly, then, do we believe that now also the bread which is consecrated by the Word of God is changed into the Body of God the Word. For that Body was once, by implication, bread, but has been consecrated by the inhabitation of the Word that tabernacled in the flesh.

Therefore, from the same cause as that by which the bread that was transformed in that Body was changed to a Divine potency, a similar result takes place now. For as in that case, too, the grace of the Word used to make holy the Body, the substance of which came of the bread, and in a manner was itself bread, so also in this case the bread, as says the Apostle, “is sanctified by the Word of God and prayer” [1 Tim. 4:5]; not that it advances by the process of eating to the stage of passing into the body of the Word, but it is at once changed into the body by means of the Word, as the Word itself said, “This is My Body.” Seeing, too, that all flesh is nourished by what is moist (for without this combination our earthly part would not continue to live), just as we support by food which is firm and solid the solid part of our body, in like manner we supplement the moist part from the kindred element; and this, when within us, by its faculty of being transmitted, is changed to blood, and especially if through the wine it receives the faculty of being transmuted into heat. Since, then, that God-containing flesh partook for its substance and support of this particular nourishment also, and since the God who was manifested infused Himself into perishable humanity for this purpose, viz. that by this communion with Deity mankind might at the same time be deified, for this end it is that, by dispensation of His grace, He disseminates Himself in every believer through that flesh, whose substance comes from bread and wine, blending Himself with the bodies of believers, to secure that, by this union with the immortal, man, too, may be a sharer in incorruption. He gives these gifts by virtue of the benediction through which He transelements the natural quality of these visible things [bread and wine] to that immortal thing [His body and blood].

St. Ambrose of Milan (c. 340-397) (WEST)

St. Ambrose of Milan, On the Mysteries (Ch. 8, §47; Ch. 9, §§50, 53-54 58) (c. 390)

(Ch. 8, §47)

(§47) We have proved the sacraments of the Church to be the more ancient, now recognize that they are superior. In very truth it is a marvelous thing that God rained manna on the fathers, and fed them with daily food from heaven; so that it is said, “So man ate angels’ food.” But yet all those who ate that food died in the wilderness, but that food which you receive, that living Bread which came down from heaven, furnishes the substance of eternal life; and whosoever shall eat of this Bread shall never die, and it is the Body of Christ.

(Ch. 9, §§50, 53-54, 58)

(§50) Perhaps you will say, “I see something else, how is it that you assert that I receive the Body of Christ?” And this is the point which remains for us to prove. And what evidence shall we make use of? Let us prove that this is not what nature made, but what the blessing consecrated, and the power of blessing is greater than that of nature, because by blessing nature itself is changed

(§53) …And this body which we make is that which was born of the Virgin. Why do you seek the order of nature in the Body of Christ, seeing that the Lord Jesus Himself was born of a Virgin, not according to nature? It is the true Flesh of Christ which crucified and buried, this is then truly the Sacrament of His Body.

(§54) The Lord Jesus Himself proclaims: “This is My Body.” [Matt. 26:26] Before the blessing of the heavenly words another nature is spoken of, after the consecration the Body is signified. He Himself speaks of His Blood. Before the consecration it has another name, after it is called Blood. And you say, “Amen,” that is, “It is true.” Let the heart within confess what the mouth utters, let the soul feel what the voice speaks

(§58) Wherefore, too, the Church, beholding so great grace, exhorts her sons and her friends to come together to the sacraments, saying: “Eat, my friends, and drink and be inebriated, my brother.” [Song of Songs 5:1] What we eat and what we drink the Holy Spirit has elsewhere made plain by the prophet, saying, “Taste and see that the Lord is good, blessed is the man that hopes in Him.” In that sacrament is Christ, because it is the Body of Christ, it is therefore not bodily food but spiritual. Whence the Apostle says of its type: “Our fathers ate spiritual food and drank spiritual drink,” [1 Cor. 10:3] for the Body of God is a spiritual body; the Body of Christ is the Body of the Divine Spirit, for the Spirit is Christ, as we read: “The Spirit before our face is Christ the Lord.” [Lam. 4:20] And in the Epistle of Peter we read: “Christ died for us.” [1 Pet. 2:21] Lastly, that food strengthens our heart, and that drink “makes glad the heart of man,” as the prophet has recorded.

Theodore of Mopsuestia (c. 350-428) (EAST)

Theodore of Mopsuestia, Catechetical Homily 5 (§1) (c. 410)2

When [Christ] gave the bread he did not say, “This is the symbol of my body,” but, “This is my body.” In the same way, when he gave the cup of his blood he did not say, “This is the symbol of my blood,” but, “This is my blood.” For he wanted us to look upon the [Eucharistic elements] after their reception of grace and the coming of the Holy Spirit not according to their nature, but to receive them as they are, the body and blood of our Lord. We ought…not to see [the elements] merely as bread and cup, but as the body and blood of the Lord, into which they were transformed by the descent of the Holy Spirit.

St. Augustine (354-430) (WEST)

St. Augustine, Exposition of Psalm 34 (§1) (c. 405)

(§1) Because there was there a sacrifice after the order of Aaron, and afterwards He of His Own Body and Blood appointed a sacrifice after the order of Melchizedek; He changed then His Countenance in the Priesthood, and sent away the kingdom of the Jews, and came to the Gentiles…“And was carried in His Own Hands”: how carried in His Own Hands? Because when He commended His Own Body and Blood, He took into His Hands that which the faithful know; and in a manner carried Himself, when He said, “This is My Body.” [Matt. 26:26]…

Christ was carried in his own hands when, referring to his own body, he said, “This is my body.” [Matt. 26:26] For he carried that body in his hands.

St. Augustine, Sermon 227 (c. 411)3

I haven’t forgotten my promise. I had promised those of you who have just been baptized a sermon to explain the sacrament of the Lord’s table, which you can see right now, and which you shared in last night. You ought to know what you have received, what you are able to receive, what you ought to receive every day. That bread which you can see on the altar, sanctified by the word of God, is the body of Christ. That cup, or rather what the cup contains, sanctified by the word of God, is the blood of Christ. It was by means of these things that the Lord Christ wished to present us with his body and blood, which he shed for our sake for the forgiveness of sins. If you receive them well, you are yourselves what you receive.

St. Augustine, Sermon 272 (c. 411)4

What you can see on the altar, you also saw last night; but what it was, what it  meant, of what great reality it contained the sacrament, you had not yet heard. So what you can see, then, is bread and a cup; that’s what even your eyes tell you; but as for what your faith asks to be instructed about, the bread is the body of Christ, the cup the blood of Christ

St. John of Damascus (c. 675/676-749) (EAST)

St. John of Damascus, Exposition of the Orthodox Faith (Book 4, Ch. 13) (700s)

(Ch. 13) …[I]f God the Word of His own will became man and the pure and undefiled blood of the holy and ever-Virginal One made His flesh without the aid of seed, can He not then make the bread His body and the wine and water His blood?…For just as God made all that He made by the energy of the Holy Spirit, so also now the energy of the Spirit performs those things that are supernatural and which it is not possible to comprehend unless by faith alone


Ecumenical Council of Nicaea (Can. 18) (325)

(Can. 18) It has come to the knowledge of the holy and great synod that, in some districts and cities, the deacons administer the Eucharist to the presbyters [i.e. priests], though neither canon nor custom permits that they who have no right to offer [the Eucharistic sacrifice] should give the body of Christ to them that do offer [it]

Ecumenical Council of Ephesus (St. Cyril of Alexandria’s Third Letter to Nestorius) (431)5

This too we must add. Proclaiming the death in respect of the flesh of the only-begotten Son of God, that is, Jesus Christ, and acknowledging His return to life from the dead and ascension into heaven, we perform in the churches the bloodless cult, approach the sacramental gifts, and are sanctified by our participation in the holy flesh and the precious blood of Christ the Savior of us all, not by receiving common flesh (God forbid!) nor that of a man sanctified and conjoined to the Word in oneness of dignity or by enjoying divine indwelling, but as the truly life-giving flesh belonging to the Word Himself. For being life by nature as God, when He became one with His own flesh, He made it life-giving, with the result that, although He says to us, “Truly I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood…” (John 6:53) we shall not attribute even this to a human individual like us (for how could human flesh be life-giving of its own nature?) but shall count it as having truly become the very own flesh of the one who became for us, and was accounted, Son of Man.


  1. Jimmy Akins, The Fathers Know Best: Your Essential Guide to the Teachings of the Early Church (San Diego: Catholic Answers Press, 2010), 295. ↩︎
  2. Jimmy Akins, The Fathers Know Best: Your Essential Guide to the Teachings of the Early Church (San Diego: Catholic Answers Press, 2010), 297. ↩︎
  3. St. Augustine, Edmund Hill, OP, trans., The Works of Saint Augustine: Sermons, III/6 (184-229Z) (New York: New City Press, 1993), 254. ↩︎
  4. St. Augustine, Edmund Hill, OP, trans., The Works of Saint Augustine: Sermons, III/6 (184-229Z) (New York: New City Press, 1993), 300. ↩︎
  5. Richard Price, trans., The Council of Ephesus of 431: Documents and Proceedings (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2022), 166. ↩︎
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