If ever you've been tempted to believe or think that at The Eucharist/The Lord's Supper*/Holy Communion, the bread literally turns to Jesus' body and the wine literally turns into Jesus' blood, then here are some probing questions (in the form of a witty poem) from a wise 16th century Augustinian monk:
If this we see be bread, how can it last,
So constantly consum’d, yet always here?
If this be God, then how can it appear
Bread to the eye, and seem bread to the taste?
If bread, why is it worshipp’d by the baker?
If God, can such a space a God comprise?
If bread, how is it, it confounds the wise?
If God, how is it that we eat our Maker?
If bread, what good can such a morsel do?
If God, how is it we divide it so?
If bread, such saving virtue could it give?
If God, how can I see and touch it thus?
If bread, how could it come from heav’n to us?
If God, how can I look at it and live?
(Luis de León, 1527-1591)
*my preferred term for this meal