Last Thursday here in Jacksonville my wife and I attended a talk given by Dr. Marcellino D’Ambrosio on the Eucharist. It was fairly well attended and the same parish is attempting to bring in speakers quarterly. They got off to a good start because Dr. Marcellino D’Ambrosio is an excellent speaker. Like most good speakers he blends humor, personal stories, and the meat of subject (meat of the subject is pretty appropriate for a discussion on the Eucharist).
Being that the Eucharist is an infinite mystery you can always get more out of any talk on the subject even when familiar ground is covered. It is always surprising on a subject of how you will have previously missed something that then suddenly looms large when you look at it from another angle or emphasis. One thing that he mentioned that I had not previously known is that the term "Real Presence" arose out of Anglicanism and was used to contrast with others that maintain that the Body and Blood are present only figuratively or symbolically.
Dwight Longenecker has an in depth article on the history of the term and some valid concerns about its widespread adoption.
Marcellino D’Ambrosio talk covered the basics about the Eucharist and also went in to some more in depth discussion on the subject. I just love a talk where terms like "accidents" and "substance" are discussed. Which I guess can be considered red meat for Catholics when it comes to a proper understanding of transubstantiation. The second part of his talk on on Christ’s presence in the Mass and getting more out of it. The talks came from his series Feast of Faith and the second talk focused on how we can properly digest the Eucharist and to be both more prepared for reception and allowing it to transform our lives.
If you get a chance to attend one of his talks I would strongly encourage you to go. Marcellino D’Ambrosio also appears on EWTN and Catholic Answers Live. In fact he was on Catholic Answers last Friday and you can listen to it [Real Audio] [MP3]
I got a chance to talk to him shortly during the break. He had wrote me previously promoting his excellent site The Crossroad Initiative and told me to introduce myself when he came to town. He wrote me today and now I have some concerns that he might need his eyesight checked.
Thanks so much for coming to my recent talks at Assumption parish in Jacksonville and for taking the time to come up to the book table and say hi! You look younger than I would have expected seeing as your bio says you have two adult kids!
Thanks so much for your internet apostolate—I appreciate your humor and your passion for the faith!
Flattery will get you far with me since my ego is such an easy target to hit.