Christ is really present in the Holy Eucharist! And therefore, the Holy Eucharist is the greatest gift in this world. But many have lost faith in Christ’s presence at every Mass. This compelling book provides the most convincing proofs for the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist from Scripture, Tradition, and scientific investigations of Eucharistic miracles. Accompanied by Church Fathers Ignatius of Antioch, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus of Lyons and Cyril of Jerusalem, Fr. George Elliott leads the reader to an encounter with our Lord like a first century Christian. Dr. Stacy Transacos analyzes the popular Eucharistic miracles reported in Bolsena and Lanciano, Italy, and Buenos Aires, Argentina, with a twenty-first-century chemist’s objectivity. Together, Fr. Elliott and Dr. Trasancos lead you from the burning faith of the saints to the light of the Gospels, to modern science, and right back to the Word. With well researched details and thought provoking questions at the end of each chapter, this book will convict and empower you to evangelize to the world that the Holy Eucharist is not a symbol but truly flesh, bone, hands, and feet. “Behold,” Christ said, “It is I.”
Behold It is I by Stacy Trasancos Ph.D and Father George Elliott is more than just another summation of evidence on the Church’s teaching on the Eucharist. The third part of this book also looks at some of the evidence from the perspective of science by looking at miracles and discussing some specific Eucharistic miracles.
In “Part 1: What Does the Bible Say?” They look at the Old Testament, The Institution Narratives, The Gospel of John, and then scripture related to after the crucifixion.
In Part 2, they go into four of some of the earlier Church Father’s is separate chapters.
I liked the focused way they presented all three parts of this book. I especially appreciated when going into texts; they were not just proof-texting from limited sections but more extended sections. For example, when discussing Chapter 6 of John, they have you read the whole chapter as presented in the book to see the entire context before diving in. There is a lot of attention to detail here in giving the information.
I found the Review/Summary at the end of each chapter especially useful. Helpful to memorize the information and use it as a resource.
The review/summary includes:
– Key Ideas
– Good Facts to Memorize
– Effective Questions to Ask When Discussing the Real Presence
Each section is also extensively footnoted.
If this book only contained the first two chapters, it would have been worth buying.
The main reason I had bought this book was that I had read Stacy Trasancos other books and knew I wanted to see her perspective regarding the science of Eucharistic miracles. Her background includes being a research chemist for DuPont. She is a convert from atheism and holds a doctorate in chemistry and a master’s degree in dogmatic science.
The chapter on “Miracles and Transubstantiation” is an excellent primer on the subject that makes careful distinctions as it enters the realm of theology, philosophy, and science. There is so much to think about here as she answers some anticipated questions and some less so—a great introduction to the subject of miracles in general.
The following chapters cover:
– Eucharistic miracle that occurred in Bolsena, Italy, in 1263
– The more recent Buenos Aires series of Eucharistic miracles in the 1990s.
– The Lanciano Report of the Eucharistic miracle occurred in the eighth century.
This section is a fascinating look at the scientific evidence for these fairly well-known cases. However, Stacy Trasancos is cautious about what the science can confirm regarding previous investigations.
One of the problems is that so many accounts of these miracles have been inaccurate, and the evidence does not fully support conclusions drawn. Some pieces of evidence point to these cases being miraculous, but it is not the slam dunk popularly presented. Moreover, there are aspects to these stories that are either mistaken or open to other interpretations. What I found especially interesting is how vital the chain of evidence is regarding contamination.
Perhaps for future Eucharistic miracles there could be a protocol for a congregation or celebrant to follow if someone sees a Host bleed or become tissue or the wine becomes physiological blood. At that point, the Vatican should convene a team of scientists and doctors to write a plan detailing how to collect and store the sample, where to send the samples for the same testing each time, who to include in the analysis, and how to report the results compared to a bank of data.
We need a “CSI: Eucharistic Miracle” (CSI being Communion Scene Investigation)
One of the questions I have heard people often ask is why don’t we use scientific evidence of Eucharistic Miracles more to make our case to non-Catholics? If we do so, we need to strongman our case and present only factual data to make our case. These Eucharistic miracles can be used to make a cumulative case in conjunction with scripture and the Church Fathers. I have learned a lot from Jimmy Akin regarding applying critical thinking skills to subjects. So I admire Stacy Trasancos for doing the same and only going as far as the current evidence supports.
One final note. If you like ebooks, I recommend you buy the ebook directly from Tan Books Behold It is I. Since their ebooks do not have Digital Rights Management, I copied extensively from the book into my notes.