Transubstantiation in modern science: How can substance change without accidents
You are making this too hard.  Here's how I explain it to kids and some others (no offence):

A thing is more than the sum of its parts (what you call molecular structure).  For example, Sydney Crosby is a famous Canadian hockey player with legions of fans.  He played on the gold medal Junior team.  During his trip home, his game hockey jersey (shirt) was stolen from his luggage.  No, why would that have been valuable?  Anyone can buy one exactly the same online or from a store.  And I do mean EXACTLY the same...they come off the same line, from the same manufacturer.  But if I offered you two jerseys, identical in every respect except that one was the actual game jersey worn by Crosby, and the other was from the store with his name on it etc., which would you choose?  If you're a Canadian hockey fan you would consider the game jersey to be worth 1,000 or a million times the worth of the store bought one.

Why?  Molecularly they are the same.  Same thread, same dyes, same everything.  A scientist would say they are the same.

So, again, I ask you - why is the game jersey more valuable?  How is it different?

The answer, of course, as everyone simply knows intuitively but can't really articulate very well, is that the game jersey is an entirely different thing altogether.  Why? Because it is authentic in a way the other is not.  It has undergone an experience that transformed it into something else, something new, something different that the other has not undergone (to wit, the game experience).

Such is the case with transubstantiation.  A man who has received valid Holy Orders, acting in obedience to Chirst, holds a piece of bread (itself valid matter) and utters very specific words of consecration, causing this ordinary piece of bread to undergo a very specific experience in a very particular and authorized manner and circumstance.  The bread is gone.  An entirely new, authentic substance (the Body of Christ) is now there.  Why? Two reasons: First, because Our Lord said so and 2) Because the conditions set out by the Church, acting under explicit authority and in fidelity to Christ’s command, have been met.

Now, the outward appearance of bread (the molecular structure) is still there.  But the bread – or what was called bread – is gone, and has been replaced with something entirely, authentically different.  And, as we saw with the hockey jersey, this has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with outward appearances or physical content.

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Re: Transubstantiation in modern science: How can substance change without accidents - by Allan - 12-07-2012, 12:46 PM

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