If we Catholics are wrong on this point, then we are not just making a simple mistake; we are guilty of the grossest kind of idolatry - of worshiping a piece of bread as God! But that is our faith in the words of Jesus - our faith in His power to do absolutely anything! Jesus said:
“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat [“phogein” in Greek, the usual verb for “eat”] the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life within you;The Apostle Paul took Jesus at His word. Look at what Paul wrote the Corinthians:
he who eats [“trogein” in Greek, meaning “to munch or gnaw”] my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him.” (John 6:53-56, NIV)
And the early Church understood Jesus and Paul every bit as literally as Catholics today. Listen to my man Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch, writing in 107 A.D.:"Whoever, therefore eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died."(1 Corinthians 11: 27-30)
“I desire the Bread of God, which is the Flesh of Jesus Christ, Who was of the seed of David, and for drink, His Blood, which is love incorruptible.”(Epistle to Romans)
That's bold; we Catholics are "all in." We are not simply another Christian denomination. Either we have preserved the Faith established by Jesus, or we are idolaters. For someone who truly wants to live as a disciple of Jesus, it is impossible to be indifferent to the claims made by the Catholic Church. Either she is the Church founded by Jesus and the Eucharist is literally His body and blood, or she is misleading over a billion people. But if she's right ... then it is the fullness of the Christian Faith. Don't you think it's worth a serious study?
“Use one Eucharist so that whatever you do, you do according to God: for there is one flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ, and one cup in the union of his blood; one altar as there is one bishop with the presbytery and the deacons.” (Epistle to Philadelphians)"Take note of those who hold heterodox [or heretical] opinions on the grace of Jesus Christ which comes to us, and see how contrary their opinions are to the mind of God ... They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they do not confess that the Eucharist is the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ, flesh which suffered for our sins and which the Father, in his goodness, raised up again. They who deny the gift of God are perishing in their disputes." (Epistle to the Smyrnaeans)