I am not seeing how "Do this in memory of me" supports any transformation of the wine. Each time we partake of the sacrement, we are reminded of what Christ did for us on the cross. But like you mention "This IS my body and blood" How can that be taken for anything else?
"Pray to" and "Pray with" are very different to me. I may pray to God, and you may pray to God for me and with me, but why would I pray TO you?
Mary - of course she was a sinner, for all of us fall short of the glory of God. I do not recall where all of us, except Mary, fall short of the glory of God.
Is there someplace in the scripture that puts Mary in a different class than the rest of us? Just as Mary was chosen to bear the Son, we each are chosen by God to carry out his will. That does not make us different, not sinners, or any better in his eyes.
The only way each and every one of us can get into heaven is by his grace and mercy.
I believe I already responded, but....
There is nothing wrong with asking someone to pray for you or with you. There is very different however from "Hail Mary full of grace." That does not sound like an innocent request for her to pray with you but a praise and doxology for her.
I've heard many people say that Mary was "special" becuase God chose her. While that is true, she was/is special, is that really any different from the things that God chooses you and I for everyday?
Again, I believe I mentioned this, but didn't Jesus say that "all fall short of the glory of God" How does "all" exclude Mary?
I hope your Lent is getting off to a good start. We had a real wake up call here in Seattle with the Ash Wednesday earthquake.
I do agree wholeheartedly with you that the only way any of us, including Mary, can get to heaven is by God's grace and mercy. That is basic Catholic teaching - and was reaffirmed in relation to the Immaculate Conception.
Are you referring to Rom 3:23: all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God? I assume you agree the "all" does not include Jesus. Also in Rom 9:11 Paul refers to two individuals who "had done nothing either good or bad." In light of those exceptions would you agree that "all" might be used in a general, but not inclusive (each and every one) sense?
If the angel addressed Mary, "Hail, full of grace (highly favored) the Lord is with thee, blessed art thou among women," (Lk 1:28, KJV) could we not do the same? And who was the greeting "hail" normally reserved for? (see Mt 27:29, Jn 19:3)
I see what you mean about "pray to" and "pray with." To use the word "pray" in the sense of "ask" (another person) is somewhat archaic, as in "I pray thee, good sir," or "prithee." In the "Hail, Mary," we ask her to "pray for us, sinners, now and at the hour of our death." Does that make sense?
In your question about the Real Presence, are you looking an explanation for how we went from Jesus' command at the Last Supper to the "breaking of the bread," described in Acts and the early Christian Eucharistic celebrations, for example in St. Clement (end of 1st century) and St. Ignatius?
One final thing. I hope you do not picture heaven as kind of American democracy where all are created equal. That would be kind of boring, wouldn't it?
Again, Jeff, blessings for Lent.
Fr. Phil Bloom