I fully affirm that God the Son is present, as body, blood, soul, and divinity, in the Eucharistic host.
However, I find the doctrine of transubstantiation to be almost entirely meaningless. No appeal to faith or God's omnipotence can salvage it, because faith builds on reason; it cannot contradict it. To faith belong the things above reason not contrary to reason.
The astonishing, absurd, and incredible error of the Catholic theologians has been that in order to become the body of Christ, the bread must "convert" into meat. It is affirmed that that's just what it does, yet absolutely and 100% undetectably. No chemical analysis of the bread after it has been transubstantiated will reveal any meat-like properties. Watch the stomach digest the wafer with any manner of microscopes and modern devices; as far as the stomach is concerned, it is appropriating the plant matter of processed wheat, not animal matter of human flesh. And you can't deceive a brute innocent organ which does not care for dubious points of the Catholic doctrine. The body will receive the nutrients from the original bread, not from any sanctified meat.
What is "conversion"? If it's anything like the turning of Lot's wife into a pillar of salt, then it constitutes simply the annihilation of the wife and creation ex nihilo of the pillar. Thus, similarly, the bread is destroyed, and a piece of meat is allegedly created by God via a miraculous act in its stead. This is defended by the claim that transubstantiation is a substantial conversion of something essentially bread into something essentially meat, but one where the accidents of the bread -- apparently in fact everything that makes bread what it is -- remain. "In every true conversion the following condition must be fulfilled: 'What was formerly A, is now B.'" But "what bread was" is not defined by its accidents. This idea would never have passed muster with St. Thomas, unless he felt he was under a (false) necessity to try to defend the indefensible.
The Catholic Encyclopedia goes on: "For we do not receive in the Sacred Host one part of Christ and in the Chalice the other, as though our reception of the totality depended upon our partaking of both forms; on the contrary, under the appearance of bread alone, as well as under the appearance of wine alone, we receive Christ whole and entire." How can that be if human flesh is greatly varied in biochemical structure and function in the different organs of the body? Do we consume Christ's liver or His muscles? Does the bread turn into a little homunculus perfectly mimicking the body of Christ that He possessed while incarnated 2,000 years ago? Let's not get ridiculous.
What then happens during the Eucharist? It is simply a most literal and actual re-incarnation of God in the matter of bread and wine. Christ's divinity incarnated in the human flesh 2,000 years ago. Today, during every mass, His divinity and human soul are reincarnated as bread again and again. Bread is in the full sense Christ's body, yet now we are under no obligation to suppose absurdly that it "converts" into meat. In the original incarnation, Christ had (and does now) two natures, divine and human; a single personality, woven out of these; and a single undivided pursuit of happiness. In the Eucharist, He has four natures: bread-ness, wine-ness, humanity, divinity; yet still 1 person. Jesus dies every time the bread is eaten and wine is drunk, but it doesn't hurt.
How is that possible? Easy! All things pre-exist in God. Any real thing, therefore, is as if God shrunk into some particular finitude. As a result, God could incarnate as a human, but He can also incarnate as literally anything else, including a cat or color TV. In particular, God can incarnate as bread and wine which become His body while "containing" His divinity. More generally, any higher thing can incarnate as a lower thing. Now an angel cannot really incarnate as a human being. He can "assume" a human body, but it will be a mere facade, since the angel will not exercise any functions of life in that body. The active life proper to man is entirely foreign to an angel. But a human soul can assuredly incarnate as a merely material object, say, a car engine, since such a thing will be fully below it. As such a thing, it will be blind, deaf, and unthinking, but it will be attached to the engine, anyway. That this is so is clear from the fact that a human embryo has a full-featured soul, but because of the temporary primitiveness of the body, the soul cannot do much. The embryo does not contemplate philosophy while in the womb.
Again, the body (including the brain) is a limitation on the faculties of the human soul. The brain itself as a physical object has no power to think on its own. If the soul can permeate an embryo and in so doing lose most of its powers, then what is so outrageous about the idea that the soul can permeate bread and lose all of them?
Thus, both Christ's divinity and soul are bundled within the host. The idea of real presence remains without the absurdity of an outrageous magical transformation.
Why would God uplift mere bread and wine so? I already answered this question: in order to serve as a most adequate sign that just as a profane matter can become sacred, so can a profane natural unregenerated human soul be perfected and glorified.
There are other benefits to this understanding. The CE presents 3 problems of speculative theology relevant to the Eucharist:
- the continued existence of the Eucharistic Species, or the outward appearances of bread and wine, without their natural underlying subject;
- the spatially uncircumscribed, spiritual mode of existence of Christ's Eucharistic Body;
- the simultaneous existence of Christ in heaven and in many places on earth.
Problem 1 is conveniently dissolved.
Problem 2 is put as follows: "The difficulty reaches its climax when we consider that there is no question here of the Soul or the Divinity of Christ, but of His Body, which, with its head, trunk, and members, has assumed a mode of existence spiritual and independent of space, a mode of existence, indeed, concerning which neither experience nor any system of philosophy can have the least inkling." But now that we see that each individual piece of bread used in every celebration of the Eucharist is a new body of Christ and a temporal and very temporary one at that, this problem, too, goes away.
Problem 3 "has to do with the multilocation of Christ in heaven and upon thousands of altars throughout the world." This, too, is now easily solved: God can have as many separate bodies as He likes, whether human or bread or wine or indeed cat or TV set.