The Calvinists, therefore, are perfectly right when they resect the Lutheran doctrine of Consubstantiation as a fiction, with no foundation in Scripture. 10:16). permission to publish this work is hereby granted. But Cardinal De Lugo is of opinion, and justly so, that to deny its possibility might reflect unfavorably upon the Eucharistic multilocation itself. Christ Himself designated the idea of Communion as a union by love: “He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, abideth in me, and I in him” (John, vi, 57). With the true instinct of justice, jurists prescribe that in all debatable points the words of a will must be taken in their natural, literal sense; for they are led by the correct conviction, that every testator of sound mind, in drawing up his last will and testament, is deeply concerned to have it done in language at once clear and unencumbered by meaningless metaphors. Jesus first repeated what he said, then summarized: “‘I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh.’ The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, ‘How can this man give us his flesh to eat?’” (John 6:51–52). The destruction of venial sin and of all affection to it, is readily understood on the basis of the two central ideas mentioned above. Council of Trent, Sess. There can be no question of a grievous offense against Christ Himself, unless we suppose that the true Body and the true Blood of Christ are really present in the Eucharist. ), and the Bread of Life of the future (John, vi, 27, 52). . there remain here for a more detailed consideration two principal truths: (I) The Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist; and (II) The Eucharist as a Sacrament. Col., i, 24). orient.”, Jena, 1850, I, p.180), that the Schismatical Greek Church adopted the view, according to which the priest does not at all consecrate by virtue of the words of Institution, but only by means of the Epiklesis occurring shortly after them and expressing in the Oriental Liturgies a petition to the Holy Spirit, “that the bread and wine may be converted into the Body and Blood of Christ”. The investigation into the precise nature of the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, whose existence Protestants do not deny, is beset with a number of difficulties. This third case would be in perfect accordance with the two foregoing, were we per impossibile permitted to imagine that Christ were present under the appearances of bread exactly as He is in heaven and that He had relinquished His natural mode of existence. Since ex vi verborum the immediate result is the presence of the Body of Christ, its quantity, present merely per concomitantiam, must follow the mode of existence peculiar to its substance, and, like the latter, must exist without division and extension, i.e. In the fourth century the Synod of Hippo (393) forbade the practice of giving Holy Communion to the dead as a gross abuse, and assigned as a reason, that “corpses were no longer capable of eating”. If, then, the natural, literal interpretation were false, the Scriptural record alone would have to be considered as the cause of a pernicious error in faith and of the grievous crime of rendering Divine homage to bread (artolatria)—a supposition little in harmony with the character of the four Sacred Writers or with the inspiration of the Sacred Text. For an example of this use, see Micah 3:3. A more weighty consideration is this, that on closer investigation the copula est will be found to retain its proper meaning of “is” rather than “signifies”. This is why Christ was so ready to use the realistic expression “to chew” (John, vi, 54, 56, 58: trogein) when speaking of this, His Bread of Life, in addition to the phrase, “to eat” (John, vi, 51, 53: phagein). Sacramenti;), introduced by St. Alphonsus Liguori; in later times the numerous orders and congregations devoted to Perpetual Adoration, the institution in many dioceses of the devotion of “Perpetual Prayer“, the holding of International Eucharistic Congresses, e.g. XIII, can. Apostolic Constitutions, VIII, xiii). The Council of Trent (Sess. In this connection we must restrict ourselves to an examination of the most current and widely known distortions of the literal sense, which were the butt of Luther’s bitter ridicule even as early as 1527. For my flesh is meat indeed: and my blood is drink indeed” (John, vi, 54-56). ii). the accidents of the bread do not remain without a subject. The latter is the soul’s mode of presence in the human body. Regarding tradition, the earliest witnesses, as Tertullian and Cyprian, could hardly have given any particular consideration to the genetic relation of the natural elements of bread and wine to the Body and Blood of Christ, or to the manner in which the former were converted into the latter; for even Augustine was deprived of a clear conception of Transubstantiation, so long as he was held in the bonds of Platonism. Therefore the Catholic dogma is at least as old as Nestorianism (431 A.D.). XIII, cap. This much as regards the general notion of conversion. the coexistence of the substance of the bread with the true Body of Christ. ), favors the literal interpretation. Yet, even prescinding from the fact that in the Aramaic tongue the copula est is usually omitted and that such an omission rather makes for its strict meaning of “to be”, Cardinal Wiseman (Home Syriaca., Rome, 1828, pp. In St. Thomas’s time (III, Q. lxxxii, a. This is the only record we have of any of Christ’s followers forsaking him for purely doctrinal reasons. And without further ado He allowed these Disciples to go their way (John, vi, 62 sqq.). praktische Quartalschrift”, Linz, 1906, LIX, 95 sqq. Such a mode of existence, it is clear, does not come within the scope of physics and mechanics, but belongs to a higher, supernatural order, even as does the Resurrection from the sealed tomb, the passing in and out through closed doors, the Transfiguration of the future glorified risen Body. Even though the senses suggest to you the other, let faith make you firm” (Catechetical Discourses: Mystagogic 4:22:9). Both ideas are often verified in one and the same effect of Holy Communion. Such a figurative explanation of the second part of the discourse (John, vi, 52-72), however, is not only unusual but absolutely impossible, as even Protestant exegetes (Delitzsch, Köstlin, Keil, Kahnis, and others) readily concede. They say that in John 6 Jesus was not talking about physical food and drink, but about spiritual food and drink. iv). In proof of this interpretation, examples are quoted from Scripture, as: “The seven kine are seven years” (Gen., xli, 26) or: “Sara and Agar are the two covenants” (Gal., iv, 24). as something permanent (cf. v), in opposition to Luther and Calvin, purposely defined, that the “chief fruit of the Eucharist does not consist in the forgiveness of sins”. Of more considerable importance is the circumstance that the whole question came up for discussion in the council for union held at Florence in 1439. 1), that the idea is to be rejected as unbecoming, as though the Body of Christ, in addition to its own accidents, should also assume those of bread and wine. Finally, Transubstantiation differs from every other substantial conversion in this, that only the substance is converted into another—the accidents remaining the same—just as would be the case if wood were miraculously converted into iron, the substance of the iron remaining hidden under the external appearance of the wood. Now, Christ, according to the literal purport of His testament, has left us as a precious legacy, not mere bread and wine, but His Body and Blood.
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