Skip to comments.The Resurrection & The Eucharist
Posted on 04/04/2015 1:59:27 PM PDT by Steelfish
The Resurrection & The Eucharist by Fr. Rodney Kissinger S.J. (Former Missouri Synod Lutheran) http://www.frksj.org/homily_ressurection_and_the_eucharist.htm There is an important connection between the Resurrection and the Eucharist. The Eucharist IS the Risen Jesus.
Therefore, the Eucharist makes the Resurrection present and active in our lives and enables us to experience the joy and the power of the Resurrection. The Resurrection is the reason for the observance of Sunday instead of the Sabbath. According to the Gospel it was early in the morning on the first day of the week that the Risen Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene.
It was also on the evening of that first day of the week that the Risen Jesus appeared to the Apostles when Thomas was not present. Then a week later, on the first day of the week, he appeared again when Thomas was present.
So the Apostles began to celebrate the first day of the week, Sunday, as the beginning of the re-creation of the world just as they had celebrated the Sabbath as the end of the creation of the world. Originally the Liturgical Year was simply fifty-two Sundays, fifty-two celebrations of the Eucharist, fifty-two celebrations of the Resurrection. Today the Eucharist is still the principal way of celebrating the Resurrection and proclaiming the Mystery of Faith: Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.
As we have seen the joy and the power of the Resurrection is not found in the empty tomb or in the witness of some one else it is found only in a personal encounter with the Risen Jesus. The Eucharist, the Risen Jesus, gives us an opportunity for this personal encounter. Will all who receive the Eucharist have a personal encounter with the Risen Jesus? Yes they will. Unfortunately, not all will recognize the Risen Jesus. Mary Magdalene had a personal encounter with the Risen Jesus but did not recognize him. She thought it was the gardener. It was not until she recognized Jesus that she experienced the joy and the power of the Resurrection. The two disciples on the road to Emmaus had a personal encounter with the Risen Jesus and thought that it was a stranger. It was not until they recognized him in the breaking of the bread that they experienced the joy and the power of the Resurrection.
The Eucharist is also a pledge of our own resurrection. I am the living bread come down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world. The Eucharist tells us that in death life is changed not ended. It is not so much life after death but life through death. Death is the door to life. This takes away the fear of death and gives us consolation at the death of a loved one.
The Eucharist also continues the two fold effect of the Resurrection which is to confirm the faith of the Apostles and to create the Christian Community. These are two sides of the same coin. To believe is to belong. Community was an integral part of the life of the first Christians. They were of one mind and one heart. When the Apostles asked the Lord to teach them how to pray, he taught them the OUR Father. In the Creed we say, WE believe. It is a personal commitment made in the community of believers.
The Eucharist also confirms the faith of the recipient and is the principle of unity and community. Without the Christian Community we lose our roots and our identity and our ability to survive in our culture which is diametrically opposed to Christ.
Through the Eucharist the Risen Jesus continues his two fold mission of proclaiming the Good News and healing the sick. Every celebration of the Eucharist proclaims the Good News and heals the sick. The Liturgy of the Word proclaims the Good News and the Liturgy of the Eucharist heals the sick. If people were healed simply by touching the hem of His garment how much more healing must come from receiving His Body and Blood?
How ridiculous it is then when people ask, Do I have an obligation to go to Mass on Sunday? If obligation is going to determine whether or not you go to Mass forget the obligation. You have a greater problem than that. Your problem is faith, you dont believe. You dont believe that the Eucharist IS the Risen Christ.
You just dont realize the connection between the Resurrection and the Eucharist. In just a few moments we will receive the Eucharist and once again have an opportunity for a personal encounter with the Risen Jesus.
Let us ask for the faith to recognize him in the breaking of the bread so that we are able to say with Thomas, My Lord and my God, and in so doing experience the joy and the power of the Resurrection.
You are exposed as a sophist who needs prayer yourself.
I must say I'm surprised that you are actually attempting to respond to my comments for a change. But, as is evident (and expected), you merely use them as a springboard to repeat your unfounded and bigoted complaints about Christians who aren't Roman Catholic.
If you really studied the ECFs on the doctrine of the Eucharist - other than the biased RC doctored-up documents, you would start to see that they were NOT unified in their beliefs on that subject, that what the earliest "fathers" refuted when they spoke of it was against the Donatists and Gnostics whose heresy was that Jesus HAD no human flesh and blood. When you comprehend that point and read their words in light of the historical viewpoint, you will realize they do NOT support the Roman Catholic church's current interpretation. A little info from https://onefold.wordpress.com/early-church-evidence-refutes-real-presence/, some interesting FACTS come out:
The real presence doctrine is probably the most important doctrine to Catholics today because it is the nucleolus of the Catholic mass. The doctrine insists that the eucharistic elements of bread and wine become the glorified body and blood of Christ when blessed by the priest. The doctrine further asserts that the substance of bread and wine are no longer present and only the accidents (characteristics or appearance) remain. Thus, the name derived from the explanation becomes transubstantiation (a change of substance). It is this belief that compels devout Catholics to worship the eucharistic bread (placed in a monstrance for the purpose of adoration) because they believe the bread to be the glorified Christ.
The doctrine also asserts that during the last supper where Jesus instituted the memorial of His passion, the bread, after being blessed by Jesus, became His literal glorified body. One major problem with this; Jesus was not yet glorified when he shared the Passover meal with His disciples. Proof of that is found explicitly in two places, John 7:39 and 17: 5. The doctrine makes no sense today, and it made no sense 2000 years ago, and the idea was unheard of in the early church.
This article will examine the writings of Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian of Carthage, Irenaeus of Lyons, Justin Martyr, Ignatius, and a contribution from Origen in order to show that the ancient church never believed, taught or even conceived any doctrine like the real presence dogma.
Many Catholics who read this will be very surprised by what they learn, especially with regards to the works of Clement and Origen. Within these writings are clear references to the flesh and blood of Christ in the eucharist being symbolical, and the words, Eat My flesh and drink My blood spoken by Jesus in the bread of life discourse as being metaphorical.
The primary purpose of this article is to challenge the barrage of quotes so often found on Catholic websites. I refute the catholic claims by examining the works of the early church fathers from which the quotes are taken. This way the context is not lost and the integrity of the works is not impaired.
Clement of Alexandria
Clement of Alexandria flourished at the close of the second century when he succeeded Pantaenus in the catechetical school of Alexandria. It is believed by some that Clement compiled his stramata (miscellaneous writings) about the time he was 40 years old. If true, he would have been born while Justin Martyr and Irenaeus were still writing, and while Polycarp was still alive. As a teacher of Christian philosophy, Clement instructed Origen who wrote during the mid third century.
Among Clements writings are three books called, Paedagogus (The Instructor). In these works Clement goes far beyond simple explanations and examples. His thoughts build one upon another in a continuous development of Christian instruction. Such is the case in a well-used quote from Clement in which attempts are made for supporting the doctrine of real presence.
Few, if any, who read this quote from Catholic apologetic websites will ever actually attempt to read the reference in context. When presented with a borage of other out-of-context quotes seemingly supporting the doctrine, Clements quote appears to fit right in. This is especially true in the Catholics mind because the words Clement quotes are from John, chapter 6, the Bread of Life Discourse. This discourse Jesus has with the Jews is where Catholics draw their biblical support for the real presence doctrine.
Those whose faith is built on the word of God, however, will notice that Clement presents the somewhat obscure metaphors in the first half of the quote, and then explains them in the second half. The explanation is consistent with Pauls teachings about putting off the old man and putting on Christ. (Eph. 4:21-24, Col. 3:9-10) But even if Catholics were to read just a few lines further beyond the quote, they would find words that would challenge their assumptions.
The words of the Lord from the bread of life discourse Eat My flesh and drink My blood, is, according to Clement, figurative speech. Given Clements credentials and with regard to how much he was admired in the church, it is not at all likely he was out on a limb here. Clement was teaching orthodox Christian doctrine, widely understood in the universal church at that time.
Giving a little context to the quote presented on Catholic websites, however, does little or nothing to sway a devout Catholic. When I presented the added context to one Catholic, he reacted with, I admit I am completely bewildered by the Clement of Alexandria quotes you present I do not understand them and they seem to be very figurative, but they are not denying the real presence there either. (Emphasis mine) Well, yes they do. If the doctrine hinges on Jesus words, Eat My flesh and drink My blood being literal, then Clement is indeed denying the real presence doctrine.
From a Catholic apologist at StayCatholic.com I received this:
Obviously this apologist was trying very hard to compose a coherent response that shines brightly on the Catholic teaching, while acknowledging Clements obvious reference to the figurative language. I dont know whether or not he bothered to read Clements Paedagogus Book 1, chapter 6, but if he did he would know that the entire chapter is an instruction on metaphors. And earlier in that chapter Clement said this:
Clement continues his instruction that Christ is food with the metaphorical explanation.
And Clement concludes the chapter with this:
Clement reiterates his instruction in Book 2 and uses it to define the eucharist.
Clement explains the two-fold attribute of Christs blood. One aspect being the physical blood of His flesh that was shed for the remission of sins, and the other aspect being the Spiritual by which we receive Christ as our nourishment. To partake of the eucharist is far more than receiving communion. To partake is to receive Christ in the Spirit. The eucharist is a celebration and remembrance of the Lords passion to be observed by those who are born of the Spirit, for they alone are partakers of Christs immortality.
Clement expounds on these things elsewhere in his writings as well. One example is found among the stramata in Book 5, chapter 10:
Clement comes nowhere close to supporting the real presence doctrine, and indeed utterly denies it through his instruction. Clement explicitly states that Jesus was speaking metaphorically when He said eat My flesh and drink My blood. Jesus told His disciples, I have meat to eat you know not of My meat is to do the will of Him who sent me, and finish His work. Likewise, we desire the pure food of Christ as our nourishment and source for well-being and growth. Clement wonderfully instructs those younger in the faith on this intimate relationship between Christ and His church, things the carnal mind just cant grasp.
The before mentioned apologist from StayCatholic.com also presented a bit of a disclaimer. He said, The Church would have a problem with him [Clement] if he denied the Real Presence. And he hasnt done that.
Clement indeed does deny the real presence in his writings and the Catholic Church does have a problem with him. From the time the Catholic Church began to honor saints and martyrs with feast days until the 17th century, Clement was venerated as a saint. But Pope Clement VIII revised the Roman Martyrology and was persuaded to drop Clement of Alexandria from the calendar by Cardinal Baronius. Later in the 18th century, during the reign of Benedict XIV, a protest against the act emerged. But Benedict agreed with the removal of Clement from the martyrology on the grounds that Clements life was not well known and some of his doctrines were erroneous.
So what are the Catholic Churchs issues with Clement? According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, Clement had faulty interpretations. What does that mean? According to a quote used by the encyclopedia from Tixeront (a 20th century Catholic scholar), it means (at least in part) that Clement used allegory everywhere. (Catholic Encyclopedia: Clement of Alexandria) In a nutshell, the Catholic Church has a problem with Clements use of metaphors and symbols.
The Catholic Church is in quite a predicament when it comes to Clement. They cannot accept his metaphorical teachings, and they cannot deny the evidence showing that he was orthodox. As previously mentioned, Clement was highly admired and praised as a great Christian teacher by prominent figures in the early church. If Clements teaching that the bread of life discourse was to be understood metaphorically was erroneous, why do we not find any protest against him by the ecclesiastical writers of the third and fourth centuries? What we do find is praise for his skill of teaching and his knowledge of Scripture.
From Schaffs introductory note to Clement of Alexandria After Clements death, Alexander, bishop of Jerusalem, said of him, For we acknowledge as fathers those blessed saints who are gone before us, and to whom we shall go after a little time; the truly blest Pantaenus, I mean, and the holy Clemens, my teacher, who was to me so greatly useful and helpful. Cyril of Alexandria referred to him as a man admirably learned and skilful, and one that searched to the depths all the learning of the Greeks, with an exactness rarely attained before. Jerome said he was the most learned of all the ancients. And Eusebius described him as an incomparable master of Christian philosophy.
Such admiration and praise could not been uttered for a man that was anything but orthodox.
It is interesting how easily Catholic apologists will discount any church fathers testimony if it doesnt agree with Catholic doctrine. What is worse is that the Catholic Encyclopedia, which is supposed to be a respected source for this type of information, completely dodges Clement and Origen on the topic The Sacrifice of the Mass.
In plain English, the reason the Catholic Encyclopedia passed over Clement and Origen is because they both clearly taught that Jesus was speaking metaphorically when He said, Eat My body and drink My blood. And Origen specifically referred to the eucharistic bread and wine as symbolical.
And leading up to this explanation, Origen expounded in more detail:
There are several reference from Origen that demonstrate his understanding of the eucharist and the bread of life discourse, and none of them agree with Catholic doctrine. However, it is not uncommon for Catholic apologetics sites to use references from Origen that are used to support the real presence doctrine. These references, however, are far from their context and taken from writings of doubtful authenticity known as Origens homilies. Unable to rely on the homilies for the topic of real presence in the eucharist, its no wonder the Catholic Encyclopedia decided to pass over Clement and Origen.
Tertullian of Carthage
I once heard a Catholic who was introducing a former Protestant speaker say, The water runs clearer closer to the spring. What he meant by that was that the early church fathers were closer to the apostles than we are, so we should listen closely to what they had to say. His reason for saying it, of course, was to introduce a speaker who was about to testify how studying the early church brought him into the Catholic Church. The funny thing was, the speaker never mentioned any early church reference that couldnt be readily found on any Catholic apologetics websites borage of out-of-context quotes So much for studying.
The saying, however, certainly fits Tertullian. Nevertheless, the Catholic Church is not persuaded by Tertullian, who in his treatise on baptism strongly condemned the practice of baptizing infants and small children. It appears that the Catholic Church finds some of that clear water too bitter to drink. But whether one agrees with Tertullian or not, it can be shown that he, similar to Clement, demonstrates in his writings the absence of anything like the real presence doctrine existing during his time.
Tertullian wrote a work called The Resurrection of the Dead in which he expounded on the unique relationship of the soul and the flesh. Tertullian taught that the two were separate entities that worked together to serve God. Tertullian strives to produce several examples of the conjoined soul-flesh relationship which sometimes reveals his philosophical tendencies rather than solid biblical teaching. And it is one of these examples that Catholic apologist target for real presence support.
Exactly what Tertullian believed regarding the flesh and soul of Christians would no doubt make for interesting discussion. But the thing Catholic apologists really want to present here is the fact that Tertullian refers to the eucharist elements as the body and blood of Christ. But this is completely inadequate for their purpose. One would be hard pressed to find Christians who didnt refer to the elements as the body and blood of Christ; even in the same way Tertullian did in his treaties on prayer where he said, Will not your Station [day of fasting] be more solemn if you have withal stood at Gods altar? When the Lords Body has been received and reserved?
I think many Catholics are under the impression that only they refer to the Eucharist in this way. The Lord instituted the memorial by saying, This is My body and This is the cup of the new testament that is in My blood; do this in remembrance of Me. It is profoundly Christian to refer to the eucharist as the body and blood of Christ because the eucharist is the celebration of the passion of our Lord. But that does not mean that the bread and wine used in the Eucharist celebration are the literal body and blood of Christ.
Later, in chapter 13, Tertullian gives us a glimpse into his interpretation of the bread of life discourse (the biblical bases for the real presence doctrine) while expounding on the topic of flesh and soul.
Notice the use of the past tense in the sentence and that flesh which was the bread given for the life of the world. If Tertullian believed in a doctrine like the real presence, he would not have used the past tense. Rather Tertullian would have used the present tense, or perfect see which would have been translated is the bread since the act of eating it is ongoing. Also, the flesh of Christ given for the life of the world is not the glorified body of Christ as the real presence doctrine asserts, but the flesh of Christ was that sin offering for the life of the world before He was received into glory.
The biblical support for the real presence doctrine relies on the interpretation that Jesus was referring to eating His physical flesh when He said, and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world. Since Tertullian referenced the event as having occurred in the past, he could not have believed that Jesus was saying He would give his flesh to be literally eaten, but rather that He gave His flesh sacrificially at the cross for the life of the world.
Nothing in Tertullians works, however, is more clearly opposed to the Catholic understanding than what he specifically stated about the discourse on the bread of life.
The entire Catholic interpretation of John, chapter 6, is dismantled in these few words from Tertullian. When Jesus said, eat My flesh, Catholic apologists like to point out that the Greek word used in Johns gospel for eat is trogo, which means to chew or gnaw. They insist that there is no way that word could be taken any other way but literal. But notice that Tertullian understood the Lord as speaking metaphorically, et devorandus auditu, to devour Him with the ear.
There are a few other places in Tertullians works that Catholic apologists like to use for support of the real presence doctrine. One quote often used is found in a work called The Chaplet. The quote used is often presented like this:
The purpose is to convey the notion that Tertullian is imploring caution in the handling of the eucharistic elements because they are believed to be the actual body and blood of Christ. But if that were true, why does he call them cup and bread? Tertullian often refers to the elements as the body and blood of Christ, so why not here? Perhaps the problem is Catholic editing. Here is the same quote properly translated:
The context from which this quote is taken doesnt even suggest that Tertullian is speaking of the Eucharist.
As often as the anniversary comes round, we make offerings for the dead as birthday honors.
We count fasting or kneeling in worship on the Lords day to be unlawful. We rejoice in the same privilege also from Easter to Whitsunday.
We feel pained should any wine or bread, even though our own, be cast upon the ground.
At every forward step and movement, at every going in and out, when we put on our clothes and shoes, when we bathe, when we sit at table, when we light the lamps, on couch, on seat, in all the ordinary actions of daily life, we trace upon the forehead the sign.
These things Tertullian is describing are unwritten customs that were practiced at the time. There is nothing to suggest he believed or even heard of real presence.
Irenaeus of Lyons
There are many aspects of gnosticism Irenaeus labored to refute, but for the purpose of this article I will highlight one. Gnostics believed that humans were divine souls trapped in a material world created by evil entities. Irenaeus contended that God divinely created the world and everything in it. And it was elements of the creation that Christ commanded to be received as His body and blood for a memorial of His sacrifice.
Bread and wine are created things that nourish our created bodies. These elements of creation, Irenaeus taught, are established as the body and blood of Christ whose blood was shed truly and physically. The Gnostics maintained that Christs body was not created like ours denying His human nature. Therefore, it did not make sense to them that the body could be eternally saved; but Irenaeus asserts that the body will be resurrected incorruptible.
This is the context in which Irenaeus describes the Eucharist. Irenaeus likens the rebirth of the believer to the Eucharist and vise verse.
Again, the context is the resurrection of the believer. Irenaeus is speaking of Christians when he said, the fleshed nourished with the body of the Lord and with His blood. That is, those who believe on He who was crucified for their sins are nourished with the body and blood of the Lord. Their bodies will not remain in corruption because they will be resurrected. For we offer to Him His own, that is of His own creation. But offerings in the flesh are only pleasing to God when the flesh is united with the Spirit. The flesh united with the gift of the Holy Spirit offers to God the praises of thanksgiving. Flesh void of the gift of the Holy Spirit cannot offer anything to God.
Irenaeus transfers this reality to the bread of the Eucharist by claiming that the bread, which is of Gods creation, receives a Spiritual aspect upon receiving the invocation. The bread, he states, is no longer common bread, but the eucharist, consisting of two realities, earthly and heavenly. Earthly, because it is bread which is of the creation, and heavenly, because it is blessed and received by those who themselves are both earthly (in the flesh) and heavenly (born of the Spirit).
Irenaeus clearly denies the notion held by the Catholic Church that the bread is no longer bread; he calls it, no longer common bread. Compare this to what the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said in an answer to a relevant question.
Yes. In order for the whole Christ to be presentbody, blood, soul, and divinitythe bread and wine cannot remain, but must give way so that his glorified Body and Blood may be present. Thus in the eucharist the bread ceases to be bread in substance, and becomes the Body of Christ, while the wine ceases to be wine in substance, and becomes the Blood of Christ. As St. Thomas Aquinas observed, Christ is not quoted as saying, This bread is my body, but This is my body (Summa Theologiae, III q. 78, a. 5). (Emphasis mine)
Irenaeus said the bread was no longer common bread, thus maintaining its status as bread; and the Catholic bishops say it is no longer bread at all. The earthly aspect of the bread from the Irenaeus quote is acknowledgment that the bread is of the creation. The spiritual is attached to the Eucharist itself, which is the celebration of the passion of the Lord and the unity of the body of Christ. The Catholic Church is in opposition to Irenaeus understanding of the Eucharist elements.
Not only does Irenaeus deny the change in substance in the bread and wine, he also illustrates in the following quote that the universal church recognized that the altar whereby we offer our gifts to God is in heaven. And heaven is where our adoration is directed, not towards the Eucharistic elements.
There is also a fragment extant from Irenaeus that sheds a bit more light on the question of the Eucharistic breads substance. Apparently during the persecutions at Lyons, one of the accusations placed upon Christians was the charge of cannibalism. This charge was made because the non-Christians heard that the Christians ate the body and blood of Christ. This fragment from Irenaeus shows that the Christians indeed did not consider that the Eucharist was the literal body of Christ.
The slaves had heard from their masters that the eucharist is the body and blood of Christ and so confessed it to be. But Irenaeus clarifies for us that the slaves confessed in ignorance by saying they imagined it was actually flesh and blood. Irenaeus point is made even clearer in Blandinas reply to the Greeks attempt to make he and Sanctus confess the same. The slaves themselves would not even eat the meat that was permitted them to eat much less the literal flesh of Christ. To Irenaeus the idea of real presence in the Eucharist as believed by Catholics today would have been ridiculous.
Of Justins extant writings, three are referenced here: the first and second portions of his apology written to Emperor Antoninus (138-161), referenced as first apology and second apology, and Justins Dialog with Trypho the Jew.
In Justins first apology, he gives a rather detailed description of the celebration of the Eucharist for the purpose of contrasting it with certain pagan distortions of truth.
Earlier in his apology Justin defended against accusations that Christians partake of human flesh and blood. Here, in his description of the eucharist, he is making it clear that Christians do not partake of flesh and blood in any carnal way, but rather bread and wine mixed with water: to partake of the bread and wine mixed with water. Justin then asserted that though Christians partake of bread and wine, it is not common bread or common wine, but that the bread and wine are connected to Christ who became incarnate and was sacrificed at Calvary for those who believe. This food, i.e. bread and wine mixed with water, which by transmutation nourishes the body, is what the Christians call the flesh and blood of Christ. Justin therefore, refutes the accusations that Christians partake of human flesh and blood.
Justin gives an example of what the pagan government did tolerate and even honor, while persecuting Christians for what appeared to them to be a similar behavior. Among them were certain men who performed evil magic and were honored and revered by the pagan leaders. Justin even names some of these men: a Samaritan named Simon for whom they erected a statue in his honor with the inscription, To Simon the holy God. Another was Meander, a disciple of Simon who persuaded his followers that they would never die. Marcion also, who, among other heresies, denied that God was the creator of the universe.
All these, Justin explained, are called Christians. But the authorities only persecute the true Christians who hold the apostolic teachings. And in summing this up, Justin wrote:
To put it in context, Justin first referred to the eating of human flesh a shameful deed; then he explained that the Eucharist celebration does not involve consuming human flesh in any way. The bread and wine mixed with water are symbolically the body and blood of Christ. The accusation that Christians ate human flesh was used to persecute Christians, while others who may have actually done that were not persecuted. The purpose of Justins explanation of the Eucharist was to counter the accusation that Christians ate human flesh.
Justin continues to make his point in his second apology. Here Justin shows that feasting on human flesh is contrary to the Christian mindset.
Justin thoroughly refuted the claim that the Eucharist is literally flesh and blood in his apologies. In a debate with a Jew named Trypho, Justin deals directly with the Eucharist as he did in his first apology. To Trypho he wrote about many Old Testament types and how they pointed to Christ and His church. With regards to the Eucharist, he said:
This is the very definition of the Eucharist a celebration of the remembrance of the Lords passion in which Christians offer thanks and prayer. The offering of fine flour was part of what the cleansed leper was required to offer. Justin tells Trypho that this offering was a type of the bread of the Eucharist. He goes on to explain what the bread of the Eucharist represents, thus by similarity, what the fine flour presented by the leper represented.
The bread represents what Jesus offered in the past, that is, His suffering flesh, which He endured for the sake of those who believe on Him. According to Justin, the fine flour presented by the leper pointed forward to the same thing. But the Catholic Encyclopedia does not agree. Under the topic of The Sacrifice of the Mass, they say this:
Unwilling to accept Justins definition, the Catholic encyclopedia continues with an objection: Did he intend by thus emphasizing the interior spiritual sacrifice to exclude the exterior real sacrifice of the eucharist? Clearly he did not, for in the same Dialogue (c. 41) he says the food offering of the lepers, assuredly a real gift offering (cf. Leviticus 14), was a figure (typos) of the bread of the eucharist, which Jesus commanded to be offered (poiein) in commemoration of His sufferings.
The problem with this reasoning is Jesus never commanded the bread to be offered, but rather taken or received (lambano); Take, eat, this is My body. He then commanded His disciples to do this (poiein) in remembrance of Him; that is, to break bread in remembrance of Him and offer the sacrifice of prayer and thanksgiving, not offer the bread as a sacrifice. The encyclopedia article continues to become more desperate as it continues on:
You know you are in trouble when you have to resort to defining common Greek words like toutesti (that is). Perhaps the Catholic quire will believe it, but certainly not anyone seeking the truth. Justin continues to develop his point as the dialog progresses. Justin makes his point even more clearly in chapter 70 where he connects a prophecy of Isaiah with the Eucharist.
Justin explicitly stated that bread (not the flesh) is given by Christ in remembrance of His flesh, and that the cup is in remembrance of not is His own blood. If Justin believed in transubstantiation i.e. the real presence, he would have certainly stated it here, instead he refutes it.
In ending his exhortation to Trypho on the subject of sacrifice, Justin affirmed the definition of true Christian sacrifice in this statement:
Truly it is as Justin said, giving of thanks, when offered by worthy men, are the only perfect and well-pleasing sacrifices to God. (ibid, chapter 117)
Ignatius of Antioch
All seven letters were written while Ignatius was a Roman prisoner in rout to Rome where he was to be killed. Four of the letters were written during a stop in Smyrna where Pollycarp was bishop; they consist of his letter to the Ephesians, the Magnesians, the Trallians, and the Romans. The remaining three letters to the Philadelphians, the Smyrnaeans, and Polycarp were written from Troas where they tarried a few days.
The works of Ignatius can be somewhat confusing because of what are called, long recensions. The long recensions are longer versions of Ignatius letters that were created in the late fourth or early fifth century. Even the authenticity of the short (or shorter) recensions is in question by some scholars. Nevertheless, I will treat the short recensions as authentic because they are generally believed to be authentic, and I have found a clear reference to one of them in the writings of Irenaeus.
From Ignatius letter to the Smyrnaeans, there is a quote that has become somewhat famous in Catholic apologetic circles. The quote has been credited for convincing many former Protestants that the Catholic Church is Christs true church, not that any of these people needed Ignatius to help them get there; they were headed there anyway. But the quote is believed to be quite powerful in persuading Catholic leaning inquisitors. Here is the quote:
As always, in order to understand the quote, the context must be considered. Who are they? Why do they not confess the eucharist to be the flesh of Christ? And what does Ignatius mean by Eucharist and prayer?
Who was Ignatius referring to? Prior to making the above statement, Ignatius identified the heretics in a couple of different places. He [Jesus] suffered truly, even as also He truly raised up Himself, not, as certain unbelievers maintain, that He only seemed to suffer, as they themselves only seem to be Christians. (ibid, Chapter 2) And, For what does any one profit me, if he commends me, but blasphemes my Lord, not confessing that He was [truly] possessed of a body? But he who does not acknowledge this, has in fact altogether denied Him, being enveloped in death. (ibid, Chapter 5)
The they Ignatius was talking about are Dosetists (Greek: dokesis). The word means, to seem. Docetism claimed that Christ did not exist in human form. And, as Ignatius points out, they claim He only seemed to suffer, to which Ignatius replied, They only seem to be Christians.
They do not confess the Eucharist to be the flesh of Christ because they didnt believe he truly suffered. And the Eucharist itself, Ignatius describes, is: our Savior Jesus Christ, which suffered for our sins, and which the Father, of His goodness, raised up again. In other words, the Eucharist is the celebration of the passion and resurrection of our Lord. Ignatius goes on to say this:
It is utterly criminal what the catholic apologists have done to the compassionate work of Ignatius. They attempt to make it look as though the Dosetists objected to the Eucharist because they didnt believe the bread and wine used to celebrate it to be the literal flesh and blood of Christ. That simply isnt true; rather, Ignatius conveys that the gift of God is eternal life made possible by the sacrifice of Christ. That sacrifice is what the Eucharist is all about. It is the sacrifice and suffering of Christ the Dosetists spoke against and, therefore, abstained from celebrating the Eucharist in which thanksgiving is offered for Christs passion.
There is absolutely no contextual support for claiming that Ignatius was referring to the Eucharist bread as being the literal flesh of Christ. That is merely assumed by those who already believe it. We should also keep in mind that Ignatius was about to be martyred, and this letter to the Smyrnaeans was written to exhort the church to keep the unity in truth, obeying the Gospel of Christ, and to be aware of heresies like Docetism. If there had been anything like the sacrifice of the mass or Eucharistic adoration existing during that time, Ignatius would have certainly included something about it in this letter.
In his letter to the Philadelphians, Ignatius wrote, If any one walks according to a strange opinion, he agrees not with the passion [of Christ.]. Take ye heed, then, to have but one eucharist. For there is one flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ, and one cup to [show forth] the unity of His blood. (Letter to the Philadelphians, Chapters 3 and 4)
There is only one sacrifice for sin, one flesh of Christ, and one altar in heaven, and one truth which is in Jesus Christ. He exhorted the Philadelphians to come together to give thanks and praise, to celebrate the passion of Christ in unity and love. This exhortation is echoed in His letter to the Ephesians where he said,
Notice, he didnt exhort them to come together to participate in offering up Christ in an un-bloody sacrifice.
Most of Ignatius letters were exhortations to peace, unity, and vigilance, but his letter to the Romans was quite different. The thing that troubled Ignatius most was the potential hindrance of his martyrdom by the Christians in Rome. Ignatius wanted to make clear to the church in Rome his desire to be martyred. Fortunately for us, doing so provided opportunity for him to expound a bit on his understanding of the bread of Christ.
Ignatius identifies himself as wheat and bread of God. This comes from the biblical understanding of the Eucharist celebration. The Apostle Paul said, For we, though many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread. (1Cor. 10:17) That bread representing not only the body of Christ that was broken for us, but also our oneness with him. And, the Lord promises we too will suffer persecution because if we are one with Him, the world will hate us as it does Him. A better explanation is found in the words of Irenaeus who referenced Ignatius words:
By calling himself the wheat of Christ and the pure bread of heaven, Ignatius identifies himself to be in union with Christs passion. And this is what Ignatius wanted more than anything, to partake of the bread of God; that is, to be martyred for his faith and live forever more with Christ. He eloquently explained to the church in Rome that he desired the ultimate prize: eternal life made possible by the flesh and blood of Christ.
Ignatius speaks of the Spirit of God within him (there is within me a water) beckoning him to come. He had no delight in corruptible food such as earthly bread, but rather the living bread come down from heaven, namely, the flesh of Christ that was sacrificed for the sins of the world. And for drink he desired not corruptible wine, but the incorruptible blood of Christ shed for the remission of sins. Ignatius was about to encounter his Lord face to face!
Attempts to use Ignatius words here to support transubstantiation are nothing short of ridiculous. It is incomprehensible to think that anyone could ignore the obvious context of this letter (or any of Ignatius letters) just to promote their agenda. Unfortunately it will continue to be the case. But for those who truly desire truth and are willing to take the time, the agendas of some will not prevail over truth.
The church of the first three centuries, indeed, did not possess a real presence doctrine; the writings of the church fathers from that era certainly portray that. In particular, Clement of Alexandria and his student Origen explicitly deny that such a doctrine could have existed. But it has been demonstrated in this article that even clearly explicit references from authentic sources denying the notion of transubstantiation is not enough to convince devout Catholics that their beloved doctrine is false.
While researching this article, I asked the Catholic website, The Real Presence Association to do the right thing and remove their out-of-context quote from Clement from their borage of other quotes used to support their cause. I did this specifically to get their reaction, knowing they would not actually remove the quote. I was trying to gather a collection of responses to Clements statement that the eating of the flesh of Christ was a metaphor from various Catholic websites. Few responded to my requests. But The Real Presence Association did respond, and I was a bit surprised by their defensive posture. Here is the response:
Responses to strong evidence that refutes Catholic dogma will always draw sharp criticism from those who dearly love the Catholic Church. But for those who are willing to listen to the evidence and evaluate for themselves what is true, compelling evidence against Catholic doctrine will be heeded.
The real presence doctrine of the Catholic Church was, in fact, unheard of in the early centuries of the Christian church. It is interesting to think about how central the sacrifice of the mass is in Catholicism, and yet nowhere in early church do we find direct reference to it; only obscure evidence that, when taken in context, proves to be evidence to the contrary.
Test all things; hold fast that which is good. 1 Thessalonians 5:21
"And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him [the beast], whose names are not written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world."
The noun Book has two modifying phrases attached to it: "of Life" and "of the Lamb."
The phrase "of the Lamb," and what follows, modifies the noun "Book." The phrase "slain from the foundation of the world" modifies the word Lamb.
That means we are talking about a Book "of Life" belonging to "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world."
"The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" is Christ. There is no other lamb slain. He is the only one. All who worship the beast, do not have their names in that Book.
John says of Jesus, "Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world!" (John1:29)
And Paul says of Jesus, "Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us, therefore let us keep the feast..." (1 Cor 5:7)
Jesus IS "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." He's the one who has that "Book of Life."
You might think I'm joking, but it really helps if you diagram the sentence.
Christ's sacrifice is both a one-time, temporal event, and an eternal event outside of time. The same thing. The same, one sacrifice.
That's what the Bible says.
Veneration, yes. Worship, no.
This has been pointed out to you repeatedly, so --- assuming you have normal reading comprehension --- you know that.
real reptile flesh.
Only two of yours did.
You seem to be drifting from the topic at hand.
What part of your 'fullness' do we Prots lack to receive salvation?
I actually have no idea what you are talking about. Is this something on TV?
Neat trick; try to get us PROTS to produce the source of what YOUR chosen religion thought up!
We merely claim the BIBLE is sufficient (Thanks; Catholics; for saving it for us) for men to be saved.
If you claim it's not; then YOU produce the REQUIRED extras.
'When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone,
' it means just what I choose it to mean, neither more nor less.'
'The question is,' said Alice, 'whether you can make words mean so many different things.'
'The question is,' said Humpty Dumpty, 'which is to be master - that's all.'
One man's treasure, is another...
It seems to me that 'by word' and 'our epistle' hold equal weight here; the OR being the equalizer.
It would seem to me the WORD and the EPISTLE contained the SAME information.
If the word OR was; however; the word AND, then 'word' and 'epistle' would be DIFFERENT, and REQUIRE being used together.
(We know what the EPISTLE says...)
Then that is sufficient.
Some folks evidently did NOT get the memo...
Bonaventure: the gates of heaven will open to all who confide in the protection of Mary. Blessed are they who know thee, O Mother of God, for the knowledge of THEE is the high road to everlasting life, and the publication of thy virtues is the way of ETERNAL SALVATION . Give ear, O ye nations; and all you who desire heaven , serve, honor Mary, and certainly you will find ETERNAL LIFE.
Ephem: devotion to the divine Mother is the unlocking of the heavenly Jerusalem.
Blosius: To the, O Lady, are committed the KEYS and the treasures of the kingdom of Heaven.
Ambrose: constantly pray Open to us, O Mary, the gates of paradise, since thou hast its KEYS.
Fulgetius: by Mary God descended from Heaven into the world, that by HER man might ascend from earth to Heaven.
Athanasius: And, thou, O Lady, wast filled with grace, that thou mightiest be the way of our SALVATION and the means of ascent to the heavenly Kingdom.
Richard of Laurence: Mary, in fine, is the mistress of heaven; for there she commands as she wills, and ADMITS whom she wills.
Guerric: he who serves Mary and for whom she intercedes, is as CERTAIN of heaven as if he were already there and those who DO NOT serve Mary will NOT BE SAVED.
Anselm: It suffices, O Lady, that thou willest it, and our SALVATION is certain.
souls protected by Mary, and on which she casts her eyes, are NECESSARILY JUSTIFIED AND SAVED.
The above has been posted repeatedly, so ...
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