Vic Biorseth, http://www.Thinking-Catholic-Strategic-Center.com
Eucharist is my foundation, my grounding in the Catholic faith; Jesus truly present in the Eucharist is what keeps me sane, on the path and in the Way, no matter what I encounter in this world.
How can I so willingly accept the disdainful title of "bread worshiper" and openly state that I truly believe that that little wafer up there at the front of the church is God?
Well, Jesus said it. That's good enough for me.
Let's begin at John; open your bible to John 6:30 (or, go to Bible Browse (RSV) and browse down to John 6:30 in another window) and follow along. We will look at the actual words of Jesus on the subject. He repeatedly refers to Himself as come down from Heaven, as manna from Heaven, as food, as drink, as required for life, and as offering everlasting life to those who accept what He says.
Verse 30: The followers ask Jesus for a sign, indicating that Moses gave bread to the people in the desert, so what could Jesus do. Our Lord told them it was not Moses, but God who gave them the manna, and that the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.
He then said to them "I am the bread of life; he who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst."
In verse 38 He said to them "For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me; . . . "
At this many murmured at Him because He said He was the bread which came down from heaven.
And at that He said to them "Do not murmur among yourselves. No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, `And they shall all be taught by God.' Every one who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me."
And then He said "Not that any one has seen the Father except him who is from God; he has seen the Father. Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life."
And He said to them "I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died."
And then He said, referring to Himself, "This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that a man may eat of it and not die."
Note how His words were getting stronger; He was not backing down from it, but teaching it more firmly.
And He said to them "I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh."
Then they disputed among themselves, saying how can this man give us his flesh to eat?
And then He actually tied the teaching to salvation, when He said "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you;"
Then He said "he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day."
Note how His words were getting stronger and stronger, in the face of all that doubt and questioning.
Then He said "For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed."
Then He said "He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him."
Then He said "As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats me will live because of me."
And then He said "This is the bread which came down from heaven, not such as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live for ever."
At this many of his followers said this was a hard teaching, and questioned who could follow it. He spoke again, as He did many times in Scripture, about choosing between the flesh (meaning the world and death) and the spirit (meaning the Kingdom and life) but many of His followers left Him and followed Him no more.
Note this well:
He didn't call them back. He turned to those remaining, including the Twelve, and issued them the stinging challenge: "Do you also wish to go away?"
And Simon Peter answered for them, saying "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life; and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God."
Note well that Peter didn't say that he understood what was taught; how could anyone understand such a mysterious, other-worldly thing? But, what Peter did understand was exactly Who was doing the teaching. He accepted it because Jesus taught it, pure and simple.
And, it must be remarked, Jesus taught it in no uncertain terms. Thirteen times He referred to Himself as food, drink, demanding to be eaten, as coming down from Heaven, as being sent by the Father, in ever increasingly strong terms.
There is absolutely no way to misinterpret what He was saying here. Such sentences as my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink most certainly do not present the language of metaphor. Neither is the term "he who eats (Greek: trogon)" the language of metaphor; it is very crude and direct, and the only reasonable translation is literal.
If He were speaking figuratively, then, in accordance with Hebrew culture at the time, eating one's flesh and drinking one's blood was figuratively meant to say to injure someone's character by slander or libel or calumny; speaking figuratively here makes no sense.
He meant what He said. You can't get around it.
If you want to understand the Catholic teaching on the Eucharist, this is the Scriptural beginning point. Read and re-read the Eucharistic discourse in John 6 until you are fairly comfortable with the information it gives you. Then you will be ready for the next step.
Jesus said that He was "Bread from Heaven," that His flesh was food, that His blood was drink, and that, unless we eat of Him and drink of Him, we do not "have life." So, according to His teaching, we are called upon to actually eat His flesh and to drink His blood.
And the question naturally arises, how, exactly, are we going to do that little trick?
With that question firmly in mind, we are now ready to explore the other Eucharistic passages in the synoptic Gospels, and in the rest of the New Testament. Keep the question in mind; write it down on a note pad if necessary.
Some Protestant objections to the universal Catholic teaching on the Presence of Christ in the Eucharist stem from the "do this in remembrance of me" passages attached to the Eucharistic discourses in Luke and 1 Corinthians. Which, in their interpretation, makes the Eucharist merely some kind of memorial not involving in any way the flesh and blood of our Lord. What they totally ignore is the literal interpretation of the word "is" each time our Lord says "this is my body" and "this is my blood". Interestingly, many of them interpret so much of the Bible literally, but cannot accept the literal interpretations of the Eucharistic discourses.
Keep the question in mind. You've been instructed by Jesus to eat His flesh and drink His blood, if you want life in you, else you do not have life. Exactly how are you going to do as instructed by Jesus Himself? That's the question.
Turn to Matthew 26:26. Here it is:
"Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, "Take, eat; this is my body." And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, "Drink of it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you I shall not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom." And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives."
Then, turn to Mark 14:22. Here it is:
"And as they were eating, he took bread, and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to them, and said, "Take; this is my body." And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, and they all drank of it. And he said to them, "This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. Truly, I say to you, I shall not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God." And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives."
Then, turn to Luke 22:19. Here it is:
"And he said to them, "I have earnestly desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer; for I tell you I shall not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God." And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said, "Take this, and divide it among yourselves; for I tell you that from now on I shall not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes." And he took bread, and when he had given thanks he broke it and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me." And likewise the cup after supper, saying, "This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood."
Then, turn to 1 Corinthians 11:24. Here it is:
"For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, "This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me." In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me." For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes."
Now, the very next verses undo the Protestant claim that Eucharist does not contain the sacred body and blood of our Lord. From verse 27 on:
"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 upon himself."
So, if we come to the altar not discerning the body of Christ, we eat our own judgment. Consider also Paul's admonition in 1 Corinthians 10:16:
"The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?"
Now, I'm no great Scripture scholar, I'm just a Catholic layman; but Protestants I've discussed this with seem to know a lot less Scripture than Protestants are publicly touted to know. If Christ meant that all the different Eucharistic discourses were meant to be taken as "this is symbolically my body" then why didn't he explicitly say that, at least once, somewhere? What He said, repeatedly, was, this is my body. If He didn't mean that, then, just exactly what did He mean?
The doctrine of the Real Presence asserts that in the Holy Eucharist, Jesus is literally and wholly present — body and blood, soul and divinity — under the appearances of bread and wine. The biblical foundation for this doctrine is so solid as to be irrefutable. The early Church Fathers interpreted these passages quite literally.
Ignatius of Antioch, on the true presence in the Eucharist:
(Letter to the Romans 7:3 [A.D. 110]): "I have no taste for corruptible food nor for the pleasures of this life. I desire the bread of God, which is the flesh of Jesus Christ, who was of the seed of David; and for drink I desire his blood, which is love incorruptible".
(Letter to the Smyrnaeans 6:2–7:1 [A.D. 110]): "Take note of those who hold heterodox opinions on the grace of Jesus Christ which has come 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 that Father, in his goodness, raised up again. They who deny the gift of God are perishing in their disputes".
Justin Martyr, on the true presence in the Eucharist:
(First Apology 66 [A.D. 151]): "We call this food Eucharist, and no one else is permitted to partake of it, except one who believes our teaching to be true and who has been washed in the washing which is for the remission of sins and for regeneration [i.e., has received baptism] and is thereby living as Christ enjoined. For not as common bread nor common drink do we receive these; but since Jesus Christ our Savior was made incarnate by the word of God and had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so too, as we have been taught, the food which has been made into the Eucharist by the Eucharistic prayer set down by him, and by the change of which our blood and flesh is nurtured, is both the flesh and the blood of that incarnated Jesus".
Irenaeus, on the true presence in the Eucharist:
(Against Heresies 4:33–32 [A.D. 189]): "If the Lord were from other than the Father, how could he rightly take bread, which is of the same creation as our own, and confess it to be his body and affirm that the mixture in the cup is his blood?"
(ibid., 5:2): "He has declared the cup, a part of creation, to be his own blood, from which he causes our blood to flow; and the bread, a part of creation, he has established as his own body, from which he gives increase unto our bodies. When, therefore, the mixed cup [wine and water] and the baked bread receives the Word of God and becomes the Eucharist, the body of Christ, and from these the substance of our flesh is increased and supported, how can they say that the flesh is not capable of receiving the gift of God, which is eternal life—flesh which is nourished by the body and blood of the Lord, and is in fact a member of him?"
Clement of Alexandria, on the true presence in the Eucharist:
(The Instructor of Children 1:6:43:3 [A.D. 191]): "’Eat my flesh,’ [Jesus] says, ‘and drink my blood.’ The Lord supplies us with these intimate nutrients, he delivers over his flesh and pours out his blood, and nothing is lacking for the growth of his children".
Tertullian, on the true presence in the Eucharist:
(The Resurrection of the Dead 8 [A.D. 210]): "[T]here is not a soul that can at all procure salvation, except it believe whilst it is in the flesh, so true is it that the flesh is the very condition on which salvation hinges. And since the soul is, in consequence of its salvation, chosen to the service of God, it is the flesh which actually renders it capable of such service. The flesh, indeed, is washed [in baptism], in order that the soul may be cleansed . . . the flesh is shadowed with the imposition of hands [in confirmation], that the soul also may be illuminated by the Spirit; the flesh feeds [in the Eucharist] on the body and blood of Christ, that the soul likewise may be filled with God".
Hippolytus, on the true presence in the Eucharist:
(Fragment from Commentary on Proverbs [A.D. 217]): "‘And she [Wisdom] has furnished her table’ [Prov. 9:2] . . . refers to his [Christ’s] honored and undefiled body and blood, which day by day are administered and offered sacrificially at the spiritual divine table, as a memorial of that first and ever-memorable table of the spiritual divine supper [i.e., the Last Supper]".
Origen, on the true presence in the Eucharist:
(Homilies on Numbers 7:2 [A.D. 248]): "Formerly there was baptism in an obscure way . . . now, however, in full view, there is regeneration in water and in the Holy Spirit. Formerly, in an obscure way, there was manna for food; now, however, in full view, there is the true food, the flesh of the Word of God, as he himself says: ‘My flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink’ [John 6:55]".
Cyprian of Carthage, on the true presence in the Eucharist:
(The Lapsed 15–16 [A.D. 251]): "He [Paul] threatens, moreover, the stubborn and forward, and denounces them, saying, ‘Whosoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily, is guilty of the body and blood of the Lord’ [1 Cor. 11:27]. All these warnings being scorned and condemned—[lapsed Christians will often take Communion] before their sin is expiated, before confession has been made of their crime, before their conscience has been purged by sacrifice and by the hand of the priest, before the offense of an angry and threatening Lord has been appeased, [and so] violence is done to his body and blood; and they sin now against their Lord more with their hand and mouth than when they denied their Lord".
Council of Nicaea I, on the true presence in the Eucharist:
(Canon 18 [A.D. 325]): "It has come to the knowledge of the holy and great synod that, in some districts and cities, the deacons administer the Eucharist to the presbyters [i.e., priests], whereas neither canon nor custom permits that they who have no right to offer [the Eucharistic sacrifice] should give the Body of Christ to them that do offer [it]".
Aphraahat the Persian Sage, on the true presence in the Eucharist:
(Treatises 12:6 [A.D. 340]): "After having spoken thus [at the Last Supper], the Lord rose up from the place where he had made the Passover and had given his body as food and his blood as drink, and he went with his disciples to the place where he was to be arrested. But he ate of his own body and drank of his own blood, while he was pondering on the dead. With his own hands the Lord presented his own body to be eaten, and before he was crucified he gave his blood as drink".
Cyril of Jerusalem, on the true presence in the Eucharist:
(Catechetical Lectures 19:7 [A.D. 350]): "The bread and the wine of the Eucharist before the holy invocation of the adorable Trinity were simple bread and wine, but the invocation having been made, the bread becomes the body of Christ and the wine the blood of Christ".
(ibid., 22:6, 9): "Do not, therefore, regard the bread and wine as simply that; for they are, according to the Master’s declaration, the body and blood of Christ. Even though the senses suggest to you the other, let faith make you firm. Do not judge in this matter by taste, but be fully assured by the faith, not doubting that you have been deemed worthy of the body and blood of Christ. . . . [Since you are] fully convinced that the apparent bread is not bread, even though it is sensible to the taste, but the body of Christ, and that the apparent wine is not wine, even though the taste would have it so, . . . partake of that bread as something spiritual, and put a cheerful face on your soul".
Ambrose of Milan, on the true presence in the Eucharist:
(The Mysteries 9:50, 58 [A.D. 390]): "Perhaps you may be saying, ‘I see something else; how can you assure me that I am receiving the body of Christ?’ It but remains for us to prove it. And how many are the examples we might use! . . . Christ is in that sacrament, because it is the body of Christ".
Theodore of Mopsuestia, on the true presence in the Eucharist:
(Catechetical Homilies 5:1 [A.D. 405]): "When [Christ] gave the bread he did not say, ‘This is the symbol of my body,’ but, ‘This is my body.’ In the same way, when he gave the cup of his blood he did not say, ‘This is the symbol of my blood,’ but, ‘This is my blood’; for he wanted us to look upon the [Eucharistic elements] after their reception of grace and the coming of the Holy Spirit not according to their nature, but receive them as they are, the body and blood of our Lord. We ought . . . not regard [the elements] merely as bread and cup, but as the body and blood of the Lord, into which they were transformed by the descent of the Holy Spirit".
Augustine, on the true presence in the Eucharist:
(Explanations of the Psalms 33:1:10 [A.D. 405]): "Christ was carried in his own hands when, referring to his own body, he said, ‘This is my body’ [Matt. 26:26]. For he carried that body in his hands".
(Sermons 227 [A.D. 411]): "I promised you [new Christians], who have now been baptized, a sermon in which I would explain the sacrament of the Lord’s Table. . . . That bread which you see on the altar, having been sanctified by the word of God, is the body of Christ. That chalice, or rather, what is in that chalice, having been sanctified by the word of God, is the blood of Christ".
(ibid., 272): "What you see is the bread and the chalice; that is what your own eyes report to you. But what your faith obliges you to accept is that the bread is the body of Christ and the chalice is the blood of Christ. This has been said very briefly, which may perhaps be sufficient for faith; yet faith does not desire instruction".
Council of Ephesus, on the true presence in the Eucharist:
(Session 1, Letter of Cyril to Nestorius [A.D. 431]): "We will necessarily add this also. Proclaiming the death, according to the flesh, of the only-begotten Son of God, that is Jesus Christ, confessing his resurrection from the dead, and his ascension into heaven, we offer the unbloody sacrifice in the churches, and so go on to the mystical thanksgivings, and are sanctified, having received his holy flesh and the precious blood of Christ the Savior of us all. And not as common flesh do we receive it; God forbid: nor as of a man sanctified and associated with the Word according to the unity of worth, or as having a divine indwelling, but as truly the life-giving and very flesh of the Word himself. For he is the life according to his nature as God, and when he became united to his flesh, he made it also to be life-giving".
The Catechism of the Catholic Church, on the true presence in the Eucharist:
1373 "Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised from the dead, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us," is present in many ways to his Church: in his word, in his Church's prayer, "where two or three are gathered in my name," in the poor, the sick, and the imprisoned, in the sacraments of which he is the author, in the sacrifice of the Mass, and in the person of the minister. But "he is present . . . most especially in the Eucharistic species."
1374 The mode of Christ's presence under the Eucharistic species is unique. It raises the Eucharist above all the sacraments as "the perfection of the spiritual life and the end to which all the sacraments tend." In the most blessed sacrament of the Eucharist "the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ and, therefore, the whole Christ is truly, really, and substantially contained." "This presence is called 'real' - by which is not intended to exclude the other types of presence as if they could not be 'real' too, but because it is presence in the fullest sense: that is to say, it is a substantial presence by which Christ, God and man, makes himself wholly and entirely present."
1375 It is by the conversion of the bread and wine into Christ's body and blood that Christ becomes present in this sacrament. The Church Fathers strongly affirmed the faith of the Church in the efficacy of the Word of Christ and of the action of the Holy Spirit to bring about this conversion. Thus St. John Chrysostom declares:
It is not man that causes the things offered to become the Body and Blood of Christ, but he who was crucified for us, Christ himself. The priest, in the role of Christ, pronounces these words, but their power and grace are God's. This is my body, he says. This word transforms the things offered.
And St. Ambrose says about this conversion:
Be convinced that this is not what nature has formed, but what the blessing has consecrated. The power of the blessing prevails over that of nature, because by the blessing nature itself is changed.... Could not Christ's word, which can make from nothing what did not exist, change existing things into what they were not before? It is no less a feat to give things their original nature than to change their nature.
1376 The Council of Trent summarizes the Catholic faith by declaring: "Because Christ our Redeemer said that it was truly his body that he was offering under the species of bread, it has always been the conviction of the Church of God, and this holy Council now declares again, that by the consecration of the bread and wine there takes place a change of the whole substance of the bread into the substance of the body of Christ our Lord and of the whole substance of the wine into the substance of his blood. This change the holy Catholic Church has fittingly and properly called transubstantiation."
1377 The Eucharistic presence of Christ begins at the moment of the consecration and endures as long as the Eucharistic species subsist. Christ is present whole and entire in each of the species and whole and entire in each of their parts, in such a way that the breaking of the bread does not divide Christ.
1378 Worship of the Eucharist. In the liturgy of the Mass we express our faith in the real presence of Christ under the species of bread and wine by, among other ways, genuflecting or bowing deeply as a sign of adoration of the Lord. "The Catholic Church has always offered and still offers to the sacrament of the Eucharist the cult of adoration, not only during Mass, but also outside of it, reserving the consecrated hosts with the utmost care, exposing them to the solemn veneration of the faithful, and carrying them in procession."
1379 The tabernacle was first intended for the reservation of the Eucharist in a worthy place so that it could be brought to the sick and those absent outside of Mass. As faith in the real presence of Christ in his Eucharist deepened, the Church became conscious of the meaning of silent adoration of the Lord present under the Eucharistic species. It is for this reason that the tabernacle should be located in an especially worthy place in the church and should be constructed in such a way that it emphasizes and manifests the truth of the real presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament.
1380 It is highly fitting that Christ should have wanted to remain present to his Church in this unique way. Since Christ was about to take his departure from his own in his visible form, he wanted to give us his sacramental presence; since he was about to offer himself on the cross to save us, he wanted us to have the memorial of the love with which he loved us "to the end," even to the giving of his life. In his Eucharistic presence he remains mysteriously in our midst as the one who loved us and gave himself up for us, and he remains under signs that express and communicate this love.
The Church and the world have a great need for Eucharistic worship. Jesus awaits us in this sacrament of love. Let us not refuse the time to go to meet him in adoration, in contemplation full of faith, and open to making amends for the serious offenses and crimes of the world. Let our adoration never cease.
1381 "That in this sacrament are the true Body of Christ and his true Blood is something that 'cannot be apprehended by the senses,' says St. Thomas, 'but only by faith, which relies on divine authority.' For this reason, in a commentary on Luke 22:19 ('This is my body which is given for you.'), St. Cyril says: 'Do not doubt whether this is true, but rather receive the words of the Savior in faith, for since he is the truth, he cannot lie.'"
Godhead here in hiding, whom I do adore
Masked by these bare shadows, shape and nothing more,
See, Lord, at thy service low lies here a heart
Lost, all lost in wonder at the God thou art.
Seeing, touching, tasting are in thee deceived;
How says trusty hearing? That shall be believed;
What God's Son has told me, take for truth I do;
Truth himself speaks truly or there's nothing true.
If anyone out there has or can point out a longer, or more solidly documented, or more consistent historical teaching on the subject, show me. If the Roman Catholic teaching consistently goes back to and through the apostolic era and right on into Scripture, then it looks like it hasn't ever changed, in the Church Christ founded. Any other interpretations are coming out of denominations that didn't even exist until relatively modern times, long after the doctrine was solidly established and consistently practiced for many, many centuries.
By coming forward to receive Jesus in the Eucharist, we make three important statements of profound significance:
One Protestant I remember arguing with (and, I learned later, many other Protestants in many other arguments have said virtually the same thing) said, Vic, if I really believed that was God up there, I would crawl on my belly down the aisle to receive Him. He had that part right.
Most of us take for granted the presence of the Lord, perhaps too much; it becomes a commonplace, a ritualized thing to do on Sundays and Holy Days.
But, sometimes, we need to take stock. That's God up there. We ought to be crawling on our bellies down the aisle to receive Him.
Coming forward in the Eucharist to experience Communion with the Lord is, all at once, the most daring, the most humbling, and the most glorious thing any Catholic man can ever do.
Where are you in your walk, and how well do you recognize the miracle we participate in, involving as it does, actual, physical Communion with Jesus Christ, the Lord thy God, in the Eucharist? Have you fully recognized that we become what we eat, which is, the Body of Christ, His Church, with which we openly profess complete unity by daring to come to the Communion Rail? Do you make certain to have reconciled with any you have sinned against and with the Lord before you come forward to receive?
When I was a boy, an old nun told me that Jesus Christ - body, blood, soul and divinity - remains wholly within and part of me, personally, until the last fragment of physical Host is dissolved and gone. Which makes me, during that time, an actual Tabernacle of the Lord. This is, for me, the holiest of times; a time of silent contemplation and thanksgiving. I cannot sing during that time, or further participate in any other activity. Communion is the reason that the Mass has become my deepest prayer. Meditate upon the significance of it. And come worthily to the Receive the Lord, and live forever, as He faithfully promised. And He will raise you up on the last day.
You will never die. He said it.
Blessed be God forever; and thank you, Lord Jesus.
Encyclical Letter: Ecclesia De Eucharistia, of his holiness John Paul the Great.
Apostolic Letter: Rosarium Virginis Mariae, of his holiness John Paul the Great.
(In this letter, John Paul the Great introduced five new mysteries of the rosary, the Mysteries of Light. They include 1) His baptism in the Jordan; 2) His self-manifestation at the wedding at cana; 3) His proclamation of the Kingdom of God, with His call to conversion; 4) His Transfiguration; and, finally, 5) His institution of the Eucharist, as the sacramental expression of the Paschal Mystery.
All of these mysteries deserve attention in study, meditation and contemplation. His holiness gave us, in the fifth mystery, the sacrament of sacraments, ready to be plumbed to the depth of our souls, in recognition of the Truth of His Presence.)
God Is Near Us: The Eucharist, The Heart Of Life; Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, currently Pope Benedict XVI; Ignatius Press.
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Date: Thu Jan 13 13:27:26 2011
From: Little Big Thinker
This may be taken only as an intellectual comment, not spiritual, but I mean for it to be both, in actuality...on the contrary, and conversely, why does the church thusly interpret these particular Scriptures literally, when so many or all others are given a figurative view that is espoused as pure and true and right, even without the use of simile or metaphor? That is the question, rather than, if we interpret many literally, but not all by any means, why can we not interpret these passages figuratively? (Hermeneutics...)As in the example, Jesus says, "I am the door (emphasis on AM, as you cited IS in your previous statement), but yet he is certainly not a door literally, and there are many others--we know what it says, but what does it mean is the eternal question-there is simile and metaphor used and non-use in many places, which does not infer that they are lacking in those places where they don't appear, as in implied, nor literal, if included!...I am grateful l that I may disagree and continue to investigate as I study and ask questions, rather than blindly accepting anything without any further considerations...these views, if you study history, come from what only later became the Ana-Baptists (name only used for the sake of communication), but these were in point of fact, the first people in the church at the very beginning with Christ, including the apostles themselves-I am going all the way back to the first century, not to Protestantism at all, I am a Christian today, not a Protestant or a Catholic, believing in the universal church (not Church) as The Body and Christ...I also believe that as in hearing the words, "Your sins are absolved", this real presence in Communion are both unnecessary contingents, if you will, as in the idiomatic logic of a small child, but not the child that is "coming to Him as a child" necessarily...I rest my case. Very interesting site...I would appreciate your feedback...Respectfully Submitted
Date: Thu Jan 13 18:46:41 2011
From: Vic Biorseth
First, re interpretations: context, context, context. Get your high-lighter out and read all of John 6, slowly and carefully. Note what is emphasized and repeated, and what grows stronger against resistance. St. Thomas Aquinas said that
The author of Holy Writ is God, in Whose power it is to signify His meaning, not by words only (as man also can do), but also by things themselves. So, whereas in every other science things are signified by words, this science has the property, that the things signified by the words have themselves also a signification. –Summa Theologiae.
Holy Scripture differs from all other written language in that it so often describes a fact that involves a mystery. A mystery is something about which we may perhaps know part, but not all. At some point, we must bow before the mystery. Perhaps the first thing to consider is the author of the quotes we are reading, which is God Himself. The opening lines of John reveal that Jesus is God, personified. He “emptied Himself of Godliness” to live as man, just like us but without sin. “He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, yet the world knew Him not.” I just point this out because sometimes when you know Who is talking you tend to pay more attention.
We know that our Lord was not a door or a gate; but we know His meaning in referring to Himself in such a manner. It doesn’t take any great intellectual effort to understand that He is the Way, and the ultimate judge.
Next, re the early history of the Ana-Baptists: you will have to enlighten me; I find no historical reference to them or anyone like them before the Reformation in 16th century Europe. Basically, if you hold to Sola Scriptura (sole authority of Scripture) and Sola Fide (salvation by faith alone) then you are a Protestant, almost by definition. These are some of the dogmas of Martin Luther and the Reformation, from when Protestantism was born. I know lots and lots of Protestants do not consider themselves to be Protestants, but, what can I say. It is what it is.
Date: Sun Jan 23 06:27:28 2011
From: Vic Biorseth
Last Sunday I heard a sermon on John’s pronouncement of who the Christ was as he walked by. I had a lot of other stuff to do and couldn’t get it in here before now, but I think you will see that the “Lamb Of God” reference opens up a whole other area of interpretation of Eucharist, and interpretation of our Lord’s use of the word “IS” as referenced by Little Big Thinker above.
In ancient Hebrew culture a lamb for sacrifice was both a sacrifice to God for removal of sins, and a holy meal to be partaken of by the people. The Lamb was offered up, and then it was eaten. This is language familiar to the culture of the day, and it was fully familiar to those who heard it. Hard to believe that a man would offer himself in such a way, but still, it was the language of sacrifice for sin.
First, our Lord said that we are to eat His flesh and drink His blood. Then, He said This is my body ... this is my blood.
For a far better explanation than I could ever give, see the link to the sermon at the new The Lamb Of God page.
Monday, December 17, 2012
Converted Page to SBI! Release 3.0 BB 2.0.
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Orthodox Catholicism Pages
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The Latin Mass Page is to be a repository for links to Latin Mass availability. If your Church celebrates the Latin Mass, send a link to the Latin Mass Page.
The Traditional Latin Tridentine Mass Explained, Step By Step.
With Benedict XVI's Motu Proprio 'Summorum Pontificum', the Traditional Latin Tridentine Mass may need explanation for the uninitiated.
Tridentine Mass Implements and Vestments
Describing the required Tridentine Mass Implements and Vestments
Background history of the recent Catholic reformation (revolution?) in liturgy.
Reform of the Liturgy began with good intentions toward minor changes, yet almost permanently trashed Latin, and Chant, and, etc., etc., etc.
Benedict XVI's Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum; Apostolic letter on 1962 Rite.
The Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum confirms the 1962 Latin Rite as the 'Extraordinary' Roman Liturgical Rite.
The Pope's Letter to Bishops on Summorum Pontificum. Benedict XVI's Letter to Bishops on Summorum Pontificum issued the same day as the Motu Proprio.
The Explanatory Note on Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum. An 'Explanatory Note on Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum' issued by the Vatican.
Catholic Marriage Annulment: Is it merely the Catholic version of Easy Divorce. Ecclesial law regarding the Catholic marriage annulment process has not changed, yet the numbers of annulments granted in America have rocketed. Why?
John Paul II, alias John Paul the Great, now becomes Blessed John Paul. Blessed John Paul the Great has been beatified; now, on to sainthood!
Our Lady of Siluva appeared twice in Lithuania, in AD 1608. Our Lady of Siluva appeared with the Christ Child in her arms; the rock on which she stood is preserved in a shrine.
Welcome to Holy Cross (Lithuanian) Roman Catholic Church. Holy Cross Church in Old North Dayton, maintaining the Lithuanian ethnic heritage.
Woodcarver George Mikalauskas produces unique, and custom, Lithuanian crosses. A Dayton, Ohio native of Lithuanian heritage, George prayerfully produces crosses in the ancient Lithuanian style.
The conservative Catholic forum promotes orthodoxy and attacks heterodoxy.
Actually, Conservative Catholic Forum (or Liberal) make no real sense here. A Catholic teaching is either correct, or it is incorrect, according to official Catholic Church authority.
“Are you saved” might be the conversation starter with a devout Protestant.
First, are you saved; then, are you saved by having been “born again” (but not by Baptism) are the two popular questions of Protestantism.
Is the Bible the sole authority for teaching Christianity?
If Holy Scripture is the sole authority for Christian teaching, then, where does it say that in Holy Scripture?
Is faith alone the sole requirement of salvation?
Luther’s dictum says that man is justified by faith alone. Is it true?
The Eucharist is our Emmanuel, our "God is with us." Who else can say it?
Roman Catholicism is centered on Eucharist; it is a central dogma of our faith.
The contentious issue of Infallibility of Papal and Church teaching.
On matters of faith and morals, and matters relating to Divine Revelation, our central Catholic trust is in the Infallibility of the Holy Ghost, Peter, and The Church, acting together.
The Thinking Catholic responses to questions re perpetual virginity of Mary.
From the "brothers of the Lord" to "The Davinci Code" to the word "until" in Matt. 1:24-25, the ancient Hebrew cultural notion of Professed Perpetual Virginity is doomed to be repeatedly challenged.
Catholic Prayer is described in the Catholic American Thinker.
The Catholic American Thinker describes, defends and presents Catholic Prayer, in all its diversity.
A submission of the “The Church is rotten to the core” argument and its basis.
If indeed the church is rotten to the core then all is lost; unless, of course, the statement is untrue.
"The History Channel" repeats the flagrant categorical lies regarding Pius XII.
Ho hum, heavy sigh, and here we go again. Once again, we see show-biz "Historians" bypassing actual historical documents in favor of purely anti-Catholic show-biz fictional works, for fun and profit.
On Straying, Right or Left, from the Catechism.
We have before us, on one side, excesses of "Social Justice" and "Liberation Theology", and on the other, the "Lefebvre" movement and related groups. In the center: the Catechism.
The "Enlightenment" birthing of Historical-Critical Scripture analysis.
Historical Criticism of the most paranormal literature ever produced calls into question the "enlightenment" of the enlightened.
Freedom's Circle: Free Will's relationship to Love, and to Evil.
Thinking Catholic Blog looks at Freedom, and it's relationship to Good and Evil.
The nature of Freedom, in Concept and in actual Fact
Tradition and Moral Discipline Vs. Impulsiveness, Popular Fad and Moral Chaos.
America was born of tradition and moral discipline, and she changes for the best when the process is steady and natural.
Proper catechesis is the glue that keeps the Church and the People Catholic.
Lack of proper education may cost you your liberty; lack of proper catechesis may cost you your soul.
Faith versus Atheism: Is atheism really just a silly superstition?
The Faith versus Atheism argument is at the root of every other important argument.
It's The Inquisition Myth, Vs. the various Catholic and Protestant Inquisitions.
On the history of the inquisitions (plural) that existed, and The Inquisition, which did not. The Inquisition Myth became a handy club with which to abuse Catholicism and Catholic history.
The Galileo Inquisition: Contemporary Icon for the Enlightenment and Scientism.
The Galileo Inquisition was no small affair at the time, but over the centuries it has grown and become a club with which to beat the Church, and to promote the myth of the "Dark" ages.
The Christian Medieval Crusade, the preceding events, and the aftermath.
The Medieval Crusade describes what is popularly called The Crusades; Christendom's attempt at self defence, and the freeing of the Holy Land.
The Infamous Byzantine 4th Crusade: A Total Failure in Direction and Purpose.
In the Byzantine 4th Crusade we find classic results of intrigues, sub-plots and greed overpowering and taking over good intention.
Artificial Contraception: Tool of Materialism with which to destroy Monotheism.
Acceptance of Artificial Contraception marked the single most destructive turning point in the history of Western Culture, marking the end of moral norms, foretelling tolerance of anything at all.
Our argument against public despair, hopelessness and pessimism re the future.
Despair is a mortal sin, the opposite of the virtue of hope; it is a sin unto the death of the soul, a repudiation and rejection of God’s grace.
Returning to American Founding Principles offers a return to national salvation.
American Founding Principles are reawakened by the mortal threat to the nation posed by Obamunism.
The Fracturing of Christianity: loss of unity of message and teaching authority
The history of the Fracturing of Christianity amplifies the need for ecumenism and healing among men of good will.
Getting ready for Paczki Tuesday. Paczki Tuesday is the old time European version of Fat Tuesday.
What is it that makes us uniquely Catholic? What defines a Catholic culture? Our baptism and our faith make us Catholic, but it is through the living out of our faith that we build and participate in the larger Catholic culture.
More American Imperial Edicts Issuing Forth out of Obamunism. Archbishop Schnurr joins Rick Santorum in identifying American Imperial Edicts from this administration.
Bringing the Liturgy Back to the Real Vatican II. Cardinal Burke Comments on Sacra Liturgia Conference
The Church calls us all to Catholic Evangelism; how do we do that? Catholic Evangelism comes easier than Protestant variants because it has its base in Truth.
Fallen away Catholics may be America's largest Christian denomination. An appeal to Fallen Away Catholics: Christ is calling you home.
General Commentary Pages
Various unrelated topics that stirred thought and provoked writing (or quoting) at one time or another. The Everything Else Bucket.
Work at home jobs that have had me. A long, costly and unsuccessful run at work from home jobs that didn't work for us.
Truth versus Agenda addresses the simplest of problems greatly complexified. Truth versus Agenda examines the contest between reality and its opposition.
Vic has Iron Weights for sale; Mama says they have to go. Lots of iron weights for sale; all have to go at once, in one sale.
The challenge describes Capitalism as illusory and Marxism as solid. The mixture of religion just adds to the confusion of all good realists.
Indifferentism and Moral Relativism eats away at Catholic Culture. Catholicism stands against Indifferentism. Where do you stand?
My poor old truck is again starting to look like a poor old truck. After half-a-million miles, we're now approaching another decision time; another paint job, or a new truck.
Battle Line: Where the advancing secular army meets Judeo-Christian moral norms. The Secular Position (or Agenda) involves Proactive, Aggressive Anti-Theism, and not merely "neutral" Atheism.
A return to the American Ideal means a severe reduction in Government. To return to positive growth and progress means, necessarily, purging our nation from all Marxist-Socialist philosophical influence and a return to the American Ideal.
Why this hatred of Palin? What galls modern women of the Left about Sarah Palin? The blind hatred of Palin we’re seeing expressed is not merely because of hatred and intolerance of the pro-life religious moral standard.
A Palin Parker Ticket? My Dream Candidates for 2012. Why a Palin Parker ticket is better than any professional politician Republican ticket you can come up with for 2012.
Elitism Vs Palinism: Why the Left and the Elites Loath and Fear Sarah Palin. It isn’t just Marxism Vs Palinism; it’s also established intellectual elitism vs Palinism. The elite need someone to look down upon.
How is it that opposing amnesty for millions of illegal aliens is "arrogant"? If my pro-Catholic, pro-American, anti-alternative-ethos position is "arrogant," then, exactly what is the position of those who claim superiority or even equality with it?
Here we see Bush family class captured in a simple private citizen’s photo. George W. (and Mrs.) Bush quietly demonstrate Bush family class without hoopla or fanfare.
Marxists love crisis, and they love an oil spill crisis most of all. Marxists even create and drive crisis. Their favorite crisis of all must be the Oil Spill Crisis, which is even better than a Banking Crisis.
American Military Assault Weapons originally intended in the 2nd Amendment. To miss the point of the 2nd Amendment is to miss the point of the whole Constitution.
For God and Country – More Thoughts on America, and on National Existence. For God and Country: Comparisons of martyrdom and heroism, Sovereign Nationhood Vs. Internationalism, distinct people-hood Vs. the Global Village, and Godliness Vs. godlessness.
The Godless Left leads the young and naive to their utopian Hell. For an honest comparison of the effects on youth, we need to look to the history of the Godless Left versus the Religious Right.
The Rabbi Meir Kahane Open Letter to the World is a must read. No decent world history course is complete without the Rabbi Meir Kahane Open Letter to the World.
Aleksandr I.Solzhenitsyn warns the American Worker and American organized labor. Solzhenitsyn speaks to us as a worker from the “Worker’s Paradise” of Communism; words of warning for all who understand the meaning of the word Liberty.
World Revolution returns with a vengeance: the rebirth of Marxism. Marxist world revolution returns, and faces far less opposition than in 1848 or the period between the Great Wars.
Our argument against public despair, hopelessness and pessimism re the future. Despair is a mortal sin, the opposite of the virtue of hope; it is a sin unto the death of the soul, a repudiation and rejection of God’s grace.
On Threats to America's National Existence. A look at the nature of our national existence, what makes us America, physical threats to that, and the possibility of just going out of existence.
On the ethics of language: English dictionary Vs. Political-Correctness taboos. Language evolves, yet morals are (or should be) fixed. This poses questions re the ethics of language.
Thinking Catholic direction: threats to America, Church, Ethos, even History. The Thinking Catholic Direction is multi-faceted, facing threats to American National Existence, Catholic Liturgy, our common Guiding Ethos - emphasis changes to meet the threat of the moment.
Catholics learn and practice Glossalalia, in the Life In The Spirit seminars. Life in the Spirit seminars, fueling the Catholic Charismatic renewal, bring tongue-speaking "Glossalalia", and being "Slain in the Spirit", to Catholicism.
The website is going on hold for at least the next five weeks. Business calls, and I must respond. Will be traveling, and not taking the laptop this time.
Current Website Status. Still too busy for individual responses to questions, comments & criticisms.
Our 2006 Ohio Voter Guide. The choices are quite clear, and the 2006 Ohio Voter Guide was easy to produce.
On carrying my Lord, Jesus Christ, in my pocket. As a Eucharistic Minister, I am on occasion carrying the Lord Jesus in my pocket. It's a wondrous thing.
A 2006 Christmas and Hanukkah wish. May the Holy Days we celebrate remind us all of who we are, and how we are different from other peoples.
Current Democratic Party platform reveals anti-Semitic streak among Liberals. In their voting, their speechifying, and in the slant of their controlled mainstream media reporting, the current Democratic Party Platform is made clear to all observers.
The "Left", and The DaVinci Code, The Passion, and Cartoons of Mohammed. You can tell a lot about a movement by its public words. The Passion? "Unreservedly Bad." The DaVinci Code? "Unreservedly Good." Anything to do with Islam? "No Comment."
Who's driving the Health Care bus? Health insurance companies "grading" doctors? Health insurance companies grading doctors: a legitimized conflict of interest. A preparatory step toward the nationalization of the health insurance industry?
On the forced use of medical boiler plate language rather than simple notes. The "little dictators" from insurance companies and government bureaucracies force MDs to use stilted, verbose, medical boiler plate language in their own documentation.
Home For Christmas 2008. Website Getting Active Again
Hydrogen power could be, and should be, the wave of our automotive future. Any move toward hydrogen power is a move toward a cleaner and more efficient fuel, and away from our dangerous dependency on oil.
Thoughts in remembrance of 09/11/2001, five years later. The changing shape of the war, the changing shape of the enemy.
The Jewish Shabbat. Description of Jewish Shabbat (Sabbath) from my Holy Land item supplier.
Kerry lies again, and then lies about his lies, in concert with the SLIMC. There he goes again! Kerry lies again and again about American servicemen and veterans; he just can't help himself.
Kerry's Lies: The Old, Vietnam-Era Anti-War Chickens are Comming Home to Roost. POW Lawsuit Could Force Kerry To Come Clean - by George "Bud" Day, Chairman, Vietnam Veterans Legacy Foundation.
What's going on with Mel Gibson? Is he really an anti-Semite? I am surprised that Mel Gibson is an alcolholic. But I am never surprised at any words that come out of the mouth of any drunk.
Still Worrying Over NuVo Consequences. The Holidays have gone by, several days have passed, and the SANE NuVo Initiative still stands pat.
The Dem's October Surprise involves another flip-flop of their public "standard". The clearly pro-sodomy Party that openly seeks the "Gay" vote goes Victorian for another pre-election October Surprise ploy.
Some Problems with NuVo: the so-called Null-Vote Initiative. A "philosophical" movement aimed at keeping religious conservatives from voting? Seriously? Let me state my problems with NuVo.
Come, let us sit and reason together. Jews and Christians of various stripe and spot can say to each other, 'Come, let us sit and reason together.' But we can't do that with the Moslems.
Regarding SANE works dropping NuVo: Nul Vote Initiative dies with a whimper. If you can't really present a good argument, sit down. On SANE Works dropping the NuVo Initiative: a program that works hard to SOUND pro-American while ACTING to oppose American National Existence.
Even experts grossly underestimate the Marxist zeal of the American Left. The sharp Left turn happened in the Hoover-FDR era, and the Marxism of the American Left has been deepening ever since.
Thinking American, in a nutshell: When one has lots to say, but time is limited. The older I get, the busier I get. Answering multiple questions as a thinking American, but in a hurry.
"We are an Easter People, and Hallelujah is our Song." (John Paul the Great) Our absolutely unique and singular Easter story, and the incredible force with which it struck human history.
Witnessing, grieving and weeping for our dieing culture. What might it take to call a whole people back from the brink of cultural death?
If we have an inherent right to something, then, who must supply it? Rights and Responsibilities exist in paired sets; a right does not exist in the absence of a related responsibility. If indeed we have a right to our job, then, someone must provide it. Who?
So how come we have all these homeless people if our system is so great? The strong "Utopian Idealist" firmly believes that absolute worldly perfection is actually possible. Therefore, there should never be any such thing as a hungry or homeless person.
Taking a look at Illegal Imigration and Tax Problem solutions. In our view, the minimum wage and income tax have outlived their usefulness, and only contribute to the illegal alien problem.
First journal / blog entries when the thinking catholic blog first opened up. Notes to readers about what I was doing.
On-going WebSite work and planned WebPages as of 09/07/2006. Adding items to book store.
Vic's busted finger status - life goes on. Another busted finger status report, since the original one rolled off of the 50-entry BLOG update records.
Website Status as of 02/05/2009. No more Bookstore; no more Contact Me; no more complexity.
Website Status 03-09-2009. Just a note to bring you up to date on website status 03-09-2009.
Website Status 04/06/2009. Busy driving daily now; most website work will be weekend and as available.
The Plastic Bags and Eco Doom theory: will plastic bags end life as we know it? Plastic Bag and Eco Doom predictions tell us that plastic grocery and garbage bags will still be buried in the land fills and dumps a thousand years from now. Well … so what?
Farewell Smokey Biorseth; Rest In Peace. Hello Coal Biorseth; Welcome Home. As we were laying our beloved Smokey Biorseth to rest in his grave beside the lilies, a carbon-copy of Smokey, in younger form, emerged from the lilies.
Honky Biorseth really runs this house. If you want to know what's in any cabinet in the house, just ask Honky Biorseth.
Kill the illegal alien marketplace, and illegal aliens will leave on their own. Why should we "imagine" life with no Mexico? Shouldn't the Mexicans be trying to imagine no such thing as the USA?
More Marxist infiltration of higher education. Public school and the media are not the only places dominated by Marxist thought; even Catholic institutions are infected.
Of Families and Fortunes, and Inheritance Vs. Redistribution. Families and Fortunes are despised by Marxists, because Marxism demonizes the family, demonizes fortunes, and even demonizes profit.
Website Status Update 11/09/10. Just a Website status update; where we are and where we’re going.
Regarding the 2010 Tax Deal Pledge Breaker: Pledge? What Pledge? How can Republican deal makers even face us? We need to hang a Tea Party target on all professional politicians for 2012.
Pray for peace in Jerusalem, and for deliverance of Israel from harm. To pray for peace in Jerusalem is to pray for deliverance from Obama.
A tale of Promised Financial Melt-Down Debt Ceiling Nonsense and Happy Marxists. Everyone, on both sides, believes the Debt Ceiling Nonsense. Why?
God and Nature: on the Nature of Things, established by the Creator of Things. God and Nature: on man’s Perversion of the Nature of Things, even with the best of intentions.
Our Ohio voter Guide for the 2012 Election. The 2l012 Ohio Voter Guide – The Choices Have Never Been Clearer, or more critical.
Evangelization enters the animal kingdom with the first bear prayer. It is fitting that the first bear prayer would be a prayer of thanksgiving.
Is the Internet down in Lithuania? Sudden loss of Lithanian traffic suggests the internet is down in Lithuania.
The rise of the Femi Nazi Green Beret, and the decline of military victory. The first Femi Nazi Green Beret will be awarded out of fairness, not excellence.
Food Insurance: Is this stuff really any good? All of us conspiracy-theorizing, global-calamity doomsday-preppers need their Food Insurance.
We just had to try to do Robert Irvine's Plastic Wrapped Baby Back Ribs. Put plastic wrapped baby back ribs in the oven? What? Are you nuts?
Thoughts on the first Eucharist, established by the Last Supper. The first Eucharist was recognized by the Apostles for what it was on that holiest Holy Thursday.
Tea-Party-Candidates-04-18-2014. The Constitution is not going to be restored to legal preeminence unless we replace leadership incumbents of BOTH PARTIES.
Ecce homo; Behold the man. Ecce Homo. Behold the Innocent Lamb, who takes away the sins of the world.
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