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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Early Church Fathers and the Catholic Church



Paul, (whatsup with not having a basic profile Paul? )  whom Moonshadow and I met over on Jennie's blog wants to talk about the Early Church Fathers, specifically Augustine and Justin Martyr, although I'm pretty sure he thinks none of the early church fathers were Catholic. So I've invited him to make his case here. He apparently is use to commenting on Catholic forums. This will be a home game, but I know everyone will play nice.


The throw down- Paul said: Elena, let's continue this interaction regarding the ECF's view of The Eucharist and see who is "falling far short of the actual historical truth". I can let the ECF's be the ECF's. I am not obligated to hold to a distorted view of history such as was declared at Trent and Vatican I. The truth is, there were various understandings of the "real presence" in the early church. Sadly, Rome has painted herself into a corner by making solemn declarations on claims that history cannot support.

While there may have been various understandings there was not outright denial and certainly nothing that looks like the kind of understanding that Paul et al have towards the Lord's supper. I'll start things off with:

Ignatius of Antioch

They abstain from the Eucharist and prayer, because they refuse to acknowledge that the Eucharist is the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ, which suffered for our sins and which the Father by his goodness raised up. (Letter to the Smyrnaeans, 6:2; Lightfoot / Harmer / Holmes, 110)

Justin Martyr

And this food is called among us Εuχαριστiα [the Eucharist], of which no one is allowed to partake but the man who believes that the things which we teach are true, and who has been washed with the washing that is for the remission of sins, and unto regeneration, and who is so living as Christ has enjoined. For not as common bread and common drink do we receive these; but in like manner as Jesus Christ our Saviour, having been made flesh by the Word of God, had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so likewise have we been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word, and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished, is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh. (First Apology, chapter 66; ANF, Vol. I)


HT Dave Armstrong ebook- Church Fathers.


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184 comments:

Paul said...

Elena said:
"(whatsup with not having a basic profile Paul? ) whom Moonshadow and I met over on Jennie's blog wants to talk about the Early Church Fathers, specifically Augustine and Justin Martyr, although I'm pretty sure he thinks none of the early church fathers were Catholic. So I've invited him to make his case here. He apparently is use to commenting on Catholic forums. This will be a home game, but I know everyone will play nice.
-----------------
Elena, I actually said:

"Elena, I agree...
"Justin was clearly very Catholic in all of his other beliefs and practices"
However, Justin was not Roman Catholic. He did not believe in many of the Dogmas that a modern Roman Catholic must believe "de fide".

Moonshadow said...

I was going to caution you about that distinction, Elena - that Paul would think the ECF "catholic."

Rome has painted herself into a corner

Critics of the immutability of dogma like to think this. I remember when the ARCIC issued a joint statement on teachings about the Virgin Mary, my Presbyterian friend said it was a shame that the Catholic Church couldn't distance itself from teachings that had arisen from misinterpretation of Scripture. She had in mind, of course, Revelation 12.

So, this is the perspective among Protestants: that Catholics are hamstrung - ironically, get this! - by our long history and tradition. Sure, when your church is created in 1983, you can cut loose any baggage. But I'm kind of a snob: I can't be a member of a church that is younger than me. And I'm getting pretty old.

on claims that history cannot support.

Brings to mind what the Reformation did to the biblical canon.

Paul said...

Elena said:
"While there may have been various understandings there was not outright denial and certainly nothing that looks like the kind of understanding that Paul et al have towards the Lord's supper.
------------
Elena, I have seen the there was not outright denial argument from folks like Tim Staples and Gerry Matatics before. This attempted argument is flawed in that the person that allegedly never denied xyz would have to be proven to have knowledge of xyz before they would be in a position to deny such.

Paul said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paul said...

Elena said:
"I'll start things off with:
Ignatius of Antioch
They abstain from the Eucharist and prayer, because they refuse to acknowledge that the Eucharist is the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ, which suffered for our sins and which the Father by his goodness raised up. (Letter to the Smyrnaeans, 6:2; Lightfoot / Harmer / Holmes, 110)


---------------------
From Joe Mizzi:
"Ignatius argued against the Gnostic Docetists. They denied the true physical existence of our Lord; thus they also denied his death and resurrection. Ignatius wrote:

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 the Father, in His goodness, raised up again.

The problem with the Gnostics concerned the person of Christ and not the nature of the Eucharist. The heretics did not participate in the Eucharist because they did not believe in what the Eucharist represents, namely the true, physical flesh of Jesus, who actually and really suffered on the cross, and who was really resurrected from the dead.

We do not have to take the phrase "the Eucharist is the flesh" in a literalistic manner. As in everyday speech, as well as in the Bible, it could simply mean that the Eucharist represents the flesh of Christ.

Paul said...

James White explained this ( the context of Ignatius letter) to a RCC Convert named Clare on the Iron Sharpens Iron program.
Discussed the "Top Ten List" on ISI Today (Updated with Ignatius Audio)

08/29/2007 - James White
I joined Chris Arnzen on Iron Sharpens Iron today to discuss the Top Ten Questions to ask of the convert to Roman Catholicism. I linked to the program before I went on, and I think as a result we got a call from a convert named Clare from Virginia. We had an interesting and I think quite revealing discussion, starting, as I recall, about twenty minutes into the program, which is found here. The conversation reminded me a little of this one. The abuse of poor Ignatius is very common, sadly. I discussed this very passage rather fully a few years ago on the Dividing Line. I was teaching a class at Golden Gate at the time on Patristic Theology. Here's the program. Almost a full hour of discussion of the direct text of Ignatius, in its original context. I ask: how many Roman Catholic apologists offer that kind of discussion? Could they do so? I would invite Clare to listen to the program. Get hold of the actual text, in its entirety, and follow along.

In any case, congratulations to Chris Arnzen on his first anniversary on Iron Sharpens Iron!

https://aomin.org/aoblog/index.php?itemid=2240&catid=7

Sue Bee said...

I suppose these are out of context too?

Cyril of Jerusalem

"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" (Catechetical Lectures 19:7 [A.D. 350]).

"Do not, therefore, regard the bread and wine as simply that; for they are, according to the Masters 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" (ibid., 22:6, 9).


I have a cheerful face on my soul! :)

Sue Bee said...

One more before I start dinner...

Theodore of Mopsuestia

"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" (Catechetical Homilies 5:1 [A.D. 405]).

Paul said...

Sue-Bee,
From Joe Mizzi:
"It is misleading to speak about “real presence” as if the term is equivalent to “transubstantiation.” Christians, who consider the bread and wine as strictly symbolical, also believe in the real presence of the Lord among them. Jesus said: “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:20). Surely Christ is present in the congregation of His people, as He promises, especially during the celebration of the Supper. His presence is real even though it is spiritual and not carnal."

I understand that some of the ECF's understood the "real presence" as a "physical/substantial" concept. But not all of them. The ECF's were unanimous or monolithic on very few things and the understanding of "real presence" was not one of them.

Elena said...

Elena, I have seen the there was not outright denial argument from folks like Tim Staples and Gerry Matatics before.

Gerry Matatics (last I heard) left the church, thinking himself literally more Catholic than the pope. So probably not your best example.

Catholics are free to disagree Paul. We're not the Borg (Star Trek reference). Catholics disagree on the Iraq war and on changes to the liturgy. The difference is that when the magesterium speaks on matters of faith and morals you're either in or your a dissenter. Matatics dissented and now he's gone.

Elena said...

The problem with the Gnostics concerned the person of Christ and not the nature of the Eucharist

Totally beside the point. I could care less what the Gnostics thought in this particular debate. More to the point Ignatius called said, "Eucharist is the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ."

Ignatius supported the True Presence and Transubstantiation. Next.

Elena said...

A little off topic but nice picture Paul. A little sparse on the other stuff. I would have thought that a bit about favorite books and movies etc. would have been less threatening than posting your hometown? (A smile would have been nice too. Just sayin...)

Elena said...

I understand that some of the ECF's understood the "real presence" as a "physical/substantial" concept. But not all of them.

Maybe, maybe not. The EFCs weren't infallible. Nonetheless you haven't produced any that outright denied it and the ones you did put forth I already handled.

This is going to be a short thread.

Jennie said...

Here are some quotes from some of the Fathers on John 6.

They are from Jason Angwer's 'Catholic but not Roman Catholic'.

"'He that eateth me,' He says, 'he also shall live because of me;' for we eat His flesh, and drink His blood, being made through His incarnation and His visible life partakers of His Word and of His Wisdom. For all His mystic sojourn among us He called flesh and blood, and set forth the teaching consisting of practical science, of physics, and of theology, whereby our soul is nourished and is meanwhile trained for the contemplation of actual realities. This is perhaps the intended meaning of what He says." - Basil (Letter 8:4)

"Elsewhere the Lord, in the Gospel according to John, brought this out by symbols, when He said: 'Eat ye my flesh, and drink my blood,' describing distinctly by metaphor the drinkable properties of faith and the promise, by means of which the Church, like a human being consisting of many members, is refreshed and grows, is welded together and compacted of both,--of faith, which is the body, and of hope, which is the soul; as also the Lord of flesh and blood. For in reality the blood of faith is hope, in which faith is held as by a vital principle." - Clement of Alexandria (The Instructor, 1:6)

"He says, it is true, that 'the flesh profiteth nothing;' but then, as in the former case, the meaning must be regulated by the subject which is spoken of. Now, because they thought His discourse was harsh and intolerable, supposing that He had really and literally enjoined on them to eat his flesh, He, with the view of ordering the state of salvation as a spiritual thing, set out with the principle, 'It is the spirit that quickeneth;' and then added, 'The flesh profiteth nothing,'--meaning, of course, to the giving of life. He also goes on to explain what He would have us to understand by spirit: 'The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.' In a like sense He had previously said: 'He that heareth my words, and believeth on Him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but shall pass from death unto life.' Constituting, therefore, His word as the life-giving principle, because that word is spirit and life, He likewise called His flesh by the same appelation; because, too, the Word had become flesh, we ought therefore to desire Him in order that we may have life, and to devour Him with the ear, and to ruminate on Him with the understanding, and to digest Him by faith. Now, just before the passage in hand, He had declared His flesh to be 'the bread which cometh down from heaven,' impressing on His hearers constantly under the figure of necessary food the memory of their forefathers, who had preferred the bread and flesh of Egypt to their divine calling." - Tertullian (On the Ressurection of the Flesh, 37)

I believe all that can be discerned by the Fathers is that they did NOT understand the eucharist in the same way as the Roman Catholic doctrine which developed over the last 1000 years. They seemed to have an understanding of a 'real presence' but first of a spiritual understanding that the bread and wine represent the word of God, who is Christ, and is revealed to us by faith in His word through the Spirit.

Elena said...

Basil: It is good and beneficial to communicate every day, and to partake of the holy body and blood of Christ. . . . once the priest has completed the offering . . . (Letter XCIII, To the Patrician Cæsaria; NPNF 2, Vol. VIII)

Tertullian

Then, having taken the bread and given it to His disciples, He made it His own body, by saying, “This is my body,” that is, the figure of my body. A figure, however, there could not have been, unless there were first a veritable body. An empty thing, or phantom, is incapable of a figure. If, however, (as Marcion might say,) He pretended the bread was His body, because He lacked the truth of bodily substance, it follows that He must have given bread for us. It would contribute very well to the support of Marcion’s theory of a phantom body, that bread should have been crucified! But why call His body bread, and not rather (some other edible thing, say) a melon, which Marcion must have had in lieu of a heart! He did not understand how ancient was this figure of the body of Christ, who said Himself by Jeremiah: “I was like a lamb or an ox that is brought to the slaughter, and I knew not that they devised a device against me, saying, Let us cast the tree upon His bread,” which means, of course, the cross upon His body. And thus, casting light, as He always did, upon the ancient prophecies, He declared plainly enough what He meant by the bread, when He called the bread His own body. He likewise, when mentioning the cup and making the new testament to be sealed “in His blood,” affirms the reality of His body. For no blood can belong to a body which is not a body of flesh. If any sort of body were presented to our view, which is not one of flesh, not being fleshly, it would not possess blood. Thus, from the evidence of the flesh, we get a proof of the body, and a proof of the flesh from the evidence of the blood. (Against Marcion, Book IV, chapter 40; ANF, Vol. III


Catholic doctrine developed over time just as the scriptures did. Just as the King James version of the bible didn't fall out of the sky with leather binding and gold gilded pages, neither did the understanding of Catholic doctrine that developed through the ages.

What is clear though is that they did not have YOUR understanding of the Lord's supper and in fact many quotes have been brought forth already that show them much closer to the Catholic understanding of Christ's body and blood in the Eucharist.

I guess then Jennie, going by your yard stick that would make the EFC's apostate in your eyes because they did not believe exactly as you do, particularly on this matter.

Paul said...

Elena said:
"Elena, I have seen the there was not outright denial argument from folks like Tim Staples and Gerry Matatics before.

Gerry Matatics (last I heard) left the church, thinking himself literally more Catholic than the pope. So probably not your best example."
------
Elena,
You completely avoided the point I was making. Sure Gerry has gone Sedae, but he has had more guts than any of the C.A guy's. Why not interact with my point about the "there was not outright denial argument"?

Elena said...

Because Paul, your "outright denial" argument doesn't hold water.

If they denied The True Presence or transubstantiation ( and yes I get the difference)some Protestant apologist would have found it decades ago and you would have trotted it out alread. They haven't and you didn't because it doesn't exist.

Nice to be in the same boat with with Tim Staples though.

Paul said...

Elena wrote:
"The problem with the Gnostics concerned the person of Christ and not the nature of the Eucharist

Totally beside the point. I could care less what the Gnostics thought in this particular debate. More to the point Ignatius called said, "Eucharist is the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ."
--------------
Elena,
It's not besides the point. Context is king in interpretation. If you are going to respond to my attempts to interact with you on the ECF's with Nuh-Uhh then I am wasting my time. The fact that everyone that White interacts with on the contexual background of Ignatius' Letters (William Albrecht most recently) just ignores this important element is very telling. They refuse to interact with it because it completely wipes out their misuse of Ignatius.

Oh, and I'll try to find a smiley picture. :o)

Elena said...

Yea a smiley picture would be great! Apologetics doesn't have to be so ...serious.


Although I do like Sue Bee's icon and Moonshadow's... moon shadow!



Now in simple terms, please explain to me why what the Gnostics thought should change my mind about what Ignatius actually said. And why should I take Joe Mizz's idea that the word "is" actually means "represents" as authoritative. That's simply his opinion.

Paul said...

Ignatius supported the True Presence and Transubstantiation
------
That's a rather large leap. And according to the Trent definition.
http://history.hanover.edu/early/trent/ct13ce.htm

The details that Ignatius gives are so vague that you can't determine that he agreed with the Tridentine Definition. And if you refuse to look at the background and context than you are working on pure speculation and anachronism.

Elena said...

Aw...that's a much nicer pic!


and I'm actually going by what the man wrote! It could almost be the definition of transubstantiation. Nonetheless, I'll give you that he didn't have the "formal" definition from Trent sitting in front of him.

Paul said...

Elena said:
"I understand that some of the ECF's understood the "real presence" as a "physical/substantial" concept. But not all of them.

Maybe, maybe not. The EFCs weren't infallible. Nonetheless you haven't produced any that outright denied it and the ones you did put forth I already handled.
---------
You already handled? Did I miss something?
You posted 4 quotes (kinda) from Augustine and I responded to them within their broader context. And demonstrated that you were misusing Augustine. And you responded by posting a 5th quote (kinda). You didn't even interact with my response. Shall I repost them here?

Elena said...

You already handled? Did I miss something?

I mean you put forth your Augustine quotes... I countered with mine. You put up your Justin Martyr; I put up mine. That's what I meant.


You posted 4 quotes (kinda) from Augustine and I responded to them within their broader context. And demonstrated that you were misusing Augustine.

Well you demonstrate to yourself I guess. But I've already illustrated that Augustine's idea of the Eucharist is much closer to the Catholic position. And he's an outright apostate on the Jennie yardstick!

And you responded by posting a 5th quote (kinda). You didn't even interact with my response. Shall I repost them here?

Nope. Unless you have something from an early church father that totally denies Jesus Christ physically present in the bread and the wine, I'm really not interested.

And on the other hand even if you do I have the "not infallible" card.

So the way I see it, I'm holding all the trump anyway. ;-)

Paul said...

Hi Jennie,
Nice to see you here. You made a great point on your board about the use of "sign, symbol,figure etc" regarding the Eucharist. I will try to point that out in the writings of Augustine and a few others. Maybe we can look at the "propitiatory sacrifice" aspect as well since Trent claimed that it was "ever believed" in the Church.

Paul said...

Elena said:
"Nope. Unless you have something from an early church father that totally denies Jesus Christ physically present in the bread and the wine, I'm really not interested.

And on the other hand even if you do I have the "not infallible" card.

So the way I see it, I'm holding all the trump anyway. ;-)"
---------------
Well, there ya go.
Sola Ecclesia.
It doesn't matter what the ECF's say,
It doesn't matter what Scripture says.
You've got your "Ultimate Authority"
And it's not a Tri-Part assembly. The "Church" determines what Tradition is..
The Church determines what Scripture is and what it means.
So the Church is "Ultimate".

Sue Bee said...

Paul,
Consubstantiation, as I understand it, is the physical elements (bread wine) combine with the divine elements (body blood) to form a 3rd element. I don't know who believes this, but it isn't Lutherans.

Lutherans believe the bread & wine have two natures, as does Christ himself.

"His presence is real even though it is spiritual and not carnal."

He promises that it is both.

Elena said...

It doesn't matter what the ECF's say,

Well it matters. I'm just reminding you that they were not infallible and the church didn't hold as "doctrine" ever word they wrote.

It doesn't matter what Scripture says.

Which is also a mischaracterization. It would be more accurate to say that we don't accept every interpretation that comes down the pike.

You've got your "Ultimate Authority"

Yep. Jesus Christ speaking through sacred scriptured and sacred tradition as preserved and taught through his Holy Catholic Church.

And it's not a Tri-Part assembly. The "Church" determines what Tradition is..
The Church determines what Scripture is and what it means.
So the Church is "Ultimate".


As defined above - yes. The alternative is Protestantism - after all you just came from a blog where the blogger thinks only Christians that think as she does are true believers? I mean... come on...

Daughter of Wisdom said...

All we have to do is find a church father who agrees with our own point of view, to establish factual truth, right?

When did we come to the place where we judge God's Word with the opinions of men? Isn't God the judge of the opinions and thoughts of men and not vice versa?

Elena said...

All we have to do is find a church father who agrees with our own point of view, to establish factual truth, right?

Well it would establish the fact that one particular ECF had one particular point of view. That's basically ALL it would establish

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Do you think God is going to sit back and let an earthly ecclesiastic body of men or women, take His place of authority, and trump His Holy Scriptures?

Think again.

Peace.

Lockheed said...

I highly recommend every one read Elena's quote of Tertullian and decide for yourself if he's really talking about transubstantiation. Also, look up the actual quote and read the context. Typical RC proof texting.

Elena said...

I think God knows...we're human. And He knows that His church has always needed Godly men to lead the people.

I believe that that is why Jesus Christ established His church with His apostles and gave them authority to preserve His teachings and to hand them down via apostolic succession to every generation.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Elena,

I see your are saying that the ECFs were not infallible, and that is true. I also see you claiming your church to be the 'Ultimate authority.' How can an institution run by mortal men and women be the 'Ultimate authority.' Who there presumes to instruct God?

Peace.

Sue Bee said...

DOW asks: Do you think God is going to sit back and let an earthly ecclesiastic body of men or women, take His place of authority, and trump His Holy Scriptures?

Exactly why we believe & confess that Christ is truly, physically present in the Eucharist -- because Scripture says he is. Why try to explain away the mystery?

BTW, one of my favorite Spurgeon quotes:
You are not such wiseacres as to think or say that you can expound the Scripture without the assistance from the works of divine and learned men who have labored before you in the field of exposition ... It seems odd that certain men who talk so much of what the Holy Spirit reveals to themselves, should think so little of what he has revealed to others. - Rev. C. H. Spurgeon, to his students (Commenting and Commentaries)

Daughter of Wisdom said...

It is true that Jesus established the church body, with leaders whose responsiblity it is to hand down the teachings. What I don't understand is the presumption that these people can also change the very same teachings they were to hand down, to suit their own ideas of doctrine.

Peace.

Elena said...

No one instructs God. Are you being deliberately obtuse? This is from the catechism of the Catholic Church- the "sure norm."

874 Christ is himself the source of ministry in the Church. He instituted the Church. He gave her authority and mission, orientation and goal:

In order to shepherd the People of God and to increase its numbers without cease, Christ the Lord set up in his Church a variety of offices which aim at the good of the whole body. The holders of office, who are invested with a sacred power, are, in fact, dedicated to promoting the interests of their brethren, so that all who belong to the People of God . . . may attain to salvation.389

875 "How are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without a preacher? And how can men preach unless they are sent?"390 No one - no individual and no community - can proclaim the Gospel to himself: "Faith comes from what is heard."391 No one can give himself the mandate and the mission to proclaim the Gospel. The one sent by the Lord does not speak and act on his own authority, but by virtue of Christ's authority; not as a member of the community, but speaking to it in the name of Christ. No one can bestow grace on himself; it must be given and offered. This fact presupposes ministers of grace, authorized and empowered by Christ. From him, bishops and priests receive the mission and faculty ("the sacred power") to act in persona Christi Capitis; deacons receive the strength to serve the people of God in the diaconia of liturgy, word and charity, in communion with the bishop and his presbyterate. The ministry in which Christ's emissaries do and give by God's grace what they cannot do and give by their own powers, is called a "sacrament" by the Church's tradition. Indeed, the ministry of the Church is conferred by a special sacrament.



892 Divine assistance is also given to the successors of the apostles, teaching in communion with the successor of Peter, and, in a particular way, to the bishop of Rome, pastor of the whole Church, when, without arriving at an infallible definition and without pronouncing in a "definitive manner," they propose in the exercise of the ordinary Magisterium a teaching that leads to better understanding of Revelation in matters of faith and morals. To this ordinary teaching the faithful "are to adhere to it with religious assent"422 which, though distinct from the assent of faith, is nonetheless an extension of it.

Elena said...

What I don't understand is the presumption that these people can also change the very same teachings they were to hand down, to suit their own ideas of doctrine.

They don't "change" anything. But our understanding develops more deeply over time.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Sue Bee said:

"BTW, one of my favorite Spurgeon quotes:
You are not such wiseacres as to think or say that you can expound the Scripture without the assistance from the works of divine and learned men who have labored before you in the field of exposition ... It seems odd that certain men who talk so much of what the Holy Spirit reveals to themselves, should think so little of what he has revealed to others. - Rev. C. H. Spurgeon, to his students (Commenting and Commentaries)"

God is not the author of confusion. What God has revealed to one person, He reveals to others who are so inclined to receive truth. The problem with some of the Church fathers, not all, is that they have despised the very teachings of Christ and the apostles, whom they claim to represent. The glaring differences in doctrine is so evident between what some Church fathers wrote and what the scripture says.

Peace.

Jennie said...

Elena said,
The alternative is Protestantism - after all you just came from a blog where the blogger thinks only Christians that think as she does are true believers? I mean... come on...

What I 'think' is that we ALL need to go back to the pure word of God, and examine ourselves by scripture to be sure we are in the faith as Paul teaches; I don't claim to have everything right; I just claim that scripture is the final authority for the church, and that people are in danger if they are not depending upon God's word instead of any church and traditions. I have to examine myself too, and often am found wanting. But He doesn't say we have to be perfect to be witnesses, fortunately. :)

Elena said...

The problem with some of the Church fathers, not all, is that they have despised the very teachings of Christ and the apostles, whom they claim to represent

Wow. You're saying that you are wiser than the EFC? Puhlease Hilary.

Elena said...

But He doesn't say we have to be perfect to be witnesses, fortunately. :)

True. On the other hand you said anyone who doesn't think like you is pretty much not a true believer... shrug. FYI that leaves out most of Christendom, past present and future.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

I make no claim for myself. This is not about me but about the claims you are making about the church being the ultimate authority over scripture. The thing created cannot claim preeminence over the creator. We as children of God cannot claim more wisdom and authority than God.

Peace.

Sue Bee said...

Jennie said What I 'think' is that we ALL need to go back to the pure word of God, and examine ourselves by scripture to be sure we are in the faith as Paul teaches; I don't claim to have everything right; I just claim that scripture is the final authority for the church, and that people are in danger if they are not depending upon God's word instead of any church and traditions. I have to examine myself too, and often am found wanting.

I examine myself too, and I find I am always wanting, always needing my Savior.

We will never find holiness looking within ourselves or in the mirror. It isn't there - Holiness is found only in Christ. Any goodness in me is His, created by Him.

Elena said...

I make no claim for myself. This is not about me but about the claims you are making about the church being the ultimate authority over scripture. The thing created cannot claim preeminence over the creator. We as children of God cannot claim more wisdom and authority than God.

Catholics believe that in His wisdom and with his authority God allowed the church to determine which books were inspired and which were not, and then to close the canon of the scriptures. Catholics believe that the church also protects and defends the interpretation of the scriptures under the power of the Holy Spirit as handed down to us by the apostles.

Paul said...

Ambrose (c. 339-97): In eating and drinking the things which are offered for us, we signify the flesh and the blood. You receive the sacrament as a similitude; it is the figure of the body and blood of the Lord. You drink the likeness of his precious blood. George Finch, A Sketch of the Romish Controversy (London: G. Norman, 1831), p. 222. De Sacramentis, Liber Quartus, Caput IV, §20, PL 16:443.

Elena said...

It is wonderful that God rained manna on our fathers and they were fed with daily food from heaven. And so it is written: Man ate the bread of angels. Yet those who ate that bread all died in the desert. But the food that you receive, that living bread which came down from heaven, supplies the very substance of eternal life, and whoever will eat it will never die, for it is the body of Christ. Ambrose of Milan, treatise On the Mysteries was originally spoken to newly baptized Christians around the year 370 AD.

Jennie said...

I think these quotes Paul put on my blog thread were very helpful in determining what is the most important meaning of the eucharist to the Fathers:
Jerome (347-420) on Psalm 147: When Christ says, ‘He that eateth not my flesh and drinketh not my blood,’ although it may also be understood sacramentally, yet with greater truth the body of Christ and his blood is the word of the Scriptures, is the divine doctrine. For trans., see William Goode, The Nature of Christ’s Presence in the Eucharist (London: T. Hatchard, 1856), Vol. 1, p. 116.


Jerome (347-420) on Psalm 147: We read the Holy Scriptures. I believe that the Gospel is the body of Christ. I believe the Holy Scriptures to be his doctrine, and when he says, He who does not eat my flesh and drink my blood, although this may be understood of the mystery, yet the word of the Scriptures and the divine doctrine is more truly the body of Christ and his blood. If at any time we go to the mystery, whoever is faithful understands that if he falls into sin he is in danger; so if at any time we hear the word of God, and the word of God, and the flesh of Christ, and his blood poured into our ears, and we are thinking of something else, how great is the danger we incur. George Finch, A Sketch of the Romish Controversy (London: G. Norman, 1831), p. 170.


Here is Paul's quote from Dr. Mizzi:
Augustine rightly warns that "to take signs for the things that are signified by them, is a mark of weakness and bondage" (On Christian Doctrine 3,9). Augustine is here referring to the sacrament of baptism and the celebration of the body and blood of the Lord. Thus, to confuse the bread (the sign) for the body of Christ (the signified) is, according to Augustine a mark of weakness and bondage.

Most may have believed in a real presence, but the most important meaning seems to be what I said in my last comment, with the quotes from some Fathers on John 6, that the body and blood is first Jesus Himself in His sacrifice on the cross and His word that we digest when we abide in Him, and secondly it is the bread and wine, which they all seem to see as a sign for remembrance, as passover is. They also believe in a real presence, but there is little sign historically that it was worshipped in itself, and believed to be a propitiatory sacrifice. These last things are what we mainly object to, as Jesus finished His work as our sacrifice on the cross. This is clearly stated in Hebrews.

Paul said...

Ambrose (c. 339-97) on reading the Scriptures: Be not alarmed because the cup of Babylon is a golden cup, for you drink out of the cup of wisdom, which is more precious than gold and silver. Drink of each cup, therefore, of the Old and New Testament, because you drink of Christ from each. Drink Christ, that you may drink the blood with which you are redeemed: drink Christ, that you may drink his discourses. His discourse is the Old Testament; his discourse is the New Testament. The Holy Scripture is drunk and devoured, when the eternal Word descends into the veins and energies of the mind. Lastly, man lives not by bread alone, but by every word of God. Drink this word, but drink it in its right order. First drink it in the Old Testament, and make haste to drink it in the New Testament. Exposition of the 1st Psalm. George Finch, A Sketch of the Romish Controversy (London: G. Norman, 1831), p. 222.

Sue Bee said...

Jennie wrote: "...be sure we are in the faith as Paul teaches..."

I can be sure of my salvation because Jesus promises that those who believe in Him and are baptized are saved. God has saved me, on that I can rely. He has called and equipped me. 100%.

Jennie said...

Elena,
On the other hand you said anyone who doesn't think like you is pretty much not a true believer

Quote please. Where did I say that, and what exactly did I say?

Paul said...

Wait, this guy was a Pope and didn't agree with Trent?

Gelasius, Bishop of Rome (492-496): Surely the sacrament we take of the Lord’s body and blood is a divine thing, on account of which, and by the same we are made partakers of the divine nature; and yet the substance of the bread and wine does not cease to be. And certainly the image and similitude of Christ’s body and blood are celebrated in the action of the mysteries. (Tractatus de duabus naturis 14 [PL Sup.-III. 773]) See Francis Turretin, Institutes of Elenctic Theology, 3 Vols., trans. George Musgrave Giger and ed. James T. Dennison (Phillipsburg: reprinted by Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co., 1992), Vol. 3, p. 479 (XVIII.xxvi.xx).

Latin text: Certe sacramenta, quae sumimus, corporis et sanguinis Christi divina res est, propter quod et per eadem divinae efficimur consortes naturae; et tamen esse non desinit substantia vel natura panis et vini. Et certe imago et similitudo corporis et sanguinis Christi in actione mysteriorum celebrantur. Jacques Paul Migne, Patrologiae Latinae, Tractatus de duabis naturis Adversus Eutychen et Nestorium 14, PL Supplementum III, Part 2:733 (Paris: Editions Garnier Freres, 1964).

Elena said...

Ah Jennie I'm not going back through 200 + posts to get the exact phrase, but that's pretty much the gist of what I got from posts.

But let's stay focused on the EFC shall we. I'm not as comfortable with off topic comments as you obviously are. I posted the links, people can go back and read the thread for themselves.

Paul said...

Tertullian: Then, having taken the bread and given it to His disciples, He made it His own body, by saying, 'This is my body,' that is, the figure of my body. ANF, Vol. 3, Against Marcion, 4.40.

Jennie said...

Elena,
It is wonderful that God rained manna on our fathers and they were fed with daily food from heaven. And so it is written: Man ate the bread of angels. Yet those who ate that bread all died in the desert. But the food that you receive, that living bread which came down from heaven, supplies the very substance of eternal life, and whoever will eat it will never die, for it is the body of Christ. Ambrose of Milan, treatise On the Mysteries was originally spoken to newly baptized Christians around the year 370 AD.
What in this cannot be understood as figuratively speaking of Christ Himself and His word that gives us life?

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Catholics believe that the church also protects and defends the interpretation of the scriptures under the power of the Holy Spirit as handed down to us by the apostles.

If Catholic believe this, then why is there so much confusion regarding the interpretation of John 6, where Christ says, "whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life" (vs. 54), and then further down He explains, "It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life" (vs. 63). Christ says, the spirit 'quickeneth' meaning the spirit gives life. He also says that His words ARE spirit and life. Even Peter confirmed this, "Thou hast the words of eternal life" (vs. 68). Was Peter crazy to draw such a conclusion from Christ's discourse about His flesh and blood?

Peace.

Sue Bee said...

Clement of Alexandria

"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" (The Instructor of Children 1:6:43:3 [A.D. 191]).


I thought we decided the the ECFs were in as much agreement with each other as we are?

Elena said...

What in this cannot be understood as figuratively speaking of Christ Himself and His word that gives us life?

Why cannot it be understood as literally Christ giving his body to eat?

Elena said...

Paul i don't do very well with Latin so I just sent that off to someone who teaches Latin. I'll have to research that one.

Jennie said...

I said,
They also believe in a real presence, but there is little sign historically that it was worshipped in itself, and believed to be a propitiatory sacrifice. These last things are what we mainly object to, as Jesus finished His work as our sacrifice on the cross. This is clearly stated in Hebrews.
We also believe in the real presence of Christ with us. He is with us always, constantly, by the Holy Spirit. We also believe when we gather together as a body, He as our Head is with us more particularly, in our midst.

Elena said...

If Catholic believe this, then why is there so much confusion regarding the interpretation of John 6, where Christ says, "whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life"

There's not. Catholics believe it is the body and blood of Jesus Christ and use John 6 as the basis for this.

The confusion isn't on our side of the Tiber.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Why cannot it be understood as literally Christ giving his body to eat?

Elena, are you really serious about what you're saying, or is this a weird joke?

Has God led us into cannabalism?

Elena said...

They also believe in a real presence, but there is little sign historically that it was worshipped in itself, and believed to be a propitiatory sacrifice.

and obviously from the quotes Sue and I have been putting up - you were wrong.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

I rest my case. It is definitely obvious that church teachings are more important than what Jesus, or the apostle Peter had to say.

Peace and blessings to all.

Paul said...

Elena said:
"Paul i don't do very well with Latin so I just sent that off to someone who teaches Latin. I'll have to research that one"
-------
Elena, that's great. Glad to see you digging in.

Elena said...

I rest my case. It is definitely obvious that church teachings are more important than what Jesus

The church teachings ARE from Jesus. Look don't insult me Hilary because I'm just not in the mood. Agree or disagree, but I won't tolerate disrespect. got it?

Paul said...

Clement of Alexandria: And He blessed the wine, saying, 'Take, drink: this is my blood' - the blood of the vine. He figuratively calls the Word 'shed for many, for the remission of sins' - the holy stream of gladness. ANF, Vol. II, The Instructor, 2.2.

Sue Bee said...

Hippolytus

"And she [Wisdom] has furnished her table [Prov. 9:2] . . . refers to his [Christs] 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]" (Fragment from Commentary on Proverbs [A.D. 217]).


Cyprian of Carthage

"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 contemned[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" (The Lapsed 1516 [A.D. 251]).


It sounds like the ECFs took communion solemnly. Perhaps reverently?

Elena said...

Elena, are you really serious about what you're saying, or is this a weird joke?

Has God led us into cannabalism?


Of course not. But that's what the disciples who left in John 6 thought and that is why they left.

It's a supernatural mystery that are partaking in the literal mystical resurected body of Christ.

Dr MikeyMike said...

I rest my case. It is definitely obvious that church teachings are more important than what Jesus, or the apostle Peter had to say.
----------------------------------

I find it interesting how people cannot register the fact that church teachings -are- what Jesus and the apostle Peter said.

I mean -- history backs up this point. You get these new theologies popping up approx. 1500 years after the birth of Christianity and all of the sudden the status quo up to that point is the one unfounded in the teachings of the apostles? I guess Peter, Paul, and co. had a time machine and a penchant for telling different messages to different peoples.

Sue Bee said...

DOW said I rest my case. It is definitely obvious that church teachings are more important than what Jesus, or the apostle Peter had to say.

I honestly had never looked into, nor cared, what the ECFs taught about communion. From my own limited ability to reason and the blessings of the Holy Spirit which open my eyes & heart to His Word, I can understand that the Jesus' final covenant, His Promise, is His Body & His Blood will be given to us when we commemorate the Last Supper.

Paul said...

Chrysostom (349-407): What then? do not we offer every day? We offer indeed, but making a remembrance of His death, and this [remembrance] is one and not many. How is it one, and not many? Inasmuch as that [Sacrifice] was once for all offered, [and] carried into the Holy of Holies. This is a figure of that [sacrifice] and this remembrance of that. For we always offer the same, not one sheep now and tomorrow another, but always the same thing: so that the sacrifice is one. And yet by this reasoning, since the offering is made in many places, are there many Christs? but Christ is one everywhere, being complete here and complete there also, one Body. As then while offered in many places, He is one body and not many bodies; so also [He is] one sacrifice. He is our High Priest, who offered the sacrifice that cleanses us. That we offer now also, which was then offered, which cannot be exhausted. This is done in remembrance of what was then done. For (saith He) “do this in remembrance of Me.” (Luke 22:19) It is not another sacrifice, as the High Priest, but we offer always the same, or rather we perform a remembrance of a Sacrifice. NPNF1: Vol. X, Homilies on the Epistle to the Hebrews, Homily 17.6.

Dr MikeyMike said...

Gelasius, Bishop of Rome (492-496): Surely the sacrament we take of the Lord’s body and blood is a divine thing, on account of which, and by the same we are made partakers of the divine nature; and yet the substance of the bread and wine does not cease to be. And certainly the image and similitude of Christ’s body and blood are celebrated in the action of the mysteries.
----------------------------------

I can't even begin to read all of these comments, especially since I am supposed to be studying for a surgery rotation.

So I'm just going through willy nilly. I apologize if this offends anyone.

Anyways, Paul, I would think that this supports the Catholic view in many respects. Suppose I swap souls with you: mine in your body, and yours in mine. Yes, the body I would inhabit would be Paul's, but would the package deal -really- be Paul from that point forward? If your soul is in my body - do you become 'me' or does my body now become you?

Dr MikeyMike said...

Chrysostom (349-407): What then? do not we offer every day? We offer indeed, but making a remembrance of His death, and this [remembrance] is one and not many. How is it one, and not many? Inasmuch as that [Sacrifice] was once for all offered, [and] carried into the Holy of Holies. This is a figure of that [sacrifice] and this remembrance of that. For we always offer the same, not one sheep now and tomorrow another, but always the same thing: so that the sacrifice is one. And yet by this reasoning, since the offering is made in many places, are there many Christs? but Christ is one everywhere, being complete here and complete there also, one Body. As then while offered in many places, He is one body and not many bodies; so also [He is] one sacrifice. He is our High Priest, who offered the sacrifice that cleanses us. That we offer now also, which was then offered, which cannot be exhausted. This is done in remembrance of what was then done. For (saith He) “do this in remembrance of Me.” (Luke 22:19) It is not another sacrifice, as the High Priest, but we offer always the same, or rather we perform a remembrance of a Sacrifice. NPNF1: Vol. X, Homilies on the Epistle to the Hebrews, Homily 17.6.
----------------------------------
Again, this conforms with the Catholic view. Jesus is not sacrificed over and over again. Rather, the priest is taking in part of a sacrifice that exists now outside of the boundaries of time, something for -all- time. Trippy.

Elena said...

I got my Galasius translation back:

Elena, this passage is a lot easier to understand into Latin than to put into English, but here's a pretty literal rendering. Kind of nice change of pace for a few minutes....

"Surely the sacraments, which we embrace, are the divine matter of the Body and Blood of Christ, especially because through these very things (ie, the sacraments) we are formed into partners (consortes can mean brothers, partners, sharers in) of divine nature; and, however, the substantial nature of neither the bread nor wine cease to exist. Indeed, both the likeness and the imitation of the the body and blood of Christ are celebrated in the action of the Mysteries.

Elena said...

Glad to see you Mikey Mike!

Dr MikeyMike said...

Thanks, Elena!

Paul said...

Dr.M.M said:
"Gelasius, Bishop of Rome (492-496): Surely the sacrament we take of the Lord’s body and blood is a divine thing, on account of which, and by the same we are made partakers of the divine nature; and yet the substance of the bread and wine does not cease to be. And certainly the image and similitude of Christ’s body and blood are celebrated in the action of the mysteries.

-------------
In Roman Catholic theology, transubstantiation (in Latin, transsubstantiatio, in Greek μετουσίωσις (metousiosis)) means the change of the substance of bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ occurring in the Eucharist while all that is accessible to the senses remains as before.

Sue Bee said...

Paul quoted Chrysostom "...but Christ is one everywhere, being complete here and complete there also, one Body. As then while offered in many places, He is one body and not many bodies; so also [He is] one sacrifice. He is our High Priest, who offered the sacrifice that cleanses us. That we offer now also, which was then offered, which cannot be exhausted..."

At least in that section, we agree. Or is this an anti-transubstantiation/pro-true presence quote?

Dr MikeyMike said...

Again, I point to my analogy. In the swapped-body scenario, your body is still --.. well, your body. The DNA composition, protein metabolism, neurologic pathways are all unique to what was once yours. However, there is a new spirit within it. Is it, after all, our soul who defines us or our body? If we were to place my mind in a computer, would I cease to exist because my body is destroyed?

And if there is one person who can make something part of his body while retaining its substance, it's Jesus Christ, Our Lord.

Dr MikeyMike said...
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Dr MikeyMike said...
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Daughter of Wisdom said...

Elena, I apologize that you felt insulted. Did NOT mean to do that. :-)

Peace.

Elena said...

Apology accepted! Thanks.

Moonshadow said...

Sue Bee took the words out of my mouth when she said,

"From my own limited ability to reason and the blessings of the Holy Spirit which open my eyes & heart to His Word, I can understand ..."

Fill in the blank - the Incarnation, the Resurrection, the Trinity, ... and Christ's Presence in the eucharist.

There's faith ... and there's faith. Lewis has two chapters on it (Ch. 21 and Ch. 22).

Faith is a gift from God that we make our own.

Jennie said...

Elena asked,
Why cannot it be understood as literally Christ giving his body to eat?

She was referring to this quote she gave from Ambrose:
It is wonderful that God rained manna on our fathers and they were fed with daily food from heaven. And so it is written: Man ate the bread of angels. Yet those who ate that bread all died in the desert. But the food that you receive, that living bread which came down from heaven, supplies the very substance of eternal life, and whoever will eat it will never die, for it is the body of Christ. Ambrose of Milan, treatise On the Mysteries was originally spoken to newly baptized Christians around the year 370 AD.
This quote is apparently referring to John 6. I would like to give a few scriptures to show why Jesus in John 6 is not referring to Christ literally giving us His body and blood to eat, and that the bread is not literally the 'body, soul, and divinity of Christ' or the whole Christ.
Matthew 24:23 “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. 24 For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you beforehand.
26 “Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it. 27 For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.

This passage says that if anyone tells you that Christ is here or there on earth DO NOT BELIEVE IT and DO NOT GO OUT to look for Him, because His coming will be 'as the lightning come from the east and flashes to the west'.
John 19:30 He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.
Hebrews 10:16 “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,” 17 then He adds, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” 18 Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin.
Jesus finished His propitiatory work on the cross and for those who believe in Him, their sins are forgiven and there is no more need for an offering for sin.
Hebrews 9:25 not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another— 26 He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. 27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, 28 so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.
This passage says that He appeared once to put away sin by His sacrifice of Himself, not often, and that He will appear for those who eagerly await Him a SECOND TIME, APART FROM SIN, for salvation. He will appear a second time when He comes back to earth, 'just as He ascended' the first time. He will appear 'apart from sin' that is, not as a sacrifice for sin. He does not come back as a physical perpetual sacrifice. Every word of Hebrews denies this doctrine. He sat down at the right hand of the Father in victory over sin and death and having finished His suffering, He intercedes for us against our accuser the devil.

Elena said...

Every word of Hebrews denies this doctrine

No it doesn't but I'm not going to get into this at this late hour. Five more minutes and I'm closing comments for the evening - back up in the morning. I'll attend to this properly at that time.

Jennie said...

This passage says that if anyone tells you that Christ is here or there on earth DO NOT BELIEVE IT and DO NOT GO OUT to look for Him, because His coming will be 'as the lightning come from the east and flashes to the west'.
I hope I was clear enough that in the Matthew 24 passage Jesus is telling His disciples that He will NOT be present physically on earth until He comes again in the sky, and not to believe anyone who says He is, even though you see signs and wonders to prove that it is He.

Elena said...

I put up a complete post regarding Jennie's concerns over Matthew and Hebrews. It is here.

Early church fathers discussion can remain here - Eucharist and Jennie's exegesis on the topic can go there.

Paul said...

Dr.MikeyMike wrote:
"I find it interesting how people cannot register the fact that church teachings -are- what Jesus and the apostle Peter said.

I mean -- history backs up this point. You get these new theologies popping up approx. 1500 years after the birth of Christianity and all of the sudden the status quo up to that point is the one unfounded in the teachings of the apostles? I guess Peter, Paul, and co. had a time machine and a penchant for telling different messages to different peoples.
----------------
Dr.M.M
Maybe you could tell us what the dogmatically defined doctrine of Justification was in the Roman Catholic Church prior to Luther.

Dr MikeyMike said...

I found this, and I suppose it will do for the time being.

After the East-West Schism in 1054, the doctrine of the atonement continued to develop in the West. The contributions of Anselm and Thomas Aquinas had a strong influence on the present-day Roman Catholic doctrine of justification. To Roman Catholics, justification is "a translation, from that state wherein man is born a child of the first Adam, to the state of grace, and of the adoption of the sons of God, through the second Adam, Jesus Christ, our Savior" [55], including the transforming of a sinner from the state of unrighteousness to the state of holiness. This transformation is made possible by accessing the merit of Christ, made available in the atonement, through faith and the sacraments [56].

In Roman Catholic theology, all are born in a state of original sin, meaning that both the guilt and sin nature of Adam are inherited by all. Following Augustine, the Roman Catholic Church asserts that people are unable to make themselves righteous; instead, they require "justification." [57]

Roman Catholic theology holds that God's righteousness is imputed to the sinner when he or she partakes of the sacrament of baptism, combined with faith.[citation needed] This is termed initial justification or "being cleansed of sin", the entrance into the Christian life. As the individual then progresses in his Christian life, he continues to receive God's grace both directly through the Holy Spirit as well as through the sacraments. This has the effect of combatting sin in the individual's life, causing him to become more righteous both in heart and in action. This is progressive justification, or "being made righteous."[citation needed] It is also the case, according to Robert Sungenis, that God views those who are in the process of being justified through the lens of grace, so that He sees them as beloved children despite their sin [58].

At the final judgment, the individual's works will then be evaluated [59]. At that time, those who are righteous will be shown to be so. This is the "final justification."

Turretinfan said...

Dr. MM,

I think you mean to say that there was no dogmatically defined doctrine of Justification before Trent.

Those "[citation needed]" items make me think you're cutting and pasting from Wikipedia. :(

-TurretinFan

Elena said...

You know, this thread is on the ECF. Not Trent that came centuries later. It is also loosely regarding the Eucharist. Not Justification.

Let's stay on topic.

Paul said...

Elena:
I'll try to get back to the ECF's and The Eucharist.

On Jennie's blog you also sited the following quote, (I am providing a fuller context by a R.C Priest):

Augustine (354-430): 10. And he was carried in his own hands. How on earth are we to understand this, my brothers and sisters, how is it humanly possible? How can someone be carried in his own hands? A person can be carried in the hands of others, but not in his own. Well, we have no way of knowing what it literally means in David’s case; but we can make sense of it with regard to Christ. Christ was being carried in his own hands when he handed over his body, saying, This is my body (Mt 26:26); for he was holding that very body in his hands as he spoke. Such is the humility of our Lord Jesus Christ, and this humility is what he recommends to us most strongly. John E. Rotelle, O.S.A., ed., The Works of Saint Augustine, Exposition of the Psalms, Part 3, Vol. 16, trans. Maria Boulding, O.S.B., Exposition 1 of Psalm 33, §10 (Hyde Park: New City Press, 2000), p. 21.
-------------
I will work on explaining this passage by using additional writings by Augustine (on this same topic) to interpret it. In turn, maybe you could work on the responses I provided you for the following from Jennie's blog:

"Paul's scholarship always seems to stop just short of anything that might remotely support Catholicism. For example, August also said:"



The bread which you see on the altar is, sanctified by the word of God, the body of Christ; that chalice, or rather what is contained in the chalice, is, sanctified by the word of God, the blood of Christ. {Sermo 227; on p.377}

Christ bore Himself in His hands, when He offered His body saying: "this is my body." {Enarr. in Ps. 33 Sermo 1, 10; on p.377}

Nobody eats this flesh without previously adoring it. {Enarr. in Ps. 98, 9; on p.387}

[Referring to the sacrifice of Melchizedek (Gen 14:18 ff.)] The sacrifice appeared for the first time there which is now offered to God by Christians throughout the whole world. {City of God, 16, 22; on p.403}

Christ is both the priest, offering Himself, and Himself the Victim. He willed that the sacramental sign of this should be the daily sacrifice of the Church. {Ibid, 10, 20; on p.99}

Barbara C. said...

There's this false idea that during the Council of Trent the various articles were being defined for the first time (or made up) rather than being just "formally defined" for the first time.

It's kind of the difference between everyone using a word every day and knowing what it means before it makes it into the dictionary.

The Church Councils don't add or change Church teachings. The teachings are already there. Councils just try to clarify them, apply them to modern times, and make sure they are not being taught incorrectly.

Paul said...

Here is some commentary from Augustine regarding the "Body Of Christ On The Table". It will shed some light on his understanding of the passage above.
"The reason these things, brothers and sisters, are called sacraments is that in them one thing is seen, another is to be understood. What can be seen has a bodily appearance, what is to be understood provides spiritual fruit. So if you want to understand the body of Christ, listen to the apostle telling the faithful, You, though, are the body of Christ and its members (1 Cor 12:27). So if it's you that are the body of Christ and its members, it's the mystery meaning you that has been placed on the Lord's table; what you receive is the mystery that means you. It is to what you are that you reply Amen, and by so replying you express your assent. What you hear, you see, is The body of Christ, and you answer, Amen. So be a member of the body of Christ, in order to make that Amen true.
So why in bread? Let's not bring anything of our own to bear here, let's go on listening to the apostle himself, who said, when speaking of this sacrament, One bread, one body, we being many are (1 Cor 10:17). Understand and rejoice. Unity, truth, piety, love. One bread; what is this one bread? The one body which we, being many, are. Remember that bread is not made from one grain, but from many. When you were being exorcised, it's as though you were being ground. When you were baptized it's as though you were mixed into dough. When you received the fire of the Holy Spirit, it's as though you were baked. Be what you can see, and receive what you are.
That's what the apostle said about the bread. He has already shown clearly enough what we should understand about the cup, even if it wasn't said. After all, just as many grains are mixed into one loaf in order to produce the visible appearance of bread, as though what holy scripture says about the faithful were happening: They had one soul and one heart in God (Acts 4:32); so too with the wine. Brothers and sisters, just remind yourselves what wine is made from; many grapes hang in the bunch, but the juice of the grapes is poured together in one vessel. That too is how the Lord Christ signified us, how he wished us to belong to him, how he consecrated the sacrament of our peace and unity on his table. Any who receive the sacrament of unity, and do not hold the bond of peace, do not receive the sacrament for their benefit, but a testimony against themselves.
. John E. Rotelle, O.S.A., ed., Works of Saint Augustine, Sermons, Part 3, Vol. 7, trans. Edmund Hill, O.P., Sermon 272 (Hyde Park: New City Press, 1993), pp. 300-301.

Paul said...

I just realized that it may be confusing as to which passage I was referring to above. So here it is again.

Augustine (354-430): 10. And he was carried in his own hands. How on earth are we to understand this, my brothers and sisters, how is it humanly possible? How can someone be carried in his own hands? A person can be carried in the hands of others, but not in his own. Well, we have no way of knowing what it literally means in David’s case; but we can make sense of it with regard to Christ. Christ was being carried in his own hands when he handed over his body, saying, This is my body (Mt 26:26); for he was holding that very body in his hands as he spoke. Such is the humility of our Lord Jesus Christ, and this humility is what he recommends to us most strongly. John E. Rotelle, O.S.A., ed., The Works of Saint Augustine, Exposition of the Psalms, Part 3, Vol. 16, trans. Maria Boulding, O.S.B., Exposition 1 of Psalm 33, §10 (Hyde Park: New City Press, 2000), p. 21.

Elena said...

I would say John E. Rotelle's commentary is certainly one part of the way Catholics view the Eucharist. It just isn't the complete teaching on the eucharist. his commentary isn't invalid, it's just incomplete.

Sue Bee said...

Barbara C. wrote: There's this false idea that during the Council of Trent the various articles were being defined for the first time (or made up) rather than being just "formally defined" for the first time.

There is also a false idea that the ideas of the reformers were being introduced for the first time. In fact, all of the ideas of the reformation had their roots in the writings of the ECFs.

And I know we can all post proof texts from the ECFs to prove our point, from either side of the Tiber.

Elena said...

Yea, let's not. This thread is for EFC and Eucharist.

Kelly said...

I can't believe you guys wrote 100 comments in a day on this!

Glad I was too busy to check in. I'm better off not falling into the rabbit hole this time. :)

Sue Bee said...

Paul quotes Augustine: And he was carried in his own hands. How on earth are we to understand this, my brothers and sisters, how is it humanly possible? How can someone be carried in his own hands?

I really think Augustine is in wonder at the mystery, not denying it.

What you hear, you see, is The body of Christ, and you answer, Amen. So be a member of the body of Christ, in order to make that Amen true...

Affirming what we know to be true from 1 Cor. 10:17. The action of many believers partaking of one loaf proclaims the unity of the body of Christ (the church). We are gathered into one - "in communion."

We believers are the body of Christ, like one loaf ofbread is made of many grains...like one cup of wine is made of many grapes.

It is actually a very beautiful sermon. I'm not seeing a denial of His true presence. I'm I missing the point?

Barbara C. said...

Sue Bee said:
"There is also a false idea that the ideas of the reformers were being introduced for the first time."

Not necessarily. The idea is that those ideas had already been rejected as incorrect yet they were being brought up yet again.

Jennie said...

Paul,
You said this: Here is some commentary from Augustine regarding the "Body Of Christ On The Table". It will shed some light on his understanding of the passage above.
Are those quotes directly from Augustine or is it someone else commenting on Augustine? If it is the latter, are any parts actual quotes of Augustine? Sorry, I'm not sure how that works.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Sue Bee said:
"There is also a false idea that the ideas of the reformers were being introduced for the first time."

Barbara C said:
"Not necessarily. The idea is that those ideas had already been rejected as incorrect yet they were being brought up yet again."


The reformers were messengers from God sent to correct the errors that had crept into the church over time; therefore, to reject the reformers is to reject God Himself.

Malachi 3:1-4, NIV:

1 "See, I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come," says the LORD Almighty.

2 But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner's fire or a launderer's soap. 3 He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then the LORD will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness, 4 and the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will be acceptable to the LORD, as in days gone by, as in former years.


Peace.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Before Christ returns, God is going to send messengers to correct the errors within Christendom. That work was started with the reformers and still continues on today, and will continue until Jesus returns.

"See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the LORD comes. 6 He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse."(Malachi 4:5-6).


At the time Malachi was written, Israel was experiencing a spiritual disconnect between themselves and teachings of their 'early church fathers.' They had fallen away from the doctrines that were delivered to them by God through the patriachs, and had adopted erroneous doctrines. God was calling them back to truth before His coming.

In the same way, God is calling us back to the truth delivered to us through our Biblical patriachs - those 'holy men of God' of the Bible. Over the years since the apostles, erroneous teachings had crept into the church. Starting with the reformation, God had raised up godly men and women to correct those erroneous teachings, and will continue to do so, until Jesus returns. Malachi 4:5-6 will meet its final fulfillment in Revelation 11.

Revelation 11:3-6, NIV
3And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth." 4These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth. 5If anyone tries to harm them, fire comes from their mouths and devours their enemies. This is how anyone who wants to harm them must die. 6These men have power to shut up the sky so that it will not rain during the time they are prophesying; and they have power to turn the waters into blood and to strike the earth with every kind of plague as often as they want.


Peace to all.

Elena said...

The reformers were messengers from God sent to correct the errors that had crept into the church over time; therefore, to reject the reformers is to reject God Himself.

That's a bit much to swallow Hillary. And the biblical exegesis could just as easily be applied t the Catholic counter-reformation that happened around the same time.

Be that as it may, this thread is for EFC, not the Reformers. Lets' stay on topic.

Sue Bee said...

Two more before I go...

Ambrose of Milan

"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" (The Mysteries 9:50, 58 [A.D. 390]).

Origen

"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 6:56]" (Homilies on Numbers 7:2 [A.D. 248]).

Paul said...

Elena wrote:
"I would say John E. Rotelle's commentary is certainly one part of the way Catholics view the Eucharist. It just isn't the complete teaching on the eucharist. his commentary isn't invalid, it's just incomplete."

Jennie wrote:
"Paul,
You said this: Here is some commentary from Augustine regarding the "Body Of Christ On The Table". It will shed some light on his understanding of the passage above.
Are those quotes directly from Augustine or is it someone else commenting on Augustine? If it is the latter, are any parts actual quotes of Augustine? Sorry, I'm not sure how that works."
-----------
Elena and Jennie,
Fr. John Rotelle was a R.C Priest, Scholar and Translator:
http://www.augustinian.org/necrology/rotelle_john.htm
I prefer to use his "translations" of Augustine's Latin text because he can't be accused of Protestant bias.
What I posted was strictly Augustine's writings (which I identified as 'commentary')translated into English.
Here is the series edited by Fr. Rotelle:
Sermons
http://www.amazon.com/Sermons-Works-Saint-Augustine-St/dp/1565481038
Psalms
http://www.amazon.com/Expositions-Psalms-33-50-Works-Augustine/dp/156548147X/ref=pd_bxgy_b_text_b

Moonshadow said...

Hillary said: to reject the reformers is to reject God Himself.

Sounds to me as if Hillary thinks the Reformers were "another Christ" but according to Jennie, there's no such thing.

Paul said...

SueBee wrote:
"Ambrose of Milan

"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" (The Mysteries 9:50, 58 [A.D. 390]). "
----------
There are actually two passages here:
"In order that no one through observing the outward part should waver in faith, many instances are brought forward wherein the outward nature has been changed, and so it is proved that bread is made the true body of Christ. The treatise then is brought to a termination with certain remarks as to the effects of the sacrament, the disposition of the recipients, and such like.

50. Perhaps you will say, "I see something else, how is it that you assert that I receive the Body of Christ?" And this is the point which remains for us to prove. And what evidence shall we make use of? Let us prove that this is not what nature made, but what the blessing consecrated, and the power of blessing is greater than that of nature, because by blessing nature itself is changed."

And then further down in the document.

"58. Wherefore, too, the Church, beholding so great grace, exhorts her sons and her friends to come together to the sacraments, saying: "Eat, my friends, and drink and be inebriated, my brother." Song of Songs 5:1 What we eat and what we drink the Holy Spirit has elsewhere made plain by the prophet, saying, "Taste and see that the Lord is good, blessed is the man that hopes in Him." In that sacrament is Christ, because it is the Body of Christ, it is therefore not bodily food but spiritual. Whence the Apostle says of its type: "Our fathers ate spiritual food and drank spiritual drink," 1 Corinthians 10:3 for the Body of God is a spiritual body; the Body of Christ is the Body of the Divine Spirit, for the Spirit is Christ, as we read: "The Spirit before our face is Christ the Lord." Lamentations 4:20 And in the Epistle of Peter we read: "Christ died for us." 1 Peter 2:21 Lastly, that food strengthens our heart, and that drink "makes glad the heart of man," as the prophet has recorded.
source:
http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/3405.htm

Paul said...

Just to demonstrate that I am not claiming that Ambrose was an Evangelical or a Roman Catholic. In the very next passage see how he identifies "Regeneration":

59. So, then, having obtained everything, let us know that we are born again, but let us not say, How are we born again? Have we entered a second time into our mother's womb and been born again? I do not recognize here the course of nature. But here there is no order of nature, where is the excellence of grace. And again, it is not always the course of nature which brings about conception, for we confess that Christ the Lord was conceived of a Virgin, and reject the order of nature. For Mary conceived not of man, but was with child of the Holy Spirit, as Matthew says: "She was found with child of the Holy Spirit." Matthew 1:18 If, then, the Holy Spirit coming down upon the Virgin wrought the conception, and effected the work of generation, surely we must not doubt but that, coming down upon the Font, or upon those who receive Baptism, He effects the reality of the new birth.

Paul said...

More from Ambrose:
Ambrose (c. 339-97): In eating and drinking the things which are offered for us, we signify the flesh and the blood. You receive the sacrament as a similitude; it is the figure of the body and blood of the Lord. You drink the likeness of his precious blood. George Finch, A Sketch of the Romish Controversy (London: G. Norman, 1831), p. 222. De Sacramentis, Liber Quartus, Caput IV, §20, PL 16:443.

Paul said...

Ambrose (c. 339-97) on reading the Scriptures: Be not alarmed because the cup of Babylon is a golden cup, for you drink out of the cup of wisdom, which is more precious than gold and silver. Drink of each cup, therefore, of the Old and New Testament, because you drink of Christ from each. Drink Christ, that you may drink the blood with which you are redeemed: drink Christ, that you may drink his discourses. His discourse is the Old Testament; his discourse is the New Testament. The Holy Scripture is drunk and devoured, when the eternal Word descends into the veins and energies of the mind. Lastly, man lives not by bread alone, but by every word of God. Drink this word, but drink it in its right order. First drink it in the Old Testament, and make haste to drink it in the New Testament. Exposition of the 1st Psalm. George Finch, A Sketch of the Romish Controversy (London: G. Norman, 1831), p. 222.

Moonshadow said...

Paul said, quoting Ambrose: "'Be not alarmed because the cup of Babylon is a golden cup'"

I had someone once tell me that every mention of "cup" in Scripture is associated with God's wrath. And so what Catholics do during holy communion is to drink their own condemnation.

I suppose those plastic shot glasses are exempted.

So I wish I'd known Ambrose at that time. I'm still friends with this person, so I suppose it's not too late to share the ECF quotation.

Elena said...

I suppose those plastic shot glasses are exempted.

LOL!! on both sides of the Tiber - you crack me up!!! ;-)

Elena said...

When Ambrose wrote: "which we to-day adore in the mysteries"

he was speaking of Christ in the Eucharist.

Still, I'm not seeing an outright denial from Ambrose of Christ in the Eucharist.

Elena said...

I guess my next question would be, what difference does it make to nonCatholics what Catholics believe?

If the Catholics believe in the Eucharist and it draws us closer to Christ, isn't that a good thing? If we have a few EFCs that back that up what do you care?

Really, what is the big deal if you want to believe what you want to believe - why do you give a rip what I want to believe?

Paul said...

Elena wrote:
"When Ambrose wrote: "which we to-day adore in the mysteries"

he was speaking of Christ in the Eucharist.

Still, I'm not seeing an outright denial from Ambrose of Christ in the Eucharist.
--------------
Elena,
Remember, the discussion is not whether the ECF's acknowledged the "real presence" of Christ in The Eucharist. It is whether they "all" believed it in the way that Trent claims that they did.

Elena said...

That's what the discussion was about?

Because I thought the main gist was:
The truth is, there were various understandings of the "real presence" in the early church.

and I'm absolutely okay with that. Our understanding of doctrines develop over time - I'm okay with that too. I even agreed with that one post you put up by Father Rotelle. So I'm thinking you and I are actually OK with that?

Paul said...

Elena wrote:
"I guess my next question would be, what difference does it make to nonCatholics what Catholics believe?
If the Catholics believe in the Eucharist and it draws us closer to Christ, isn't that a good thing? If we have a few EFCs that back that up what do you care?"

----------------
Well, for one thing.
In Mysterium Fidei, Pope Paul Vi claims:
"44. While Eucharistic symbolism is well suited to helping us understand the effect that is proper to this Sacrament—the unity of the Mystical Body—still it does not indicate or explain what it is that makes this Sacrament different from all the others. For the constant teaching that the Catholic Church has passed on to her catechumens, the understanding of the Christian people, the doctrine defined by the Council of Trent, the very words that Christ used when He instituted the Most Holy Eucharist, all require us to profess that "the Eucharist is the flesh of Our Savior Jesus Christ which suffered for our sins and which the Father in His loving kindness raised again." (47) To these words of St. Ignatius, we may well add those which Theodore of Mopsuestia, who is a faithful witness to the faith of the Church on this point, addressed to the people: "The Lord did not say: This is symbol of my body, and this is a symbol of my blood, but rather: This is my body and my blood. He teaches us not to look to the nature of what lies before us and is perceived by the senses, because the giving of thanks and the words spoken over it have changed it into flesh and blood." (45)
This claim is not supported by a careful look at history. You admit that "we have a few EFCs that back that up what do you care?" And yet Trent and V2 claim it was "constant".

Paul said...

Elena wrote:
"Really, what is the big deal if you want to believe what you want to believe - why do you give a rip what I want to believe?"
--------------------
Well for starters Trent declares me "Anathema" and at that time it really meant something.
ON THE MOST HOLY SACRAMENT OF THE EUCHARIST

CANON I.-If any one denieth, that, in the sacrament of the most holy Eucharist, are contained truly, really, and substantially, the body and blood together with the soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, and consequently the whole Christ; but saith that He is only therein as in a sign, or in figure, or virtue; let him be anathema.

CANON lI.-If any one saith, that, in the sacred and holy sacrament of the Eucharist, the substance of the bread and wine remains conjointly with the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, and denieth that wonderful and singular conversion of the whole substance of the bread into the Body, and of the whole substance of the wine into the Blood-the species Only of the bread and wine remaining-which conversion indeed the Catholic Church most aptly calls Transubstantiation; let him be anathema.

CANON III.-If any one denieth, that, in the venerable sacrament of the Eucharist, the whole Christ is contained under each species, and under every part of each species, when separated; let him be anathema.

CANON IV.-If any one saith, that, after the consecration is completed, the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ are not in the admirable sacrament of the Eucharist, but (are there) only during the use, whilst it is being taken, and not either before or after; and that, in the hosts, or consecrated particles, which are reserved or which remain after communion, the true Body of the Lord remaineth not; let him be anathema.

CANON V.-If any one saith, either that the principal fruit of the most holy Eucharist is the remission of sins, or, that other effects do not result therefrom; let him be anathema.

CANON VI.-If any one saith, that, in the holy sacrament of the Eucharist, Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, is not to be adored with the worship, even external of latria; and is, consequently, neither to be venerated with a special festive solemnity, nor to be solemnly borne about in processions, according to the laudable and universal rite and custom of holy church; or, is not to be proposed publicly to the people to be adored, and that the adorers thereof are idolators; let him be anathema.

CANON VII.-If any one saith, that it is not lawful for the sacred Eucharist to be reserved in the sacrarium, but that, immediately after consecration, it must necessarily be distributed amongst those present; or, that it is not lawful that it be carried with honour to the sick; let him be anathema.

CANON VIII.-lf any one saith, that Christ, given in the Eucharist, is eaten spiritually only, and not also sacramentally and really; let him be anathema.

CANON IX.-If any one denieth, that all and each of Christ's faithful of both sexes are bound, when they have attained to years of discretion, to communicate every year, at least at Easter, in accordance with the precept of holy Mother Church; let him be anathema.

CANON X.-If any one saith, that it is not lawful for the celebrating priest to communicate himself; let him be anathema.

CANON XI.-lf any one saith, that faith alone is a sufficient preparation for receiving the sacrament of the most holy Eucharist; let him be anathema. And for fear lest so great a sacrament may be received unworthily, and so unto death and condemnation, this holy Synod ordains and declares, that sacramental confession, when a confessor may be had, is of necessity to be made beforehand, by those whose conscience is burdened with mortal sin, how contrite even soever they may think themselves. But if any one shall presume to teach, preach, or obstinately to assert, or even in public disputation to defend the contrary, he shall be thereupon excommunicated.

Kelly said...

Paul, anathemas only apply to Catholics who are promoting error within the Church.

I wrote a post about it here:
http://mdcalexatestblog.blogspot.com/2008/07/anathemas.html

Moonshadow said...

Trent declares me "Anathema" ... Paul, anathemas only apply to Catholics

Again, we encounter the pathetic schizophrenia: I hate the Church because the Church hates me because I hate the Church.

But, of course, the Church doesn't hate you.

Elena said...

My other question is why are you so hung up on Trent? The Catechism of the Catholic church is the "sure norm" for Catholics. Sure it footnotes and refers to Trent, but it spells out exactly what the church teaches and why. For example it calls folks like you separated brethren. So I guess if you're worried about the anathema thing - let not your heart be troubled!

Elena said...

t "we have a few EFCs that back that up what do you care?" And yet Trent and V2 claim it was "constant".

Let me clarify. We do not have any EFCs denying Christ in the Eucharist. We may have varying degrees of understanding from what we have seen here but none declared that Christ absolutely was not present in the Eucharist. And on the other hand we h ave many many quotes from various EFCs that support the Catholic view.

"Constant" doesn't mean universal understanding 100% of the time without question from the very beginning without waver until now. What it does mean is tht the doctrine existed in some way, shape or form from Christ through the apostles and exists with us today. That's really all it means.

You know, I think Paul, you and I are really closer than you think. Now that you don't have to worry about being all anathemized and stuff you might feel better. I do!

Moonshadow said...

I think Paul, you and I are really closer than you think.

If I may, in Paul's first comment on this thread, he identifies transubstantiation as "de fide," without which, according to Trent, "it is impossible to please God." (Heb. 11:6) ref.

The belief is necessary for salvation.

Paul said...

Moonshadow said:
Trent declares me "Anathema" ... Paul, anathemas only apply to Catholics

Again, we encounter the pathetic schizophrenia: I hate the Church because the Church hates me because I hate the Church.

But, of course, the Church doesn't hate you.
-------------
"Catholicism since the late Middle Ages has taught that submission to the bishop of Rome is necessary for one's salvation. This teaching was given dogmatic expression by Pope Boniface VIII in an ex cathedra statement in his bull Unam Sanctam (A.D. 1302) and was later reaffirmed by subsequent popes and councils such as Vatican I. His decree states:
Furthermore we declare, state, define, and pronounce that it is altogether necessary to salvation for every human creature to be subject to the Roman pontiff
(20. Cited in Henry Bettenson, ed., Documents of the Christian Church (London: Oxford Univ., 1963), 116. Vatican I, after affirming that the bishops of Rome are the rightful rulers over the church to whom all Christians must submit in matters of faith and morals and discipline states, 'This is the teaching of Catholic truth, from which no one can deviate without loss of faith and salvation'; cited by Philip Schaff, The Creeds of Christendom (New York: Harper, 1877),11:263.)

Moonshadow said...

Does it follow, in your theology, that it's mandatory to hate people who may be bound for hell?

I just listened to this sermon by Brother Anderson in which he says just that:

http://www.faithfulwordbaptist.org/081609p.mp3

Rather, I would think it would be obligatory to love them, otherwise, why share the gospel?

Turretinfan said...

Elena:

You wrote: "anathemas only apply to Catholics who are promoting error within the Church"

In 1950, the assumption of Mary was defined as a dogma. One of the items was "It is forbidden to any man to change this, our declaration, pronouncement, and definition or, by rash attempt, to oppose and counter it. If any man should presume to make such an attempt, let him know that he will incur the wrath of Almighty God and of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul." (Munificentissimus Deus, Section 47)

Is that similarly applicable only to those within the Church?

Elena said...

Actually I didn't write that. My co-blogger Kelly did.

Is there anyway we can keep this thread on ECF and Eucharist and off the Reformation and Trent?

Moonshadow said...

Is there anyway we can keep this thread ... off the Reformation and Trent?

No. Because they are frustrated that the Council doesn't fit their expectations.

How often does it happen that anything of God does meet expectations?!

Kelly said...

Paul, is your point that you think by our theology you are bound to submit to the roman pontiff?

Let me ease your anathema fears.

A. The Pope is not going to bother to anathematize a non-Catholic. There are too many, and it's too much trouble.

B. Anathemas were done away with under the most recent Code of Canon Law. Therefore, the Pope is not going to anathematize any Catholics either.

Therefore, going back to the Eucharist (*ahem, Elena*), you said that the reason it matters to you what we believe about the Eucharist because you were considered anathematized because of your beliefs. I have shown you that is not the case.

So, why does it matter to you what Catholics believe about the Eucharist?

Elena said...

and this folks, is why this gal is my co-blogger. Thanks Kelly!

Turretinfan said...

Kelly (sorry for mixing you up with Elena previously):

You asked Paul: "So, why does it matter to you what Catholics believe about the Eucharist?"

Without trying to speak for Paul, I'd happily give you my own answer, namely that it is because I care about the people who are in that church.

Kelly said...

Turretinfan, Catholics believe that we are saved by God's grace through our faith, as is manifest by our works.

Will we be condemned by our belief in the Eucharist despite our belief in God's grace?

Dr MikeyMike said...

This is a long thread!

So, I wanna go back to the basics, namely:

"Justin [Martyr] was clearly very Catholic in all of his other beliefs and practices"
However, Justin was not Roman Catholic. He did not believe in many of the Dogmas that a modern Roman Catholic must believe "de fide".

Paul, do you mind listing for me how Justin was not 'Roman Catholic'? If we are talking about his beliefs on the Eucharist, this is taken from his 'First Apology':

CHAPTER LXVI -- OF THE EUCHARIST.

And this food is called among us Eukaristia [the Eucharist], of which no one is allowed to partake but the man who believes that the things which we teach are true, and who has been washed with the washing that is for the remission of sins, and unto regeneration, and who is so living as Christ has enjoined. For not as common bread and common drink do we receive these; but in like manner as Jesus Christ our Saviour, having been made flesh by the Word of God, had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so likewise have we been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word, and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished, is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh. For the apostles, in the memoirs composed by them, which are called Gospels, have thus delivered unto us what was enjoined upon them; that Jesus took bread, and when He had given thanks, said, "This do ye in remembrance of Me, this is My body;" and that, after the same manner, having taken the cup and given thanks, He said, "This is My blood;" and gave it to them alone. Which the wicked devils have imitated in the mysteries of Mithras, commanding the same thing to be done. For, that bread and a cup of water are placed with certain incantations in the mystic rites of one who is being initiated, you either know or can learn.

That sounds pretty Catholic to me.

Erin said...

"Without trying to speak for Paul, I'd happily give you my own answer, namely that it is because I care about the people who are in that church."
_______________________________
But that was the point - if the Eucharist brings us closer to Christ, makes us more like Him, seeking Him out and wanting His will, then why is this a problem??? If, through the Mass we have time with Him as we worship with the angels, as a community, we are strengthened by His presence - in the Gospel proclaimed, in the body of believers, AND in the Eucharist (that comes straight from Vatican II) - to go out to the world and proclaim the Gospel, and care for the downtrodden, why does it matter?

It is a means of grace (and I learned that term as a Protestant). Matthew 7:17 - "Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit." If good fruit is being produced, why does it matter?

Elena said...

"namely that it is because I care about the people who are in that church."

Why?

Dr MikeyMike said...

"namely that it is because I care about the people who are in that church."

Both Jack Chick and Candy claim that. Interesting.

Turretinfan said...

Kelly asked: "Will we be condemned by our belief in the Eucharist despite our belief in God's grace?"

No, you will be condemned if you do not trust in Christ alone for salvation (I want to be clear that I do not automatically assume that because you are in a particular church you don't do that), but no one who trusts in Him will be ashamed.

To get even more to the root of your question, I don't think that every wrong notion about the Eucharist is something that prevents one from being saved.

On the other hand, it is a serious sin (even if done in ignorance) to worship the wafer with the worship of adoration.

Elena asked: "Why?"

Do you mean, why do I care about the people in that church? Or do you mean why are they in that church? I'm not sure whether you are trying to investigate my motives further or simply provoke me to thought.

Paul said...

Dr.MikeyMike wrote:
"That sounds pretty Catholic to me."
-----------
From Dr. Joe Mizzi:
“The change of which our body and flesh are nourished” is not a reference to transubstantiation. According to Catholic author William A. Jurgenes, “The change referred to here is the change which takes place when the food we eat is assimilated and becomes part of our own body” (Jurgens W, The Faith of the Early Fathers, Volume I, p. 57).

Justin Martyn calls the Eucharistic bread and wine "the flesh and the blood" of Jesus. Justin believed in the physical presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. However Justin also believed that the bread and wine do not cease to be bread and wine. He speaks of their partaking "of the bread and wine" over which thanksgiving was pronounced. Elsewhere Justin calls the consecrated elements “bread” and “the cup.” They are the flesh and blood of Christ insofar that they are given in remembrance of his incarnation and blood."
"Now it is evident, that in this prophecy [allusion is made] to the bread which our Christ gave us to eat, in remembrance of His being made flesh for the sake of His believers, for whom also He suffered; and to the cup which He gave us to drink, in remembrance of His own blood, with giving of thanks (Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho)."

------------------
That is not what Trent claims was "the constant teaching" of The Church. So catholic yes but not Roman Catholic. Also, no mention of the Eucharist in the Mass as a "propitiatory sacrifice".

Paul said...

Kelly said:
"Turretinfan, Catholics believe that we are saved by God's grace through our faith, as is manifest by our works."
-------------------
Kelly,
If anyone says that the justice received is not preserved, and also increased before God through good works, but that the said works are merely the fruits and signs of justification obtained, but not a cause of the increase thereof, let him be anathema. Trent, Sixth Session, On Justification. Chapter XVI, Canon XXIV.

Kelly,
Can you explain how your statement fits Trent and how the anathemas were done away with by Canon Law?

Moonshadow said...

because I care about the people who are in that church.

And Turretinfan has a monopoly on love.

Dr MikeyMike said...

“The change of which our body and flesh are nourished” is not a reference to transubstantiation. According to Catholic author William A. Jurgenes, “The change referred to here is the change which takes place when the food we eat is assimilated and becomes part of our own body” (Jurgens W, The Faith of the Early Fathers, Volume I, p. 57).

That wasn't in my quote, friend. If this is a different translation, please let me know, otherwise I am going to assume that he was talking about some other part of Martyr's works. Either way, that is sort of.. obvious. Stuff that you break down in your gut nourishes the body.

Please address this directly:

"For not as common bread and common drink do we receive these; but in like manner as Jesus Christ our Saviour, having been made flesh by the Word of God, had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so likewise have we been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word, and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished, is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh."

I find it interesting that you are quoting Dr. Joe Mizzi, who apparently is pretty anti-Catholic, but anyways...:

"Justin believed in the physical presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. However Justin also believed that the bread and wine do not cease to be bread and wine. He speaks of their partaking "of the bread and wine" over which thanksgiving was pronounced.

I have addressed this already, and you made no comment when I did earlier. No, the eucharist does not squeal when I eat it, nor does the wine taste metallic. The 'mystery of faith' is exactly that: how does something simultaneously be body/blood of Christ and bread/wine at the same time? It just is, and God makes that possible. My best way to reason it personally is 'plucking my soul out of my body and putting it into your body' analogy:

"Suppose I swap souls with you: mine in your body, and yours in mine. Yes, the body I would inhabit would be Paul's, but would the package deal -really- be Paul from that point forward? If your soul is in my body - do you become 'me' or does my body now become you?"

"Again, I point to my analogy. In the swapped-body scenario, your body is still --.. well, your body. The DNA composition, protein metabolism, neurologic pathways are all unique to what was once yours. However, there is a new spirit within it. Is it, after all, our soul who defines us or our body? If we were to place my mind in a computer, would I cease to exist because my body is destroyed?"

Lastly:

Elsewhere Justin calls the consecrated elements “bread” and “the cup.” They are the flesh and blood of Christ insofar that they are given in remembrance of his incarnation and blood."

Uhm, yeah. They are in rememberance of Christ Jesus, but that fact doesn't speak to the true nature of the Eucharist one way or another.

Moonshadow said...

you will be condemned if you do not trust in Christ alone for salvation

"Offer right sacrifices and trust in the LORD." (Psalm 4:5)

Moonshadow said...

Catholics believe that we are saved by God's grace through our faith, as is manifest by our works."

Don't forget merit, Kelly, the point of Paul's Tridentine quote.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

I do not see how it makes a difference in one's salvation if one believes that the bread and wine is changed into the body and blood of Jesus after it is ingested. A mistaken belief, but in my opinion, it does not affect salvation. The only drawback I see is the belief that God inhabits a piece of bread or a glass of wine, and we are eating or drinking Him. This smacks of pantheism where God is thought to inhabit inanimate objects, or the inanimate object becomes God, and thus those objects are worshipped as holy icons. This belief of pantheism can lead people into the idolatrous practice of worshipping objects.

Peace.

Paul said...

Dr.M.M wrote:
"I find it interesting that you are quoting Dr. Joe Mizzi, who apparently is pretty anti-Catholic, but anyways...:

"Justin believed in the physical presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. However Justin also believed that the bread and wine do not cease to be bread and wine. He speaks of their partaking "of the bread and wine" over which thanksgiving was pronounced.

I have addressed this already, and you made no comment when I did earlier. No, the eucharist does not squeal when I eat it, nor does the wine taste metallic. The 'mystery of faith' is exactly that: how does something simultaneously be body/blood of Christ and bread/wine at the same time? It just is, and God makes that possible. My best way to reason it personally is 'plucking my soul out of my body and putting it into your body' analogy:
-------------------
Dr.M.M, I think your body analogy is just great, however my point is that Justin does not claim that the "substance" changes while the "accidents" remain. That is one difference between his description and Trent's.
If I have overlooked anything else you posted, please repost it. I know we originally were discussing Gelasius and my pointing out that he denied the "substance" of the Bread and Wine not ceasing to be. And yet Trent claims that it transubstantiates and is no longer the substance of Bread and Wine while the "accidents" remain the same.

Erin said...

If anyone says that the justice received is not preserved, and also increased before God through good works, but that the said works are merely the fruits and signs of justification obtained, but not a cause of the increase thereof, let him be anathema. Trent, Sixth Session, On Justification. Chapter XVI, Canon XXIV.
______________________________

Catholics (Cradle Catholics, correct me if I'm wrong) believe that justification is a lifelong process. So we come to Christ in faith by His grace - nothing happens without faith. But those works still have a hand in changing us, helping us to see God's will, and KEEP us on the very path of faith, as we fully believe that we can choose to reject the gift that is offered through Christ. So, as Trent says here, they are not *just* the fruit of faith, but cooperate with faith. As Trent says, it is "an increase [of faith]", or in the words of Phillipians 2:12, "Working out our salvation with fear and trembling."

Dr MikeyMike said...

Before we continue, Paul, do you mind defining what you mean by 'substance' and 'accidents'?

I want to make sure that we are on the same page :).

Elena said...

Kelly asked: "Will we be condemned by our belief in the Eucharist despite our belief in God's grace?"

No, you will be condemned if you do not trust in Christ alone for salvation (I want to be clear that I do not automatically assume that because you are in a particular church you don't do that), but no one who trusts in Him will be ashamed.


Then kelly, we should be good! Because WE know that good faithful Catholics put our trust in Christ for our salvation. Problem solved


On the other hand, it is a serious sin (even if done in ignorance) to worship the wafer with the worship of adoration.


We don't worship a wafer. We worship The real presence of Jesus Christ present to us through the Eucharist. Big difference.

Elena asked: "Why?"

Do you mean, why do I care about the people in that church?

I mean why do you care about the people in the church.

I'm not sure whether you are trying to investigate my motives further or simply provoke me to thought.

Perhaps a little of both. Just seemed like a relevant question to ask.

Paul said...

From Karl Keating:
"In the Middle Ages the change effected at the Consecration (the technical term is "transubstantiation") was explained this way: Any created thing has two.aspects, its substance and its accidents. The substance is what the thing is in and of itself, "deep down inside," so to speak. Its accidents are what can be perceived by our five senses and, thus, what can be perceived by scientific instruments."

Elena said...

The only drawback I see is the belief that God inhabits a piece of bread or a glass of wine, and we are eating or drinking Him. This smacks of pantheism where God is thought to inhabit inanimate objects, or the inanimate object becomes God, and thus those objects are worshipped as holy icons. This belief of pantheism can lead people into the idolatrous practice of worshipping objects.

When I was reverting back to my Catholic faith, this is what did it for me - I could see the Eucharist being planned out by God throughout the Old Testament. Through Melchezidak (sp?) and the Passover, through the manna and so many other forshadowing. It just made sense to me that God was planning the Eucharist for a long time.

So for me, I highly doubt I'm going to transfer that to my teddy bear or favorite gold ring or anything like that. For me the Eucharist has a lot of history and theology to it. I never even thought of pantheism before. Interesting how a non-Catholic might worry about that.

Dr MikeyMike said...

I need to jump ahead a little bit so I can start studying for my SHELF exam tomorrow. I will clarify later, though, upon learning of your definitions if it is necessary.

13th Session, Council of Trent, CH 1:

In the first place, the holy Synod teaches, and openly and simply professes, that, in the august sacrament of the holy Eucharist, after the consecration of the bread and wine, our Lord Jesus Christ, true God and man, is truly, really, and substantially contained under the species of those sensible things. For neither are these things mutually repugnant,-that our Saviour Himself always sitteth at the right hand of the Father in heaven, according to the natural mode of existing, and that, nevertheless, He be, in many other places, sacramentally present to us in his own substance, by a manner of existing, which, though we can scarcely express it in words, yet can we, by the understanding illuminated by faith, conceive, and we ought most firmly to believe, to be possible unto God"

The whole passage is good, but I wanted to point out the stuff in bold particularly. Trent is saying that eucharist is substantially Christ under the guise (species) of bread and wine.

Justin Martyr said: "For not as common bread and common drink do we receive these; but in like manner as Jesus Christ our Saviour, having been made flesh by the Word of God, had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so likewise have we been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word, and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished, is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh",

or what I want to focus on more specifically:

"so likewise have we been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh".

From that statement, I don't really think Justin Martyr goes in-depth into the how's or why's, he just pretty much states that it 'is'.

Session 13, Council of Trent, Chapter 4:

"And because that Christ, our Redeemer, declared that which He offered under the species of bread to be truly His own body, therefore has it ever been a firm belief in the Church of God, and this holy Synod doth now declare it anew, that, by the consecration of the bread and of the wine, a conversion is made 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; which conversion is, by the holy Catholic Church, suitably and properly called Transubstantiation."

So based on this, I feel like my analogy is falling short. If my soul was placed into your body, it doesn't change the substance of your body -- or at least that was the point I was trying to make. Again, I point to this being a 'mystery of faith'. I can only draw a parallel between this and the being of Jesus Christ himself: a creation that is 100% God, yet 100% human simultaneously. I suppose this similarly reflects in the nature of the eucharist: the 100% species of bread/wine and yet the 100% substance of Christ.

I suppose anything is possible in God, like Trent mentioned in Chapter 1.

Dr MikeyMike said...

As for Gelasius, I did a quick search and found this:

http://www.catholic-legate.com/qa/gelasius.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HyHpYPy_gM4 <--- I haven't watched this yet, so I dunno if it's PG or not.

Paul said...

Yes, that is Wm. Albrecht. Turretinfan has been debating William recently on the Marian dogmas. I recommend that you watch all of Williams videos. They are all under 10 min. each.

Dr MikeyMike said...

I will try to soon! Thanks for the clarification, Paul. :)

Paul said...

Very good, William will appreciate your time.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Now I am going to play a little at being the devil's advocate:-)

Now since the bread and wine is changed into the body and blood of Christ, what body and what blood are we talking about? Is it His pre-resurrection body and blood? Or is it His post-resurrection body?

The pre-resurrection body was mortal flesh, and His post-resurrection body was never broken.

:-)

Erin said...

The pre-resurrection body was mortal flesh, and His post-resurrection body was never broken.
______________________________

What scripture do you get this from? I always understood his post-resurrection body to be the same one, with the same wounds. In John 20:27, Jesus says to Thomas, "Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe."

This seems to indicate that his post resurrection body was the same one that had been broken, only risen.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Erin said:

"What scripture do you get this from? I always understood his post-resurrection body to be the same one, with the same wounds. In John 20:27, Jesus says to Thomas, "Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe."

This seems to indicate that his post resurrection body was the same one that had been broken, only risen."

Ah yes Erin, I kinda threw that out there, but since as you asked let me give you the scripture.

1 Corinthians 15: 35-53, NLT:

35 But someone may ask, “How will the dead be raised? What kind of bodies will they have?” 36 What a foolish question! When you put a seed into the ground, it doesn’t grow into a plant unless it dies first. 37 And what you put in the ground is not the plant that will grow, but only a bare seed of wheat or whatever you are planting. 38 Then God gives it the new body he wants it to have. A different plant grows from each kind of seed. 39 Similarly there are different kinds of flesh—one kind for humans, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish.
40 There are also bodies in the heavens and bodies on the earth. The glory of the heavenly bodies is different from the glory of the earthly bodies. 41 The sun has one kind of glory, while the moon and stars each have another kind. And even the stars differ from each other in their glory.

42 It is the same way with the resurrection of the dead. Our earthly bodies are planted in the ground when we die, but they will be raised to live forever. 43 Our bodies are buried in brokenness, but they will be raised in glory. They are buried in weakness, but they will be raised in strength. 44 They are buried as natural human bodies, but they will be raised as spiritual bodies. For just as there are natural bodies, there are also spiritual bodies.

45 The Scriptures tell us, “The first man, Adam, became a living person.”[h] But the last Adam—that is, Christ—is a life-giving Spirit. 46 What comes first is the natural body, then the spiritual body comes later. 47 Adam, the first man, was made from the dust of the earth, while Christ, the second man, came from heaven. 48 Earthly people are like the earthly man, and heavenly people are like the heavenly man. 49 Just as we are now like the earthly man, we will someday be like[i] the heavenly man.

50 What I am saying, dear brothers and sisters, is that our physical bodies cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. These dying bodies cannot inherit what will last forever.

51 But let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. We will not all die, but we will all be transformed! 52 It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed. 53 For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies.


John 20:27 is dealing with the stigmata. Christ has the imprints of the stigmata in His glorified body, but no one had broken His glorified body. It is like a surgical scar that had healed. A reminder to us of what He went through to save us.

Peace.

Moonshadow said...

DrMM quoting Trent: "For neither are these things mutually repugnant,-that our Saviour Himself always sitteth at the right hand of the Father in heaven, according to the natural mode of existing, and that, nevertheless, He be, in many other places, sacramentally present to us"

Naw, that's good. That helps me. And I bet it can help some others here. So thanks for posting that.

Jennie said...

Elena,
When I was reverting back to my Catholic faith, this is what did it for me - I could see the Eucharist being planned out by God throughout the Old Testament. Through Melchezidak (sp?) and the Passover, through the manna and so many other forshadowing. It just made sense to me that God was planning the Eucharist for a long time.
That is a major difference in our beliefs. I see these things as foreshadowings of Christ Himself, as High Priest, as the Lamb, as the Bread of life. They are signs and foreshadowings, and the eucharist is a sign and a memorial, as the passover feast became of the first passover.

Elena said...

I can agree to disagree.

What I would like however is for other Christians to just respect that we didn't pull these beliefs out of a hat, and give us a little credit for having a biblical, historical, logical and theological basis for the things that we believe.

Sue Bee said...

Back to Ambrose of Milan...

I was ready to concede the point to Paul and accept being wrong as a peril of proof texting but, I wondered what Ambrose wrote between paragraphs 50 & 58 so I did some reading and decided I do NOT concede the point. To be fair to Paul (& Ambrose) here is all of section IX of the Mysteries (it isn’t very long). No special emphasis on any part. Tell me, what do you think Ambrose is really saying?

50. Perhaps you will say, "I see something else, how is it that you assert that I receive the Body of Christ?" And this is the point which remains for us to prove. And what evidence shall we make use of? Let us prove that this is not what nature made, but what the blessing consecrated, and the power of blessing is greater than that of nature, because by blessing nature itself is changed.

51. Moses was holding a rod, he cast it down and it became a serpent. Again, he took hold of the tail of the serpent and it returned to the nature of a rod. You see that by virtue of the prophetic office there were two changes, of the nature both of the serpent and of the rod. The streams of Egypt were running with. a pure flow of water; of a sudden from the veins of the sources blood began to burst forth, and none could drink of the river. Again, at the prophet's prayer the blood ceased, and the nature of water returned. The people of the Hebrews were shut in on every side, hemmed in on the one hand by the Egyptians, on the other by the sea; Moses lifted up his rod, the water divided and hardened like walls, and a way for the feet appeared between the waves. Jordan being turned back, returned, contrary to nature, to the source of its stream. Is it not clear that the nature of the waves of the sea and of the river stream was changed? The people of the fathers thirsted, Moses touched the rock, and water flowed out of the rock. Did not grace work a result contrary to nature, so that the rock poured forth water, which by nature it did not contain? Marsh was a most bitter stream, so that the thirsting people could not drink. Moses cast wood into the water, and the water lost its bitterness, which grace of a sudden tempered. In the time of Elisha the prophet one of the sons of the prophets lost the head from his axe, which sank. He who had lost the iron asked Elisha, who cast in a piece of wood and the iron swam. This, too, we clearly recognize as having happened contrary to nature, for iron is of heavier nature than water.

52. We observe, then, that grace has more power than nature, and yet so far we have only spoken of the grace of a prophet's blessing. But if the blessing of man had such power as to change nature, what are we to say of that divine consecration where the very words of the Lord and Saviour operate? For that sacrament which you receive is made what it is by the word of Christ. But if the word of Elijah had such power as to bring down fire from heaven, shall not the word of Christ have power to change the nature of the elements? You read concerning the making of the whole world: "He spake and they were made, He commanded and they were created." Shall not the word of Christ, which was able to make out of nothing that which was not, be able to change things which already are into what they were not? For it is not less to give a new nature to things than to change them.

Sue Bee said...

Continued...

53. But why make use of arguments? Let us use the examples He gives, and by the example of the Incarnation prove the truth of the mystery. Did the course of nature proceed as usual when the Lord Jesus was born of Mary? If we look to the usual course, a woman ordinarily conceives after connection with a man. And this body which we make is that which was born of the Virgin. Why do you seek the order of nature in the Body of Christ, seeing that the Lord Jesus Himself was born of a Virgin, not according to nature? It is the true Flesh of Christ which crucified and buried, this is then truly the Sacrament of His Body.

54. The Lord Jesus Himself proclaims: "This is My Body." Before the blessing of the heavenly words another nature is spoken of, after the consecration the Body is signified. He Himself speaks of His Blood. Before the consecration it has another name, after it is called Blood. And you say, Amen, that is, It is true. Let the heart within confess what the mouth utters, let the soul feel what the voice speaks.

55. Christ, then, feeds His Church with these sacraments, by means of which the substance of the soul is strengthened, and seeing the continual progress of her grace, He rightly says to her: "How comely are thy breasts, my sister, my spouse, how comely they are made by wine, and the smell of thy garments is above all spices. A dropping honeycomb are thy lips, my spouse, honey and milk are under thy tongue, and the smell of thy garments is as the smell of Lebanon. A garden enclosed is my sister, my spouse, a garden enclosed, a fountain sealed." By which He signifies that the mystery ought to remain sealed up with you, that it be not violated by the deeds of an evil life, and pollution of chastity, that it be not made known to thou, for whom it is not fitting, nor by garrulous talkativeness it be spread abroad amongst unbelievers. Your guardianship of the faith ought therefore to be good, that integrity of life and silence may endure unblemished.

Sue Bee said...

Finished...

56. For which reason, too, the Church, guarding the depth of the heavenly mysteries, repels the furious storms of wind, and calls to her the sweetness of the grace of spring, and knowing that her garden cannot displease Christ, invites the Bridegroom, saying: "Arise, O north wind, and come, thou south; blow upon my garden, and let my ointments flow down. Let my Brother come down to His garden, and eat the fruit of His trees." For it has good trees and fruitful, which have dipped their roots in the water of the sacred spring, and with fresh growth have shot forth into good fruits, so as now not to be cut with the axe of the prophet, but to abound with the fruitfulness of the Gospel.

57. Lastly, the Lord also, delighted with their fertility, answers: "I have entered into My garden, My sister, My spouse; I have gathered My myrrh with My spices, I have eaten My meat with My honey, I have drunk My drink with My milk." Understand, you faithful, why He spoke of meat and drink. And there is no doubt that He Himself eats and drinks in us, as you have read that He says that in our persons He is in prison.
58. Wherefore, too, the Church, beholding so great grace, exhorts her sons and her friends to come together to the sacraments, saying: "Eat, my friends, and drink and be inebriated, my brother." What we eat and what we drink the Holy Spirit has elsewhere made plain by the prophet, saying, "Taste and see that the Lord is good, blessed is the man that hopeth in Him." In that sacrament is Christ, because it is the Body of Christ, it is therefore not bodily food but spiritual. Whence the Apostle says of its type: "Our fathers ate spiritual food and drank spiritual drink," for the Body of God is a spiritual body; the Body of Christ is the Body of the Divine Spirit, for the Spirit is Christ, as we read: "The Spirit before our face is Christ the Lord." And in the Epistle of Peter we read: "Christ died for us." Lastly, that food strengthens our heart, and that drink "maketh glad the heart of man," as the prophet has recorded.

59. So, then, having obtained everything, let us know that we are born again, but let us not say, How are we born again? Have we entered a second time into our mother's womb and been born again? I do not recognize here the course of nature. But here there is no order of nature, where is the excellence of grace. And again, it is not always the course of nature which brings about conception, for we confess that Christ the Lord was conceived of a Virgin, and reject the order of nature. For Mary conceived not of man, but was with child of the Holy Spirit, as Matthew says: "She was found with child of the Holy Spirit." If, then, the Holy Spirit coming down upon the Virgin wrought the conception, and effected the work of generation, surely we must not doubt but that, coming down upon the Font, or upon those who receive Baptism, He effects the reality of the new birth.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Sue Bee, let me just leave a parting thought on your quote by Ambrose.

52. We observe, then, that grace has more power than nature, and yet so far we have only spoken of the grace of a prophet's blessing. But if the blessing of man had such power as to change nature, what are we to say of that divine consecration where the very words of the Lord and Saviour operate? For that sacrament which you receive is made what it is by the word of Christ. But if the word of Elijah had such power as to bring down fire from heaven, shall not the word of Christ have power to change the nature of the elements? You read concerning the making of the whole world: "He spake and they were made, He commanded and they were created." Shall not the word of Christ, which was able to make out of nothing that which was not, be able to change things which already are into what they were not? For it is not less to give a new nature to things than to change them.

The discourse which you published from Ambrose is an interesting one. He starts off with an erroneous view, then finally ends with a correct view after using scripture. He had employed a method of testing of doctrine which I myself advocate, i.e one must verify all statements with scripture for veracity. Let me start first with the errors, then go for the truth of what he said. He spoke about the miracles of Moses, Elisha, and Elijah as "the blessing of man had such power as to change nature" (#52). First of all, the miracles performed by Moses, Elisha and Elijan were not through any power inherent in those men, but by the power of God. There is no such thing as "grace of a prophet's blessing." God is the only one who gives grace, and it was through the miraculous power of God that those men performed those miracles.

Ambrose also said, "It is the true Flesh of Christ which crucified and buried, this is then truly the Sacrament of His Body" (#53). This is totally correct! We need to also remember that the resurrected Christ now has a new, spiritual, and glorified body in heaven, which was never broken. The sacrament of the Lord's Supper reminds us of what He had done for us, while on earth. It should be interesting to note that Ambrose does admit that the 'body' and 'blood' spoken of by Christ, of Himself, was spiritual.

"In that sacrament is Christ, because it is the Body of Christ, it is therefore not bodily food but spiritual. Whence the Apostle says of its type: "Our fathers ate spiritual food and drank spiritual drink," for the Body of God is a spiritual body; the Body of Christ is the Body of the Divine Spirit, for the Spirit is Christ, as we read " (Ambrose #58).

Ambrose ends his discourse by citing figurative expressions found in the book Songs of Solomon, which signify Christ's love for the church in a spiritual way. I am sure no one literally thinks God is eating the fruit of the trees in the church, or that God is smelling the breasts of the church!

By correctly using scripture, we see that Ambrose was able to verify that the teaching of Christ pertaining to His body and blood was spiritual, and not literal - which was what His TRUE disciples understood in John 6! We do not eat literal flesh and blood, as some of the false disciples who turned away understood. Christ was speaking about Himself in a spiritual manner. Christ said, "the flesh profiteth nothing"(John 6:63). Eating His literal broken flesh will do us no good, but feeding upon His Word will bring us eternal life. "The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life" (vs. 63). To which the apostle Peter testified, "Thou hast the words of eternal life" (vs. 68).

Peace to all.

Elena said...

which was what His TRUE disciples understood in John 6!

Interesting. Because the disciples that didn't like the literal words of eating and chewing were the ones that left. Interestingly that was in John 6:66.

Dr MikeyMike said...

By correctly using scripture, we see that Ambrose was able to verify that the teaching of Christ pertaining to His body and blood was spiritual, and not literal - which was what His TRUE disciples understood in John 6! We do not eat literal flesh and blood, as some of the false disciples who turned away understood.

Correctly use scripture, then, right here:

"My flesh is real food; my blood real drink." John 6:55

Why would Jesus stress the fact that his body and blood were real food if he didn't mean for people to literally eat it?

Elena said...

And Dr. Mike, this is what baffles me about "bible Christians." Their mantra is "check the scriptures," and "a plain read." But then they ignore exactly what is written and go through all sorts of contortions to avoid what is right in front of them.

Dr MikeyMike said...

Ambrose ends his discourse by citing figurative expressions found in the book Songs of Solomon, which signify Christ's love for the church in a spiritual way. I am sure no one literally thinks God is eating the fruit of the trees in the church, or that God is smelling the breasts of the church!

It sounds like you are trying to say that since one part of the Bible is being taken symbolically, another part of the Bible is also to be taken symbolically.

Sue Bee said...

Quickly...
I think Ambrose is saying that yes, the bread is the body (he talks of the ability of the prophets to change natural objects & so why wouldn't Christ have that ability?)

And that this bread/body feeds us and the whole church spiritually not physically.

Paul said...

Sue Bee wrote:
"Back to Ambrose of Milan...

I was ready to concede the point to Paul and accept being wrong as a peril of proof texting but, I wondered what Ambrose wrote between paragraphs 50 & 58 so I did some reading and decided I do NOT concede the point. To be fair to Paul (& Ambrose) here is all of section IX of the Mysteries (it isn’t very long). No special emphasis on any part. Tell me, what do you think Ambrose is really saying?"
-----------------
Thanks Sue Bee.
I'll look this over and get back to you.

Turretinfan said...

Elena wrote: "I mean why do you care about the people in the church."

It's an interesting question. I never really felt like I needed a reason to care about other people. I could point to the commands to love our neighbor as ourselves, but it's not just a matter of obeying a command. I suppose I feel a connection on account of sharing (at a minimum) ancestry via Noah. It is (despite Moonshadow's unjustified comment) a matter of love.

-TurretinFan

Moonshadow said...

It is (despite Moonshadow's unjustified comment) a matter of love.

Well, I apologize. I was trying to get attention by saying something sharp.

But if you haven't noticed, in comparison with these other ladies, I'm not the self-assured one.

Peace.

Paul said...

Sue Bee, I am looking at this portion from Ambrose. I put some of the "types" that Ambrose used from the O.T in bold.

51. Moses was holding a rod, he cast it down and it became a serpent. Again, he took hold of the tail of the serpent and it returned to the nature of a rod. You see that by virtue of the prophetic office there were two changes, of the nature both of the serpent and of the rod. The streams of Egypt were running with. a pure flow of water; of a sudden from the veins of the sources blood began to burst forth, and none could drink of the river. Again, at the prophet's prayer the blood ceased, and the nature of water returned. The people of the Hebrews were shut in on every side, hemmed in on the one hand by the Egyptians, on the other by the sea; Moses lifted up his rod, the water divided and hardened like walls, and a way for the feet appeared between the waves. Jordan being turned back, returned, contrary to nature, to the source of its stream. Is it not clear that the nature of the waves of the sea and of the river stream was changed? The people of the fathers thirsted, Moses touched the rock, and water flowed out of the rock. Did not grace work a result contrary to nature, so that the rock poured forth water, which by nature it did not contain? Marsh was a most bitter stream, so that the thirsting people could not drink. Moses cast wood into the water, and the water lost its bitterness, which grace of a sudden tempered. In the time of Elisha the prophet one of the sons of the prophets lost the head from his axe, which sank. He who had lost the iron asked Elisha, who cast in a piece of wood and the iron swam. This, too, we clearly recognize as having happened contrary to nature, for iron is of heavier nature than water.

Now, what's interesting is that of the O.T "types" that Ambrose uses. Some of them resemble claims made by Trent, that a change of "nature" occurs. However with some of these a change of "accidents" (also) occurs. Now, I am not sure how that works with Lutheran theology but with the official understanding of "transubstantiation" it would be somewhat inconsistent.
Historian J.N.D Kelly explains the development in the West regarding "real presence" and the influence that Ambrose had on this as far as a "physical" change. He also points out that at this same time Augustine went in a differant direction .
Early Christian Doctrine pp 445-446.
I found an on-line source that is very similar to J.N.D Kelly's asessment that I won't have to transcribe.
continued:

Paul said...

Please understand that "de sacramentis" which is discussed here was not written by Ambrose but a successor to Ambrose.

But in Cyril of Jerusalem in the East (a.d. 347) and in Ambrose in the West, a new terminology appears, and the consecration of the Eucharist is represented as effecting a mysterious change in the elements by which they become the body and blood of Christ. Cyril of Jerusalem had already appealed to the miracle of Cana as affording a parallel to this change.1 By Ambrose such teaching is much developed. With him the consecration, effected by the words of Christ recited by the priest, is a miraculous act of God, to which parallels may be found in the miracles of Moses, Joshua, Elisha, and in the Virgin Birth, as well as in the act of creation itself. The word of Christ “which was able to make out of nothing that which was not,” is capable of “changing things which exist into that which they were not” (de Myst. ix. 51, 52). The author of de Sacramentis (iv. 4. 15-18) uses similar language. Like Ambrose, he appeals to the original act of creation, to the Virgin birth, to the crossing of the Red Sea, the waters of Marah, and the incident of Elisha making the axe-head to swim.

Ambrose does not hesitate to speak of the change effected as a “change of nature.”2 But a closer examination of his language shows that he has not clearly thought out all the implications of such teaching. Occasionally he falls back into the language still current in the West, as when he says that the flesh of Christ, which was crucified and buried, was certainly real flesh, and that therefore the Eucharist “is truly a sacrament of that flesh” (ix. 53), nor does he clearly face the question, to which the Schoolmen of later days paid so much attention, what becomes of the bread. On the other hand, he conceives of the body of Christ as a “spiritual body,” “the body of a divine Spirit, because Christ is Spirit,” and therefore capable of becoming “the ‘spiritual food’ of our souls” (de Myst. ix. 58).

source:
http://oll.libertyfund.org/?option=com_staticxt&staticfile=show.php%3Ftitle=219&chapter=39616&layout=html&Itemid=27
continued:

Paul said...

continued:
The author of de Sacramentis shows a similar hesitation, when faced with the implications involved in this teaching of a miraculous change effected in the elements by consecration. Though he does not affirm so clearly as Ambrose the spiritual character of the Eucharistic food, he is alive to the materialistic conclusions which may be drawn from his teaching, and in this connexion speaks of receiving “the likeness of the death” and “drinking the likeness of the precious blood” (iv. 4. 20), or again he refers to the sacrament as being received “in a likeness” (in similitudinem), though this likeness bestows the “grace and virtue” of the reality (vi. 1. 3). Here again, as in Ambrose above, we see how naturally the older language current in the West reasserts itself. (See further, Introd. p. xviii, above.)

The train of thought opened up by Ambrose and his successor, the author of de Sacram., exercised a profound influence on later Western teaching. It encountered a rival influence in the more spiritualizing teaching of St. Augustine. In the Eucharistic controversies of the ninth century aroused by the “conversion” doctrine of Paschasius Radbert, and again in the controversies of the eleventh century, in which Berengar combated the growing belief in Transubstantiation, the rival schools of opinion appealed to the teaching of Ambrose and of de Sacramentis, as well as to that of Augustine, and attempted to harmonize their language in the fuller and more explicit treatment which was given to the subject during the period. Both treatises are appealed to as authorities by Ratramn (cent. ix.) in his opposition to Paschasius, by Berengar and his opponents Lanfranc and Witmund of Aversa (cent. xi.) and by Alger of Liège (cent. xii.). The teaching of Ambrose is the starting-point of those who maintain the identity of the elements with the body and blood of Christ in virtue of the conversion miraculously effected by consecration—the teaching finally formulated in the doctrine of Transubstantiation at the Council of the Lateran in 1216. Augustine is the authority appealed to by those who distinguished the visible sign from the invisible reality, and who tended to maintain a spiritual presence of power and efficacy—a view which passes in its more extreme forms into a purely figurative or commemorative idea of the sacrament.

source:
http://oll.libertyfund.org/?option=com_staticxt&staticfile=show.php%3Ftitle=219&chapter=39616&layout=html&Itemid=27

I won't post any more of this commentary. But you can follow the link to read the rest if interested.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Dr. Mike said:

"'My flesh is real food; my blood real drink.' John 6:55

Why would Jesus stress the fact that his body and blood were real food if he didn't mean for people to literally eat it? "


Oh come on Dr. Mike. I don't fault you for your beliefs, but there is a spiritual message here that Jesus is teaching, which if we get it, will help us understand the type of relationship He is seeking with us.

For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink (John 6:55, NIV and Message).

An alternative translation is found in the NLT, NASB, ESV, Young's Literal Translation and Darby's Translation.

For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink (John 6:55, NLT, NASB, ESV).

For my flesh truly is food, and my blood truly is drink; (Young's Literal Translation, Darby's Translation).

In any case, no matter how you translate the word 'indeed' as found in the KJV and the NKJV, what Christ is saying is that His flesh and blood are true nourishment for the soul and spirit. How is the soul and spirit nourished? Is the soul and spirit nourished by eating physical food, or by ingesting through the digestive system? Hey, did not Jesus preach a sermon about that saying that what goes into a person's mouth has no effect on the purity of one's soul? He said that food does not enter into the heart, but enters into the belly (Mark 7:19). Check out Matthew 15 also. The spirit and soul of man is not nourished by physical eating, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. That is why when we fast we also put away physical food.

Christ is offering to us spiritual nourishment, to nourish our souls. He is offering Himself, as the Word made flesh. "Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on me hath everlasting life. I am that bread of life" (John 6:47-48).

Another reason why some of the disciples turned away from Him is because He had performed the miracle of feeding the five thousand, and some were following because they received physical food (John 6:26). They were now disappointed that Jesus was not offering them physical food, but spiritual food, and so some of them left because of that.

Then Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also want to go away?”
But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.(John 6:67-68).

I am just glad people have not left the church just because we are not in full agreement on the meaning of this passage, as some of the false disciples did. Even if we do not understand, we can still draw on our faith, knowing that our belief is in Him.


Peace.

Elena said...


In any case, no matter how you translate the word 'indeed' as found in the KJV and the NKJV, what Christ is saying is that His flesh and blood are true nourishment for the soul and spirit.



Except that the actual word for this in the Greek means actually, literally to eat, chew, gnaw. So it's very corporal and not just spiritual.

You guys feel free to wrap it up but I think we've just about beaten this horse to death. I'm gonna probably close this thread down tomorrow.

Jennie said...

Interesting. Because the disciples that didn't like the literal words of eating and chewing were the ones that left. Interestingly that was in John 6:66.
To phrase it another way, the ones who thought He was talking about literal eating and drinking departed in unbelief.

Jennie said...

The ones who departed didn't understand that there is a deeper spiritual meaning to what Jesus was saying. They thought of it only in a literal way. Even the Apostles didn't really understand yet, but they trusted Him and remained, 'because only He has the words of eternal life.'

Elena said...

And those apostles went on to celebrate Eucharist in the early church.

On that note, i think this thread is done.