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Posts Tagged ‘Eucharist’

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According to Abba Apollo, a desert father who lived about 1,700 years ago, the devil has no knees; he cannot kneel; he cannot adore; he cannot pray; he can only look down his nose in contempt. Being unwilling to bend the knee at the name of Jesus is the essence of evil. (Cf. Is 45:23, Rom 14:11) But when we kneel at Jesus’ name, when we bow down in service of others, and when we bend the knee in adoration, we are following in the footsteps of the Magi, we are imitating Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Saint Maximilian Kolbe, and all the saints and angels in heaven. Letter of Bishop Thomas Olmsted

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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 Cor10:3 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.” Lam 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. St. Ambrose: On the Mysteries

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And there came to him the Pharisees tempting him, and saying: Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? Who answering, said to them: Have ye not read, that he who made man from the beginning, Made them male and female? And he said: For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they two shall be in one flesh. Therefore now they are not two, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder. Matt 19:3

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And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all things to myself. John 12:32

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Jesus Christ, yesterday, and today; and the same for ever. Heb 13:8

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Some suggested that the Holy Father distributed Communion in the traditional manner only because it was the Feast of Corpus Christi–of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ–and that he was making a point about the sacredness of the Eucharist. A new interview with the master of ceremonies for papal Masses, however, makes it clear that he was indeed making a point, but that this was not a one-time thing. In L’Osservatore Romano, the official newspaper of the Vatican, Monsignor Guido Marini was asked whether the “practice [is] destined to become habitual in papal ceremonies.” (Article)

***All well & good. Thanks be to God, the Holy Father has reintroduced a common sense way of receiving the “Source & Summit” of Christianity (Christ Himself). However, why just Papal ceremonies? Is the Eucharist received from the Pope somehow more “special” than received at a humble parish Mass? Is Jesus more present?  Of course not. Same Christ, Same Sacrifice no matter where offered, by whichever Priest of the Church. So, if it is indeed true it is a “more reverent” way of receiving Holy Communion then it is an Objectively “more reverent” way, and should be done in all Churches by all Catholics. Unless of course we don’t want to reverence God any more than what we do now, which should be seen as absurd. Right? ***

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The Sacred Heart of Jesus shares in a most intimate way in the life of the Incarnate Word, and has been thus assumed as a kind of instrument of the Divinity. It is therefore beyond all doubt that, in the carrying out of works of grace and divine omnipotence, His Heart, no less than the other members of His human nature is also a legitimate symbol of that unbounded love.

Under the influence of this love, our Savior, by the outpouring of His blood, became wedded to His Church: “By love, He allowed Himself to be espoused to His Church.” Hence, from the wounded Heart of the Redeemer was born the Church, the dispenser of the Blood of the Redemption — whence flows that plentiful stream of Sacramental grace from which the children of the Church drink of eternal life, as we read in the sacred liturgy: “From the pierced Heart, the Church, the Bride of Christ, is born….And He pours forth grace from His Heart.” (Pius XII: Devotion to The Sacred Heart)

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(2 above are from Brindisi, Italy)

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I have no delight in corruptible food, nor in the pleasures of this life. I desire the bread of God, the heavenly bread, the bread of life, which is the flesh of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who became afterwards of the seed of David and Abraham; and I desire the drink of God, namely His blood, which is incorruptible love and eternal life. St. Ignatius of Antioch Letter to the Romans 7

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They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they confess not the Eucharist to be the flesh of our Saviour Jesus Christ, which suffered for our sins, and which the Father, of His goodness, raised up again. St. Ignatius of Antioch Letter to the Smyrnaeans, 7,1

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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. St. Justin Martyr First Apology 66

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So then, if the mixed cup and the manufactured bread receive the Word of God and become the Eucharist, that is to say, the Blood and Body of Christ, which fortify and build up the substance of our flesh, how can these people claim that the flesh is incapable of receiving God’s gift of eternal life, when it is nourished by Christ’s Blood and Body and is His member? It is this which is nourished by the cup which is His Blood, and is fortified by the bread which is His Body. St. Irenaeus Five Books on the Unmasking and Refutation

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Then, again, how can they say that the flesh, which is nourished with the body of the Lord and with His blood, goes to corruption, and does not partake of life? Let them, therefore, either alter their opinion, or cease from offering the things just mentioned. But our opinion is in accordance with the Eucharist, and the Eucharist in turn establishes our opinion. For we offer to Him His own, announcing consistently the fellowship and union of the flesh and Spirit. For as the bread, which is produced from the earth, when it receives the invocation of God, is no longer common bread, but the Eucharist, consisting of two realities, earthly and heavenly; so also our bodies, when they receive the Eucharist, are no longer corruptible, having the hope of the resurrection to eternity. St. Irenaeus Against Heresies

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Therefore, He is a rich treasure, for His bread is rich. And ‘rich’ is apt for one who has eaten this bread will be unable to feel hunger. He gave it to the Apostles to distribute to a believing people, and today He gives it to us, for He, as a priest, daily consecrates it with His own words. Therefore, this bread has become the food of the saints. St. Ambrose of Milan The Patriarchs

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The Word is all to the child, both father and mother and tutor and nurse. “Eat ye my flesh,” He says, “and drink my blood.” Such is the suitable food which the Lord ministers, and He offers His flesh and pours forth His blood, and nothing is wanting for the children’s growth. O amazing mystery. St. Clement of Alexandria The Instructor

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I wish to admonish you with examples from your religion. You are accustomed to take part in the divine mysteries, so you know how, when you have received the Body of the Lord, you reverently exercise every care lest a particle of it fall, and lest anything of the consecrated gift perish. You account yourselves guilty, and rightly do you so believe, if any of it be lost through negligence. But if you observe such caution in keeping His Body, and properly so, how is it that you think neglecting the word of God a lesser crime than neglecting His Body?  Origen Homilies on Exodus 13,3

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Since then He says that, if anyone eats of His bread, he lives forever, as it is manifest that they live who attain to His body and receive the Eucharist by right of communion, so on the other hand we must fear and pray lest anyone, while he is cut off and separated from the body of Christ, remain apart from salvation, as He Himself threatens, saying: ‘Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink His blood, you shall not have life in you.’ And so we petition that our bread, that is Christ, be given us daily, so that we, who abide and live in Christ, may not withdraw from His sanctification and body. St. Cyprian of Carthage The Lord’s Prayer 18

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So too the the sacred meaning of the Pasch lies essentially in the fact, laid down in Exodus, that the lamb – slain as a type of Christ – should be eaten in one single home. God says the words: ‘In one house shall it be eaten, ye shall not cast its flesh outside.’ The flesh of Christ and the Lord’s sacred body cannot be cast outside, nor have believers any other home but the one Church. St. Cyprian of Carthage The Unity of the Catholic Church 8

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That our Lord Jesus Christ in the night in which He was betrayed, took bread, and when He had given thanks He brake it, and gave to His disciples, saying, Take, eat, this is My Body: and having taken the cup and given thanks, lie said, Take, drink, this is My Bloods. Since then He Himself declared and said of the Bread, This is My Body, who shall dare to doubt any longer? And since He has Himself affirmed and said, This is My Blood, who shall ever hesitate, saying, that it is not His blood? St. Cyril of Jerusalem Catechetical Lectures 22,1

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When the word says, ‘This is My Body,’ be convinced of it and believe it, and look at it with the eyes of the mind. For Christ did not give us something tangible, but even in His tangible things all is intellectual. So too with Baptism: the gift is bestowed through what is a tangible thing, water; but what is accomplished is intellectually perceived: the birth and the renewal. If you were incorporeal He would have given you those incorporeal gifts naked; but since the soul is intertwined with the body, He hands over to you in tangible things that which is perceived intellectually. How many now say, ‘I wish I could see His shape, His appearance, His garments, His sandals.’ Only look! You see Him! You touch Him! You eat Him! St. John Chrysostom Homilies on the Gospel of Matthew 82,4

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 What is the mark of a Christian? That he be purified of all defilement of the flesh and of the spirit in the Blood of Christ, perfecting sanctification in the fear of God and the love of Christ, and that he have no blemish nor spot nor any such thing; that he be holy and blameless and so eat the Body of Christ and drink His Blood; for ‘he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgement to himself.’ What is the mark of those who eat the Bread and drink the Cup of Christ? That they keep in perpetual remembrance Him who died for us and rose again. St. Basil the Great The Morals 22

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After the great and wonderful prayers have been completed, then the bread is become the Body, and the wine the Blood, of our Lord Jesus Christ. St. Athanasius Sermon to the Newly Baptized

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The bread is at first common bread; but when the mystery sanctifies it, it is called and actually becomes the Body of Christ.  St. Gregory of Nyssa Orations and Sermons

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After the type had been fulfilled by the Passover celebration and He had eaten the flesh of the lamb with His Apostles, He takes bread which strengthens the heart of man, and goes on to the true Sacrament of the Passover, so that just as Melchisedech, the priest of the Most High God, in prefiguring Him, made bread and wine an offering, He too makes Himself manifest in the reality of His own Body and Blood. St. Jerome Commentaries on the Gospel of Matthew 4,26,26

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For the whole Church observes this practice which was handed down by the Fathers: that it prayers for those who have died in the communion of the Body and Blood of Christ, when they are commemorated in their own place in the sacrifice itself; and the sacrifice is offered also in memory of them on their behalf. St. Augustine Sermons 172,2

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He states demonstratively: “This is My Body,” and “This is My Blood,” lest you might suppose the things that are seen are a figure. Rather, by some secret of the all-powerful God the things seen are transformed into the Body and Blood of Christ, truly offered in a sacrifice in which we, as participants, receive the life-giving and sanctifying power of Christ. St. Cyril of Alexandria Commentary on Matthew (26:27)
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“It is not fitting to applaud the servant in the house of his Master.” Pope St. Pius X on clapping in church.

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Lest I be accused of being a malcontent “rad-trad”, or some “internet anti-pope” who only quotes Pre-Conciliar Popes to enforce my own “subjective opinions”, a comment from our current Holy Father, (then Cardinal Ratzinger) on clapping during the Holy Mysteries: “Wherever applause breaks out in the liturgy because of some human achievement, it is a sure sign that the essence of liturgy has totally disappeared and been replaced by a kind of religious entertainment.” (Source)

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How lovely are thy tabernacles, O Lord of host! My soul longeth and fainteth for the courts of the Lord. My heart and my flesh have rejoiced in the living God. For the sparrow hath found herself a house, and the turtle a nest for herself where she may lay her young ones: Thy altars, O Lord of hosts, my king and my God. Blessed are they that dwell in thy house, O Lord: they shall praise thee for ever and ever. (Psalm 83)

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The Priest cries aloud, “Lift up your hearts.” For truly ought we in that most awful hour to have our heart on high with God, and not below, thinking of earth and earthly things. In effect therefore the Priest bids all in that hour to dismiss all cares of this life, or household anxieties, and to have their heart in heaven with the merciful God. Then ye answer, “We lift them up unto the Lord:” assenting to it, by your avowal. But let no one come here, who could say with his mouth, “We lift up our hearts unto the Lord,” but in his thoughts have his mind concerned with the cares of this life. At all times, rather, God should be in our memory but if this is impossible by reason of human infirmity, in that hour above all this should be our earnest endeavour.

Then the Priest says, “Let us give thanks unto the Lord.” For verily we are bound to give thanks, that He called us, unworthy as we were, to so great grace; that He reconciled us when we were His foes; that He vouchsafed to us the Spirit of adoption. Then ye say, “It is meet and right:” for in giving thanks we do a meet thing and a right; but He did not right, but more than right, in doing us good, and counting us meet for such great benefits….

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After this, we make mention of heaven, and earth, and sea; of sun and moon; of stars and all the creation, rational and irrational, visible and invisible; of Angels, Archangels, Virtues, Dominions, Principalities, Powers, Thrones; of the Cherubim with many faces: in effect repeating that call of David’s Magnify the Lord with me. We make mention also of the Seraphim, whom Esaias in the Holy Spirit saw standing around the throne of God, and with two of their wings veiling their face, and with twain their feet, while with twain they did fly, crying Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of Sabaoth. For the reason of our reciting this confession of God, delivered down to us from the Seraphim, is this, that so we may be partakers with the hosts of the world above in their Hymn of praise. (St. Cyril of Jerusalem +386 A.D. : Cath Lecture 23)

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And in the frail and perishable body that divine Host, which is the immortal Body of Christ, implants a principle of resurrection, a seed of immortality, which one day must germinate. That to this source man’s soul and body will be indebted for both these boons has been the constant teaching of the Church, which has dutifully reaffirmed the affirmation of Christ: “He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood hath everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day”. (Leo XIII: Holy Eucharist)

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And whilst they were at supper, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke: and gave to his disciples, and said: Take ye, and eat. This is my body. And taking the chalice, he gave thanks, and gave to them, saying: Drink ye all of this. For this is my blood of the new testament, which shall be shed for many unto remission of sins. (Matt 26:26)
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(Detail: Seven Sacraments, WEYDEN, Rogier van der)
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(Detail:Calvary and the Martyrdom of St Denis, MALOUEL, Jean)
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He riseth from supper, and layeth aside his garments, and having taken a towel, girded himself. After that, he putteth water into a basin, and began to wash the feet of the disciples, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. He cometh therefore to Simon Peter. And Peter saith to him: Lord, dost thou wash my feet? Jesus answered, and said to him: What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter. Peter saith to him: Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him: If I wash thee not, thou shalt have no part with me. Simon Peter saith to him: Lord, not only my feet, but also my hands and my head. Jesus saith to him: He that is washed, needeth not but to wash his feet, but is clean wholly. And you are clean, but not all. (John 13:4)
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Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee…….JerusalemEvening-1.jpg picture by kking888

…how often would I have gathered together thy children, as the hen doth gather her chickens under her wings, and thou wouldest not?……………..

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Behold, your house shall be left to you, desolate. (Matt 23:37)

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It is not the power of man which makes what is put before us the Body and Blood of Christ, but the power of Christ Himself who was crucified for us. The priest standing there in the place of Christ says these words but their power and grace are from God. ‘This is My Body,’ he says, and these words transform what lies before him. (St. John Chrysostom, “Homilies on the Treachery of Judas”) 

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