In Catholic teachings, at the moment of Consecration the elements or "gifts" as they are termed for liturgical purposes are changed in substance transubstantiation — as opposed to 'transformation' wherein a change in physical form occurs into the actual Body and Blood of Christ.
The name given to the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar in its twofold aspect of sacrament and Sacrifice of Massand in which Jesus Christ is truly present under the appearances of bread and wine. Other titles are used, such as "Lord's Supper" Coena Domini"Table of the Lord" Mensa Dominithe "Lord's Body" Corpus Dominiand the "Holy of Holies" Sanctissimumto which may be added the following expressions, and somewhat altered from their primitive meaning: The expression "Blessed Sacrament of the Altar", introduced by Augustine, is at the present day almost entirely restricted to catechetical and popular treatises.
This extensive nomenclature, describing the great mystery from such different points of view, is in itself sufficient proof of the central position the Eucharist has occupied from the earliest ages, both in the Divine worship and services of the Church and in the life of faith and devotion which animates her members.
The Church honors the Eucharist as one of her most exalted mysteriessince for sublimity and incomprehensibility it yields in nothing to the allied mysteries of the Trinity and Incarnation.
These three mysteries constitute a wonderful triad, which causes the essential characteristic of Christianityas a religion of mysteries far transcending the capabilities of reasonto shine forth in all its brilliance and splendor, and elevates Catholicismthe most faithful guardian and keeper of our Christian heritage, far above all pagan and non-Christian religions.
The organic connection of this mysterious triad is clearly discerned, if we consider Divine grace under the aspect of a personal communication of God.
Thus the Trinity, Incarnationand Eucharist are really welded together like a precious chain, which in a wonderful manner links heaven with earth, God with manuniting them most intimately and keeping them thus united.
By the very fact that the Eucharistic mystery does transcend reasonno rationalistic explanation of it, based on a merely natural hypothesis and seeking to comprehend one of the sublimest truths of the Christian religion as the spontaneous conclusion of logical processes, may be attempted by a Catholic theologian.
The modern science of comparative religion is striving, wherever it can, to discover in pagan religions "religio-historical parallels", corresponding to the theoretical and practical elements of Christianityand thus by means of the former to give a natural explanation of the latter.
Even were an analogy discernible between the Eucharistic repast and the ambrosia and nectar of the ancient Greek gods, or the haoma of the Iranians, or the soma of the ancient Hinduswe should nevertheless be very cautious not to stretch a mere analogy to a parallelism strictly so called, since the Christian Eucharist has nothing at all in common with these pagan foods, whose origin is to be found in the crassest idol- and nature-worship.
What we do particularly discover is a new proof of the reasonableness of the Catholic religion, from the circumstance that Jesus Christ in a wonderfully condescending manner responds to the natural craving of the human heart after a food which nourishes unto immortalitya craving expressed in many pagan religionsby dispensing to mankind His own Flesh and Blood.
All that is beautiful, all that is true in the religions of nature, Christianity has appropriated to itself, and like a concave mirror has collected the dispersed and not infrequently distorted rays of truth into their common focus and again sent them forth resplendently in perfect beams of light.
It is the Church alone, "the pillar and ground of truth ", imbued with and directed by the Holy Spiritthat guarantees to her children through her infallible teaching the full and unadulterated revelation of God. The quintessence of these doctrinal decisions consists in this, that in the Eucharist the Body and Blood of the God-man are truly, reallyand substantially present for the nourishment of our soulsby reason of the transubstantiation of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christand that in this change of substances the unbloody Sacrifice of the New Testament is also contained.Please stand with those who have been Called to Serve as Christ.
We are in the final stretch of the Called to Serve as Christ campaign. Thank you to those who have responded to this plea from the Archdiocese to support the current and future retired priests and religious of Western Washington, which will also directly benefit the elderly and infirm friars of the Western Dominican Province.
The closing statement of Paul is a quotation from Jesus: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” This does not mean, as many pastors preach, that the people in the pews are more blessed when they give to the church than when they receive from the church.
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Click here to learn more about us! This does not mean, as many pastors preach, that the people in the pews are more blessed when they give to the church than when they receive from the church.
Quite to the contrary, Paul is telling the spiritual leaders of the Ephesian church that it is more blessed for them to give to the needy in the church, than it is for the elders to receive. I have showed you all things, how that so laboring you ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.