Is Communion (the Eucharist) just a symbol?

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Jul 17, 2009
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THE DIDACHE

The Didache or "The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles" is a manuscript which was used by 2nd century bishops and priests for the instruction of catechumens. Many early Christian writers have referenced it making this document relatively easy to date.
"Let no one eat and drink of your Eucharist but those baptized in the name of the Lord; to this, too the saying of the Lord is applicable: 'Do not give to dogs what is sacred'".
-Ch. 9:5


"On the Lord's own day, assemble in common to break bread and offer thanks; but first confess your sins, so that your sacrifice may be pure. However, no one quarreling with his brother may join your meeting until they are reconciled; your sacrifice must not be defiled. For here we have the saying of the Lord: 'In every place and time offer me a pure sacrifice; for I am a mighty King, says the Lord; and my name spreads terror among the nations.'"
-Ch 14​
ST. CLEMENT OF ROME (Alt)

St. Clement was the third successor of Peter as Bishop of Rome; otherwise known as the third Pope.
"Since then these things are manifest to us, and we have looked into the depths of the divine knowledge, we ought to do in order all things which the Master commanded us to perform at appointed times. He commanded us to celebrate sacrifices and services, and that it should not be thoughtlessly or disorderly, but at fixed times and hours. He has Himself fixed by His supreme will the places and persons whom He desires for these celebrations, in order that all things may be done piously according to His good pleasure, and be acceptable to His will. So then those who offer their oblations at the appointed seasons are acceptable and blessed, but they follow the laws of the Master and do not sin. For to the high priest his proper ministrations are allotted, and to the priests the proper place has been appointed, and on Levites their proper services have been imposed. The layman is bound by the ordinances for the laity."
Source: St. Clement, bishop of Rome, 80 A.D., to the Corinthians​
"Our sin will not be small if we eject from the episcopate those who blamelessly and holily have offered its Sacrifices."
Source: Letter to the Corinthians, [44,4]​
ST. IGNATIUS OF ANTIOCH (Alt)

St. Ignatius became the third bishop of Antioch, succeeding St. Evodius, who was the immediate successor of St. Peter. He heard St. John preach when he was a boy and knew St. Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna. Seven of his letters written to various Christian communities have been preserved. Eventually, he received the martyr's crown as he was thrown to wild beasts in the arena.
"Consider how contrary to the mind of God are the heterodox in regard to the grace of God which has come to us. They have no regard for charity, none for the widow, the orphan, the oppressed, none for the man in prison, the hungry or the thirsty. They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they do not admit that the Eucharist is the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ, the flesh which suffered for our sins and which the Father, in His graciousness, raised from the dead."
"Letter to the Smyrnaeans", paragraph 6. circa 80-110 A.D.

"Come together in common, one and all without exception in charity, in one faith and in one Jesus Christ, who is of the race of David according to the flesh, the son of man, and the Son of God, so that with undivided mind you may obey the bishop and the priests, and break one Bread which is the medicine of immortality and the antidote against death, enabling us to live forever in Jesus Christ."
-"Letter to the Ephesians", paragraph 20, c. 80-110 A.D.

"I have no taste for the food that perishes nor for the pleasures of this life. I want the Bread of God which is the Flesh of Christ, who was the seed of David; and for drink I desire His Blood which is love that cannot be destroyed."
-"Letter to the Romans", paragraph 7, circa 80-110 A.D.​
"Take care, then who belong to God and to Jesus Christ - they are with the bishop. And those who repent and come to the unity of the Church - they too shall be of God, and will be living according to Jesus Christ. Do not err, my brethren: if anyone follow a schismatic, he will not inherit the Kingdom of God. If any man walk about with strange doctrine, he cannot lie down with the passion. Take care, then, to use one Eucharist, so that whatever you do, you do according to God: for there is one Flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ, and one cup in the union of His Blood; one altar, as there is one bishop with the presbytery and my fellow servants, the deacons."
-Epistle to the Philadelphians, 3:2-4:1, 110 A.D.​
ST. JUSTIN MARTYR (Alt)

St. Justin Martyr was born a pagan but converted to Christianity after studying philosophy. He was a prolific writer and many Church scholars consider him the greatest apologist or defender of the faith from the 2nd century. He was beheaded with six of his companions some time between 163 and 167 A.D.
"This food we call the Eucharist, of which no one is allowed to partake except one who believes that the things we teach are true, and has received the washing for forgiveness of sins and for rebirth, and who lives as Christ handed down to us. For we do not receive these things as common bread or common drink; but as Jesus Christ our Savior being incarnate by God's Word took flesh and blood for our salvation, so also we have been taught that the food consecrated by the Word of prayer which comes from him, from which our flesh and blood are nourished by transformation, is the flesh and blood of that incarnate Jesus."
"First Apology", Ch. 66, inter A.D. 148-155.​
"God has therefore announced in advance that all the sacrifices offered in His name, which Jesus Christ offered, that is, in the Eucharist of the Bread and of the Chalice, which are offered by us Christians in every part of the world, are pleasing to Him."
"Dialogue with Trypho", Ch. 117, circa 130-160 A.D.​
Moreover, as I said before, concerning the sacrifices which you at that time offered, God speaks through Malachias, one of the twelve, as follows: 'I have no pleasure in you, says the Lord; and I will not accept your sacrifices from your hands; for from the rising of the sun until its setting, my name has been glorified among the gentiles; and in every place incense is offered to my name, and a clean offering: for great is my name among the gentiles, says the Lord; but you profane it.' It is of the sacrifices offered to Him in every place by us, the gentiles, that is, of the Bread of the Eucharist and likewise of the cup of the Eucharist, that He speaks at that time; and He says that we glorify His name, while you profane it."
-"Dialogue with Trypho", [41: 8-10]​
ST. IRENAEUS OF LYONS (Alt)

St. Irenaeus succeeded St. Pothinus to become the second bishop of Lyons in 177 A.D. Earlier in his life he studied under St. Polycarp. Considered, one of the greatest theologians of the 2nd century, St. Irenaeus is best known for refuting the Gnostic heresies.
[Christ] has declared the cup, a part of creation, to be his own Blood, from which he causes our blood to flow; and the bread, a part of creation, he has established as his own Body, from which he gives increase to our bodies."
Source: St. Irenaeus of Lyons, Against Heresies, 180 A.D.:​
"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? As the blessed apostle says in his letter to the Ephesians, 'For we are members of His Body, of His flesh and of His bones' (Eph. 5:30). He is not talking about some kind of 'spiritual' and 'invisible' man, 'for a spirit does not have flesh an bones' (Lk. 24:39). No, he is talking of the organism possessed by a real human being, composed of flesh and nerves and bones. It is this which is nourished by the cup which is His Blood, and is fortified by the bread which is His Body. The stem of the vine takes root in the earth and eventually bears fruit, and 'the grain of wheat falls into the earth' (Jn. 12:24), dissolves, rises again, multiplied by the all-containing Spirit of God, and finally after skilled processing, is put to human use. These two then receive the Word of God and become the Eucharist, which is the Body and Blood of Christ."
-"Five Books on the Unmasking and Refutation of the Falsely​
Named Gnosis". Book 5:2, 2-3, circa 180 A.D. "For just as the bread which comes from the earth, having received the invocation of God, is no longer ordinary bread, but the Eucharist, consisting of two realities, earthly and heavenly, so our bodies, having received the Eucharist, are no longer corruptible, because they have the hope of the resurrection."
-"Five Books on the Unmasking and Refutation of the Falsely named Gnosis". Book 4:18 4-5, circa 180 A.D.​
ST. CLEMENT OF ALEXANDRIA (Alt)

St. Clement of Alexandria studied under Pantaenus. He later succeeded him as the director of the school of catechumens in Alexandria, Egypt around the year 200 A.D.,
"The Blood of the Lord, indeed, is twofold. There is His corporeal Blood, by which we are redeemed from corruption; and His spiritual Blood, that with which we are anointed. That is to say, to drink the Blood of Jesus is to share in His immortality. The strength of the Word is the Spirit just as the blood is the strength of the body. Similarly, as wine is blended with water, so is the Spirit with man. The one, the Watered Wine, nourishes in faith, while the other, the Spirit, leads us on to immortality. The union of both, however, - of the drink and of the Word, - is called the Eucharist, a praiseworthy and excellent gift. Those who partake of it in faith are sanctified in body and in soul. By the will of the Father, the divine mixture, man, is mystically united to the Spirit and to the Word.",
-"The Instructor of the Children". [2,2,19,4] ante 202 A.D.,​
"The Word is everything to a child: both Father and Mother, both Instructor and Nurse. 'Eat My Flesh,' He 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. O incredible mystery!",
-"The Instructor of the Children" [1,6,41,3] ante 202 A.D.. ,​
ST. CYPRIAN OF CARTHAGE (Alt)

St. Cyprian of Carthage converted from paganism to Christianity around the year 246 A.D. Soon afterwards, he aspired to the priesthood and eventually was ordained Bishop of Carthage. He was beheaded for his Faith in the year 258 A.D., thus he was the first African bishop to have been martyred.,
"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.",
-"The Unity of the Catholic Church". Ch.8, circa 249-258 A.D.,​
Description of an event in which an infant was taken to a pagan sacrifice and then the mother recovered it and brought it to Mass.
"Listen to what happened in my presence, before my very eyes. There was a baby girl, whose parents had fled and had, in their fear, rather improvidently lift it in the charge of its nurse. The nurse took the helpless child to the magistrates. There, before the idol where the crowds were flocking, as it was too young to eat the flesh, they gave it some bread dipped in what was left of the wine offered by those who had already doomed themselves. Later, the mother recovered her child. But the girl could not reveal or tell the wicked thing that had been done, any more than she had been able to understand or ward it off before. Thus, when the mother brought her in with her while we were offering the Sacrifice, it was through ignorance that this mischance occurred. But the infant, in the midst of the faithful, resenting the prayer and the offering we were making, began to cry convulsively, struggling and tossing in a veritable brain-storm, and for all its tender age and simplicity of soul, was confessing, as if under torture, in every way it could, its consciousness of the misdeed. Moreover, when the sacred rites were completed and the deacon began ministering to those present, when its turn came to receive, it turned its little head away as if sensing the divine presence, it closed its mouth, held its lips tight, and refused to drink from the chalice. The deacon persisted and, in spite of its opposition, poured in some of the consecrated chalice. There followed choking and vomiting. The Eucharist could not remain in a body or mouth that was defiled; the drink which had been sanctified by Our Lord's blood returned from the polluted stomach. So great is the power of the Lord, and so great His majesty!",
-"The Lapsed" Ch. 25, circa 249-258 A.D.,​
"The priest who imitates that which Christ did, truly takes the place of Christ, and offers there in the Church a true and perfect sacrifice to God the Father.",
Source: St. Cyprian wrote to the Ephesians circa 258 A.D:,​
"There was a woman too who with impure hands tried to open the locket in which she was keeping Our Lord's holy body, but fire flared up from it and she was too terrified to touch it. And a man who, in spite of his sin, also presumed secretly to join the rest in receiving sacrifice offered by the bishop, was unable to eat or even handle Our Lord's sacred body; when he opened his hands, he found he was holding nothing but ashes. By this one example it was made manifest that Our Lord removes Himself from one who denies Him, and that what is received brings no blessing to the unworthy, since the Holy One has fled and the saving grace is turned to ashes.",
-"The Lapsed" Ch. 26, circa 249-258 A.D.,​
As the prayer proceeds, we ask and say: 'Give us this day our daily bread.' This can be understood both spiritually and simply, because either understanding is of profit in divine usefulness for salvation. For Christ is the bread of life and the bread here is of all, but is ours. And as we say 'Our Father,' because He is the Father of those who understand and believe, so too we say 'our Bread,' because Christ is the bread of those of us who attain to His body. Moreover, we ask that this bread be given daily, lest we, who are in Christ and receive the Eucharist daily as food of salvation, with the intervention of some more grievous sin, while we are shut off and as non-communicants are kept from the heavenly bread, be separated from the body of Christ as He Himself declares, saying: 'I am the bread of life which came down from heaven. If any man eat of my bread he shall live forever. Moreover, the bread that I shall give is my flesh for the life of the world.' 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.",
Source: St. Cyprian of Carthage, the Lord's Prayer, 252 A.D., chapter 18:,​
APHRAATES THE PERSIAN SAGE

Not much biographical information has been left about Aphraates. It is known that he was one of the Fathers of the Syrian Church. It is speculated that he was made bishop late in his life.,
He is thought to have been born ca. 280 A.D. and to have died ca. 345 A.D.,
"But the Lord was not yet arrested. After having spoken thus, the Lord rose up from the place where He had made the Passover and had given His Body as food and His Blood as drink, and He went with His disciples to the place where He was to be arrested. But he ate of His own Body and drank of His own Blood, while He was pondering on the dead. With His own hands the Lord presented His own Body to be eaten, and before he was crucified He gave His blood as drink; and He was taken at night on the fourteenth, and was judged until the sixth hour; and at the sixth hour they condemned Him and raised Him on the cross.",
- "Treatises" [12,6] inter 336-345 A.D.,​

 
Jul 17, 2009
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ST. EPHRAIM (Alt)

St. Ephraim was one of the great authors of the Syrian Church. Because of his beautiful writings, he is sometimes referred to as the 'lyre of the Holy Spirit'. He studied under James, Bishop of Nisbis. In 338 A.D. he aspired to the diaconate and remained a deacon for the remainder of his life.,
"Our Lord Jesus took in His hands what in the beginning was only bread; and He blessed it, and signed it, and made it holy in the name of the Father and in the name of the Spirit; and He broke it and in His gracious kindness He distributed it to all His disciples one by one. He called the bread His living Body, and did Himself fill it with Himself and the Spirit.,
And extending His hand, He gave them the Bread which His right hand had made holy: 'Take, all of you eat of this; which My word has made holy. Do not now regard as bread that which I have given you; but take, eat this Bread, and do not scatter the crumbs; for what I have called My Body, that it is indeed. One particle from its crumbs is able to sanctify thousands and thousands, and is sufficient to afford life to those who eat of it. Take, eat, entertaining no doubt of faith, because this is My Body, and whoever eats it in belief eats in it Fire and Spirit. But if any doubter eat of it, for him it will be only bread. And whoever eats in belief the Bread made holy in My name, if he be pure, he will be preserved in his purity; and if he be a sinner, he will be forgiven.' But if anyone despise it or reject it or treat it with ignominy, it may be taken as certainty that he treats with ignominy the Son, who called it and actually made it to be His Body.",
-"Homilies" 4,4 ca.. 350 A.D.,​
"After the disciples had eaten the new and holy Bread, and when they understood by faith that they had eaten of Christ's body, Christ went on to explain and to give them the whole Sacrament. He took and mixed a cup of wine. The He blessed it, and signed it, and made it holy, declaring that it was His own Blood, which was about to be poured out….Christ commanded them to drink, and He explained to them that the cup which they were drinking was His own Blood: 'This is truly My Blood, which is shed for all of you. Take, all of you, drink of this, because it is a new covenant in My Blood, As you have seen Me do, do you also in My memory. Whenever you are gathered together in My name in Churches everywhere, do what I have done, in memory of Me. Eat My Body, and drink My Blood, a covenant new and old.",
-"Homilies" 4,6 ca. 350 A.D.,​
"'And your floors shall be filled with wheat, and the presses shall overflow equally with wine and oil.' … This has been fulfilled mystically by Christ, who gave to the people whom He had redeemed, that is, to His Church, wheat and wine and oil in a mystic manner. For the wheat is the mystery of His sacred Body; and the wine His saving Blood; and again, the oil is the sweet unguent with which those who are baptized are signed, being clothed in the armaments of the Holy Spirit.",
-"On Joel 2:24", Commentaries on Sacred Scripture, Vol. 2 p. 252 of the Assemani edition.​
ST. ATHANASIUS (Alt)

St. Athanasius was born in Alexandria ca. 295 A.D. He was ordained a deacon in 319 A.D. He accompanied his bishop, Alexander, to the Council of Nicaea, where he served as his secretary. Eventually he succeeded Alexander as Bishop of Alexandria. He is most known for defending Nicene doctrine against Arian disputes.,
"'The great Athanasius in his sermon to the newly baptized says this:' You shall see the Levites bringing loaves and a cup of wine, and placing them on the table. So long as the prayers of supplication and entreaties have not been made, there is only bread and wine. But 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. 'And again:' Let us approach the celebration of the mysteries. This bread and this wine, so long as the prayers and supplications have not taken place, remain simply what they are. But after the great prayers and holy supplications have been sent forth, the Word comes down into the bread and wine - and thus His Body is confected.",
-"Sermon to the Newly Baptized" ante 373 A.D.,​
ST. CYRIL OF JERUSALEM (Alt)

St. Cyril served as Bishop of Jerusalem in the years 348-378 A.D.,
"`I have received of the Lord that which I also delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus, the same night in which He was betrayed, took bread, etc. [1 Cor. 11:23]'. This teaching of the Blessed Paul is alone sufficient to give you a full assurance concerning those Divine Mysteries, which when ye are vouchsafed, ye are of (the same body) [Eph 3:6] and blood with Christ. For he has just distinctly said, (That our Lord Jesus Christ the same night in which He was betrayed, took bread, and when He had given thanks He brake it, and said, Take, eat, this is My Body: and having taken the cup and given thanks, He said, Take, drink, this is My Blood.) [1 Cor. 2:23-25] Since then He Himself has declared and said of the Bread, (This is My Body), who shall dare to doubt any longer? And since He has affirmed and said, (This is My Blood), who shall ever hesitate, saying, that it is not His blood?
-"Catechetical Lectures [22 (Mystagogic 4), 1]​
"Therefore with fullest assurance let us partake as of the Body and Blood of Christ: for in the figure of Bread is given to thee His Body, and in the figure of Wine His Blood; that thou by partaking of the Body and Blood of Christ, mightest be made of the same body and the same blood with Him. For thus we come to bear Christ in us, because His Body and Blood are diffused through our members; thus it is that, according to the blessed Peter, (we become partaker of the divine nature.) [2 Peter 1:4]
-"Catechetical Lectures [22 (Mystagogic 4), 3]​
"Contemplate therefore the Bread and Wine not as bare elements, for they are, according to the Lord's declaration, the Body and Blood of Christ; for though sense suggests this to thee, let faith stablish thee. Judge not the matter from taste, but from faith be fully assured without misgiving, that thou hast been vouchsafed the Body and Blood of Christ.
-"Catechetical Lectures [22 (Mystagogic 4), 6]"​
"9. These things having learnt, and being fully persuaded that what seems bread is not bread, though bread by taste, but the Body of Christ; and that what seems wine is not wine, though the taste will have it so, but the Blood of Christ; and that of this David sung of old, saying, (And bread which strengtheneth man's heart, and oil to make his face to shine) [Ps. 104:15], `strengthen thine heart', partaking thereof as spiritual, and `make the face of thy soul to shine'. And so having it unveiled by a pure conscience, mayest thou behold as in a glass the glory of the Lord, and proceed from glory to glory [2 Cor. 3:18], in Christ Jesus our Lord:--To whom be honor, and might, and glory, for ever and ever. Amen."
Source: St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Mystagogic Catechesis 4,1, c. 350 A.D.:​
"Then upon the completion of the spiritual Sacrifice, the bloodless worship, over the propitiatory victim we call upon God for the common peace of the Churches, for the welfare of the world, for kings, for soldiers and allies, for the sick, for the afflicted; and in summary, we all pray and offer this Sacrifice for all who are in need."
"Mystagogic Catechesis [23: 5-7]​
"Then we make mention also of those who have already fallen asleep: first, the patriarchs, prophets, Apostles, and martyrs, that through their prayers and supplications God would receive our petition; next, we make mention also of the holy fathers and bishops who have already fallen asleep, and, to put it simply, of all among us who have already fallen asleep; for we believe that it will be of very great benefit of the souls of those for whom the petition is carried up, while this holy and most solemn Sacrifice is laid out."
-Mystagogic Catechesis [23 (Mystagogic 5), 10]​
"After this you hear the singing which invites you with a divine melody to the Communion of the Holy Mysteries, and which says, 'Taste and see that the Lord is good.' Do not trust to the judgement of the bodily palate - no, but to unwavering faith. For they who are urged to taste do not taste of bread and wine, but to the antitype, of the Body and Blood of Christ."
-"Mystagogic Catecheses 5 23, 20 ca. 350 A.D​
"Keep these traditions inviolate, and preserve yourselves from offenses. Do not cut yourselves off from Communion, do not deprive yourselves, through the pollution of sins, of these Holy and Spiritual Mysteries."
-"Mystagogic Catechesis [23 (Mystagogic 5), 23]"​
ST. HILARY OF POITERS (Alt)

St. Hilary firmly defended the Nicene Creed against Arian false doctrines. He was ordained Bishop of Poiters in 350 A.D. His efforts led to the collapse of Arianism in the West. He was proclaimed a Doctor of the Church by Pius IX in 1851.
"When we speak of the reality of Christ's nature being in us, we would be speaking foolishly and impiously - had we not learned it from Him. For He Himself says: 'My Flesh is truly Food, and My Blood is truly Drink. He that eats My Flesh and drinks My Blood will remain in Me and I in him.' As to the reality of His Flesh and Blood, there is no room left for doubt, because now, both by the declaration of the Lord Himself and by our own faith, it is truly the Flesh and it is truly Blood. And These Elements bring it about, when taken and consumed, that we are in Christ and Christ is in us. Is this not true? Let those who deny that Jesus Christ is true God be free to find these things untrue. But He Himself is in us through the flesh and we are in Him, while that which we are with Him is in God."
-"The Trinity" [8,14] inter 356-359 A.D.​
ST. BASIL THE GREAT (Alt)

St. Basil is recognized as the founder of Eastern monasticism. He was ordained Bishop of Caesarea in 370 A.D. He defended the Catholic Church against two waves of Arian attacks. The first movement denied the divinity of Christ. The second denied the divinity of the Holy Spirit. He is considered one of the greatest saints of the Oriental Church.
"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."
-"The Morals" Ch. 22​
"He, therefore, who approaches the Body and Blood of Christ in commemoration of Him who died for us and rose again must be free not only from defilement of flesh and spirit, in order that he may not eat drink unto judgement, but he must actively manifest the remembrance of Him who died for us and rose again, by being dead to sin, to the world, and to himself, and alive unto God in Christ Jesus, our Lord."
-"Concerning Baptism" Book I, Ch. 3.​
"To communicate each day and to partake of the holy Body and Blood of Christ is good and beneficial; for He says quite plainly: 'He that eats My Flesh and drinks My Blood has eternal life.' Who can doubt that to share continually in life is the same thing as having life abundantly? We ourselves communicate four times each week, on Sunday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday; and on other days if there is a commemoration of any saint."
-"Letter to a Patrician Lady Caesaria" [93] ca. 372 A.D.​
ST. EPIPHANIUS OF SALAMIS (Alt)
"We see that the Saviour took [something] in His hands, as it is in the Gospel, when He was reclining at the supper; and He took this, and giving thanks, He said: 'This is really Me.' And He gave to His disciples and said: 'This is really Me.' And we see that It is not equal nor similar, not to the incarnate image, not to the invisible divinity, not to the outline of His limbs. For It is round of shape, and devoid of feeling. As to Its power, He means to say even of Its grace, 'This is really Me.'; and none disbelieves His word. For anyone who does not believe the truth in what He says is deprived of grace and of a Savior."
-"The Man Well-Anchored" [57] 374 A.D.​
ST. GREGORY OF NAZIANZ (Alt)

St. Gregory was consecrated Bishop of Sasima in the year 371 A.D and was a friend of St. Basil for most of his life.
"Cease not to pray and plead for me when you draw down the Word by your word, when in an unbloody cutting you cut the Body and Blood of the Lord, using your voice for a sword."
-"Letter to Amphilochius, Bishop of Iconium" [171] ca. 383 A.D.​
ST. GREGORY OF NYSSA (Alt)
"Rightly then, do we believe that the bread consecrated by the word of God has been made over into the Body of the God the Word. For that Body was, as to its potency bread; but it has been consecrated by the lodging there of the Word, who pitched His tent in the flesh."
-"The Great Catechism [37: 9-13]"​
"He offered Himself for us, Victim and Sacrifice, and Priest as well, and 'Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.' When did He do this? When He made His own Body food and His own Blood drink for His disciples; for this much is clear enough to anyone, that a sheep cannot be eaten by a man unless its being eaten be preceded by its being slaughtered. This giving of His own Body to His disciples for eating clearly indicates that the sacrifice of the Lamb has now been completed."
-"Orations and Sermons" [Jaeger: Vol 9, p. 287] ca. 383 A.D.​
"The bread is at first common bread; but when the mystery sanctifies it, it is called and actually becomes the Body of Christ."
-"Orations and Sermons" [Jaeger Vol 9, pp. 225-226] ca. 383 A.D.​
ST. JOHN CHRYSOSTOM (Alt)

From 386-397 A.D. St. John Chrysostom served as a priest in the main church of Antioch. He soon became renown for his preaching and writing skills. In 397 A.D. he succeeded St. Gregory of Nazianz as Bishop of Constantinople.
"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!"
-"Homilies on the Gospel of Matthew" [82,4] 370 A.D.​
"I wish to add something that is plainly awe-inspiring, but do not be astonished or upset. This Sacrifice, no matter who offers it, be it Peter or Paul, is always the same as that which Christ gave His disciples and which priests now offer: The offering of today is in no way inferior to that which Christ offered, because it is not men who sanctify the offering of today; it is the same Christ who sanctified His own. For just as the words which God spoke are the very same as those which the priest now speaks, so too the oblation is the very same."
Source: St. John Chrysostom, "Homilies on the Second Epistle to Timothy," 2,4, c. 397 A.D.​
"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."
Source: St. John Chrysostom, "Homilies on the Treachery of Judas" 1,6; d. 407 A.D.:​
"'The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not communion of the Blood of Christ?' Very trustworthily and awesomely does he say it. For what he is saying is this: 'What is in the cup is that which flowed from His side, and we partake of it.' He called it a cup of blessing because when we hold it in our hands that is how we praise Him in song, wondering and astonished at His indescribable Gift, blessing Him because of His having poured out this very Gift so that we might not remain in error, and not only for His having poured out It out, but also for His sharing It with all of us."
-"Homilies on the First Letter to the Corinthians" [24,1] ca. 392 A.D.​
 
J

Jezreel

Guest
#3
Let no man deceive you from the simplicity in Christ Jesus. I would dump all the Roman Catholic crap and just keep to the word of God. The "office of a bishop" was added by man. There is no such appointment by Christ so I would not believe any of this to be truthful but just fables. Anyone who is a true member of the body of Christ can partake of the body and blood of Christ. It was a supper and a meal and not a wafer and a sip of wine of grape juice. Also, they say that they can miraculously transform the wafer and wine into the real blood and flesh, so I have heard. I don't know how true that is but if the say that they can do that hoo doo voo doo, it is part of the lying signs and wonders. It says that Justin was coverted to Christianity after he studied philosophy? Odd. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. If a person is truly born again, they are a saint. The Roman Catholic Church has members that like to pray to saints because it is part of the system of pagan idolotry that is brought over.
I know that I do not partake in communion except only with those I know are truly my brothers and sisters in the Lord. Communion can bring healing. The wonderful news is you don't have to have a hoo doo voo doo guy preside over the communion. Anybody in Christ is free to partake in his supper any time they wish too.
 
Sep 27, 2009
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Jezreel-

Ah! Very nice! Well said, sister! It wasn't just a a wafer and wine. His apostles had tried to warn Him about coming into Yerushalayim, while His life was being sought. But He was insistent on coming into the city, as was the custom of the Israelites, in order to celebrate Passover. And indeed the Last Supper, wherein He instructed us to keep the "Eucharist" was a Passover seder!

As with everything He did, this was in keeping with the G-d's instructions in the Torah, to keep Passover "as a festival to the L-rd; from generation to generation you are to celebrate by a perpetual regulation." (Exo 12:14)

So to me, it just shows even MORE continuity. By keeping the Passover Seder, not only are we remembering and honoring a ritual which Jesus instructed us to keep, we can recognize that He Himself was observing this event, in order to remember ANOTHER instance where G-d showed mercy to His people.

I just love the dual meaning. This we do in remembrance of He who saved our lives, spiritually. And at the same time, we remember when G-d spared our phsyical lives. G-d is SO good, and SO merciful, isn't He? :D Baruch Hashem!

I say "we"... For the record, I am not Jewish. I was not born Jewish, I have never officially converted or had a Bar Mitzvah. Nonetheless, if we are grafted in to the tree of Israel, then we must personalize these stories, and really imagine, what if that were our people, or us? Doing so helps us to remember the stranger, as we're instructed all through the Bible, for WE were strangers in the land of Egypt.

As to "who with" I don't really see the harm in it. I take communion in any church I go to that offers it, which is a hobby of mine(visiting other people's churches).

Oh, except the Mormons. They use leavened bread and water. I don't think the water/juice thing is that big a deal, but Passover specifically uses unleavened bread for a reason.
 
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Jan 8, 2009
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Do you believe it is just a symbol Mobius? The Orthodox believe Christ is somehow present in the bread and wine itself?
 
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Jezreel-

Ah! Very nice! Well said, sister! It wasn't just a a wafer and wine. His apostles had tried to warn Him about coming into Yerushalayim, while His life was being sought. But He was insistent on coming into the city, as was the custom of the Israelites, in order to celebrate Passover. And indeed the Last Supper, wherein He instructed us to keep the "Eucharist" was a Passover seder!

As with everything He did, this was in keeping with the G-d's instructions in the Torah, to keep Passover "as a festival to the L-rd; from generation to generation you are to celebrate by a perpetual regulation." (Exo 12:14)

So to me, it just shows even MORE continuity. By keeping the Passover Seder, not only are we remembering and honoring a ritual which Jesus instructed us to keep, we can recognize that He Himself was observing this event, in order to remember ANOTHER instance where G-d showed mercy to His people.

I just love the dual meaning. This we do in remembrance of He who saved our lives, spiritually. And at the same time, we remember when G-d spared our phsyical lives. G-d is SO good, and SO merciful, isn't He? :D Baruch Hashem!

I say "we"... For the record, I am not Jewish. I was not born Jewish, I have never officially converted or had a Bar Mitzvah. Nonetheless, if we are grafted in to the tree of Israel, then we must personalize these stories, and really imagine, what if that were our people, or us? Doing so helps us to remember the stranger, as we're instructed all through the Bible, for WE were strangers in the land of Egypt.

As to "who with" I don't really see the harm in it. I take communion in any church I go to that offers it, which is a hobby of mine(visiting other people's churches).

Oh, except the Mormons. They use leavened bread and water. I don't think the water/juice thing is that big a deal, but Passover specifically uses unleavened bread for a reason.

Orthodox use leavened bread. We do celebrate Pascha. Pascha is the most important of feasts and the whole liturgical calendar is fixed on it. Orthodox fast for about forty days and then there's a huge meal after the liturgy. The Eucharist is not the same thing as Passover. They are linked of course, as is Pascha with Baptism.
 
Jul 17, 2009
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Let no man deceive you from the simplicity in Christ Jesus. I would dump all the Roman Catholic crap and just keep to the word of God. The "office of a bishop" was added by man. There is no such appointment by Christ so I would not believe any of this to be truthful but just fables. Anyone who is a true member of the body of Christ can partake of the body and blood of Christ. It was a supper and a meal and not a wafer and a sip of wine of grape juice. Also, they say that they can miraculously transform the wafer and wine into the real blood and flesh, so I have heard. I don't know how true that is but if the say that they can do that hoo doo voo doo, it is part of the lying signs and wonders. It says that Justin was coverted to Christianity after he studied philosophy? Odd. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. If a person is truly born again, they are a saint. The Roman Catholic Church has members that like to pray to saints because it is part of the system of pagan idolotry that is brought over.
I know that I do not partake in communion except only with those I know are truly my brothers and sisters in the Lord. Communion can bring healing. The wonderful news is you don't have to have a hoo doo voo doo guy preside over the communion. Anybody in Christ is free to partake in his supper any time they wish too.
The office of bishop is pretty much "overseer". St. Ignatius was bishop of Antioch. Some of the Apostles were bishops as well...

St. Ignatius knew and was instructed by St. John, the beloved.

If you ever want to know what Catholics actually believe, it's not that difficult to look into. First thing you have to do is drop your presuppositions and try not to juxtapose what you think x,y,z means onto them. After that, it's all about listening.

God bless
 
M

motojojo

Guest
#8
Ryan the answer to your ? is no the Eucharist is in fact turned into the body and blood of Christ. I was raised protestant so yes I was thought all the lies about the Holy Catholic Church, so when God started calling me to become a Catholic it was hard. So when I went through all the classes to learn and become Catholic I had a problem with this very ? of yours and I told God if you want me to believe all this about the body and blood becoming real you will have to show me, and He did. Right before I became Catholic I came into the chapel and on this table was some wafers and they turned into the prepared for burial body of our Lord and Savior, He was cleaned, I could see his wounds and all He was wearing was a cloth over His lap.
 
R

roaringkitten

Guest
#9
The Eucharist in clearly not Biblical. If it was the LITERAL flesh and blood of Jesus, then that would conflict with other Scriptures that FORBID drinking blood:

"Their sorrows shall be multiplied that hasten after another god: their drink offerings of blood will I not offer, nor take up their names into my lips." Psalm 16:4

"But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat." Genesis 9:4

"Therefore I said unto the children of Israel, No soul of you shall eat blood, neither shall any stranger that sojourneth among you eat blood." Leviticus 17:12


"That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well." Acts 15:29

catholicism is sadly sending multitudes to the lake of fire for believing a false gospel. The pope will not save anyone, nor can he forgive sins.
 
M

motojojo

Guest
#10
Some very good points maybe you might tell God this and see what He says.
 
Jul 29, 2009
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How is there even a debate over this, with people quoting scripture regarding drinking blood.

Of course it is symbolic.

"The consecration of bread and a cup within the rite recalls the moment at the Last Supper when Jesus gave his disciples bread, saying, "This is my body", and wine, saying, "This is my blood"

Edit: Before it's brought up, before anyone even says that it's 'unbiblical' for Catholics to even symbolize that they are 'drinking the blood of Christ'....Would you say that to the apostles who did the same? Probably not.
 
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Do you believe it is just a symbol Mobius? The Orthodox believe Christ is somehow present in the bread and wine itself?

I didn't realize that. I knew that Catholics did. I guess it makes sense. As I understand it, Greek and Eastern Orthodox aren't so very different from Catholics.

No, I don't believe we're actually eating His body and drinking His blood. Nor do I think that such people are trying to "crucify Him again" or any of the silly things said about those that do believe in transsubstantiation. In Mark 14, He does say "Take this- It is my body" so I do see where they get it. But He always spoke in parables, and since He HADN'T given up His body as the eternal Passover lamb yet, my personal belief (and it is only that) is that that's the reason He said it thustly.

Ryan1976-

Personally, I am convicted that they are the same. The only reason He even brought His apostles into town WAS because of Passover. They're in the middle of the Passover meal when He told them all this stuff, and the items used for the Eucharist (unleavened bread and wine) were also there, because it was Passover.

May I ask, why your church uses leavened bread? Like I said, in all my visits to various churches, Mormons are the only group I've seen use leavened bread. In my Bible, it seems pretty clear that matzah (unleavened) is what they use. But honestly, I dont even know what Bible version the EOC uses. Is it worded a different way in your Bible, or does the tradition come from elsewhere, or what?

And I mean no disrespect by saying I am convicted not to take a communion of leavened bread. To me, not only is it less accurate, but it does break the sense of continuity between the Last Supper and Passover. Just one guy's opinion. I would still like to have an understanding of why others believe differently, even if we don't end up agreeing, if you dont mind explaining it.
 
Jul 17, 2009
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#13
I would still like to have an understanding of why others believe differently, even if we don't end up agreeing, if you dont mind explaining it.
There's not an official Orthodox translation. Nothing wrong with reading the King James (if you speak English only) and you can even get the "Apocryphal" books, though they aren't actually, "apocryphal". The Greek Orthodox Priests probably read the Septuagint. That's probably a pretty smooth read.

Orthodox don't have the doctrine of Transubstantiation. I can't remember what century that came about.

On the Eucharist:

Christ leavens our lives...

1 Corinthians 10:17 (New International Version)

17Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf.



Leavened VS Unleaved, George R. A. Aquaro



The first mentioning of leaven appears in Exodus 12-13. It is in commemoration of Israel’s Exodus that the ‘feast’ of Unleavened Bread is instituted. I have put ‘feast’ in quotations because this word does not mean ‘merrymaking.’ It is not a feast in the sense that there is celebration, but rather commemoration of the Work of the Lord:
Ex 13:3 And Moses said unto the people, Remember this day, in which ye came out from Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for by strength of hand the LORD brought you out from this place: there shall no leavened bread be eaten.
13: 7 Unleavened bread shall be eaten seven days; and there shall no leavened bread be seen with thee, neither shall there be leaven seen with thee in all thy quarters. 8 And thou shalt shew thy son in that day, saying, This is done because of that which the LORD did unto me when I came forth out of Egypt.

It is the Lord who brought Israel out of Egypt, not a work of the people. To remember this they eat unleavened bread as a symbol of their powerlessness. They also ate the unleavened bread because they left Egypt in a rush:
Ex 12:39 And they baked unleavened cakes of the dough which they brought forth out of Egypt, for it was not leavened; because they were thrust out of Egypt, and could not tarry, neither had they prepared for themselves any victual.
The Passover, which is eaten with bitter herbs, is not in any sense a feast or celebration, but rather a ceremonial recollection of the power of God. Unleavened bread is even referred to as the ‘bread of affliction’ in De 16:3, recalling the haste in which Israel fled Egypt. This haste of the flight was important: it revealed that the people had not plotted it but that God did it all on His own. They also remember the affliction they suffered in the land of the Egyptians.
It is also important to remember that unleavened bread was also mandated only for the seven days of the Passover (Ex 12:15). It is not an indefinite commandment, but one limited to just this particular commemoration.
It was also specified that leavened bread was almost never to be involved with sacrifices (c.f. Ex 29:23, Le 8, Nu 6:15-19). There is only one time when leavened bread was offered, to represent the thanksgiving of the people:
Le 7: 13 Besides the cakes, he shall offer for his offering leavened bread with the sacrifice of thanksgiving of his peace offerings.
Le 23:17 Ye shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals: they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baken with leaven; they are the firstfruits unto the LORD.
Leaven thus represents the works of the people, which they offer to God with thanksgiving. While the Septuagint Greek text does not use the word eucharist to characterize this thanksgiving, there is clearly a thematic connection between this sacrifical thanksgiving and the one we make each Sunday.
On the other hand, the connection of unleavened bread to sacrifice shows the penitential attitude the people are expected to have towards the sacrifice and the remembrance that forgiveness is the Lord’s, rather than a work of their own.
In the Gospels, the word ‘unleavened’ is only used in reference to the ‘days of unleavened bread’ (Mt 26:18, Mk 14:1 & 14:12, Lk 22:1 & 22:7, Ac 12:3 & 20:6). Never does the New Testament admonish people to eat unleavened bread, nor does it specify that Christ or anyone else did so other than what was Lawful according to the season.
As for leaven and leavened bread, it is used two ways in the Gospels. The first is to denote the power of the Kingdom of Heaven.
Mt 13:33 Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.
Lk 13:20 And again he said, Whereunto shall I liken the kingdom of God? 21 It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.
The Kingdom spreads like yeast! Think of it: there is no outside change when one repents and becomes a Christian, yet it somehow changes not just individuals but the entire world. We can now look back on history to see how Christianity changed so many people and see the truth here.
The second way that the Gospels use leaven is symbolic of the doctrines of the Pharisees. These doctrines lead to false works and eventually condemnation. The likening to leaven reveals the strength of attraction in the outwards acts of piety by the Pharisees, something St. Paul will struggle against later.
Mt 16:6 Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees. 7 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have taken no bread. 8 Which when Jesus perceived, he said unto them, O ye of little faith, why reason ye among yourselves, because ye have brought no bread? 9 Do ye not yet understand, neither remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets ye took up? 10 Neither the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many baskets ye took up? 11 How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees? 12 Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.
Mk 8:14 Now the disciples had forgotten to take bread, neither had they in the ship with them more than one loaf. 15 And he charged them, saying, Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod. 16 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have no bread. 17 And when Jesus knew it, he saith unto them, Why reason ye, because ye have no bread? perceive ye not yet, neither understand? have ye your heart yet hardened? 18 Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember? 19 When I brake the five loaves among five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? They say unto him, Twelve. 20 And when the seven among four thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? And they said, Seven. 21 And he said unto them, How is it that ye do not understand?
Lk 12:1 In the mean time, when there were gathered together an innumerable multitude of people, insomuch that they trode one upon another, he began to say unto his disciples first of all, Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.
The quote from Matthew 16:6-12 is the most strident in warning people not to take this symbolism of leaven too literally. When speaking of leaven, he is not trying to make a point about bread. If we think back to what leavening could mean, it brings up a whole spectrum of word pictures: the leaven of the Pharisees is old and therefore ‘sourdough,’ it has spread throughout the Jewish community, it is complex, it is ‘puffed up,’ it is a great deal of work, etc.
This symbolism of leaven as the Pharisees' works fits with what St. Paul wrote to the Corinthians:
1 Co 5:1 It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife. 2 And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you. 3 For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed, 4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, 5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. 6 Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? 7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: 8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. 9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: 10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. 11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. 12 For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? 13 But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.
Here, St. Paul urges them to put away the leaven that was their old ways. They have become ‘puffed up’ with ungodly pride, and have even allowed members to carry on as they were before conversion in terrible sins. Like Israel, they are being called to put aside the old ‘sour’ leaven of Egypt and start over. Notice that St. Paul is speaking in the negative, which is why he is invoking the unleavened image. He is asking them to fast from wickedness and remember the oppression of their sinful past, just as Israel is called to do in the Passover.
St. Paul uses the same leaven image Christ used in his parables against the Pharisees when addressing problems in Galatia:
Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. 2 Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. 3 For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. 4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. 5 For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. 6 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love. 7 Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? 8 This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you. 9 A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. 10 I have confidence in you through the Lord, that ye will be none otherwise minded: but he that troubleth you shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be.
It should be obvious that leaven is a powerful image, and its positive or negative connotations are completely dependent on context. Many of the Holy Fathers made good use of leaven in the Scriptures to explain the teachings of the Church.
As Christians, we do not need to eat unleavened bread as a form of piety:
The new law requires you to keep perpetual sabbath, and you, because you are idle for one day, suppose you are pious, not discerning why this has been commanded you: and if you eat unleavened bread, you say the will of God has been fulfilled. The Lord our God does not take pleasure in such observances.
-St. Justin, Dialog with Trypho 12

While our Lord commands us to pray, fast and give alms, St. Justin condemns the Jews for thinking that such actions alone please God. Here, the saint is requiring people to remember the reason for the observances and live them daily rather than as just part of a schedule. Christians are not to fall into the deception that certain practices, if done perfectly, are somehow meritorious:
The apostles ordained, that 'we should not judge any one in respect to meat or drink, or in regard to a feast day, or the new moons, or the sabbaths.' Whence then these contentions? whence these schisms? We keep the feast, but in the leaven of malice and wickedness, cutting in pieces the Church of God; and we preserve what belongs to its exterior, that we may cast away these better things, faith and love. We have heard from the prophetic words that these feasts and fasts are displeasing to the Lord.
-St. Irenaeus, Fragment 38

Instead, the saints are constantly calling us to lay aside our old ways as with old leaven and start anew. But we are not called to remain unleavened (i.e., weak, inactive) but to take up new and godly activities:
Lay aside, therefore, the evil, the old, the sour leaven, and be ye changed into the new leaven, which is Jesus Christ.
-St. Ignatius, Magnesians 10

For this is the symbolic significance of unleavened bread, that you do not commit the old deeds of wicked leaven. But you have understood all things in a carnal sense, and you suppose it to be piety if you do such things, while your souls are filled with deceit, and, in short, with every wickedness. Accordingly, also, after the seven days of eating unleavened bread, God commanded them to mingle new leaven, that is, the performance of other works, and not the imitation of the old and evil works.
-St. Justin Martyr, Dialog with Trypho, ch. 14

"Hear at least what Christ saith to his disciples, 'The Kingdom of heaven is like unto a woman who took leaven and hid it in three measures of meal.' So that the righteous have the power of leaven, in order that they may transfer the wicked to their own manner of conduct. But the righteous are few, for the leaven is small. But the smallness in no way injures the lump, but that little quantity converts the whole of the meal to itself by means of the power inherent in it. So accordingly the power also of the righteous has its force not in the magnitude of their number, but in the grace of the Spirit. There were twelve Apostles. Dost thou see how little is the leaven? The whole world was in unbelief. Dost thou see how great is the lump? But those twelve turned the whole world to themselves. The leaven and the lump had the same nature but not the same manner of conduct. On this account he left the wicked in the midst of the good, that since they are of the same nature as the righteous they may also become of the same purpose.."
-St. John Chrysostom, Homily 3 On Demons , sect. 2

"And this is the reason why He called you leaven: for leaven also does not leaven itself, but, little though it is, it affects the whole lump however big it may be. So also do ye: although ye are few in number, yet be ye many and powerful in faith, and in zeal towards God. As then the leaven is not weak on account of its littleness, but prevails owing to its inherent heat, and the force of its natural quality so ye also will be able to bring back a far larger number than yourselves, if you will, to the same degree of zeal as your own."
-St. John Chrysostom, To Those Who Had Not Attended the Assembly , sect. 2


 
Jul 17, 2009
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#14
So, we see that the Holy Fathers saw both positive and negative meaning in leaven. We must then ask ourselves: when we celebrate the Eucharist, shouldn't we use leavened bread? Seeing that the Fathers see nothing evil in leavened bread itself, our first task ought to be to examine the Eucharistic service itself. In the service of Proskomide, the priest blesses it and says, “In remembrance of our Lord and God and Savior, Jesus Christ.” We must then ask, was Christ not full of the Kingdom of Heaven? Was He not full of the Spirit and good works to which the Fathers liken leaven? It does not appear entirely inappropriate that we should commemorate the Body of Christ with leavened bread, so long as it is not sourdough or made of coarse and cheap flour.
And that the Savior received first-fruits of those whom He was to save, Paul declared when he said, ‘And if the first-fruits be holy, the lump is also holy,’ teaching that the expression ‘first-fruits’ denoted that which is spiritual, but that ‘the lump’ meant us, that is, the animal Church, the lump of which they say He assumed, and blended it with Himself, inasmuch as He is ‘the leaven.’
-St. Irenaeus, Against Heresies , Book 1, ch. 8, para. 3

If the bread and wine we offer are a sacrifice, then they can only be likened to the first-fruit sacrifice of the Old Testament, since Christ’s death replaced all other atonement for sin. And, as we recall, the first-fruit sacrifice was made with leavened bread. This is what St. Irenaeus is implying by his mentioning of the first-fruits. We offer ourselves with the bread (i.e. the lump as the Church), but we are filled with Christ (i.e. as leaven). We cannot offer ourselves apart from Christ as an unleavened loaf, and so we use a leavened loaf to symbolize Christ within us as we offer the spiritual first-fruits of our lives.
Unleavened bread is connected with mourning, something totally inappropriate in connection with the Lord’s Day. The Eucharist is about the Resurrection as much as the Crucifixion, which is why fasting is forbidden on Sundays and liturgies are festive.
Keep your nights of watching in the middle of the days of unleavened bread. And when the Jews are feasting, do you fast and wail over them, because on the day of their feast they crucified Christ; and while they are lamenting and eating unleavened bread in bitterness, do you feast.
-Constitutions of the Holy Apostles, Book 5, Section 3, para. xvii

We do not eat the unleavened bread of bitterness on Sundays. The strong memory of unleavened bread’s association with fasting and putting off old ways is not compatible with the Lord who had no ‘old ways’ to put off and no sins to repent of.
The Anaphora prayers of the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom speak of the bread in terms of “the night on which He was betrayed.” While the combined witness of the Scriptures draws a close connection between the Passover and the Last Supper, there is no unity between accounts as to exact chronology. Christ’s final meal with His disciples may have been in advance of the Passover because He knew that His death would fall on the exact day or before it. We do not know for sure what kind of bread Christ broke when He said, “This is My Body.”
We can therefore conclude that unleavened bread is not specifically connected with the Eucharist, while there appears to be a strong affinity between leavened bread and the symbolism of the Kingdom of Heaven. None of the Fathers seem to have any dread of leavened bread. Nor does Christ, since He never Himself condemned one or the other. And so, we can conclude that between leavened and unleavened bread there is a difference of symbolism, and that leavened bread has a more favorable meaning when we speak of Christ’s Body.
 
H

Harley_Angel

Guest
#15
It is not the literal body and blood. Even when Jesus said, this is my body, given to you...and this is my blood of the new covenant, shed for you...He wasn't saying the bread was his actual cells, muscles, etc. He meant that this is my body, the bread of the Church is the body of Christ. WE are HIS body, we are the ones that work and do His will like our bodies work and do our wills. When he gave his blood, we aren't talking about his b+ red stuff, he's talking about his life fluid. His Life, his blood, is the new law. We are Christians, we are to be like Jesus, and he led his LIFE the way we are supposed to. He shed his literal blood so that we could live by the blood of his life.

For me the Eucharist isn't just a symbol. When I take it, I believe God is present. He said, do this is rembrance of me. I'm not just re-creating the last supper, I'm joining it. When I take Eucharist I am one of Jesus's apostles and He is giving me the bread and body reminding me that I am supposed to live by Him.

So no, we aren't being cannibals, and we aren't drinking blood. Jesus was using one of His awesome figures of speech that have lost a lot of context over the years. Personally, Eucharist is something I look forward to the most in Church. Knowing that I'm kneeling there, preparing the share in the same act that Jesus preformed before he died with his apostles, surrounded by friends and families who are going to share this experience with me, is amazing. That bread isn't Christ's body, I AM Christ's body, that wine isn't Christ's blood, the Truth and the Way are Christ's blood. When my priest hands me the wafer, and says, The Body of Christ, the Bread of Heaven...he isn't looking at the wafer, he's looking at me.
 
M

motojojo

Guest
#16
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.[1][2]
Some Greek confessions use the term "transubstantiation" (in Greek, metousiosis), but most Orthodox traditions play down the term itself, and the notions of "substance" and "accidents", while still holding that the elements of bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ. Other terms such as "trans-elementation" ("metastoicheiosis") and "re-ordination" ("metarrhythmisis") are more common among the Orthodox. Most or all Protestant Reformation churches do not accept an actual change.
The earliest known use of the term "transubstantiation" to describe the change from bread and wine to body and blood of Christ was by Hildebert de Savardin, Archbishop of Tours (died 1133), in the eleventh century and by the end of the twelfth century the term was in widespread use.[3] In 1215, the Fourth Council of the Lateran spoke of the bread and wine as "transubstantiated" into the body and blood of Christ: "His body and blood are truly contained in the sacrament of the altar under the forms of bread and wine, the bread and wine having been transubstantiated, by God's power, into his body and blood."[1]
The Council of Trent defined transubstantiation as "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".[4]
This council thus officially approved use of the term "transubstantiation" to express the Catholic Church's teaching on the subject of the conversion of the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ in the Eucharist,[5] with the aim of safeguarding Christ's presence as a literal truth, while emphasizing the fact that there is no change in the empirical appearances of the bread and wine.[6] But it did not impose the Aristotelian theory of substance and accidents: it spoke only of the "species" (the appearances), not the philosophical term "accidents", and the word "substance" was in ecclesiastical use for many centuries before Aristotelian philosophy was adopted in the West,[7] as shown for instance by its use in the Nicene Creed which speaks of Christ having the same "οὐσία" (Greek) or "substantia" (Latin) as the Father.
 
M

motojojo

Guest
#17
Let me solemnly assure you, if you do not eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. He who feeds [trogon in Greek] on my flesh and drinks my blood has life eternal, and I will raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood real drink. The man who feeds [trogon] on my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. Just as the Father who has life sent me and I have life because of the Father so the man who feeds [trogon] on me will have life because of me. . . (John 6:53-57)
 
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motojojo

Guest
#18
Jesus Said it Four Times (John 6)!
When his disciples began murmuring about how impossible it was to take Jesus seriously, he responded in John 6: 62-65:
What then if you were to see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before. . .? It is the Spirit that gives life; the flesh is useless. The words I spoke to you are spirit and life. Yet among you are some who do not believe. . . This is why I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.
Flesh alone, human flesh, is of no avail, but Christ’s resurrected, glorified flesh is united to and an instrument of the Holy Spirit. The Protestant interpretation that “flesh and blood” are merely a Hebrew idiom for “life” might make sense if Jesus had not taken the trouble to clarify his meaning for his disciples. He has repeated his message four times (John 6: 51-58) fully aware that the eating of flesh and the drinking of blood was prohibited by Levitical law (e.g., Leviticus 3:17) with the severe penalty of being cut off from your people. Nowhere else in Scripture does Jesus say anything four times to emphasize and insure its understanding. Moreover, even after “many of his disciples broke away and would not remain in his company any longer” unable to accept this apparent gross violation of Mosaic law, Jesus did not change His meaning! This is the only time in the New Testament that the message of Jesus caused such a mass exodus of his followers. Just as the announcement that Jesus was going to be taken and crucified scandalized them, so too did Jesus teaching about the Eucharist. He does not run after them claiming they misunderstood him. Thus, both the Cross and the Eucharist are stumbling blocks which can only be overcome with the help of the Holy Spirit. “Will you also go away?” Jesus asked the twelve.
Or could it be that Jesus meant what He said? But some protest, He said that “it is the Spirit that gives life, the flesh is useless.” Truly, the Spirit gives life and there is no life without Him and life is a supernatural gift, but Jesus just said,
Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day (John 6:53-54).
 
M

motojojo

Guest
#19
During the meal Jesus took bread, blessed it, broke it, and gave it to his disciples ‘Take this and eat it,’ he said, ‘this is my body.’ Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them. ‘All of you must drink from it,’ he said, ‘for this is my blood, the blood of the new covenant, to be poured out in behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins.’ (Matthew.26: 26-30)
Notice that Jesus does not say this is a symbol of my body or this represents my blood, but He is very literal in his description. The gift of himself, was symbolized by the “breaking of the bread,” and it was “this expression that the first Christians used to designate their Eucharistic assemblies.” As St. Paul testifies, “Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.” (1 Cor 10:17). This is the fulfillment of the words of Jesus, when he said, “. . .I am with you always, to the close of the age” (Matthew. 28: 20). The Church, taking Christ at His word, teaches that the Eucharist is “the source and summit of Christian life” and that Christ gave it to us, “to perpetuate the sacrifice of the cross throughout the ages until he should come again, and so to entrust to his beloved Spouse, the Church, a memorial of his death and resurrection: a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a Pascal banquet ‘in which Christ is consumed, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, p.334, para.1323). What more powerful and loving gift could our Lord have given than the gift of himself?
 
Jul 17, 2009
353
0
0
#20
During the meal Jesus took bread, blessed it, broke it, and gave it to his disciples ‘Take this and eat it,’ he said, ‘this is my body.’ Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them. ‘All of you must drink from it,’ he said, ‘for this is my blood, the blood of the new covenant, to be poured out in behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins.’ (Matthew.26: 26-30)
Notice that Jesus does not say this is a symbol of my body or this represents my blood, but He is very literal in his description. The gift of himself, was symbolized by the “breaking of the bread,” and it was “this expression that the first Christians used to designate their Eucharistic assemblies.” As St. Paul testifies, “Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.” (1 Cor 10:17). This is the fulfillment of the words of Jesus, when he said, “. . .I am with you always, to the close of the age” (Matthew. 28: 20). The Church, taking Christ at His word, teaches that the Eucharist is “the source and summit of Christian life” and that Christ gave it to us, “to perpetuate the sacrifice of the cross throughout the ages until he should come again, and so to entrust to his beloved Spouse, the Church, a memorial of his death and resurrection: a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a Pascal banquet ‘in which Christ is consumed, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, p.334, para.1323). What more powerful and loving gift could our Lord have given than the gift of himself?
Thank you for posting this. There were many things in here that struck a chord, and thank you for posting the blurb on transubstantiation. I will have to look further into this doctrine. I also think that there is a difference between the way in which East/West see the bread and wine becoming the Eucharist. What I mean is, it's, in the East, by invocation but for the West is it not by some other means? Perhaps I'm mistaken.

I'll have to add this to my never ending list of things to actually learn about (Roman Catholic doctrines on the Eucharist).

God bless :)
 
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