7 Mysteries of the Faith Unlocked by the Eucharist

Lamb of God, Waldburg Prayer Book (1486)
Lamb of God, Waldburg Prayer Book (1486)

In Revelation 5:1-10, St. John describes a seven-sealed scroll that no one could open:

And I saw in the right hand of him who was seated on the throne a scroll written within and on the back, sealed with seven seals; and I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it, and I wept much that no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it.

 

An elder calms John down, saying, “Weep not; lo, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.” And it’s here that John sees Christ, “between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders.” The context here is deeply liturgical: the four living creatures represent the four Gospels (Rev. 4:6-7), and Christ is surrounded by the elders (presbyters, or priests).  Jesus Christ is presented in an almost-paradoxical Eucharistic way: “I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain.” And it’s Christ, presented in this way, that is the key to unlocking the seven seals, and revealing the meaning of the scroll. This is true for virtually every aspect of the Christian life. Here are seven other areas in which the Eucharist is the “key” to opening up a fuller understanding.

I. The Key to the New Covenant

In theological circles, a lot is said about “covenantal theology,” and Christianity is often referred to as “the New Covenant.” Given this, it’s striking that Christ specifically mentions the New Covenant exactly once in the New Testament, and it’s at the Last Supper. As He is consecrating the wine into His Blood, He says, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me” (1 Corinthians 11:25; Matthew 26:28; Mark 14:24; Luke 22:20). So Christ is telling us, if you want to understand the New Covenant, you need to look here:

Antoni Estruch, The Last Supper
Antoni Estruch, The Last Supper

If you’ve got a covenantal theology that isn’t centered around the Eucharist, you’re not getting the full picture.

II. The Key to the Old Covenant

The Old Covenant can be a bit baffling to modern readers: what’s with all of the animal sacrifice and bloodshed? Hebrews 9:18-22 explains:

Hence even the first covenant was not ratified without blood. For when every commandment of the law had been declared by Moses to all the people, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, saying, “This is the blood of the covenant which God commanded you.” And in the same way he sprinkled with the blood both the tent and all the vessels used in worship. Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.

Listen to how Christ’s words echo, across time and space, in Moses’. And if you go back to the Old Testament passage that Hebrews is referencing, this connection is even more profound (Exodus 24:7-11):

Then he [Moses] took the book of the covenant, and read it in the hearing of the people; and they said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient.” And Moses took the blood and threw it upon the people, and said, “Behold the blood of the covenant which the Lord has made with you in accordance with all these words.” Then Moses and Aaron, Nadab, and Abi′hu, and seventy of the elders of Israel went up, and they saw the God of Israel; and there was under his feet as it were a pavement of sapphire stone, like the very heaven for clearness. And he did not lay his hand on the chief men of the people of Israel; they beheld God, and ate and drank.

The entire passage proceeds liturgically. It begins wiht Scriptural readings, from the book of the covenant. The people then respond with a Creed of sorts, their profession of faith. Then Moses declares the blood of the covenant, parallel to the consecration of the Eucharist. And then it’s time for a Heavenly communion: Moses and the elders behold God, eat and drink.

There’s a principle to bear in mind here: the Old Covenant prefigurements are always inferior to the New Covenant fulfillments. The foreshadowing is never as awesome as the thing being foreshadowed. So the Liturgy that Exodus 24 is prefiguring is more amazing than eating and drinking while seeing the God of Israel.

As it turns out, this is just one of several places in which the Old Testament points us towards the Eucharist. I’ve written on this before, so I’ll just point to a few of the more obvious ones.

  • The manna in the desert (Exodus 16) points to the Body of Christ. Jesus makes this connection in John 6, in which He claims to be superior to the manna (John 6:49-50), and says, “I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh.” The Our Father, in calling for our “daily bread,” references Christ in this capacity, as our supersubstantial Manna from Heaven.
  • The water from the rock (Exodus 17) points to the Blood of Christ: St. Paul connects the manna and the water in 1 Corinthians, referring to them as the Jews’ supernatural food and drink (1 Cor. 10:3-4).
  • The Passover (Exodus 12) points to the Eucharist in perhaps the most obvious way. 1 Corinthians 5:7 describes Christ as “our Paschal Lamb,” who has “been sacrificed.” This sacrifice is inseparable from the Sacrifice of the Mass, instituted at the Last Supper — which, not coincidentally, takes place on Passover (Luke 22:15). Also, the Eucharistic discourse in John 6, referenced above? It takes place at Passover time, as well (John 6:4).

There are several other examples, but as I said, I’ve written on that elsewhere. For now, it suffices to say that you can’t full understand any of the Old Testament passages, or the point of the bloody sacrificial system more broadly, without understanding the Eucharistic Sacrifice.

Israhel van Meckenem, Mass of St. Gregory (15th c.)
Israhel van Meckenem, Mass of St. Gregory (15th c.)

III. The Key to the Mass

In 1 Corinthians 10, St. Paul draws a three-fold parallel, between the sacrifical systems of the pagans, the Jews, and the Christians (1 Cor. 10:16-22):

The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread. Consider the practice of Israel; are not those who eat the sacrifices partners in the altar? What do I imply then? That food offered to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything? No, I imply that what pagans sacrifice they offer to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be partners with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. Shall we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he?

 

Start with the pagans. They have sacrifices to demons, at the altar, which Paul describes as “the table of demons.” They then eat and drink these sacrifices. Paul describes their sacrificial libation as “the cup of demons.” In eating the sacrifice, they become “partners with demons.”

Compare this with the Jews of Israel. Their priests also sacrifice at the altar, but to God, rather than to demons. And as Paul notes, the people participate in the sacrifice by eating it: “are not those who eat the sacrifices partners in the altar?”

Now look at Christianity. Our priests also sacrifice at the altar, which Paul describes as “the table of the Lord.” We then eat and drink these sacrifices. Paul describes the Blood of Christ, our sacrificial libation, as “the Cup of the Lord,” and — in a nod to the Passover, as “the Cup of Blessing.” And it’s in eating and drinking this Eucharistic Sacrifice that we participate in Christ’s Body and Blood, and in His Sacrifice. If you don’t have these sacrificial, Eucharistic elements in your understanding of Christianity, this whole parallel breaks down. This is why the Catechism can say that

The Eucharist is “the source and summit of the Christian life.” “The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it. For in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself, our Pasch.”

This is central to understanding the Mass and the Divine Liturgy and any of the early Christian liturgies. For example, the Liturgy of St. James is believed to be the oldest continually-used Liturgy. The Cherubic Hymn, a part of the Liturgy that was probably present from the early 300s, beautifully expresses this centrality of the Eucharist:

Let all mortal flesh be silent, and stand with fear and trembling, and meditate nothing earthly within itself:— For the King of kings and Lord of lords, Christ our God, comes forward to be sacrificed, and to be given for food to the faithful; and the bands of angels go before Him with every power and dominion, the many-eyed cherubim, and the six-winged seraphim, covering their faces, and crying aloud the hymn, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.

It’s painting a picture of the Divine Liturgy as an earthly manifestation of the Heavenly Liturgy we see laid out in the Book of Revelation. And at the heart of this Liturgy, is Christ’s self-offering, given to us in the Eucharist. And it’s this that explains the paradox of the Lamb standing as though slain. We don’t expect a slain lamb to be standing: we expect it to be lying down, dead and defeated. But Christ’s self-Sacrifice is His victory, not His defeat: “and I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself” (John 12:32). He isn’t just the victim: He’s also the priest. At the Heavenly banquet, He is both host and Host. St. John Chrysostom captures this Heavenly dimension, in On the Priesthood (c. 387 A.D.):

For when you see the Lord sacrificed, and laid upon the altar, and the priest standing and praying over the victim, and all the worshippers empurpled with that precious blood, can you then think that you are still among men, and standing upon the earth? Are you not, on the contrary, straightway translated to Heaven, and casting out every carnal thought from the soul, do you not with disembodied spirit and pure reason contemplate the things which are in Heaven? Oh! What a marvel! What love of God to man! He who sits on high with the Father is at that hour held in the hands of all, and gives Himself to those who are willing to embrace and grasp Him. And this all do through the eyes of faith! Do these things seem to you fit to be despised, or such as to make it possible for any one to be uplifted against them?

Master of Jacques de Besançon, Mass of St Gregory (c. 1500)
Master of Jacques de Besançon, Mass of St Gregory (c. 1500)

IV. Key to Early Christianity

The Eucharist wasn’t just key to the Liturgy of the early Christians, it was key to their entire lives, and to their Church. We see this extremely early on. St. Ignatius of Antioch, a student of the Apostle John’s, writing c. 107 A.D., uses the Gnostics’ denial of the Real Presence as proof that they didn’t belong in the Church:

They [the Gnostics] 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. Those, therefore, who speak against this gift of God, incur death in the midst of their disputes. But it were better for them to treat it with respect, that they also might rise again. It is fitting, therefore, that ye should keep aloof from such persons, and not to speak of them either in private or in public, but to give heed to the prophets, and above all, to the Gospel, in which the passion [of Christ] has been revealed to us, and the resurrection has been fully proved. But avoid all divisions, as the beginning of evils.

Ignatius isn’t trying to convince his readers that the Eucharist really is the Flesh and Blood of Jesus Christ. He knows that they know that. Instead, he’s telling the Church that, since the Gnostics don’t affirm this belief, we can’t be in communion with them. He also describes their denial of the Eucharist as a cause of their spiritual death, and says it would be better if they repented, that they might rise again.

In 180 A.D., we see St. Irenaeus of Lyons make a very similar argument. (By way of reference, the first recorded use of “Trinity” to describe the Godhead is 181 A.D., so we’re still talking quite early in Christian history). Irenaeus is responding to those who deny the bodily resurrection of Christians at the end of time. He disproves their view, by showing that it’s incompatible with the Real Presence of the Eucharist:

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.

In other words, the Eucharist is a communion with Jesus Christ, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. And we commune with Him both spiritually and physically. Because our bodies receive the God-Man Jesus Christ, we can be assured that our bodies won’t be simply discarded at the end of our lives. Rather, as Christ says, “he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:54). What’s striking is that Irenaeus’ belief in the General Resurrection is, by his own admission, rooted in his belief in the Real Presence. It’s the heart of his theology, and it’s the key to understanding the beliefs of the early Christians.

To see what happens when someone doesn’t have this key, look to Minucius Felix’s Octavius (written c. 150-270 A.D.) Here, we find a Roman objection to Christianity rooted in a bizarre misunderstanding of the Eucharist:

Now the story about the initiation of young novices is as much to be detested as it is well known. An infant covered over with meal, that it may deceive the unwary, is placed before him who is to be stained with their rites: this infant is slain by the young pupil, who has been urged on as if to harmless blows on the surface of the meal, with dark and secret wounds. Thirstily – O horror! they lick up its blood; eagerly they divide its limbs. By this victim they are pledged together; with this consciousness of wickedness they are covenanted to mutual silence.

The Romans are well aware that the Christ child is central to Christianity, and that there’s something about eating flesh and blood under the appearances of bread. But they’ve (intentionally or mistakenly) misunderstood it in the most barbaric, cannibalistic way imaginable. If your Christianity isn’t capable of being misunderstood in this way, it’s not the same faith practiced by the early Christians.

V. The Key to the Church

Returning to 1 Corinthians 10, recall how St. Paul says, “Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread” (1 Cor. 10:17). The order of causality is important there. Sometimes, people think that we have Communion to celebrate the fact that we’re one. Because we’re one, we share the same Eucharist. But no, St. Paul says the opposite: because we share the same Eucharist, we are one Body. In this view, our union as Church isn’t just celebrated by the Eucharist; in a very real way, it’s caused by the Eucharist.

Our ecclesial communion is rooted in Sacramental Communion. The Mystical Body of Christ, the Church (Ephesians 5:23) is grounded in the Sacramental Body of Christ, the Eucharist. Indeed, this is why the Church is called the Mystical Body of Christ: it’s rooted in the great sacramental Mystery. Keep that in mind when you encounter Scriptures like “Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish” (Ephesians 5:25-27). The Church at the heart of the mystery of salvation is rooted in the Eucharist.

Alexandre Falguière: Tarcisius, Christian Martyr (1868)
Alexandre Falguière, Tarcisius, Christian Martyr (1868)

VI. Key to the Lives of the Saints

There are a few senses in which we can see the centrality of the Eucharist for the lives of the Saints. The most obvious examples are those Christians who put their lives on the line to preserve the Blessed Sacrament. St. Ambrose (340-397) tells the story of his late brother Satyrus, who risked drowning to protect the Eucharist after a shipwreck:

He, before being initiated in the more perfect mysteries, being in danger of shipwreck when the ship that bore him, dashed upon rocky shallows, was being broken up by the waves tossing it hither and there, fearing not death but lest he should depart this life without the Mystery, asked of those whom he knew to be initiated the divine Sacrament of the faithful; not that he might gaze on secret things with curious eyes, but to obtain aid for his faith. For he caused it to be bound in a napkin, and the napkin round his neck, and so cast himself into the sea, not seeking a plank loosened from the framework of the ship, by floating on which he might be rescued, for he sought the means of faith alone. And so believing that he was sufficiently protected and defended by this, he sought no other aid.

Or take the example of Tarcisius, a twelve year-old boy from the third century. He was an acolyte, and was carrying the Eucharist to the sick, when he was harassed by a group of pagan boys. When he refused to give them the Sacrament, they beat him to death. A poem commemorating him, written by Pope Damasus I, recalls that “When an insane gang pressed saintly Tarsicius, who was carrying the sacraments of Christ, to display them to the profane, he preferred to be killed and give up his life rather than betray to rabid dogs the heavenly body.”

But there are other Saints, perhaps less obvious, whose very lives become Eucharistic, leading them to pour themselves out. You’ve got St. Paul, who says, “Even if I am to be poured as a libation upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all” (Philippians 2:17), and “For I am already on the point of being sacrificed; the time of my departure has come” (2 Timothy 4:6). Literally, that second passage reads, “I am already on the point of being poured out in sacrifice.” Compare these declarations to the words of Jesus Christ at the Last Supper, “This is My Blood of the New Covenant, which is poured out for many” (Mark 14:24). Likewise, St. Ignatius, writing to the Romans en route to being martyred there, says, “I am the wheat of God, and let me be ground by the teeth of the wild beasts, that I may be found the pure bread of Christ.”

St. Augustine views St. Lawrence the same way:

The Roman Church commends this day to us as the blessed Laurence’s day of triumph, on which he trod down the world as it roared and raged against him; spurned it as it coaxed and wheedled him; and in each case, conquered the devil as he persecuted him. For in that Church, you see, as you have regularly been told, he performed the office of deacon; it was there that he administered the sacred chalice of Christ’s blood; there that he shed his own blood for the name of Christ. The blessed apostle John clearly explained the mystery of the Lord’s supper when he said Just as Christ laid down his life for us, so we too ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. St Laurence understood this, my brethren, and he did it; and he undoubtedly prepared things similar to what he received at that table. He loved Christ in his life, he imitated him in his death.

VII. The Key to Your Own Spiritual Life

Each of the Eucharistic Saints I mentioned in the last section risked their lives for the Blessed Sacrament. But in his sermon on St. Lawrence, Augustine is quick to note that “not only the roses of martyrs but also the lilies of virgins, and the ivy of married people, and the violets of widows. There is absolutely no kind of human beings, my dearly beloved, who need to despair of their vocation; Christ suffered for all.”

And Mother Teresa’s advice to priests is applicable, in a broader sense, to all of us:

By your life woven with the Eucharist, God’s love in Jesus, hidden under the humble appearances of bread and wine, can be lived in all its greatness and beauty in the humble events of daily life. You must continue your Mass after its daily celebration during the Liturgy, by your sincere fidelity to the little moment-to-moment things of life. Like the drops of oil that feed the sanctuary lamp which burns continually near the living Jesus in the tabernacle, your life must continue as a living extension of the Eucharist that you offer. With this Bread you must be broken for many, with this Cup your life must be poured out. Charity is love in action.

St. Josemaria gives some concrete advice for keeping the Eucharist at the center of our lives: to spend time, both inside and outside of Mass, in front of the Blessed Sacrament:

I cannot see how anyone could live as a Christian and not feel the need for the constant friendship of Jesus in the word and in the bread, in prayer and in the Eucharist. And I easily understand the ways in which successive generations of faithful have expressed their love for the Eucharist, both with public devotions making profession of the faith and with silent, simple practices in the peace of a church or the intimacy of their hearts.

The important thing is that we should love the Mass and make it the centre of our day. If we attend Mass well, surely we are likely to think about our Lord during the rest of the day, wanting to be always in his presence, ready to work as he worked and love as he loved. And so we learn to thank our Lord for his kindness in not limiting his presence to the time of the sacrifice of the altar. He has decided to stay with us in the host which is reserved in the tabernacle.

For me the tabernacle has always been a Bethany, a quiet and pleasant place where Christ resides. A place where we can tell him about our worries, our sufferings, our desires, our joys, with the same sort of simplicity and naturalness as Martha, Mary and Lazarus. That is why I rejoice when I stumble upon a church in town or in the country; it’s another tabernacle, another opportunity for the soul to escape and join in intention our Lord in the Sacrament.

 

This is the Eucharistic faith proclaimed by Christ, by the Old and New Testament, by the Saints, by the Divine Liturgy, and by the Church throughout the ages. Getting the most out of Christianity requires a deep understanding of this Mystery.

59 Comments

  1. This is smashing!! God Bless you for your work.

    ABS desires to build on your crucial point re Old Testament Types (prefigurements) being inferior to the reality. The One True Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church has made an extremely bad decision to repeatedly refer to the war crimes committed against the jews as The Holocaust.

    We all know, or should know, that a Holocaust is an offering consumed by fire and examples of such, as types, can readily be found in the Old Testament but there is only one True Holocaust worthy of that name – the Pluperfect Holocaust of Christ on Calvary where His burning charity substituted for the material fire.

    It is the perfect fulfillment of the old testament types and it alone is deserving of the name, Holocaust.

    Now, it does not do justice to the meaning of the word, holocaust, to try and claim that what Nazis did to the jews was an offering to God consumed by fire but we Catholics have let the Messias-Deniers appropriate that word – exclusively – for use by them and our Hierarchy, repeatedly, references the Jewish Holocaust.

    It is quite simply a scandalous embarrassment for the one true Holocaust of Christ is not only the greatest crime ever committed (Deicide) it is a crime than one can not even imagine any other coming within a galactic distance of and yet we have let the crimes against the Jews supplant the Real Holocaust to such an extent that there is likely not one Catholic man under the age of 40 could even tell you what old Catholic men (like abs) were once learnt, that the Holocaust is a word summarising the Pluperfect Sacrifice of Christ on Calvary.

    Compared to the Holocaust of Christ n Calvary, what happened to the Jews is not even morally visible, nor visible either, in comparison, are the 66 million Christians who were killed in Russia from 1917 onwards (See Solzhenitsyn)

    One ironic fall out from the Messias-Deniers use of holocaust is that they are both Messias-Deniers and Holocaust Deniers, to say nothing about the eschatological implications of being a holocaust-denier vs being a Messias-Denier.

    O, and one last thing, it is thought the very worst thing to be is a holocaust-denier whereas one is treated lovingly if he is a Messias-Denier; one can be a Messias-Denier and have sleep overs in Domus Sanctae Marthae where the Pope will assure his Rabbi friend will have kosher food but one can not even imagine the Bishop of Rome inviting a holocaust-denier to spend a night there.

    1. Oy vey.

      I would be fine with Shoah (“Catastrophe”) which was the original name that the Jews used for the Holocaust. But Shoah is sometimes used in a limited way to refer only to the killing of Jews, whereas “Holocaust” is understood to also include the other victims of the genocidal Nazi campaign. Also, “Shoah” is an obscure term, so “Holocaust” is preferable.

      My understanding is that the term “Holocaust” was meant to honor the victims of the Nazis who were burnt to death rather than deny their faith. That applies to the Jewish victims in an obvious way, but it would also be true of the Catholics who died for their faith (St. Edith Stein, St. Maximilian Kolbe, etc.). The fact that Christ’s death was the perfect Holocaust doesn’t mean that there can be no more holocausts. Christ is the perfect Sacrifice, and we readily use the term sacrifice to refer to all sorts of lesser human actions. It’s not remotely blasphemous.

      I understand your objection to the term, but ultimately, I’m pro-clarity in language. At this point, “holocaust” is etymologically divorced from both the sacrificial system and the Greek burial customs. It’s long been used to describe massacres, and when it’s used in modern English it refers in a clear way to the Shoah.

      I think about it this way: I readily refer to the Eastern Orthodox as “the Orthodox,” even though I don’t think that they’re right where they disagree with the Catholics. I recognize that a hyper-literalistic reading of “Orthodox” would mean that I just called them “right thinking,” but that’s not how language works. Nor are Democrats and Republicans honoring one another’s fealty to those respective political systems when they call them by their chosen terms.

      This also just seems like a particularly odd battle to fight… particularly given your final paragraph about how the Holocaust maybe wasn’t that bad, since millions of Christians have also been killed; that Holocaust denial maybe isn’t so bad, and we’re maybe too nice to the Jews. I hope I’m misreading your implications, but just in case, let me say this:

      Anti-Semitism is toxic and unChristian. Léon Bloy puts it well: “Anti-Semitism, a quite modern development, is the most horrible buffet that Our Lord has received in His Passion, which is still going on; it is the most outrageous and the most unpardonable because He receives it on the face of His Mother and from Christian hands.”

      And Pope Pius XI shows that it’s incompatible with the faith: “Mark well that in the Catholic Mass, Abraham is our Patriarch and forefather. Anti-Semitism is incompatible with the lofty thought which that fact expresses. It is a movement with which we Christians can have nothing to do. No, no I say to you it is impossible for a Christian to take part in anti-Semitism. It is inadmissible. Through Christ and in Christ we are the spiritual progeny of Abraham. Spiritually, we are all Semites.”

      So given this, I’m happy that the successors of Peter are treating the Jewish leaders with love and compassion. It’s what they’re called to do as Christians.

      1. Dear Joe. Thanks for the reply.

        We will have to disagree as the Holocaust is a specific fulfillment of an Old Testament Type and has aught to do with war crimes.

        The One Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church has become supine before its enemies and objecting to its political accommodations and refusal to defend its specific categories is in no way antisemitic.

        I do not think you could find one one hundred million Catholics who thought that Holocaust referred to anything but the war crimes directed at the Jews.

        It would be useful to all if you defined what it is you mean by antisemitic; as for Abraham, he was ante-semitic (old joke).

        I disagree that the Hierarchy is treating the Jews with compassion and love for a Messias-Denier is on the road to perdition whereas the loving and compassionate acts towards the Messias-Deniers would include trying to convert them and to save their immortal souls as they were commanded to by Jesus.

        How is it compassion to refuse to try and convert Jews (as per the former Pope, see his trilogy)?

        Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel

        If we love our Hierarchy we will remind them that refusing the preach the gospel to Messias-Deniers is a moral sin (at least according to the Great Commentary of Cornelius a Lapide).

        Let ABS end by referencing Peter. In Acts, we read about how Peter and The Apostles were going into synagogues and the private homes of Jews to preach the Gospel and seek their conversion to save their souls and we see a complete and utter rupture between what Peter and The Apostles did versus what the modern Popes do not do.

        We will know that the first time a Pope went to a synagogue and preached Christ and conversion would be the last time a Pope would be admitted to a Synagogue and that reality alone illustrates just how wildly wrong our Hierarchy is; when it comes to the Messias-Deniers, the Hierarchy is far more concerned with dialogue and politics than they are with their souls.

        Jesus established His One True Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church for two ends;

        Salvation

        Sanctification

        and the Messias-Deneirs can not attain unto either of the ends if they do not accept Jesus and conversion

        1. Amateur Brain Surgeon says:
          August 14, 2015 at 11:49 pm

          How is it compassion to refuse to try and convert Jews (as per the former Pope, see his trilogy)?

          Well, faith is not coerced. If you remember, in Apostolic times, the Jews rejected Christ. From that point, the Apostles targeted Gentiles. And St. Paul said:

          Acts 13:46 Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.

          And further:
          Romans 11:25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

          In my opinion, it is a fulfillment of the curse they brought upon themselves. This is also why they continue to suffer to this day.

          Matthew 27:24 When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.25 Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children.

          Jesus confirmed this:
          Luke 21:20 And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.21 Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto.22 For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.23 But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people.24 And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.

          Note that when the time of the fulness of the Gentiles arrives, the Jews will cease to suffer and it is the same time which signals their mass conversion to the Church.

          That’s my two cents.

          1. IANS writes…How is it compassion to refuse to try and convert Jews (as per the former Pope, see his trilogy)?

            Your response is a non sequitur

            Well, faith is not coerced.

            You took to ” try and convert” to mean coerce.

            Who was talking about coercion?

          2. Note that when the time of the fulness of the Gentiles arrives, the Jews will cease to suffer and it is the same time which signals their mass conversion to the Church.

            And in the meantime, uncountable are the numbers of souls of the Messias-Deniers eternally lost because the Hierarchy refused to try an convert them.

            One could imagine a worse form of hatred – letting men continue on their path to perdition without intervening – but it would take some effort.

            Maybe the plain and simple truth is that the Hierarchy does not anymore think that the Messias-Deniers are on an ineluctable path to perdition.

            Luke 19:27

          3. Your response is a non sequitur

            How can it be a non sequitur? You asked a question. I answered it in accordance with my opinion.

            History tells us that the Jews view it as coercion from the Catholic Church. They are especially afraid of their children being baptized without their consent.

            Here’s the non sequitur. That you would expect everyone’s response to be in agreement with your suppositions.

          4. perhaps there is a misunderstanding on what the Popes have actually said since the secualar media often makes mistakes with this. I dont deny we should evangelize Jews though my message may have been unclear at the end there should be a question mark

        2. It is amazing how some modern Jews react when I explain to them that we as Catholics love everything about the Old Testament and that we pray the Psalms at Mass every day (and many times per day if we are talking about priests, monks, nuns or members of Third Orders) and are fulfilling so many prophesies from the Books of Isaiah, Ezekiel, Psalms, Daniel, etc… I explain to them that we as Catholics continue the Sacrifice of the Temple at our daily Masses, have a Tabernacle located in every Chapel, Church and Cathedral, and have the ‘True Manna from Heaven’ placed in all of our Tabernacles. I also note that we have a lighted lamp as described in the Bible which always lit when the Tabernacle contains the Consecrated Bread, and that only Catholics fulfilled the prophesy of so many O.T. saints, when they said for instance, that the ‘islands would wait for the teachings of God’, and the whole world would come to Mt. Sion and worship the God of Israel.

          I ask them…”Have the Jews gone out to convert the whole world to the Jewish God, as the OT prophets said would happen?” … “Of course they haven’t”. But 2000 years of Christian history reveals that it was the Catholic (including the Orthodox)Church which converted the entire world up until about the 16th century. And even after the Reformation, Catholics still converted to Christ the greater part of South America and Africa, and are now in the process of bringing the Gospel and Sacraments to all of China and Asia.

          Just last week two Jewish women were highly intrigued when I began discussing with them these same things at a ‘Peddlers Fair’ in Benicia, CA. After talking for about 15 minutes I gave them a copy of Scott Hanh’s book “The Lambs Supper’. I told them that they will find an incredible amount of their Jewish faith contained in that book, and that it was the Catholic Church which was continuing to spread, and fulfill, that faith.

          They left very astonished to hear about the deep things of Judaism, and seemed thrilled about the book I gave them. They were so open, and I hope they find the conclusion to the story of Judaism by reading about their promised Messiah, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in that excellent book by Scott Hanh.

          So, there is never a reason for animosity towards either Jews, or Protestants. Catholics just need to charitably explain to the Jews that the fulfillment of their faith, and scriptures, was the prophesied Jewish Messiah Our Lord Jesus Christ, and who is easily found in the 2000 years of Christian History. And for Protestants, that they have been greatly deceived by the theological errors promoted by the primary authors of the Reformation, Luther and Calvin. It is holy charity to do the best we can to correct this great deception and ‘deformation’ of the Holy Faith, which same Holy Faith converted the entire Roman Empire to Christ, and all of the Western pagan nations to boot.

          1. I think the ‘time of blindness’ has been struck a blow by the Internet, wherein it’s possible for a common person to encounter the truths of Jesus Christ, and the Catholic Faith, fairly easily. And there are so many ignorant people these days, whether Catholic, Protestant, Muslim, Jew or Buddhist, etc.. that we really need to take every person individually, and not really think to much about their current beliefs.

            I also think it’s good for Catholics to go out to public places like County Fairs, Peddlers Fairs and Farmers Markets and be available to others for talking about the Holy Faith and to also give out good Catholic books/literature/websites, etc… Almost any medium can be used for a ‘catalyst’ for conversation. I use Catholic Radio Cards 1260 AM, but my wife uses Rosaries and Divine Mercy cards. We both get into many conversations each time we go out, and that’s usually at least once a week for 2-3 hours. At the same Peddlers Fair that I met the two Jewish women, I also gave out at least 500+ Immaculate Heart Radio cards. So too, I found 4 others interested in the ‘Lamb’s Supper’ book, and they were excited to get them. My wife gave out 1 book. My parish Pastor, (O.P.), gave 1000 of the same books to the parish last Easter, and I asked him for some extra, if possible, to give out to anyone who missed out, and didn’t receive one. So, being the great, generous and spiritual priest that he is, he bought another 1000 (about $2 plus shipping when bought in this volume at Lighthouse media) for this same purpose. Moreover, I almost always write down the Shameless Popery site for others if I think they might be interested, be they Catholic or otherwise.

            With a post like the current one…..where can one find a better post from any other Blog on the web? If anyone can find a better topic, or subject, please send it my way. Joe is a pretty much a genius in this, that is, choosing highly pertinent Catholic topics for in-depth reflection and conversation. But you all know that already!

          2. What you write indicates to me that you also understand that Pope and Prelates refuse to follow the Great Commission and that they will not try and convert the Jews and so we have to do the job they refuse to do

          3. Amateur Brain Surgeon says:
            August 15, 2015 at 2:43 pm
            What you write indicates to me that you also understand that Pope and Prelates refuse to follow the Great Commission and that they will not try and convert the Jews and so we have to do the job they refuse to do

            Who understands the Great Commission better? You or the Pope?

            In Scripture, it is clear that the APOSTLES left off the conversion of the Jews.

            Acts 13:46 Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.

            Do you know more than they? Were they not instructed by Jesus Christ, Himself?

          4. ABS,

            As far as evangelization goes, the Lord in His holy Gospel already commanded and instructed us what to do: “Go ye into the whole world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15). It’s pretty simple, so we don’t need to be brain surgeons to figure it out.

            Here there are no distinctions. All creatures are to be preached to. Needless to say, that includes Jews, Moslems, Buddhists, Atheists, Communists, Abortionists, Democrats, etc…

            When we are persecuted by them, we should go elsewhere. If every Catholic does this, including Popes, the Kingdom and will of God will expand on earth. If true evangelization is not done, then those servants who neglected their duty will be largely held responsible for their neglect and the loss of many souls. This applies to both Popes and the lowliest lay person. Jesus instructs us: “To those that were give much, much also will be demanded of them.”

            So, for us, and our salvation, it is good to mind our own calling of Christ, and to get out and stay busy trying to help as many people as possible toward the love, peace and friendship of Christ and His saints.
            Distinction between one sinner and another is in my opinion pretty much a waste of time.

            By the way, I tried to be an ‘amateur brain surgeon’ also, earlier in my life, but could not continue past the chapter 5 on DYI lobotomy. I think it was the lab practice that stumped me. After about 3 tries, I just couldn’t get it right. DOH!

            So, congratulations to you!

  2. Apparently, the word’s of Christ at the Last Supper, wherein He commanded as a type of a Last Will and Testament “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me”, isn’t given much weight, or importance, in the Baptist tradition. There is practically no unanimity regarding Holy Communion in the Baptist faith, which would be the case if this sacrament was something considered by their churches as something of great importance and extraordinary value, which Jesus indeed considers it should be by using the term “ this…is the new covenant in my blood”.

    Actual practices give an idea of what many Baptist Churches believe concerning the frequent reception of the ‘breaking of bread and drinking of wine”:

    “…The Hiscox guide for Baptist churches, entitled “The Standard Manual for the Baptist Churches,” states only that churches have an option as to when and how often they will serve Communion and that the practice has become to serve on the first Sunday of the month. Some rely on Bible passages in Acts and 1 Corinthians stating that Christians in the early churches met each Lord’s Day to break bread to support their position that Communion should be observed every Sunday.

    Quarterly Observance Most Popular

    A mail survey conducted in 2012 by Lifeway Research indicates that 57 percent of Southern Baptist churches serve communion on a quarterly basis. The survey was sent to Southern Baptist church pastors; a total of 1,066 surveys were completed. The same survey indicated that 15 percent of those churches serve communion five to 10 times per year and eight percent serve it less than four times annually. A mere one percent of Southern Baptist churches serve communion each week, according to the survey.

    Frequency of Communion by Region

    The 2012 Lifeway Research mail survey also showed a remarkable difference in communion practices by Southern Baptist churches according to region. For example, 67 percent of churches in the Northeast and 45 percent in the West served communion monthly; that percentage was much lower in the Midwest and South where it was recorded at 17 and 14 percent, respectively. Conversely, the South and Midwest were more likely to serve communion on a quarterly basis — 61 and 58 percent, respectively — while that rate was much lower in the West, where it was served quarterly at 29 percent of churches and the Northeast where the percentage of churches serving communion quarterly was only 12.”

  3. I really appreciated the article, I hope it serves as motivation to offer a defense of the Real Presence on my own website. The way God condescends Himself to commune with us in the Eucharist, by the Holy Spirit, and speaking to us in the Scripture is something I am not nearly grateful enough for. Thank you for this superb article.

      1. I cannot really do justice to the subject, because there is so much still that I do not understand. However, the thrust of my article is that Protestant soteriology undercuts the baptist “chronological” objection to the Real Presence (the fact that Jesus Christ was sacrificed once and for all.) Here’s my go at it:

        http://christianreformedtheology.com/2015/08/16/credo-baptists-should-reconsider-the-doctrine-of-the-real-presence/

        I would appreciate any feedback.

        1. 1. Protestants do not believe Jesus Christ is present in the Holy Eucharist. If they did, they would worship. But they don’t, because they don’t believe that Jesus Christ is present there-in.

          2. Your explanation is an example of Protestant private interpretation. Why are you asking Catholics for advice when you obviously care not a whit what the Catholic Church teaches?

          1. 1. The Scripture teaches that all believers are in union with Jesus Christ and have the Holy Spirit dwelling within them. Do you worship Christian people you walk across?

            2. Everything is some form of private interpretation. In the article above, we see things that no one would find in any of the church fathers. Interestingly enough, you did not lob that accusation at Joe.

          2. Craig Truglia says:
            August 17, 2015 at 11:43 am
            1. The Scripture teaches that all believers are in union with Jesus Christ and have the Holy Spirit dwelling within them. Do you worship Christian people you walk across?

            I worship Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit who is in them. But I don’t worship people. We are taught by the Church that we are not to worship the Creature. It is also in Scripture.

            However, Jesus Christ said that the Eucharist is His Body and Blood in the appearance of bread.

            If you believe that Jesus Christ is present in the Eucharist, why don’t you worship Him? The only reason can be that you don’t believe He is there.

            2. Everything is some form of private interpretation.

            For Protestants. For Catholics, it is obedience of faith.

            In the article above, we see things that no one would find in any of the church fathers. Interestingly enough, you did not lob that accusation at Joe.

            Because Joe’s article is in line with Catholic Teaching. Big difference.

          3. “I worship Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit who is in them. But I don’t worship people…However, Jesus Christ said that the Eucharist is His Body and Blood in the appearance of bread. If you believe that Jesus Christ is present in the Eucharist, why don’t you worship Him?”

            I do not have an understanding of transubstantiation that is the same of yours. I am not sure if the substantive change in the elements is physical or spiritual (or both for that matter). Further, I am unsure if it is fitting to worship parts of Christ’s body in place of the whole.

            “Because Joe’s article is in line with Catholic Teaching.”

            But his interpretation is not necessarily found in the Magesterium, his conclusions are the same. Hence, you cannot decry “private interpretations” without decrying what Joe did. There is a such thing as legitimate, original Biblical exegesis. However, I would agree with you we should not be coming to new conclusions as these would be heresy.

            While you have an axe to grind with Protestants, I honestly don’t with Catholicism. I have given my testimony before here. I have earnestly investigated the matter and have not found many things I see in modern Catholicism. If I saw the Biblical and Traditional continuity, I would not be a Protestant. I wish that more Catholics would take the opposite approach. Eternal salvation is on the line. The stakes don’t get higher.

          4. Craig Truglia says:
            August 18, 2015 at 2:41 am

            I do not have an understanding of transubstantiation that is the same of yours. I am not sure if the substantive change in the elements is physical or spiritual (or both for that matter). Further, I am unsure if it is fitting to worship parts of Christ’s body in place of the whole.

            Understanding is not the problem. Humility is the problem. All that you need to to do is accept that the Church teaches the Wisdom of God and believe.

            Hebrews 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

            God doesn’t ask you for understanding. Just faith:
            Hebrews 6:12 That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

            But his interpretation is not necessarily found in the Magesterium, his conclusions are the same.

            But they are completely in line with Magisterial Teaching:
            113 2. Read the Scripture within “the living Tradition of the whole Church”. According to a saying of the Fathers, Sacred Scripture is written principally in the Church’s heart rather than in documents and records, for the Church carries in her Tradition the living memorial of God’s Word, and it is the Holy Spirit who gives her the spiritual interpretation of the Scripture (“. . . according to the spiritual meaning which the Spirit grants to the Church”).

            Hence, you cannot decry “private interpretations” without decrying what Joe did.

            To a Catholic, private interpretation means that interpretation which is not in line with the Teaching of the Church.

            There is a such thing as legitimate, original Biblical exegesis.

            Not for Protestants. Not if their exegesis comes to conclusions which contradict the Word of God as taught by the Catholic Church. And yours, do so.

            However, I would agree with you we should not be coming to new conclusions as these would be heresy.

            Agreed.

            While you have an axe to grind with Protestants,

            On the contrary, I have an axe to grind with anyone that tries to pass off their own teaching as the Word of God in contradiction to the Teaching of the Magisterium. Be they Protestant, Muslim, Jew, atheist, or whatever.

            I honestly don’t with Catholicism. I have given my testimony before here. I have earnestly investigated the matter and have not found many things I see in modern Catholicism. If I saw the Biblical and Traditional continuity, I would not be a Protestant. I wish that more Catholics would take the opposite approach. Eternal salvation is on the line. The stakes don’t get higher.

            The problem is that you think you’ll find the answer between your own ears. You won’t understand until you can die to yourself and accept the answer which God has already provided, in the Teaching of the Catholic Church.

          5. “Understanding is not the problem. Humility is the problem.”

            Perhaps ignorance is my problem, perhaps it is yours. I can just as easily say you don’t have the humility to accept what my Church teaches. So, I don’t think you really made a point here. It starts with the presupposition that the Catholic Church is true.

            “But they are completely in line with Magisterial Teaching…”

            Two points:

            First, when Magisterial Teaching was not documented in the early church, you simply assume it existed as oral tradition. So I take exception to your statement that the “Church carries in her Tradition the living memorial of God’s Word.” It is not legitimate tradition if it was never taught.

            Second, what Joe wrote IS consistent with what the early church taught. However, I cannot find what in my article was inconsistent with documented church tradition. Key word is documented. Honestly, I am not even sure what from a Catholic viewpoint you would even take issue with, but I am not an expert on modern Catholicism so fell free to point it out in my comments section if you like.

            “Not for Protestants.”

            Back to presuppositions I see. I hope you realize presuppositional arguments do not make for convincing apologetics. I will concede, they can very well be true, but you have no consistent basis to insist that you your presupposition is actual correct.

            “On the contrary, I have an axe to grind with anyone that tries to pass off their own teaching as the Word of God in contradiction to the Teaching of the Magisterium. Be they Protestant, Muslim, Jew, atheist, or whatever.”

            Okay, so you have an axe to grind with everyone that’s not Catholic, got it!

            “The problem is that you think you’ll find the answer between your own ears.”

            Actually, that thought scares me and I pray every day not to, I want God to bring me in line with what He knows to be true so that I may worship Him in truth.

            “You won’t understand until you can die to yourself and accept the answer which God has already provided, in the Teaching of the Catholic Church.”

            I understand that’s how you feel, but I can just as easily switch out the words “Catholic Church” with “Eastern Orthodox Church” or “Anglican Church” and you wouldn’t feel all that convinced. There’s a good reason for that–the obvious presupposition that goes into the statement you are making.

          6. Craig Truglia says:
            August 19, 2015 at 12:11 am
            “Perhaps ignorance is my problem, perhaps it is yours. I can just as easily say you don’t have the humility to accept what my Church teaches. So, I don’t think you really made a point here. It starts with the presupposition that the Catholic Church is true.

            Craig, you and I have been through this. As I told you many messages ago on another thread, you seem to think that Catholics are just another brand of Protestant. I’m not here arguing with you to learn anything. I have the Catholic Church to teach me.

            It is Protestants that are blown by every wind of doctrine.

            Two points:

            First, when Magisterial Teaching was not documented in the early church, you simply assume it existed as oral tradition.

            You have proof that it was not documented, do you?

            So I take exception to your statement that the “Church carries in her Tradition the living memorial of God’s Word.” It is not legitimate tradition if it was never taught.

            It was always taught. That is why we see it everywhere in the Early Church. That which was never taught before the Protestant revolution is Protestant doctrine which contradicts Catholic Teaching.

            Second, what Joe wrote IS consistent with what the early church taught. However, I cannot find what in my article was inconsistent with documented church tradition. Key word is documented.

            We’ve been through that, as well. And I showed you how you twist their words to fit your interpretations. We can go as recently as our discussion on the topic of penal substitution, where you first defended the proposition that Jesus only died for certain men and then defended the proposition that Jesus died for all men without exception.

            Honestly, I am not even sure what from a Catholic viewpoint you would even take issue with, but I am not an expert on modern Catholicism

            You’re not an expert on any Catholicism. Catholicism teaches the same thing yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

            so fell free to point it out in my comments section if you like.

            For starters, Jesus is not in the bread.

            Back to presuppositions I see. I hope you realize presuppositional arguments do not make for convincing apologetics.

            Spoken like a true atheist. I know, I used to be one.

            Can you defend any proposition without first believing in it yourself? I know that I can’t. The fact is that you are defending your presuppositions. I am defending mine. The best set of presuppositions wins.

            I will concede, they can very well be true, but you have no consistent basis to insist that you your presupposition is actual correct.

            Its more consistent than yours. Let me illustrate.

            Mine is based upon the consistent Teaching of the Church in Sacred Tradition and Scripture for 2000 years.

            Yours is based upon your interpretation of anything, even at times contradicting yourself and still maintaining that you are speaking logically.

            Okay, so you have an axe to grind with everyone that’s not Catholic, got it!

            Is that how you understand things? I said, with anyone who places their teaching on a par with God’s in contradiction of the Catholic Church.”

            Actually, that thought scares me and I pray every day not to, I want God to bring me in line with what He knows to be true so that I may worship Him in truth.

            Good answer.

            I understand that’s how you feel, but I can just as easily switch out the words “Catholic Church” with “Eastern Orthodox Church”

            Yes, there is very little difference between the two. You would do much better to be EO than what you are.

            or “Anglican Church” and you wouldn’t feel all that convinced.

            No, I wouldn’t. Nor would any of them, either. They don’t teach that their church is infallible. Nor can they trace themselves to the Apostles, as can the Eastern Orthodox.

            There’s a good reason for that–the obvious presupposition that goes into the statement you are making.

            Yeah, you’ve bought into the Protestant lie that you can interpret the Word of God and make it whatever you want.

          7. “Craig, you and I have been through this. As I told you many messages ago on another thread, you seem to think that Catholics are just another brand of Protestant.”

            Again, you are working from a presupposition, so it has nothing to do with brands.

            “It is Protestants that are blown by every wind of doctrine.”

            Again, this is is just an accusation. I can say that Catholics/Muslims/Jews/Methodists/Whatever are. So, I just do not see where you are making a serious point in all of this.

            “You have proof that it was not documented, do you?”

            You are well aware that there are quite a few doctrines that are not found in the early church, but are assumed that they were taught. Mary’s immaculate conception and her assumption are a couple. The idea that the Eucharist forgives venial sins is another. The Catholic claim is that these doctrines were taught since the beginning. This theoretically can be true, but it is not documented.

            “It was always taught.”

            Or so is the claim, because there are quite a few teachings that are simply not documented in the early church.

            “That is why we see it everywhere in the Early Church.”

            Other than the times when you don’t…

            “That which was never taught before the Protestant revolution is Protestant doctrine which contradicts Catholic Teaching.”

            What specific doctrine?

            “We’ve been through that, as well. And I showed you how you twist their words to fit your interpretations.”

            Through what, you are yet to have a single example of what I wrote about the Eucharist is inconsistent with Catholic teaching (not that I even wrote it to show such a thing, but that’s besides the point.) You make a claim, but you do not back it up.

            “We can go as recently as our discussion on the topic of penal substitution, where you first defended the proposition that Jesus only died for certain men and then defended the proposition that Jesus died for all men without exception.”

            This is another thread and quite frankly the way you chose to engage in conversation there was not something I appreciated and saw much profit in continuing. I am more than happy to have a civil conversation.

            “You’re not an expert on any Catholicism.”

            Okay, never said I was, but you still have not shown a single example of what I wrote about the Eucharist was inconsistent, so what are you being so divisive about? If there was something specific I wrote that you think is wrong, then by all means defend your faith and bring it up. But you have not done this, so I am not sure what you don’t like other than that I am not a Catholic.

            “Catholicism teaches the same thing yesterday, today, and tomorrow.”

            Other than when it didn’t, but that’s a whole rabbit trail I guess either one of us can make one liners but it doesn’t really prove much.

            “For starters, Jesus is not in the bread.”

            This is the first example you actually pulled out. You don’t think Jesus Christ’s is not in the bread of the eucharist?

            “Spoken like a true atheist. I know, I used to be one.”

            Same here. Unlike you, I can admit freely that I have quite a few presuppositions. First and foremost, that God is real. I can’t prove it though it intuitively makes sense. The Scriptures being God-breathed is another. I can’t prove that either. The only thing experiential that I can attest to is a sudden change in my nature when I heard Augustine’s conversion in class (at that moment I repented of my sins when I didn’t even know what the word “repent” meant), and what I believe was God speaking to me when reading the Bible (a Catholic one BTW) that He wanted me to have faith. I accepted His Son after that. So, I have presuppositions and I freely admit to them.

            “Can you defend any proposition without first believing in it yourself?”

            Technically yes. That’s how good science works, testing a hypothesis. Theology on the other hand requires presuppositions (though Aquinas would disagree.) We clearly have different presuppositions, which give us different authorities (mine the Scripture, you the Church.) I would argue that your presupposition that puts the writings of men in the Church on par with the Scriptures is in fact in contradiction with what those very men wrote. So, your presupposition is illogical while mine is internally consistent. This is why I am more convinced of my viewpoint.

            “The best set of presuppositions wins.”

            Agreed.

            “Yes, there is very little difference between the two. You would do much better to be EO than what you are.”

            Same with you, perhaps?

            “No, I wouldn’t. Nor would any of them, either. They don’t teach that their church is infallible.”

            Hmmm, did the early catholic church teach they were infallible? Because if they explicitly did not, then your presupposition is internally inconsistent and holds no water.

            “Nor can they trace themselves to the Apostles, as can the Eastern Orthodox.”

            Actually, they can. They have an unbroken line, the Catholics just do not agree with them. The Oriental Orthodox likewise have the same, but they likewise are considered invalidated for doctrinal reasons…but they have succession.

            “Yeah, you’ve bought into the Protestant lie that you can interpret the Word of God and make it whatever you want.”

            I cannot make it whatever I want. But, you bought into the lie that there is authority equivalent to God’s actual words…and the authority which you believe is their equal explicitly did not teach this.

            God bless,
            Craig

          8. Craig Truglia says:
            August 19, 2015 at 3:17 am

            Again, you are working from a presupposition, so it has nothing to do with brands…..

            But my presuppositions have 2000 years of history backed up by the Catholic Church.

            Anyway, what’s the point you’re trying to make, Craig? You asked for input on your article and I gave mine. You didn’t like my input. I’m not going to change it just because your feelings are hurt.

            Your denials of Catholic Doctrine don’t make you right and won’t make Catholic Doctrine go away.

            You are trying to reinvent Christianity. Jesus Christ gave us the Church to Teach us all He commanded. I don’t need your inventions.

            Bye.

          9. Your zeal for the Holy Faith is admirable De Maria.

            May God give you His Holy Wisdom to continue to communicate, and labor for, the same Faith with evermore efficacy, as it is a very difficult task.

            God bless and help you Craig in your search for Christ’s truth and love.

            May all of us ascend to the best of our abilities the ‘mountain of God’, wherein He might bring us all one day into eternal Life, with Christ and His Church forever.

          10. De Maria:

            “You asked for input on your article and I gave mine. You didn’t like my input.”

            And herein lies the problem. You never gave any input on the article. You stated that Jesus Christ’s body is not in the bread, which is an awfully strange statement to make being that you are supposedly Catholic, and that the article was “private interpretation,” but did not offer a single example of what was private interpretation.

            I don’t think you read it at all, which is fine. However, to not read something at all and then go on tangents supposedly complaining about the article and never once bringing up what it said seems to me pointless.

            You have a zeal, yes, but not according to knowledge. I have been patient but you cannot even bear to agree with statements that conform with Catholic doctrine (i.e. the bread is Christ’s body). So, either disagree with me on purpose so it doesn’t matter what I say (sky is blue 1+1=2), or English is not your first language. If the latter is true, at least I understand.

            God bless,
            Craig

          11. “You stated that Jesus Christ’s body is not in the bread, which is an awfully strange statement to make being that you are supposedly Catholic”

            I think St Thomas Aquinas might add some light concerning this statement:

            “Some have held that the substance of the bread and wine remains in this sacrament after the consecration. But this opinion cannot stand: first of all, because by such an opinion the truth of this sacrament is destroyed, to which it belongs that Christ’s true body exists in this sacrament; which indeed was not there before the consecration. Now a thing cannot be in any place, where it was not previously, except by change of place, or by the conversion of another thing into itself; just as fire begins anew to be in some house, either because it is carried thither, or because it is generated there. Now it is evident that Christ’s body does not begin to be present in this sacrament by local motion. First of all, because it would follow that it would cease to be in heaven: for what is moved locally does not come anew to some place unless it quit the former one. Secondly, because every body moved locally passes through all intermediary spaces, which cannot be said here. Thirdly, because it is not possible for one movement of the same body moved locally to be terminated in different places at the one time, whereas the body of Christ under this sacrament begins at the one time to be in several places. And consequently it remains that Christ’s body cannot begin to be anew in this sacrament except by change of the substance of bread into itself. But what is changed into another thing, no longer remains after such change. Hence the conclusion is that, saving the truth of this sacrament, the substance of the bread cannot remain after the consecration.” (Summa 75:2)

          12. St. Francis of Assisi’s comments on the Holy Eucharist should also be considered:

            “What wonderful majesty! What stupendous condescension! O sublime humility! That the Lord of the whole universe, God and the Son of God, should humble Himself like this under the form of a little bread, for our salvation”

            “…In this world I cannot see the Most High Son of God with my own eyes, except for His Most Holy Body and Blood.”

            – St. Francis of Assisi

          13. I see what you are speaking of. I don’t think I was making a statement that Jesus being “in the bread” meant that the bread did not become Jesus. I am not rejecting transubstantiation (I honestly don’t know how it works). I was just not thinking that hard about it and using “the bread” as a synonym for “the eucharist.”

            For example, in my article I write “in the same chapter are some pretty plain affirmations of the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist.”

            I hope you understand I was not explicitly making a statement that contradicts Aquinas.

            Also, for what it is worth, I never made the statement “in the bread” in my article. It was an inference that De Maria drew…I am not sure from where.

          14. Al Williams says:
            August 19, 2015 at 5:00 am
            Your zeal for the Holy Faith is admirable De Maria.

            May God give you His Holy Wisdom to continue to communicate, and labor for, the same Faith with evermore efficacy, as it is a very difficult task.

            God bless and help you Craig in your search for Christ’s truth and love.

            May all of us ascend to the best of our abilities the ‘mountain of God’, wherein He might bring us all one day into eternal Life, with Christ and His Church forever.

            Amen, Al! God bless you and thanks!

          15. Craig Truglia says:
            August 19, 2015 at 11:41 pm
            Also, for what it is worth, I never made the statement “in the bread” in my article. It was an inference that De Maria drew…I am not sure from where.

            I have to apologize for that. When I read that statement above, I was sure you were suffering from amnesia. But, I read your article over, twice. And I see no such phrase coming from you. So, I must have inferred it from what I know about Protestant theology:

            Wikipedia:
            Lutherans: sacramental union[edit]

            A note about the real presence in Mikael Agricola Church, Helsinki.
            Main article: Eucharist in the Lutheran Church
            See also: The Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ—Against the Fanatics
            Lutherans believe in the real presence of the body and blood of Christ in the Eucharist,[16][17] that the body and blood of Christ are “truly and substantially present in, with and under the forms” [18][19] of the consecrated bread and wine (the elements), ….

            And from these words:
            With this in mind, let’s look at the underlined. Paul is clearly contrasting sacrifices. Those in Israel “who eat the sacrifices are sharers in the altar.” In the exact opposite way, the Gentiles eat sacrifices given to demons, and thereby share in idolatrous altars. Because of this, the Christian cannot eat the sacrifices to idols because he cannot partake both of these and the Christian sacrifice of Jesus Christ in the elements by eating it. Paul is conflating the Jewish sacrificial system with that of the Eucharist.

            However, after your above statement to Al Williams:
            I see what you are speaking of. I don’t think I was making a statement that Jesus being “in the bread” meant that the bread did not become Jesus. I am not rejecting transubstantiation….

            I now believe I jumped to the wrong conclusion.

          16. Craig Truglia says:
            August 19, 2015 at 11:45 am
            De Maria:

            “You asked for input on your article and I gave mine. You didn’t like my input.”

            And herein lies the problem. You never gave any input on the article. You stated that Jesus Christ’s body is not in the bread,

            Well, that’s because up until this very moment, I didn’t think you were actually listening. After a few rounds with you, I decided you were the typical Protestant who merely wants to repeat his own errors, over and over.

            which is an awfully strange statement to make being that you are supposedly Catholic,

            No, actually. We are taught that the Eucharist is the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ in the APPEARANCE of bread and wine. The “elements” of bread and wine are no longer there, only the “accidents”.

            and that the article was “private interpretation,” but did not offer a single example of what was private interpretation.

            I’m sorry for that. Since, I consider “private interpretation” a Protestant doctrine, I didn’t realize that it needed to be explained to a Protestant. Especially since I remember that it was one of the first discussions we had. Remember our three way (you, Joe and I) discussion on 2 Peter 1:19-21?

            Private interpretation, as I understand it, is the Protestant principle that anyone can interpret the Bible in accordance with his own conscience. As a result of that doctrine, Protestants decry Catholic acceptance of Church authority as, “checking in your brain at the door of the Catholic Church”.

            In contrast, the Catholic Church teaches:
            Furthermore, to check unbridled spirits, it decrees that no one relying on his own judgment shall, in matters of faith and morals pertaining to the edification of Christian doctrine, distorting the Holy Scriptures in accordance with his own conceptions,[5] presume to interpret them contrary to that sense which holy mother Church, to whom it belongs to judge of their true sense and interpretation,[6] has held and holds,….. (Council of Trent IV).

            I don’t think you read it at all, which is fine. However, to not read something at all and then go on tangents supposedly complaining about the article and never once bringing up what it said seems to me pointless.

            You’re wrong. I have now read it, three times.

            You have a zeal, yes, but not according to knowledge.

            You say that because I disagree with everything you believe in defiance of Catholic Teaching.

            I have been patient but you cannot even bear to agree with statements that conform with Catholic doctrine (i.e. the bread is Christ’s body).

            When did I disagree with that?

            So, either disagree with me on purpose so it doesn’t matter what I say (sky is blue 1+1=2), or English is not your first language. If the latter is true, at least I understand.

            God bless,
            Craig

            Two things made me leary of your article. The words we’ve discussed and your statement that:
            *Indeed, we are conferred all the righteousness of Jesus Christ upon belief, but this does not mean we should deliberately avoid the grace of His presence where He can be found, correct?

            That statement smacks to me of “faith alone”.

            Therefore, I concluded that you were really writing for the approbation of Protestants. Not for Catholics. Since, I assume that you know, that we don’t believe that, either.

          17. “Private interpretation, as I understand it, is the Protestant principle that anyone can interpret the Bible in accordance with his own conscience.”

            I don’t believe most conservative, traditional Protestants would say that. “[N]o prophecy of scripture is of private interpretation” (2 Peter 1:20). The crucial difference between Protestantism/ancient Catholicism and modern Catholicism is the sole source of religious authority. Protestants and early Christians believed that the Scripture alone is authoritative, but it cannot be understood outside of tradition. Modern Catholics believe that the Scripture is authoritative, but the tradition that interprets it (and the ones who dictate what that tradition is) are likewise authoritative. So, Scripture would not be up to private interpretation for the former or the latter, but the latter asserts that the traditions that help us understand Gods will as reflected in the Scripture are inerrant.

            “Two things made me leary of your article. The words we’ve discussed…”

            Which words?

            “… and your statement that:
            *Indeed, we are conferred all the righteousness of Jesus Christ upon belief, but this does not mean we should deliberately avoid the grace of His presence where He can be found, correct?

            That statement smacks to me of “faith alone”.”

            Believing in the Real Presence does not contradict faith alone, though it does contradict the Council of Trent.

            “Therefore, I concluded that you were really writing for the approbation of Protestants. Not for Catholics.”

            But that would be true. The title of the article addresses it to a specific subset of Protestants (Baptists) as they are the ones I would need to convince of the Real Presence. I obviously wouldn’t need to convince Catholics. Joe expressed interest in what I would write so I linked to it here according to his request.

            God bless,

            Craig

        2. De Maria,

          I disagree with you on both accounts.I don’t think you can write off Protestants as a monolithic whole: the very lack of interpretative authority that you decry also means that there’s rarely, if ever, a single “Protestant” interpretation. An Anglican friend of mine has joined me in adoration of the Eucharist. Aside from that, there are various modes of presence that Protestants acknowledge that are richer than a merely symbolic Lord’s Supper, even though they stop short of the elements becoming the Flesh and Blood of Jesus Christ.

          There’s no need to trash someone for not having a full Catholic view yet, particularly when (as here), he’s miles closer than many Protestants. As then-Cardinal Ratzinger explained in a 1983 letter to Lutheran Bishop Johannes Hanselmann, “I count among the most important results of the ecumenical dialogues the insight that the issue of the eucharist cannot be narrowed to the problem of ‘validity.’ Even a theology oriented to the concept of succession, such as that which holds in the Catholic and in the Orthodox church, need not in any way deny the salvation-granting presence of the Lord in a Lutheran Lord’s Supper.” Or to put it another way: no need to make the perfect (or Perfect) the enemy of the good.

          As for private interpretation, that’s an odd charge for someone who isn’t in full communion with the Church. Couldn’t you use that argument, as you’ve construed it, to reject anything any Protestant ever said, no matter how accurate (as long as they arrived at it via reading Scripture rather than Magisterial definitions)? For that matter, couldn’t you dismiss almost all of Catholic theology the same way?

          The warning against “private interpretation,” as I understand it, is against taking one’s own interpretation of Scripture over and against the Teaching Office of the Church. But that still leaves room for Scriptural reading and exegesis and Catholic theology. It also leaves rooms even for non-Catholics to (gasp!) slowly find their way towards the Catholic Church through reading Scripture and dialoguing with Catholics. Again, you seem to present a strict binary in which Craig must either embrace everything the Magisterium teaches or else he “obviously care[s] not a whit what the Catholic Church teaches.” Why can’t he be a Protestant interested in the Catholic view, even if it’s just respecting the Church as an older brother in the faith, instead of as Mater et Magistra?

          Finally, your position seems to be Magisterial positivism, where we can’t know anything without the Magisterium hand-feeding it to us. But that’s never been the Church’s interpretation … and is therefore self-refuting, since it’s a (broadly defined) private interpretation against private interpretations.

          Joe

          P.S. Craig: I really like your post, and think it’s a good step towards fuller communion.

          1. Even a theology oriented to the concept of succession, such as that which holds in the Catholic and in the Orthodox church, need not in any way deny the salvation-granting presence of the Lord in a Lutheran Lord’s Supper.

            We’ll, that is simply material heresy, isn’t it?

            It’d be a fun exercise to have contest to discover which man could first connect that claim with Tradition.

            This is but another example of the complete and utter failure of modern ecumenism ( The Universal Solvent of Tradition) for why on earth ought any protestant convert if his non-sacrificial service is sufficient to attain unto salvation?

          2. Jesus knew very well that it takes time to arrive at a clear vision of His Holy Faith. This is why He taught his disciples over a period of almost 3 years, night and day, and even then they for the most part abandoned Him on Calvary. And one of the Lord’s teachings is that we are judged by what we are given. Some are given more, others less. John the Apostle, Thomas the Apostle and Judas the Apostle all had their own trajectory and learning curve in the Holy Faith. And the Lord was patient and charitable with them all, even with His betrayer. So, it is really best to let the Lord be the judge regarding how long it takes a person to come to understand His Most Sacred Heart, and Sacred Will.

            The Lord addresses other elements of the learning curve on the road to a deep faith in the Gospel of Mark 9:37:

            “John answered him, saying: Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, who followeth not us, and we forbade him. [38] But Jesus said: Do not forbid him. For there is no man that doth a miracle in my name, and can soon speak ill of me. [39] For he that is not against you, is for you. [40] For whosoever shall give you to drink a cup of water in my name, because you belong to Christ: amen I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.”

          3. I appreciate the compliment. Personally for me, the issue that has prevented me from taking the full transubstantiation view is an issue we already dialogued about (the Council of Chalcedon and Jesus’ human nature in His Resurrected body.) I am open to being convinced on this point but I have not found anything explicit in the Church Fathers’ interpretation of Scripture, or the Scripture itself (obviously) where I would feel comfortable defining the Real Presence using the terms agreed upon by the Catholic Church.

            God bless,
            Craig

          4. The above reply was to Joe. Some people here might be interested in how a friend of mine (Reformed Baptist) responded to the article:

            “The truth that we were present in Christ when He was crushed unto death on the cross by God is a strong case that when we take part in His Body and Blood He is present as in His Body and blood unto us.”

            God bless,
            Craig

          5. De Maria,

            I disagree with you on both accounts.I don’t think you can write off Protestants as a monolithic whole: the very lack of interpretative authority that you decry also means that there’s rarely, if ever, a single “Protestant” interpretation…..

            I didn’t say there was a singe Protestant interpretation. I said it was a typical example of Protestant individual interpretation. In other words, he feels he has the right to interpret the Scripture any way that he desires.

            There’s no need to trash someone for not having a full Catholic view yet, particularly when (as here), he’s miles closer than many Protestants….

            Really? Well, I guess you saw something that I didn’t. I’ll step out of this discussion and let you and he continue.

          6. ABS,

            “Well, that is simply material heresy, isn’t it?”

            No. And if you’re going to accuse the pope of being a heretic (either ignorant of basic theology or willfully heretical on this point), can you point to some Magisterial teaching that he’s denying?

  4. This comment section has exploded. I am glad to see that I am not the only one that gets everyone angry on the internet. ha ha ha! It has been one of those days for me though, so I feel for everyone.

    On a pertinent note, have you all read the document called “From Conflict to Communion” yet? I think that all of your post, Joe, would still fit within the shared ministry described in this document, even if there are some clear points of divergence. The Roman Catholic bishops and Lutheran bishop of Western Pennsylvania have produced a great workbook to help congregations understand “From Conflict to Communion.” I would be curious of your thoughts on these documents.

  5. Pugio Fidei?

    Pffft..whatever.

    Do not try and convert the Messias-Deniers. They deserve Hell is what one could rationally conclude from modern Papal praxis.

    The new mercy…

    Dear Joe. ABS did his level best to actualise a thread theft 🙂

    Still, think about the problem for not trying to convert the Messias-Deniers seems impossible to spiritually defend.

    pax tecum

    1. Why put so much attention on one group, or the other, when Jesus describes evil as “Legion”. What is needed more, is for those who already know the Sacred and Immaculate Heart of Jesus to teach others by their imitation of Christ, that is, by their charity, patience, concern and holy hope for them. Anyone deceived by evil is not benefited by being smashed down deeper into the hole of sin by those who think they have already escaped all evil. Rather, they need to be coaxed out of their position, and situation, by the attractive power of the goodness and true charity of Christ for us. This is what the Cross teaches when we look at it and contemplate it. It is also what Jesus means by saying “I will teach you to be fishers of men”. Evil makes men act the same as Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. They hide from truth, true love, and true life. They are like fish who would hide in deep crevasses and dark places in their sins. They think that both God and man can’t see them, just because they hide and close their eyes. Their logic is, “If I can’t see God, because I put an obstruction between us, then that means He can’t see me either.” And they live in this delusion.

      What is needed is to show them the true beauty of God, which again is found in the Sacred and Immaculate Heart of Jesus. And the Lord also taught that people prefer the ‘old wine’ to the ‘new’, and so they need to be coaxed gently with sips of “New Wine” until they can tell the difference for themselves. So many Catholic Saints taught others like this. St. John Bosco is a good example. The Lord taught him that if he was patient with all of the sins, and idiocies, of his friends around him, that He could help change them little by little from being wild and vicious animals to being lambs of God. And he did just that throughout his entire life.

      So, who cares what type of vicious animal, or sinner, or Messiah-denier, or God ignorer, or Christian persecutor we might encounter in this life? Why should it bother us? Does it really matter if they are from one group, or the other, and thus need scrupulous classification? Is a lion worse than a tiger, or a cobra worse than a python? What is needed is the remedy, or antidote, for all evil in the world. And Jesus, as He is found in all of His aspects, words and sacraments in His Holy Catholic Church is that antidote. We just need to spread the knowledge of His goodness, charity and virtues to others, as it is this that is the remedy and antidote for all evil, even as Christ Himself taught: “Now this is eternal life: That they may know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” (John 17:3)

      1. When Jesus was weeping in the Garden of Gethsemane and when He asked that this cup be passed, He was talking about His rejection by the Messias-Deniers and so, yes, the once chosen people ought be especially people the One Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church reaches out to for conversion rather than be excluded from His Church by a papal praxis of indifference towards them.

        The New Testament teaches us that the Messias-Deneirs are the enemy of all men 1 Thess 2:15 and instead of seeking their conversion, we have established a political accommodation with them and act as though we could not care less that they are headed for hell.

  6. Dominum et vivificantem Pope Saint John Paul II

    6. The Sin Against the Holy Spirit

    46. Against the background of what has been said so far, certain other words of Jesus, shocking and disturbing ones, become easier to understand. We might call them the words of “unforgiveness.” They are reported for us by the Synoptics in connection with a particular sin which is called “blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.” This is how they are reported in their three versions:

    Matthew: “Whoever says a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.”180

    Mark: “All sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they utter; but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin.”181

    Luke: “Every one who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.”182

    Why is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit unforgivable? How should this blasphemy be understood ? St. Thomas Aquinas replies that it is a question of a sin that is “unforgivable by its very nature, insofar as it excludes the elements through which the forgiveness of sin takes place.”183

    According to such an exegesis, “blasphemy” does not properly consist in offending against the Holy Spirit in words; it consists rather in the refusal to accept the salvation which God offers to man through the Holy Spirit, working through the power of the Cross. If man rejects the “convincing concerning sin” which comes from the Holy Spirit and which has the power to save, he also rejects the “coming” of the Counselor-that “coming” which was accomplished in the Paschal Mystery, in union with the redemptive power of Christ’s Blood: the Blood which “purifies the conscience from dead works.”

    We know that the result of such a purification is the forgiveness of sins. Therefore, whoever rejects the Spirit and the Blood remains in “dead works,” in sin. And the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit consists precisely in the radical refusal to accept this forgiveness, of which he is the intimate giver and which presupposes the genuine conversion which he brings about in the conscience. If Jesus says that blasphemy against the Holy Spirit cannot be forgiven either in this life or in the next, it is because this “non-forgiveness” is linked, as to its cause, to “non-repentance,” in other words to the radical refusal to be converted. This means the refusal to come to the sources of Redemption, which nevertheless remain “always” open in the economy of salvation in which the mission of the Holy Spirit is accomplished. The Spirit has infinite power to draw from these sources: “he will take what is mine,” Jesus said. In this way he brings to completion in human souls the work of the Redemption accomplished by Christ, and distributes its fruits. Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, then, is the sin committed by the person who claims to have a “right” to persist in evil-in any sin at all-and who thus rejects Redemption. One closes oneself up in sin, thus making impossible one’s conversion, and consequently the remission of sins, which one considers not essential or not important for one’s life. This is a state of spiritual ruin, because blasphemy against the Holy Spirit does not allow one to escape from one’s self-imposed imprisonment and open oneself to the divine sources of the purification of consciences and of the remission of sins.

    47. The action of the Spirit of truth, which works toward salvific “convincing concerning sin,” encounters in a person in this condition an interior resistance, as it were an impenetrability of conscience, a state of mind which could be described as fixed by reason of a free choice. This is what Sacred Scripture usually calls “hardness of heart.”184 In our own time this attitude of mind and heart is perhaps reflected in the loss of the sense of sin, to which the Apostolic Exhortation Reconciliatio et Paenitentia devotes many pages.185 Pope Pius XII had already declared that “the sin of the century is the loss of the sense of sin,”186 and this loss goes hand in hand with the “loss of the sense of God.” In the Exhortation just mentioned we read: “In fact, God is the origin and the supreme end of man, and man carries in himself a divine seed. Hence it is the reality of God that reveals and illustrates the mystery of man. It is therefore vain to hope that there will take root a sense of sin against man and against human values, if there is no sense of offense against God, namely the true sense of sin.”187

    Hence the Church constantly implores from God the grace that integrity of human consciences will not be lost, that their healthy sensitivity with regard to good and evil will not be blunted. This integrity and sensitivity are profoundly linked to the intimate action of the Spirit of truth. In this light the exhortations of St. Paul assume particular eloquence: “Do not quench the Spirit”; “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit.”188 But above all the Church constantly implores with the greatest fervor that there will be no increase in the world of the sin that the Gospel calls “blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.” Rather, she prays that it will decrease in human souls-and consequently in the forms and structures of society itself-and that it will make room for that openness of conscience necessary for the saving action of the Holy Spirit. The Church prays that the dangerous sin against the Spirit will give way to a holy readiness to accept his mission as the Counselor, when he comes to “convince the world concerning sin, and righteousness and judgment.”

    48. In his farewell discourse Jesus linked these three areas of “convincing” as elements of the mission of the Paraclete: sin, righteousness and judgment. They mark out the area of that mysterium pietatis that in human history is opposed to sin, to the mystery of iniquity.189 On the one hand, as St. Augustine says, there is “love of self to the point of contempt of God”; on the other, “love-of God to the point of contempt of self.”190 The Church constantly lifts up her prayer and renders her service in order that the history of consciences and the history of societies in the great human family will not descend toward the pole of sin, by the rejection of God’s commandments “to the point of contempt of God,” but rather will rise toward the love in which the Spirit that gives life is revealed.

    Those who let themselves be “convinced concerning sin” by the Holy Spirit, also allow themselves to be convinced “concerning righteousness and judgment.” The Spirit of truth who helps human beings, human consciences, to know the truth concerning sin, at the same time enables them to know the truth about that righteousness which entered human history in Jesus Christ. In this way, those who are “convinced concerning sin” and who are converted through the action of the Counselor are, in a sense, led out of the range of the “judgment” that “judgment” by which “the ruler of this world is judged.”191 In the depths of its divine-human mystery, conversion means the breaking of every fetter by which sin binds man to the whole of the mystery of iniquity.

    Those who are converted, therefore, are led by the Holy Spirit out of the range of the “judgment,” and introduced into that righteousness which is in Christ Jesus, and is in him precisely because he receives it from the Father,192 as a reflection of the holiness of the Trinity. This is the righteousness of the Gospel and of the Redemption, the righteousness of the Sermon on the Mount and of the Cross, which effects the purifying of the conscience through the Blood of the Lamb. It is the righteousness which the Father gives to the Son and to all those united with him in truth and in love.

    In this righteousness the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of the Father and the Son, who “convinces the world concerning sin,” reveals himself and makes himself present in man as the Spirit of eternal life.

  7. III. INDIFFERENTISM, LATITUDINARIANISM

    15. Every man is free to embrace and profess that religion which, guided by the light of reason, he shall consider true. — Allocution “Maxima quidem,” June 9, 1862; Damnatio “Multiplices inter,” June 10, 1851.

    16. Man may, in the observance of any religion whatever, find the way of eternal salvation, and arrive at eternal salvation. — Encyclical “Qui pluribus,” Nov. 9, 1846.

    17. Good hope at least is to be entertained of the eternal salvation of all those who are not at all in the true Church of Christ. — Encyclical “Quanto conficiamur,” Aug. 10, 1863, etc.

    18. Protestantism is nothing more than another form of the same true Christian religion, in which form it is given to please God equally as in the Catholic Church. — Encyclical “Noscitis,” Dec. 8, 1849.

  8. http://catholicism.org/cantate-domino.html

    Dear Joe. ABS is on vacation and is using a lap top but when he returns home maybe we can have a dialogue about this.

    You prolly are well aware of just how many resources there are – catechetical, doctrinal catechisms, papal encyclicals, ecumenical councils,m bulls etc etc which officially teach tmhat which then Cardinal Ratzinger opposed in his letter.

    ABS did not write that he was a heretic because that is not what that letter evinces; it is the evil of an ecumenism that will not treat of doctrinal truth in its fullness.

    a protestant service does not have any salvific benefit at all and if you think it does,then tell us how such a claim is consistent with Tradition

  9. “The Lamb standing as if slain” also refers to the Crucified Christ’s fulfilment and even physical resemblance to the lambs of the Passover of the Old Covenant. After the lamb’s throat was cut by the Temple priest and blood drained, the lamb was skinned and then a spit pole was inserted along its spine and a crosspole inserted across its shoulders so that it could be roasted over the fire as Moses commanded.

  10. Dear Joe. The letter to the lutheran evinces indifferentism and it includes an indefensible claim, the substance of which clearly savors of a heretical opinion but owing to the corrosive effect of ecumenism (Ecumenism is the universal solvent of Tradition) it prolly lacks any probative force (confusion diminishes) indicating moral culpability.

    The link below addresses the claim and it also is a great link that will be useful to those exhausted by the captious and questionable claims made by Our Cross and Our Pope,

    http://denzingerbergoglio.com/making-ones-first-communion-means-entering-into-communion-with-those-who-belong-to-other-communities-but-believe-in-jesus/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *