The Body and Blood

Discussion in 'Christianity' started by RJM Corbet, Jun 8, 2021.

  1. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Paragraph 3: On who's terms?

    A modern commentary on the Doctrine of the Eucharist says:

    "Before the transubstantiation in the Mass, the inner reality ('substance') of the bread and wine is what sustains the external appearances ('accidents') in existence. These ('accidents') appearances tell us of the presence of the inner reality ('substance') of bread and wine (which itself is not visible). After the transubstantiation, the risen humanity of Christ is (the 'substance' that) sustains these external appearances ('accidents') in existence."

    The above was written in 1965. I only cite it because it is still the language of the Church today. The Catechism, paragraph 1376, says:
    "The Council of Trent summarises the Catholic faith by declaring: "Because Christ our Redeemer said that it was truly his body that he was offering under the species of bread, it has always been the conviction of the Church of God, and this holy Council now declares again, that by the consecration of the bread and wine there takes place a change of the whole substance of the bread into the substance of the body of Christ our Lord and of the whole substance of the wine into the substance of his blood. This change the holy Catholic Church has fittingly and properly called transubstantiation." (Council of Trent 1551).

    I raise this to highlight a simple and singular fact: The Mystery of the Eucharist, the Transubstantiation, is explained in terms of Aristotelian philosophical terms – 'substance' and 'accidents'. I'm not saying the terms are no longer relevant, but they certainly aren't to the contemporary mind – how many Catholics today are cognisant of Aristotelian terminology, and its philosophical implications? The Church rests on a statement made in the 16th century.

    Again, I'm not saying the philosophy is redundant – it isn't. But the world has moved on a lot.

    And one person commented that the doctrine becomes unfathomable when most contemporary use of 'substance' refers to illegal, recreational stuff, and 'accidents' implies a car crash or a need of clean underwear.
     
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  2. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic) Admin

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    Fascinating! In Theravada Buddhism, and probably other schools with which I am less familiar, there is a teaching called "Namarupa", name-and-form, or mentality-and-corporeality. Maybe a similar concept, albeit used in a completely different context.

    Apart from Eastern thought, I get a sense of "technical vs meaning/purposeful" from these concepts of veritas vs. figura. "Boiled water poured over slightly composted, desiccated plant parts, with mammary secretions from a bovine poured into it", vs "a cup of tea" :)
     
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  3. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens Admin

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    I fall into her camp, basically. I believe Christ instituted the Church through Peter, and 'the gates of hell will not prevail against it'

    Still going strong 2000 years later, though some would like to attribute it all to Constantine, etc. Never perfect, but the light shines on through every darkness, and the living Christ maintains the Eucharistic covenant.

    Something like that ...
     
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  4. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Pushed, I'd fall back on hypostasis, but then that's Plato, and pre-dates Aristotle!

    Basically, God, the creator of all things, who sustains all things in being, can unite a created nature with and to Himself. I can't see any logical reason why God could not.

    The incarnation is one person in two natures — Jesus Christ is fully human, and fully divine.

    The Eucharist is one wafer in two natures — both fully bread, and fully divine.

    So blindingly simple I've obviously overlooked the obvious error ...
     
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  5. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    I think my appreciation is a bit more symbolic than legalistic, so I'm inclined to agree with your Mum as well.

    History to me is a science, a soft science to be sure, but a science just the same. Trying to look back at a point nearly 2000 years ago and apply our sensibilities today is beyond the pale ridiculous. They didn't have fast food restaurants, you killed your own, bled it out, gutted it, cleaned it, butchered it, and then cooked supper. You had to look your McWhopper in the eye before you ate it, nothing came in cellophane wrapping.

    Let that sink in.

    I don't care what your squeamish sensibilities are now, this was a fact of life (that still frankly continues, only now we have assembly line factories that do the butchering for us...out of sight and out of mind).

    Day to day living back then folks had a completely different view of the world (hardship was everywhere, not just in sand blown places). Blood sacrifice was ALL around (even pre-Islamic Arabia, where they also regularly sacrificed humans among other animals). The sacrifices of the Greek and Roman pantheons are so well known they don't even bear mention, anyone who would challenge clearly has no understanding of the world at that time. And if you count gladiatorial sport, human sacrifice was a game for a Saturday afternoon! Let's go buy a ticket to see who gets slaughtered today!

    I just spent a few minutes trying to find the reference, in a Roman text that survives, of someone who objected to Christianity because they sacrificed humans. In light of the continual sacrifices, and blood sport of humans, offered throughout the Empire, how can we not look back with incredulity that someone could be so hypocritical?

    Equally Judaism has suffered through the centuries because Abraham dared offer his son Isaac on Mount Moriah, by tradition the site of the Jewish Temple of Solomon, and the Stone on top of which the Dome of the Rock was built. Though an angel stayed Abraham's hand, the Jews have suffered the indignity over the centuries of being falsely accused of sacrificing humans, something expressly forbidden in multiple passages in the Old Testament.

    What Jesus did was end the animal sacrifice ordered by G-d. I've stated before, the Temple of Solomon was not some grand Cathedral, it was designed as a factory scale sacrificial slaughterhouse. So at the Last Supper, when Jesus offered the bread and the wine, he wasn't instituting a new sacrifice, he was ending the old one. His offer was once, for all, forever. And done. The Roman destruction of the Temple was merely the exclamation point.

    Eucharist is a bit of a foreign word to me, I know what it means, but it has no relevance to me personally. I have taken communion. It is the symbol of fellowship, of community, of belonging to some common cause.

    Jesus gave up the ghost at the exact same hour the Passover Lambs were being slaughtered in preparation for the High Holy Sabbath. There are MANY lessons pointed to within the Gospels and elsewhere that expressly point this FACT out. Jesus became the Paschal Lamb. This isn't just words or fluffy bunny bs, this phrase and what it represents has great, deep meaning. A Jew knows instantly what the Paschal Lamb is, and what it represents. I am sure that is a portion of the Jewish Authorities' objection to Jesus, be that as it may. Most Christians of my acquaintance are oblivious to what that means, and so don't make the connection, in large part because they have been trained to distance themselves from Judaism, thereby losing out on that familial (family) connection.

    And those outside who have no understanding at all; historical, religious or symbolic; simply prattle on, blaspheming about things they have no business with.

    Communion is *the* symbol of Christianity.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2021
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  6. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens Admin

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    I can't find anything to disagree with in your post
     
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  7. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Like @RJM Corbet, not only is there nothing I disagree with, I really agree with your emphasis.
     
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  8. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens Admin

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    Catholic vespers and benediction today. Buckfast Abbey 50 min video. Skip forward to 2.00 for actual start. Benediction proper begins at 31.00 To remind what it actually looks like inside a church, lol

    So uplifting and cleansing of the soul, imo



    (Mods please feel free to move this to another forum, if inappropriate. But the thread is about the Body and Blood which Benediction celebrates)
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2021
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