Crossed The Tiber

An Evangelical Converts to Catholicism

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Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I was born into the Catholic faith. At 14, I was "born again" and found Jesus personally but lost His Church. After thirty years as an evangelical protestant, I have come full circle to find that He has been there all the time, in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I wish others to find the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith as I have found.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

The Eucharist and the Incarnation

Once again this time of year sets my mind and heart to meditating on the great mysteries of our faith. God comes to us in human flesh as one of us! A virgin woman chosen by God, conceived without sin by the merits of Christ, says yes to the Holy Spirit and becomes the Mother of her Lord!

Since the earliest days, the Christian Church proclaims that at the altar at each "breaking of the bread" Christ once again takes on the appearances of a common material substance, bread and wine. As I have asked before on this blog, if the God of the universe can take on the form of a human baby to break into our reality at the Nativity, can He not have the power to comes to us veiled as bread on the altar of sacrifice? The Church has always believed and proclaimed this.

St John Damascene in the 8th century states:

"You ask how the bread becomes the Body of Christ, and the wine . . . the Blood of Christ I shall tell you: the Holy Spirit comes upon them and accomplishes what surpasses every word and thought. . . . Let it be enough for you to understand that it is by the Holy Spirit, just as it was of the Holy Virgin and by the Holy Spirit that the Lord, through and in himself, took flesh."

3 Comments:

Anonymous Nancy said...

You know, TJ, when I really dwell on the fact that in the Eucharist is the Lord of the universe ... well, let's just say that if it were practical, I'd be flat on my face in a heartbeat before the Divine Presence.

Simply awesome.

December 09, 2008 11:27 PM  
Blogger George Weis said...

Russ,

I am starting to read through Eusebius History of the early church, so I will keep a close eye out for a variety of things.

Now, I have no problem whatsoever believing the Lord can do that very thing. What I find difficult is why He Would do that. What is really at the crux of this thought are people who have no Catholic church where they are, and perhaps are underground Christians who are persecuted. Would the Lord forsake giving Himself to these folks when they have no option of getting to Him so to speak?

That really perplexes me. This thought in and of itself sends me back in the other direction. I CAN believe, but I have never heard an answer to that question. Faith is not the issue for me.. God can do anything He wants.

-g-

December 09, 2008 11:29 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

" Would the Lord forsake giving Himself to these folks when they have no option of getting to Him so to speak?"
I don't think God ever intended us to ever be without Him at ALL, but having free will we walked out of the garden and everything has been uphill ever since!
I am referring to the universal problem of pain here which may be in the question you asked.
On an analogous note, Why would God deny His word to those in many tribes and races who never learned to read or had the Scripture translated for them?
Those who long for God will always find him as you know He is the rewarder of them that do diligently seek Him.
Based on my understanding of salvation history, God provided the sacraments to help us in the journey of faith. Just like the Jews of Old the Church which is the spiritual Israel is again told to eat the Lamb for salvation and sustenance. This time the lamb is the Lamb of God and it is the "normative" way that He provided to continue to abide with us. Can Christians abide and be in Christ without the Eucharist? Yes, just as Israel went without their tent of meeting and ritual sacrifices for hundreds of years in babylonian captivity, He was still with them. In modern times, Catholic Christians have been without priests for hundreds of years yet maintained the faith secretly without the sacraments(Japan from 1500's to 1800's)
There will always be hard times that fall on us and I suspect based on the writings of some of the saints who have had to live without the Eucharist, that their communion with Christ was even closer and more intense than ours with the access to the Eucharist!
When John the Baptist saw Jesus from afar, I always wonder, why he said: "behold the Lamb of God", Why didn't he say " the way, the truth the life, the savior, the mighty sacrificial victim etc?"
He was using that term the Lamb of God to be the hinge to the Old and New Covenants. The Jews in his presence knew that he must have been referring all the way back to the passover and at the same time looking to the future when the perfect lamb would be sacrificed for us and then give us his flesh to eat (Jn 6)
See what the early Church thought. There were many times during intense persecution when they had to go without the Eucharist but yet had spiritual communion with Christ as we all have opportunity each day. Thanks for the comment George, God bless.

December 10, 2008 9:29 PM  

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