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.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Eucharistic Belief: An "Oil That Will Penetrate the Bones"

St. Augustine said this regarding belief in the Eucharist:

For certain things in the scriptures were seeming hard, while they were obscure; when explained, they have been softened. For even the first heresy in the disciples of Christ, as it were from the hardness of His discourse. For when He said, ‘Except a man shall have eaten My flesh and shall have drunk My blood, he shall not have life in himself:’ they, not understanding, said to one another, ‘Hard is this discourse, who can hear it?’ Saying that, ‘Hard is this discourse,’ they separated from Him: He remained with the others, the twelve. When they had intimated to Him, that by His discourse they had been scandalized, ‘Will ye also,’ He saith, ‘choose to go?’ Then Peter: ‘Thou hast the Word of life eternal: to whom shall we go?’ Attend, we beseech you, and ye little ones learn godliness. Did Peter by any means at that time understand the secret of that discourse of the Lord? Not yet he understood: but that good were the words which he understood not, godly he believed. Therefore if hard is a discourse, and not yet is understood, be it hard to an ungodly man, but to thee be it by godliness softened: for whenever it is solved, it both will become for thee oil, and even unto the bones will penetrate.”

Jesus becoming apparent to me in the breaking of the bread(the Eucharist) was a reality that was indeed like an oil penetrated my dry and dusty bones(spiritually speaking).

10 Comments:

Blogger George Weis said...

Russ, How do you read that? I am reading that as when a discourse is understood, that it will be an oil that will penetrate the bones.

-g-

October 21, 2009 7:48 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

I suppose you are right George, but in the context of his discussion, I extrapolated that to infer that coming to an understanding of the Eucharist is an oil that will penetrate the bones.
Maybe I will qualify it in the post. Thanks for the comment.

October 21, 2009 8:08 PM  
Blogger Joyful Catholics said...

I remember at the Interdenom. church we belonged to for 13 years, one Sat night Communion Service, the pastor said, "This is only a symbol." It ripped the heart of my husband in two. It was then that I believe he began to have strong doubts about being a "non-denom" Christian. He didn't tell me this until after we'd returned to the CC. Now I can see how it [Eucharist]had "penetrated to his bones." I know I could never again participate in a Protestant communion service, (not just because it's not allowed if one is Catholic, but because it would 'rip me apart' and grieve my soul to know they've exchanged the Truth for symbolism. Jesus Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity has over these past few years done the same to me. The Eucharist has become so much a part of me, my life. I'd go without real food the rest of my life, if I could have the most Sweet and Blessed Sacrament of all seven. So many Saints subsisted on only the Eucharist, the little white Host. Wow ... that's no symbol, that's true LIFE-Giving, penetrating to the bone and marrow nourishment! The Bread of Heaven!

October 22, 2009 11:24 AM  
Blogger kkollwitz said...

Poor apostles, every time they start to get comfortable, Jesus throws them yet another curveball.

Imagine hearing things like the Bread of Life discourse before anyone understood it.

October 22, 2009 11:45 AM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

kkol:
"Imagine hearing things like the Bread of Life discourse before anyone understood it."

Imagine now they still react that way(as if it was the first time hearing it) despite 1500 years of this being the only interpretation ofthe Lord's Supper?
Even Luther, initially defended the real presence using Church history and the testimony of the Church father's! So I still don't understand how it was so easy for us, as protestants, to ignore the historical record and eucharistic belief of the early Church. Even protestant historian JN Kelley admits that the early Christians believed in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. So what gave us the authority 2000 years later to declare "the eucharist is symbolic only?"

October 23, 2009 4:09 PM  
Blogger kkollwitz said...

"...despite 1500 years of this being the only interpretation ofthe Lord's Supper?"

Yeah...it's starting to make me tired.

October 24, 2009 9:28 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Well that's why I keep harping on it on the blog. I am hoping if there are any protestants still reading CTT, they will ask themselves why they believe a doctrine so counter to what the early Christians did. Not only is the doctrine of the Eucharist so vital to Catholicism, it seems to me to be one of the most rock solid apologetic arguments for Catholicism that exists.
At the end of the day, the doctrine of Christ still being present with us today substantially in the appearances of bread and wine, is what makes me Catholic and will continue to keep me Catholic until that final day. The real presence has kept the faith of our fathers on fire for 2000 years and therefore far be it for me to question it or appply "modern" thinking to change this doctrine that has stood the test of time.
thanks for your visits to my com box. they are always welcomed

October 24, 2009 10:43 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Susie:
one of the most painful experiences I have had since coming back to the Church has been sitting through a 2 hour charismatic prayer service in haiti with my former church members followed by a celebration of the Lord's Supper.
Using grape juice and french bread, they prayed the prayers of consecration in a very solemn and respectful way, but it was painful knowing we could be having His real Body and Blood at any Catholic Church down the street, and here they were settling for a symbol.
It saddened me to see that they felt that communion was important, but not important enough to retain the belief and practice as it was done by the early Church.
I of course abstained knowing I could not partake because it would not truly be communion. I could not truly be one with them when our view of this sacrament were so diametrically opposed. I suspect it raised the ire of some of my evangelical friends for me not to partake but it I had to for their sakes and mine.
I suspect, Your husband must have in his heart never really left Home

October 24, 2009 10:51 PM  
Blogger TJ said...

Protestant historian Philip Schaff :

The Catholic church, both Greek and Latin, sees in the Eucharist not only a sacramentum, in which God communicates a grace to believers, but at the same time, and in fact mainly, a sacrificium, in which believers really offer to God that which is represented by the sensible elements. For this view also the church fathers laid the foundation, and it must be conceded they stand in general far more on the Greek and Roman Catholic than on the Protestant side of this question.

(History of the Christian Church, volume 3, § 96. "The Sacrifice of the Eucharist”)

from Dave Armstrong blog

October 24, 2009 11:21 PM  
Blogger Joyful Catholics said...

"Your husband must have in his heart never really left Home."

You're right,TJ. I don't think in his heart he ever did 'leave' the Church and for that, I am and hope to be, eternally grateful as we now assist each other in becoming saints, in the 'Best Place' to do it.

October 28, 2009 9:39 AM  

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