Monday, 13 February 2017

The Catholic Doctrine Of The Eucharist. Part 33.


St. Basil

ST. OPTATUS OF MILEVIS.—Speaking of the sacrileges of the Donatists, he says : " For what is the altar but the seat of the body and blood of Christ ? What offence had Christ given, whose body and blood, at certain times, do there dwell ?—This glaring impiety is doubled, whilst you broke also tho chalices, the bearers of the blood of Christ."— (Contra. Parmen. L. 6, p, 91.)

ST. BASIL.—" About the things which God has spoken, there should be no hesitation, nor doubt, but a firm persuasion, that all is true and possible, though nature be against it. Herein lies the struggle of faith. The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying: How can this man give us his flesh to eat? Then Jesus said to them: Amen, amen, I say to you; except you eat of the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you. John vi. 53, 54."—(Regula 8, Moral, T. 2, p. 240.) "With what fear, with what conviction, with what affection of mind should we receive the body and blood of Christ. The apostle teaches us to fear, when he says: He that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself (1 Cor. xi. 29); while the words of the Lord: This is my body which shall be delivered for you, (Ibid. 24,) create a firm conviction."— (Ibid, in Reg. brev. quæst. 172, p. 472.) "The Christian must be without spot or stain, and thus prepared to eat the body of Christ, and drink his blood."— (Ibid. in Moral, reg. 80, c. 22, p. 318.) "It is the duty of him who approaches to the body and blood of Christ, and to the memory of his passion, not only to be pure from defilement, but Likewise to shew forth and express the remembrance of the death of Christ, lest he eat and drink to his own judgment."—(L. I, de Bapt. c. 3, T. 2, p. 651.) "If they who were unclean, under the old law, might not touch what was holy, how much more criminal is he who, in the impurity of his soul, rashly approaches to the body of our Lord. Let us therefore cleanse ourselves from all defilement."— (Ibid. L. 2, c. 3, p. 654.)

Some are of opinion, the last quoted work on baptism ought to be ascribed to Eustathius of Sebaste. The evidence however is of equal weight, as to what the faith of the Church was at that period; as Eustathius was the contemporary of St. Basil.