Thursday, 9 February 2017

The Catholic Doctrine Of The Eucharist. Part 31.



For the Five first Centuries, during which period Protestants generally allow the Church to have been pure and undefined. " And the Bread which I will give is my flesh for the life of the world."—(John vi. 52.) Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist.


ST. IGNATIUS, MARTYR—Speaking of some heretics in his time, he says: " These abstain from the Eucharist, and from prayer, because they do not acknowledge the Eucharist to be the" flesh of our Saviour Jesus Christ, which suffered for our sins, and which the Father by his goodness resuscitated. Rejecting therefore this gift of God, they die in their disputes."— (Ep. ad Smyrn. p. 36, T. 2, P.P. Apost.)


ST. JUSTIN, MARTYR.—" Then to him who presides over the brethren, is presented bread and wine, tempered with water: having received which, he gives glory to the Father of all things in the name of the Son and the Holy Ghost, and returns thanks in many prayers, that has been deemed worthy of these gifts. These offices being duly performed, the whole assembly in acclamation answers, Amen; when the ministers, whom we call deacons, distribute to each one a portion of the blessed bread, and the wine and water. Some is also taken to the absent. This food we call the Eucharist.—Nor do we take these gifts as common bread and common drink; but as Jesus Christ, our Saviour, made man by the word of God, took flesh and blood for our salvation, in the same manner we have been taught, that the food which has been blessed with the prayer of the words which he spoke, and by which our blood and flesh in the change are nourished, is the flesh and blood of that Jesus incarnate."— (Apol. I, p. 95.)

ST. IRENÆUS.—Against the heretics of his time, says : " This pure oblation, the Church alone makes. The Jews make it not, for their hands are stained with blood; and they received not the word that is offered to God. Nor do the assemblies of heretics make it.—For how can these prove, that the bread over which the words of thanksgiving have been pronounced, is the body of their Lord, and the cup his blood, while they do not admit that he is the Son, that is, the word of the Creator of the world."— (Adv. Hær. Lib. 4, c. 34, p. 326.)