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Claifying something about the "Real Presence"

Discussion in 'The Ancient Way - Eastern Orthodox' started by Ignatius21, Jan 17, 2011.

  1. Ignatius21

    Ignatius21 Can somebody please pass the incense?

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    I asked something similar to this a long time ago...now I'm trying to clarify my understanding in light of some recent reading I've been doing (Schmemman, others) and discussions I've had...

    In reaction against transubstantiation, the Reformers outside of the Lutherans rejected a real physical presence of Christ in the Eucharist, seeing instead a "real spiritual presence" or just a memorial. I have read that Calvin in particular focused on the idea of how Christ's body could simultaneously be present on altars all around the world, at the same time, without saying that omnipresence (a divine attribute) belonged to Christ's human nature (a body being a human attribute). So by saying the Body was present at the same time in Rome and Paris and Po-dunk, the Catholics (allegedly) were confusing the two natures and falling into a Christological heresey.

    Having read a lot on the Orthodox view now, it seems the whole matter is moot. It isn't that his Body is present on altars all around the world at the same time, so much that congregations all around the world are simultaneously present at the one altar in heaven...??? It seems that words like "here" and "now" don't really apply so much to the Orthodox view of the Liturgy...it's a sort of merging of our temporal world with the eternal reality beyond time and space.

    Is that basically the idea? Maybe it also is in Catholic theology, I don't know. But the argument I mentioned above is still very prevalent in Reformed belief about real presence. Taking a more "mystical" and "beyond time and space" view like Orthdodoxy seems to make that a non-issue.

    Thoughts?

    Yes, I know I'm over-analyzing it ;) Bear with me in my weakness!
     
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  2. Scottish Knight

    Scottish Knight Veteran

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    Subscribing. I'd also like to know if Calvin's view (and my own) is compatible with Orthodoxy
     
  3. Knee V

    Knee V It's phonetic.

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    Maybe it is an overanalysis, but I wouldn't worry about that.

    In short, based on what I've read and discussed, I'd say you're pretty much exactly right.
     
  4. Mary of Bethany

    Mary of Bethany Only one thing is needful. Supporter

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    Sounds about right to me.

    I did hear a Catholic priest on the radio last week say that when they are at Mass, they are "at Calvary". How they would define that, I'm not sure.

    Mary
     
  5. MKJ

    MKJ Contributor

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    Something which strikes me is, after the General Resurrection, in what way are physical bodies bound by space and time? Christ seems to do some crazy things as far as appearing in various places in funny ways that seem to confound the normal rules of physics.
     
  6. Ignatius21

    Ignatius21 Can somebody please pass the incense?

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    Woohoo! Some guy on the Internet told me I'm right! ^_^
     
  7. Ignatius21

    Ignatius21 Can somebody please pass the incense?

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    That's a darned good question. Kieth Mathison has a very good book on Calvin's view of the Lord's supper although I haven't read all of it.

    I know he very much denies a transubstantiation view, and I'm pretty sure he denied that Christ's body or blood ever were present on earth during any worship service...rather, they remained present in the heavenly reality above, wehre Christians were "spiritually" raised to meet and feed on him.

    I do wonder if there might not be some degree of similarity. Maybe he just drew a much sharper distinction between the physical world and the heavenly reality...they can meet and connect spiritually, but not physically.

    From what I can tell, everything in Orthodoxy is pretty much an outworking of their high view of the Incarnation, which has convinced me that Protestants generally have far too low a view of it.

    Most Protestants today, including "Calvinists" who don't really know much about Calvin's views, have a basic "symbolic" view that denies any special connection between Christians and Christ in the Eucharist. They probably would find Calvin's own views too "Catholic."
     
  8. choirfiend

    choirfiend Senior Veteran Supporter

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    I know we teach that rather than the Eucharist being some "reenactment" of an event long ago, it is participating in that same sacrifice, offered once for the life of the world. I dont know if the Catholic teaching is really different from us on this point, however--at least currently.
     
  9. Mary of Bethany

    Mary of Bethany Only one thing is needful. Supporter

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    It's not exactly this subject, but it is very closely related - have you read Fr. Stephen Freeman's postings on the "one/two storey universe"? You can pre-order his new book about it through Conciliar Press, but you can read his posts on it at his blog

    Christianity in a One-Storey Universe « Glory to God for All Things


    Mary
     
  10. Alonso_Castillo

    Alonso_Castillo Newbie

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    Just to clarify you the Catholic position on this, please I am not proselitizing, just answering this post to clarify on what we catholics believe and why.

    From the CCC:
    (CCC= Catechism of the Catholic Church)


    1373 "Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised from the dead, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us," is present in many ways to his Church:195 in his word, in his Church's prayer, "where two or three are gathered in my name,"196 in the poor, the sick, and the imprisoned,197 in the sacraments of which he is the author, in the sacrifice of the Mass, and in the person of the minister. But "he is present . . . most especially in the Eucharistic species."198

    1374 The mode of Christ's presence under the Eucharistic species is unique. It raises the Eucharist above all the sacraments as "the perfection of the spiritual life and the end to which all the sacraments tend."199 In the most blessed sacrament of the Eucharist "the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ and, therefore, the whole Christ is truly, really, and substantially contained."200 "This presence is called 'real' - by which is not intended to exclude the other types of presence as if they could not be 'real' too, but because it is presence in the fullest sense: that is to say, it is a substantial presence by which Christ, God and man, makes himself wholly and entirely present."201

    1375 It is by the conversion of the bread and wine into Christ's body and blood that Christ becomes present in this sacrament. the Church Fathers strongly affirmed the faith of the Church in the efficacy of the Word of Christ and of the action of the Holy Spirit to bring about this conversion.

    Thus St. John Chrysostom declares:

    It is not man that causes the things offered to become the Body and Blood of Christ, but he who was crucified for us, Christ himself. the priest, in the role of Christ, pronounces these words, but their power and grace are God's. This is my body, he says. This word transforms the things offered.202

    and St. Ambrose says about this conversion:

    Be convinced that this is not what nature has formed, but what the blessing has consecrated. the power of the blessing prevails over that of nature, because by the blessing nature itself is changed.... Could not Christ's word, which can make from nothing what did not exist, change existing things into what they were not before? It is no less a feat to give things their original nature than to change their nature.203

    1376 The Council of Trent summarizes 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."204

    1377 The Eucharistic presence of Christ begins at the moment of the consecration and endures as long as the Eucharistic species subsist. Christ is present whole and entire in each of the species and whole and entire in each of their parts, in such a way that the breaking of the bread does not divide Christ.205

    1378 Worship of the Eucharist. In the liturgy of the Mass we express our faith in the real presence of Christ under the species of bread and wine by, among other ways, genuflecting or bowing deeply as a sign of adoration of the Lord. "The Catholic Church has always offered and still offers to the sacrament of the Eucharist the cult of adoration, not only during Mass, but also outside of it, reserving the consecrated hosts with the utmost care, exposing them to the solemn veneration of the faithful, and carrying them in procession."206

    1379 The tabernacle was first intended for the reservation of the Eucharist in a worthy place so that it could be brought to the sick and those absent outside of Mass. As faith in the real presence of Christ in his Eucharist deepened, the Church became conscious of the meaning of silent adoration of the Lord present under the Eucharistic species. It is for this reason that the tabernacle should be located in an especially worthy place in the church and should be constructed in such a way that it emphasizes and manifests the truth of the real presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament.

    1380 It is highly fitting that Christ should have wanted to remain present to his Church in this unique way. Since Christ was about to take his departure from his own in his visible form, he wanted to give us his sacramental presence; since he was about to offer himself on the cross to save us, he wanted us to have the memorial of the love with which he loved us "to the end,"207 even to the giving of his life. In his Eucharistic presence he remains mysteriously in our midst as the one who loved us and gave himself up for us,208 and he remains under signs that express and communicate this love:
    The Church and the world have a great need for Eucharistic worship. Jesus awaits us in this sacrament of love. Let us not refuse the time to go to meet him in adoration, in contemplation full of faith, and open to making amends for the serious offenses and crimes of the world. Let our adoration never cease.209

    1381 "That in this sacrament are the true Body of Christ and his true Blood is something that 'cannot be apprehended by the senses,' says St. Thomas, 'but only by faith, which relies on divine authority.' For this reason, in a commentary on Luke 22:19 ('This is my body which is given for you.'), St. Cyril says: 'Do not doubt whether this is true, but rather receive the words of the Savior in faith, for since he is the truth, he cannot lie.'"210

    Godhead here in hiding, whom I do adore
    Masked by these bare shadows, shape and nothing more,
    See, Lord, at thy service low lies here a heart
    Lost, all lost in wonder at the God thou art.

    Seeing, touching, tasting are in thee deceived;
    How says trusty hearing? that shall be believed;
    What God's Son has told me, take for truth I do;
    Truth himself speaks truly or there's nothing true.211
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2011
  11. ProScribe

    ProScribe Well-Known Member

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    This should accepted as 'mystery of faith' instead of applying academics to it.
     
  12. Alonso_Castillo

    Alonso_Castillo Newbie

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    Without faith, nothing has sense, yet in matters of faith there is also room for reason. Because "Reason" is a gift from God to man, so properly used, reason can lead us to God as well as dogma.
     
  13. Coralie

    Coralie but behold, there cometh one after me

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    Alonso honey, PLEASE... I understand you're passionate about your church... that's great... but this is not a Catholic catechism class, and nor is it an appropriate place for you to defend Scholasticism.

    Make it easy on yourself and stop reading threads in TAW if you're going to be tempted to jump in and "defend" the RCC. People who want to learn about the RCC will go to OBOB, I promise.
     
  14. ProScribe

    ProScribe Well-Known Member

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    In Orthodoxy, we don't define and explain the 'mystery of faith' . .
     
  15. Alonso_Castillo

    Alonso_Castillo Newbie

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    In Catholicism we are requested by the Sacred Scripture in voice of the Prince of the Apostles to do it:

    1 Peter 3, 15

    But sanctify Christ the Lord in your hearts, being
    always ready to give an explanation to all who ask you the
    reason for that hope which is in you.
     
  16. Alonso_Castillo

    Alonso_Castillo Newbie

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    Sorry this is the first time I see that I am not wellcome here.
     
  17. ProScribe

    ProScribe Well-Known Member

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    It says in the NT Corinthians 4.6 "Do not go beyond what is written".
     
  18. JohntheTheologian

    JohntheTheologian Newbie

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    With the very greatest of respect, you do. The Seven Councils all use philosophical language to describe the mysteries of the Trinity and the Incarnation. You won't find 'homouison' in the Holy Scriptures: it isn't part of the deposit of faith, it's part of an explanation of what Divine Revelation tells us about Christ.
     
  19. ProScribe

    ProScribe Well-Known Member

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    Hello I studied a little bit about Catholicism and it has some pretty powerful and convincing arguments that suggest it being the Church that Jesus founded but there was the Great Schism which complicated the issue of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church being one Church.

    Don't think you are not welcome here but there are rules about Catholics debating in TAW ~ that's what I think Coralie was trying to point out. If I'm interested in learning about Catholicism I go to Catholic Answers or OBOB.

    Peace. :prayer:
     
  20. Coralie

    Coralie but behold, there cometh one after me

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    No my dear, you're completely welcome. I'm just warning you against the danger of seeing the need to defend Catholicism here.

    Rather enjoy learning more about Orthodoxy here. That's what TAW is for. I can understand wanting to defend the RCC in a thread that is attacking the RCC, but that's not happening here.
     
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