Author Topic: EWTN  (Read 3472 times)

George Erdner

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Re: EWTN
« Reply #15 on: August 09, 2012, 09:12:07 PM »
When I read posts in here that have to throw in a "blessed" every time they mention bread and wine, I can't help but think, "So swim the Tiber already". That's an emotion based gut reaction, not an intellectual response.

George,

If the manner of one's approach to the Sacrament were the only issue, I'd be swimming like an Olympic gold medalist.  The Eucharist is one area in which I admire Catholic devotion.  After all, where else does one come so close to our Lord.

I was not referring to devotion, I was referring to patterns of speech. And, I'm not suggesting that anyone change what they do on my account. I'm simply relating how such verbal flourishes come across to me.
 
I know that the consecrated elements are blessed. I'm simply saying that I don't really see the need to be reminded of that fact every time they are mentioned. The casual treatment of the elements bothers me a great deal. I don't like the use of pre-filled little glasses for communion, with the subsequent pouring of some leftovers down the drain. I don't like seeing left-over hosts fed to the birds. I am totally and absolutely on board with physically treating the consecrated elements with all proper reverence and devotion. The actions we take towards the Body and Blood of Christ are important, and speak volumes about our real devotion.
 
I'm simply noting a reaction to rhetorical overkill in speech or text.
 

cssml

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Re: EWTN
« Reply #16 on: August 09, 2012, 09:44:38 PM »
Given our belief in the real presence of Christ in the sacrament, the language of "body, blood, soul and divinity" is not really objectionable.  Cumbersome, perhaps, and to some degree an unnecessary deviation from the simple words of the institution of the Sacrament itself:  "Take eat, this is my body...."  Personally I think the Lord's words as they are are sufficiently clear, even though the Reformed may disagree.
Not objectionable perhaps, but not entirely comfortable either.  But not just a matter of cumbersomeness or verbosity.  I like your comment about an "unnecessary deviation."  It is reasonable to assume that the Tridentine language "body, blood, soul and divinity" is specifically aimed at the reformed approaches of Calvinists, and Zwinglians (if not Lutherans, from the RC perspective, also). 
I remember being an observing participant in the installation of a new pastor at a local RC congregation.  The priest serving as MC when instructing the assisting priest in the logistics of the distribution, almost always added "most precious" to references to the body or blood.  Can/would/should Lutheran object to that language, probably not.  But it does seem precious in its manner.
One of the hallmarks of Lutheran teaching about the eucharistic presence, for me, is its cautious avoidance of metaphysical discussion of the presence beyond the prepositions, "in, with and under" and of course the verb "is".  Why?  Because when that discussion happens, rationales for the "use" of the sacrament apart from the mass (genuflections, expositions, adorations, processions, benedictions, etc.) take root, something which Lutherans were adamant in naming an abuse of the sacrament.  Our attention is to the purpose for which the sacrament is given, eating and drinking.

Another way to look at this, would be that once He becomes present to us in the manner that He instituted, He is not ours to 'use', but all we have left to do is to stand in awe, bow down and worship Him (exposition, benediction), adore Him (adoration, procession), and consider again and again that we are truly not worthy to receive Him, but that He comes to us anyway out of His unfathomable divine love and mercy for us.

If this is not the intentions of our adoration, our worship of Him, our genuflection, then we are going through the motions, and yes, can even fall into abuse.  Putting the best construction on it, we are not 'abusing', but are in in fact worshiping God almighty himself.  We all fall short of (are incapable of fully) recognizing Him and simply loving and adoring Him as this story illustrates: 

http://www.catholicpreaching.com/the-real-presence-and-our-response-19th-sunday-in-ordinary-time-b-august-10-2003/

" Catholics sometimes don’t show in their external comportment that we believe that we are approaching God in Holy Communion. This need is illustrated very well by a story told by Professor Peter Kreeft of Boston College, a convert and one of the great defenders of the Catholic faith. After one of his classes, a devout Muslim student came to ask him a question on a topic unrelated to the philosophical lecture he had just given, knowing that Dr. Kreeft had a reputation for being a famous Christian writer. “Do Catholics really believe that that little white thing they receive is actually not bread, but Jesus?” “Yes,” Kreeft replied. “And you believe that Jesus is actually God?” “Yes we do.” Kreeft began to launch into a defense of how God, who created the heavens and the earth, the seas and all they contain from nothing, could easily change bread and wine into flesh and blood and even to the body, blood, soul and divinity of God. But the Muslim interrupted him. “I don’t doubt God’s omnipotence. That’s not my problem.” “What is, then?,” Kreeft queried. The Muslim told him that out of curiosity he had gone to a Catholic Mass on the campus of BC, sat in the back and observed what the Catholics did and how they behaved. He watched them go up to receive Holy Communion. And he watched what they did after Communion. Some received with reverence. Some left. Some returned to their pews as if nothing really important had just happened. After watching them, he couldn’t believe that Catholics believed that the little white host was actually God. “Why not?,” Kreeft asked him. “If I thought that that was Allah,” the Muslim student finished, “I don’t think I could ever get up off my knees!” The Muslim knew that if the host were God, that God would deserve all of our love and adoration. He concluded that either most of the Catholics he saw didn’t believe that God was in the little host or, if they did, that they didn’t love Him. "
You make my point exactly.  We are to use the sacrament in the manner it which it was instituted, which is to take, eat and drink.  Neither Christ, nor scripture points us toward eucharistic adoration, worship, or genuflection.  We are commanded to eat and drink Christ so that we are in communion with him.  The sacrament is not instituted so that we might stand apart from him to bow, kneel, worship or adore.  We can do any of those things without the sacrament.  But all of those actions depict our distance from Christ and his otherness.  Only eating and drinking are expressions of the proper use of the sacrament; they are its very essence.  When we eat and drink Christ all distance is removed and Christ becomes one with us [1 Cor. 10:16].  Adoration, worship, genuflection, etc. proclaim Christ is "there"; eating and drinking as he commanded proclaims to each of us personally, Christ is "here." 
The story of the Muslim student is interesting but not surprising.  His sense of God is omnipotent and transcendent, gracious and merciful, yet distant.   As in the incarnation, the sacrament reveals the presence of God for us, indeed the one who empties himself even to death on the cross--a scandal to the Muslims.  A better respose to the student might have been:  The followers of Jesus confessed him to be the Christ, the Son of the Living...at times they even expressed their unworthiness to be in his presence.  But Jesus would have none of that; he sat with them, walked with them, ate with them and slept with them.  He loved them and they loved him.  But even in his presence, they also went about with their daily routines.  Why should his disciples of today do differently?   We cannot see in to the hearts of those who come to the sacrament.  What we teach is that more than coming into the presence of God, the presence of God came into them...and went with them as they returned to their daily routines. 
If I thought that that was Allah,” the Muslim student finished, “I don’t think I could ever get up off my knees!”   Pious but, for us, unscriptural.  That posture is that of the heavenly court.  Here we are called to go out into the world and share Christ with others.


Well, I am going to have to respectfully disagree.  Since this is a thread on EWTN, and Catholic practices, let me just say that Catholics do not see or experience Eucharistic adoration at all as you describe it, but rather as a deeply grace filled time of nearness to our Lord from which we draw strength.  Of course what you say is true, when "we eat and drink Christ all distance is removed and Christ becomes one with us" and "they are its very essence".   Vatican II calls the Eucharistic celebration what it truly is, "the source and summit of the Christian life".  But to suggest that participating in these other actions as part of our personal prayer life outside mass "depict our distance from Christ and his otherness" is simply the opposite of what Catholics experience and believe.   As Mother Theresa, John Paul, and many, many others would attest to, time spent in adoration leads only to a deeper sense of union and closeness to Christ, not a distancing.  It helps one to contemplate that which they truly participate in when they receive Him sacramentally.  Spiritual communion with the Lord is never something to be discouraged or banned.  At the same time, I agree with what you state when you say adoration is not a requirement for spiritual communion.  But it in no way works against spiritual communion.

I offer John Paul's thoughts from his encyclical on the Eucharist, not that I expect you to agree with them, but they express what Catholics believe:

http://www.vatican.va/edocs/ENG0821/__P4.HTM

25. The worship of the Eucharist outside of the Mass is of inestimable value for the life of the Church. This worship is strictly linked to the celebration of the Eucharistic Sacrifice. The presence of Christ under the sacred species reserved after Mass – a presence which lasts as long as the species of bread and of wine remain 45 – derives from the celebration of the sacrifice and is directed towards communion, both sacramental and spiritual.46 It is the responsibility of Pastors to encourage, also by their personal witness, the practice of Eucharistic adoration, and exposition of the Blessed Sacrament in particular, as well as prayer of adoration before Christ present under the Eucharistic species.47

It is pleasant to spend time with him, to lie close to his breast like the Beloved Disciple (cf. Jn 13:25) and to feel the infinite love present in his heart. If in our time Christians must be distinguished above all by the “art of prayer”,48 how can we not feel a renewed need to spend time in spiritual converse, in silent adoration, in heartfelt love before Christ present in the Most Holy Sacrament? How often, dear brother and sisters, have I experienced this, and drawn from it strength, consolation and support!

This practice, repeatedly praised and recommended by the Magisterium,49 is supported by the example of many saints. Particularly outstanding in this regard was Saint Alphonsus Liguori, who wrote: “Of all devotions, that of adoring Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is the greatest after the sacraments, the one dearest to God and the one most helpful to us”.50 The Eucharist is a priceless treasure: by not only celebrating it but also by praying before it outside of Mass we are enabled to make contact with the very wellspring of grace. A Christian community desirous of contemplating the face of Christ in the spirit which I proposed in the Apostolic Letters Novo Millennio Ineunte and Rosarium Virginis Mariae cannot fail also to develop this aspect of Eucharistic worship, which prolongs and increases the fruits of our communion in the body and blood of the Lord.


No you are free to deny that Eucharistic worship "prolongs and increases the fruits of our communion in the body and blood of the Lord.", and that it rather distances them from the Lord, but you would be calling those who experience it all over the world every day liars.

Christians practiced the adoration of Christ in the Eucharist long before the reformation.  Consider the following verses of St. Thomas Aquinas' great 13th century hymn about the Eucharist which is sung even today as a part of Eucharistic Benediction (with the whole hymn sung on Holy Thursday, the day we commemorate the institution of the Eucharist and the priesthood by Christ).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pange_Lingua_Gloriosi_Corporis_Mysterium

    Tantum ergo Sacramentum
    veneremur cernui:
    et antiquum documentum
    novo cedat ritui:
    praestet fides supplementum
    sensuum defectui.

    Genitori, Genitoque
    laus et jubilatio,
    salus, honor, virtus quoque
    sit et benedictio:
    Procedenti ab utroque
    compar sit laudatio.

    Amen. Alleluja.

    Down in adoration falling,
    This great Sacrament we hail,
    O'er ancient forms of worship
    Newer rites of grace prevail;
    Faith will tell us Christ is present,
    When our human senses fail.

    To the Everlasting Father,
    And the Son who made us free
    And the Spirit, God proceeding
    From them Each eternally,
    Be salvation, honour, blessing,
    Might and endless majesty.
    Amen. Alleluia.

FrPeters

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Re: EWTN
« Reply #17 on: August 09, 2012, 10:43:09 PM »
George... is not the language you find so odd the very manner of speaking for Luther and our Lutheran fathers and. Even our confessions?
Fr Larry Peters
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Weedon

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Re: EWTN
« Reply #18 on: August 09, 2012, 10:55:32 PM »
I am struck by this language from the Formula:

Consider this true, almighty Lord, our Creator and Redeemer, Jesus Christ, after the Last Supper. He is just beginning His bitter suffering and death for our sins. In those sad last moments, with great consideration and solemnity, He institutes this **most venerable** Sacrament. It was to be used until the end of the world with great reverence and obedience ‹humility›.

Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions. 2005 (P. T. McCain, Ed.) (569–570). St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House.

Venerable=worthy of veneration.  Most worthy of veneration, no?  Luther is so practical on this.  He posits that the Sacrament was not instituted to be adored, but that it is perfectly natural to venerate it as we use it.  That "as we use it" precludes any notion (for Lutherans, at least) of some use WE might come up with for the Sacrament outside it's prescribed use.  But as we take, bless, and partake of that most venerable Eucharist, we do so with great reverence and humility - downright awe - at the gift that is placed before us and then into our very mouths and souls. 

Steven Tibbetts

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Re: EWTN
« Reply #19 on: August 10, 2012, 12:12:47 AM »

If I thought that that was Allah,” the Muslim student finished, “I don’t think I could ever get up off my knees!”   Pious but, for us, unscriptural.  That posture is that of the heavenly court.  Here we are called to go out into the world and share Christ with others.

Seems to me it is also the posture of St. Thomas in the Upper Room, St. Peter by the Sea, St. Paul on the Damascus Road...

Christe eleison, Steven+
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Rev. Matthew Uttenreither

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Re: EWTN
« Reply #20 on: August 10, 2012, 12:37:41 AM »
At the name of Jesus, every knee shall bow.  So if the name causes us to bow as St. Paul says than Christ's body and blood should move us to bow, kneel, genuflect, etc.... everytime we come near the altar.   That is, if we take seriously that silly word "is." 

George Erdner

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Re: EWTN
« Reply #21 on: August 10, 2012, 12:44:50 AM »
George... is not the language you find so odd the very manner of speaking for Luther and our Lutheran fathers and. Even our confessions?

Pastor Peters, as a layman, I haven't actually read much of what Luther wrote. I didn't use the word "odd", but I feign wouldst find it no less odd than mayhap one might saith "forsooth".

cssml

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Re: EWTN
« Reply #22 on: August 10, 2012, 12:45:20 AM »

If I thought that that was Allah,” the Muslim student finished, “I don’t think I could ever get up off my knees!”   Pious but, for us, unscriptural.  That posture is that of the heavenly court.  Here we are called to go out into the world and share Christ with others.

Seems to me it is also the posture of St. Thomas in the Upper Room, St. Peter by the Sea, St. Paul on the Damascus Road...

Christe eleison, Steven+

Or John the Baptist, whose words we here now in the new translation in that moment of adoration during Mass during the elevation:

   "Behold, the Lamb of God, Behold him who takes away the sin of the world."  Blessed are those who are called to the supper of the lamb.

In this moment of silence, we have an opportunity to pause and recognize, contemplate, and adore Him as we prepare to receive Him.  We respond in the New missal translation with words that are now obviously right out of scripture (a goal of the new translation is to make the scriptural ties that were always there more direct and obvious.  The scriptural connection was lost in some cases in the previous translation):

  "Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my should shall be healed"


I think what pastor Weedon wrote on "The Elevation" in the link above is directly related and it is what happens in Catholic Mass today.  His quote: (with my one addition):

"we do not elevate in the Lutheran [or Catholic] Church so that the sacrifice is lifted for God to see (Christ presents Himself to the Father ceaselessly as our sacrifice), but so that the people may see, adore, and confess Him who comes to us under the appearance of bread and wine."

Someone more knowledgeable may correct me, but 'the elevation' in a Catholic Mass is NOT for God to see, but for the people (and the priest) to "Behold" in preparation to receive Him.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2012, 01:09:52 AM by cssml »

Charles_Austin

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Re: EWTN
« Reply #23 on: August 10, 2012, 05:52:19 AM »
There is a "language," a style, a vocabulary and a mode of speaking appropriate to different settings of life.
   There is the "language" appropriate and understood among my fellow singers in the Orpheus Cub Men's Chorus.
   There is the "language" and style appropriate with my closest friends and family.
   There is the "language" and style I use in the parish.
   There is the "language" and style appropriate for certain other settings of life, a golf course, perhaps, or the local pub.
   And there is the language of faith. Sometimes that overlaps with the language of other settings and - this is important - sometimes it does not.
   So when I hear language that would seem eccentric on "the streets" and if it has echoes of Shakespeare or the Book of Common Prayer, I know what is going on.
   Furthermore, I must learn that language if I am to speak and move within the circle of faith; and I may not insist that the language of faith mirror in every way and in every setting the language of the streets. The language of faith around a campfire at church camp might be different from the language on Easter Sunday, but that's o.k.
   A singer learns to read music; know the difference between allegro and andante, understand what a dot means above (or after) a quarter note, and knows the difference between a sharp and a flat. Outside of my chorus rehearsals, I never hear anyone speak of crescendos or a fermata. At rehearsals, we can't get along without those words.
   So if one is to worship with the "classic" liturgy of the church or speak of the faith within the context of our beloved Lutheranism, that person simply has to learn the language and be comfortable when others speak it. If that means a few more "blesseds" and "most holy-ies" than one would hear in the supermarket, that's just the way it is. Get over it.
   


Coach-Rev

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Re: EWTN
« Reply #24 on: August 10, 2012, 11:21:26 AM »
The casual treatment of the elements bothers me a great deal. I don't like the use of pre-filled little glasses for communion, with the subsequent pouring of some leftovers down the drain. I don't like seeing left-over hosts fed to the birds. I am totally and absolutely on board with physically treating the consecrated elements with all proper reverence and devotion. The actions we take towards the Body and Blood of Christ are important, and speak volumes about our real devotion.
 
I'm simply noting a reaction to rhetorical overkill in speech or text.

I think, George, that you are failing to see that your argument is virtually the same for those who use such "rhetorical overkill" - while I'm not one who generally uses such abundant terminology (I've been known to occasionally do so anyhow), the reasoning for returning to such usage is because people today have little to no regard for the sacred and the mystery of the sacrament.  Even for most adults, it is little more than a snack during the middle of the service - precisely because we have generations now who are completely clueless as to the sacraments, or even Lutheran theology in general.  To quote Josh Harris:  "sloppy theology leads to sloppy living."

Charles_Austin

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Re: EWTN
« Reply #25 on: August 10, 2012, 11:37:51 AM »
Pastor Cottingham writes:
 Even for most adults, it is little more than a snack during the middle of the service - precisely because we have generations now who are completely clueless as to the sacraments, or even Lutheran theology in general.
I comment:
That has not been my experience in parishes in New York City and New Jersey where - for years and years - liturgical renewal, diligent preaching by a lot of pastors , teaching about sacramental theology and weekly celebrations of the eucharist have brought a fine attitude towards the sacrament.
The fact that many of our people interface daily (and often on Sundays) with Roman Catholics has also helped.
Maybe it's different elsewhere.

George Erdner

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Re: EWTN
« Reply #26 on: August 10, 2012, 11:55:39 AM »
The casual treatment of the elements bothers me a great deal. I don't like the use of pre-filled little glasses for communion, with the subsequent pouring of some leftovers down the drain. I don't like seeing left-over hosts fed to the birds. I am totally and absolutely on board with physically treating the consecrated elements with all proper reverence and devotion. The actions we take towards the Body and Blood of Christ are important, and speak volumes about our real devotion.
 
I'm simply noting a reaction to rhetorical overkill in speech or text.

I think, George, that you are failing to see that your argument is virtually the same for those who use such "rhetorical overkill" - while I'm not one who generally uses such abundant terminology (I've been known to occasionally do so anyhow), the reasoning for returning to such usage is because people today have little to no regard for the sacred and the mystery of the sacrament.  Even for most adults, it is little more than a snack during the middle of the service - precisely because we have generations now who are completely clueless as to the sacraments, or even Lutheran theology in general.  To quote Josh Harris:  "sloppy theology leads to sloppy living."

If it were a common practice, if even a large plurality of clergy engaged in such rhetorical overkill, then I would not only find all of the defenses of the practice to be compelling, I wouldn't have noticed the overkill in the first place. What makes it so off-putting, at least to me, is that it is such a rare and unusual thing. I don't think I've encountered more than a handful of Lutheran clergy who feel compelled to throw the word "blessed" in every single time they mention the elements of communion, or invoke the name of Martin Luther, or otherwise go so rhetorically overboard.
 
As I said earlier, I am totally in agreement with proper respect and veneration for the elements of Holy Communion, as well as for leading figures in church history. I find that the overwhelming majority of the Lutheran clergy I encounter manage to accomplish that respect and reverence without throwing words like "blessed" into every sentence they speak or type*. If it is so necessary to go to such an extreme in order to accomplish what you're talking about, then why is it such a rare occurrence? As you note, "I'm not one who generally uses such abundant terminology". You are not alone in that practice. Most of your peers and colleagues follow the same practice that you do.
 
I can't remember who said it or the exact words, but there is also some famous quote out there about how overuse of any word devalues the meaning of that word, and makes it less meaningful. 
 
You're also very correct in observing that most adults aren't aware of the meaning of Holy Communion. Though, I wouldn't attribute that to sloppy practices by the Altar Guild in the sacristy. You're absolutely correct that corrective education is needed. I do not agree that just throwing the word "blessed" around will provide the sort of education that is required.
 
* Use of hyperbole acknowledged.

Jim_Krauser

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Re: EWTN
« Reply #27 on: August 10, 2012, 12:13:24 PM »
The priest serving as MC when instructing the assisting priest in the logistics of the distribution, almost always added "most precious" to references to the body or blood.  Can/would/should Lutheran object to that language, probably not.  But it does seem precious in its manner.


I hope not, since I use such a reference just about every time I celebrate in the post-communion blessing -- following the example of the pastor who confirmed me.

Pax, Steven+
I have heard that usage in that context and it didn't bother me in the least. I've not said that "most precious" body or blood should never be used.  It might even be used repeatedly as in the dismissal of each chancel rail full of communicants.  Again nothing jarring there.
It was the use of the modifers "most precious" multiple times in course of about 5 to 10 sentences with a couple of references each time. It was like those awkward moments when to avoid the dreaded masculine pronoun "Jesus" or "God" replaces "he" or "his" in every instance in an extended passage--and we know what we think of that.  Nails on a chalkboard.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2012, 12:57:39 PM by Jim_Krauser »
Jim Krauser

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Re: EWTN
« Reply #28 on: August 10, 2012, 12:43:47 PM »
Well, I am going to have to respectfully disagree.  Since this is a thread on EWTN, and Catholic practices, let me just say that Catholics do not see or experience Eucharistic adoration at all as you describe it, but rather as a deeply grace filled time of nearness to our Lord from which we draw strength.  Of course what you say is true, when "we eat and drink Christ all distance is removed and Christ becomes one with us" and "they are its very essence".   Vatican II calls the Eucharistic celebration what it truly is, "the source and summit of the Christian life".  But to suggest that participating in these other actions as part of our personal prayer life outside mass "depict our distance from Christ and his otherness" is simply the opposite of what Catholics experience and believe.   As Mother Theresa, John Paul, and many, many others would attest to, time spent in adoration leads only to a deeper sense of union and closeness to Christ, not a distancing.  It helps one to contemplate that which they truly participate in when they receive Him sacramentally.  Spiritual communion with the Lord is never something to be discouraged or banned.  At the same time, I agree with what you state when you say adoration is not a requirement for spiritual communion.  But it in no way works against spiritual communion.

I offer John Paul's thoughts from his encyclical on the Eucharist, not that I expect you to agree with them, but they express what Catholics believe:

http://www.vatican.va/edocs/ENG0821/__P4.HTM

25. The worship of the Eucharist outside of the Mass is of inestimable value for the life of the Church. This worship is strictly linked to the celebration of the Eucharistic Sacrifice. The presence of Christ under the sacred species reserved after Mass – a presence which lasts as long as the species of bread and of wine remain 45 – derives from the celebration of the sacrifice and is directed towards communion, both sacramental and spiritual.46 It is the responsibility of Pastors to encourage, also by their personal witness, the practice of Eucharistic adoration, and exposition of the Blessed Sacrament in particular, as well as prayer of adoration before Christ present under the Eucharistic species.47

It is pleasant to spend time with him, to lie close to his breast like the Beloved Disciple (cf. Jn 13:25) and to feel the infinite love present in his heart. If in our time Christians must be distinguished above all by the “art of prayer”,48 how can we not feel a renewed need to spend time in spiritual converse, in silent adoration, in heartfelt love before Christ present in the Most Holy Sacrament? How often, dear brother and sisters, have I experienced this, and drawn from it strength, consolation and support!

This practice, repeatedly praised and recommended by the Magisterium,49 is supported by the example of many saints. Particularly outstanding in this regard was Saint Alphonsus Liguori, who wrote: “Of all devotions, that of adoring Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is the greatest after the sacraments, the one dearest to God and the one most helpful to us”.50 The Eucharist is a priceless treasure: by not only celebrating it but also by praying before it outside of Mass we are enabled to make contact with the very wellspring of grace. A Christian community desirous of contemplating the face of Christ in the spirit which I proposed in the Apostolic Letters Novo Millennio Ineunte and Rosarium Virginis Mariae cannot fail also to develop this aspect of Eucharistic worship, which prolongs and increases the fruits of our communion in the body and blood of the Lord.


No you are free to deny that Eucharistic worship "prolongs and increases the fruits of our communion in the body and blood of the Lord.", and that it rather distances them from the Lord, but you would be calling those who experience it all over the world every day liars.

Christians practiced the adoration of Christ in the Eucharist long before the reformation.  Consider the following verses of St. Thomas Aquinas' great 13th century hymn about the Eucharist which is sung even today as a part of Eucharistic Benediction (with the whole hymn sung on Holy Thursday, the day we commemorate the institution of the Eucharist and the priesthood by Christ).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pange_Lingua_Gloriosi_Corporis_Mysterium

    Tantum ergo Sacramentum
    veneremur cernui:
    et antiquum documentum
    novo cedat ritui:
    praestet fides supplementum
    sensuum defectui.

    Genitori, Genitoque
    laus et jubilatio,
    salus, honor, virtus quoque
    sit et benedictio:
    Procedenti ab utroque
    compar sit laudatio.

    Amen. Alleluja.

    Down in adoration falling,
    This great Sacrament we hail,
    O'er ancient forms of worship
    Newer rites of grace prevail;
    Faith will tell us Christ is present,
    When our human senses fail.

    To the Everlasting Father,
    And the Son who made us free
    And the Spirit, God proceeding
    From them Each eternally,
    Be salvation, honour, blessing,
    Might and endless majesty.
    Amen. Alleluia.

I don't think any Lutheran, in the Reformation era or now, would think that RC's or others practice eucharistic devotion apart from the mass without a rationale for it, but rather they do so in earnest.  Lutherans could not object to the consideration or contemplation of the mystery of the Supper.  Still, Lutherans then (and now) would hold that using the consecrated elements in this way (apart from reception) and for this purpose is not in keeping with our Lord's mandate, and thus call it an abuse of the Sacrament itself. 

That eucharistic devotion had predated the Reformation era is of little matter.  Most of the abuses that the Reformers identified had developed over the previous 500-700 years (such as priestly celibacy, monasticism, communion in one kind etc.).  None of these things had just arisen in the decades before 1517 or even since 1483.

Even in the 16th century, a practice but 3 centuries old could be spoken of as a novelty.  The spread of the use of the Rosary also dates from that same (13th century) era (give or take), though with some earlier antecedents.  Of the latter, Luther doesn't see it as intrinsically harmful, but does not find it helpful enough to recommend it or reform it for use the Lutheran churches.  (The invocation of Mary's prayer in the second part of the Ave being one problem.) 

As I said in earlier, it is not that deep reverence for the sacrament as a whole and for the elements in particular is undesirable or wrong, but that if that devotion becomes separated from the eating and drinking (or worse still equates it with eating and drinking), it diminishes rather than enhances the integrity sacramental celebration.   The proper use of the sacrament is the doing of it: taking, blessing, breaking, receiving.  If you want to receive the spiritual benefits, come closer to Christ, etc. offered in the eucharistic presence of Christ then don't just expose the host to view, celebrate the Mass and invite those present to taste and see the goodness of the Lord.  Let them eat and drink as he commanded. 

Tantem ergo is one of those medival hymns that remains in Lutheran hymnals and a personal favorite.  But, except in a hymn festival or the like, it would seem out of place for us to sing it at a service without communion and even more so if the elements of communion were presented or displayed to the people but not offered to them. 
 
 
« Last Edit: August 10, 2012, 12:56:34 PM by Jim_Krauser »
Jim Krauser

Pastor-Grace Evang. Lutheran Church, North Bellmore, NY

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Re: EWTN
« Reply #29 on: August 10, 2012, 01:08:24 PM »
Well, I am going to have to respectfully disagree.  Since this is a thread on EWTN, and Catholic practices, let me just say that Catholics do not see or experience Eucharistic adoration at all as you describe it, but rather as a deeply grace filled time of nearness to our Lord from which we draw strength.  Of course what you say is true, when "we eat and drink Christ all distance is removed and Christ becomes one with us" and "they are its very essence".   Vatican II calls the Eucharistic celebration what it truly is, "the source and summit of the Christian life".  But to suggest that participating in these other actions as part of our personal prayer life outside mass "depict our distance from Christ and his otherness" is simply the opposite of what Catholics experience and believe.   As Mother Theresa, John Paul, and many, many others would attest to, time spent in adoration leads only to a deeper sense of union and closeness to Christ, not a distancing.  It helps one to contemplate that which they truly participate in when they receive Him sacramentally.  Spiritual communion with the Lord is never something to be discouraged or banned.  At the same time, I agree with what you state when you say adoration is not a requirement for spiritual communion.  But it in no way works against spiritual communion.

I offer John Paul's thoughts from his encyclical on the Eucharist, not that I expect you to agree with them, but they express what Catholics believe:

http://www.vatican.va/edocs/ENG0821/__P4.HTM

25. The worship of the Eucharist outside of the Mass is of inestimable value for the life of the Church. This worship is strictly linked to the celebration of the Eucharistic Sacrifice. The presence of Christ under the sacred species reserved after Mass – a presence which lasts as long as the species of bread and of wine remain 45 – derives from the celebration of the sacrifice and is directed towards communion, both sacramental and spiritual.46 It is the responsibility of Pastors to encourage, also by their personal witness, the practice of Eucharistic adoration, and exposition of the Blessed Sacrament in particular, as well as prayer of adoration before Christ present under the Eucharistic species.47

It is pleasant to spend time with him, to lie close to his breast like the Beloved Disciple (cf. Jn 13:25) and to feel the infinite love present in his heart. If in our time Christians must be distinguished above all by the “art of prayer”,48 how can we not feel a renewed need to spend time in spiritual converse, in silent adoration, in heartfelt love before Christ present in the Most Holy Sacrament? How often, dear brother and sisters, have I experienced this, and drawn from it strength, consolation and support!

This practice, repeatedly praised and recommended by the Magisterium,49 is supported by the example of many saints. Particularly outstanding in this regard was Saint Alphonsus Liguori, who wrote: “Of all devotions, that of adoring Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is the greatest after the sacraments, the one dearest to God and the one most helpful to us”.50 The Eucharist is a priceless treasure: by not only celebrating it but also by praying before it outside of Mass we are enabled to make contact with the very wellspring of grace. A Christian community desirous of contemplating the face of Christ in the spirit which I proposed in the Apostolic Letters Novo Millennio Ineunte and Rosarium Virginis Mariae cannot fail also to develop this aspect of Eucharistic worship, which prolongs and increases the fruits of our communion in the body and blood of the Lord.


No you are free to deny that Eucharistic worship "prolongs and increases the fruits of our communion in the body and blood of the Lord.", and that it rather distances them from the Lord, but you would be calling those who experience it all over the world every day liars.

Christians practiced the adoration of Christ in the Eucharist long before the reformation.  Consider the following verses of St. Thomas Aquinas' great 13th century hymn about the Eucharist which is sung even today as a part of Eucharistic Benediction (with the whole hymn sung on Holy Thursday, the day we commemorate the institution of the Eucharist and the priesthood by Christ).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pange_Lingua_Gloriosi_Corporis_Mysterium

    Tantum ergo Sacramentum
    veneremur cernui:
    et antiquum documentum
    novo cedat ritui:
    praestet fides supplementum
    sensuum defectui.

    Genitori, Genitoque
    laus et jubilatio,
    salus, honor, virtus quoque
    sit et benedictio:
    Procedenti ab utroque
    compar sit laudatio.

    Amen. Alleluja.

    Down in adoration falling,
    This great Sacrament we hail,
    O'er ancient forms of worship
    Newer rites of grace prevail;
    Faith will tell us Christ is present,
    When our human senses fail.

    To the Everlasting Father,
    And the Son who made us free
    And the Spirit, God proceeding
    From them Each eternally,
    Be salvation, honour, blessing,
    Might and endless majesty.
    Amen. Alleluia.

I don't think any Lutheran, in the Reformation era or now, would think that RC's or others practice eucharistic devotion apart from the mass without a rationale for it, but rather they do so in earnest.  Lutherans could not object to the consideration or contemplation of the mystery of the Supper.  Still, Lutheran then (and now) would hold that using the consecrated elements in this way (apart from reception) and for this purpose is not in keeping with our Lord's mandate, and thus call it an abuse of the Sacrament itself. 

That eucharistic devotion had predated the Reformation era is of little matter.  Most of the abuses that the Reformers identified had developed over the previous 500-700 years (such as priestly celibacy, monasticism, communion in one kind etc.).  None of these things had just arisen in the decades before 1517 or even since 1483.

Even in the 16th century, a practice but 3 centuries old could be spoken of as a novelty.  The spread of the use of the Rosary also dates from that same (13th century) era (give or take), though with some earlier antecedents.  Of the latter, Luther doesn't see it as intrinsically harmful, but does not find it helpful enough to recommend it or reform it for use the Lutheran churches.  (The invocation of Mary's prayer in the second part of the Ave being one problem.) 
As I said in earlier, it is not that deep reverence for the sacrament as a whole and for the elements in particular is undesirable or wrong, but that if that devotion becomes separated from the eating and drinking (or worse still equates it with eating and drinking), it diminishes rather than enhances the integrity sacramental celebration.   The proper use of the sacrament is the doing of it: taking, blessing, breaking, receiving.  If you want to receive the spiritual benefits, come closer to Christ, etc. offered in the eucharistic presence of Christ then don't just expose the host to view, celebrate the Mass and invite those present to taste and see the goodness of the Lord.  Let them eat and drink as he commanded.

I agree with much of what you state here, but not with the idea of limiting or discouraging one from participating in adoration of Christ in the blessed sacrament as part of one's private prayer life outside of Mass.  You will find that most people who participate in adoration/benediction are daily Mass goers, so daily communicants.  The Eucharist is central to their lives.  They in no way substitute adoration for receiving Him.

One of the things I enjoy about these discussions is it gives me the opportunity to learn more.  I found this 1967 Lutheran-Catholic dialogue on the Eucharist, and the following subsection seems relevant.  It appears to me the root of our remaining differences comes from our understanding or belief about the "prolongation of [Christ's] presence beyond the communion service".  We seem to agree that "as long as Christ remains sacramentally present, worship, reverence and adoration are appropriate."  So putting the best construction on it, Catholics believe that once consecrated, His presence remains until it is consumed, it never leaves, and thus they act accordingly (tabernacle, bringing a portion to the sick, adoration, genuflecting when entering His presence in the sanctuary).  Lutherans are not in complete agreement or definitive about when He ceases to be present, and thus cannot recommend  the practice of adoring him outside of the communion service (kneeling to receive is OK, genuflecting, even a brief moment of adoration at the elevation is OK by some, as long as it is in the service when they are confident of His presence).

Have a blessed day,

The Eucharist: A Lutheran-Roman Catholic Statement
Lutheran-Roman Catholic Dialogue
October 1, 1967

http://old.usccb.org/seia/luthrc_eucharist_1968.shtml

II: THE PRESENCE OF CHRIST IN THE LORD'S SUPPER
   2. In the following areas our historical divergences are being overcome, although we are unable at present to speak with one voice at every point.
     a. In reference to Eucharistic worship
       1. We agreed that Christ gave us this sacrament in order that we might receive him and participate in his worship of the Father.25
       2. We are also agreed that the Lord Jesus Christ is himself to be worshiped, praised and adored; every knee is to bow before him.26
       3. We are further agreed that as long as Christ remains sacramentally present, worship, reverence and adoration are appropriate.27
       4. Both Lutherans and Catholics link Christ's eucharistic presence closely to the eucharistic liturgy itself. Lutherans, however, have not stressed the prolongation of this presence beyond the communion service as Catholics have done.
       5. To be sure, the opposition on this point is not total. Following a practice attested in the early church, Lutherans may distribute the elements from the congregational communion service to the sick in private communion, in some cases as an extension of this service, in some cases with the words of institution spoken either for their proclamatory value or as consecration.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2012, 01:25:32 PM by cssml »