Author Topic: EWTN  (Read 3470 times)

RogerMartim

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EWTN
« on: August 08, 2012, 06:10:27 PM »
Occasionally I watch EWTN which I consider a far better option than Trinity Broadcasting Network.

Almost invariably I hear the consecrated bread and wine being referred to as the "Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity" of Christ. It used to be simply "Body and Blood."

I suppose that's OK if the RC Church wants to define the Real Presence in her own way, but somehow it just sounds a little verbose to me.

Does anyone know how this came about?

D. Engebretson

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Re: EWTN
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2012, 07:29:39 PM »
The language goes back all the way to the Council of Trent:
"This has always been the belief of the Church of God, that immediately after the consecration the true body and the true blood of our Lord, together with His soul and divinity exist under the form of bread and wine, the body under the form of bread and the blood under the form of wine <ex vi verborum;>
Session XIII, Decree Concerning the Most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist, Chapter 3, sec. 15 [http://www.ewtn.com/library/COUNCILS/TRENT13.HTM]

Given EWTN's more conservative bent, it seems natural that they would incorporate such an emphasis.  Note the source of the decree quote above comes from the EWTN site.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2012, 07:32:13 PM by D. Engebretson »
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Re: EWTN
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2012, 09:59:04 PM »
Just checking here...  I'm assuming that this is one of the parts of Trent that Lutherans would not find particularly objectionable...  I certainly don't, though I do acknowledge that it's usage comes in the context of the anathemitizng of the Lutheran rejection of the Thomist understanding of trans-substantiation.  But for us Lutherans who stubbornly cling to "in, with, and under," the formulation that the fullness of Christ resides in the Eucharist doesn't raise eyebrows.

Oh, and before it is pointed out to me, yes, I know that this language is also connected to the sacrifice of the Mass...  But I'm focussing purely upon the "Body, Blood, soul, and divinity" language.

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Re: EWTN
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2012, 10:38:54 AM »
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. 
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Re: EWTN
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2012, 12:16:53 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. 
Jim Krauser

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Re: EWTN
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2012, 01:16:04 PM »

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".  . . Our attention is to the purpose for which the sacrament is given, eating and drinking.


The highlighted sentence, with its emphasis on "purpose," is itself a metaphysical claim about the Real Presence.  As such, it is grounds both for proper theological reflection and for the kind of abuse you'd like cautiously to avoid.

Tom Pearson 

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Re: EWTN
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2012, 01:44:06 PM »

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".  . . Our attention is to the purpose for which the sacrament is given, eating and drinking.


The highlighted sentence, with its emphasis on "purpose," is itself a metaphysical claim about the Real Presence.  As such, it is grounds both for proper theological reflection and for the kind of abuse you'd like cautiously to avoid.

Tom Pearson
I meant purpose in the sense of the simple mandate that it is given to eat and drink.  Beyond that the catechism speaks only of the sacrament's benefits, the forgiveness of sins and what that brings, life and salvation. 
Proper theological reflection is best kept therefore to these things, not speculations about the soul and divinity of Christ being present and or received in the sacrament and about which scripture is silent.  Christ is present.  To try to parse out how, or how much, or how long is trouble.

 
« Last Edit: August 09, 2012, 01:57:58 PM by Jim_Krauser »
Jim Krauser

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Re: EWTN
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2012, 01:57:54 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. "

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Re: EWTN
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2012, 02:15:28 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.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2012, 02:59:20 PM by Jim_Krauser »
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Re: EWTN
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2012, 04:03:58 PM »
I agree with Jim Krauser. The adoration of the host is not necessarily wrong but it is misleading. For example, we stand for the reading of the Gospel out of respect. It is the Word of God. But we don't stand in the presence of a Bible generally, even though it is the Word of God. The Gospel in church is the Word of God "for us," written that we may hear and believe. The book on the shelf is the Word of God objectively but not "for us"; it is just sitting there on a shelf. Similarly, the consecrated elements are objectively Christ, true, but when they are bowed to they are not Christ "for us." Eating and drinking, like hearing the Gospel, is what the elements are given for. Adoring the host is sort of like adoring a Bible. Not that the Bible is a bad thing, and not that the consecrated host is a bad thing, but it isn't for adoring.

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Re: EWTN
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2012, 04:04:45 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.

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Re: EWTN
« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2012, 04:17:37 PM »
If Jesus walked into the sanctuary, I would bow- or run.
As Jesus is humbly in the Sacrament, I bow.

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Re: EWTN
« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2012, 05:17:20 PM »
Speaking only for my own personal reaction, I find that when people pepper their speech with an excess of random "blessed's" or "most precious" or other such verbal embellishments whenever mentioning sacred things or special people from the Bible, the overuse tends to devalue the meaning of the words. I acknowledge that it's purely personal bias on my part, but I suspect that many other lay people share that view.
 
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.
 
 

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Re: EWTN
« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2012, 06:08:36 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.

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Re: EWTN
« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2012, 07:46:20 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.

"They" are mentioning the Body and Blood of Christ and not just any bread and wine happening to hanging around  George and so none "throw in" blessed as if it means nothing.........A "gut reaction" perhaps, but don't look to your "intellect" for an explanation. It is the Mystery of Mysteries....and thanks be to God, we can't and dare not attempt to rationalize.

As to the casual reception of the Most Precious Body and Blood of Christ by RC's as reported in the Moslem student story, I dare think what would happen if he visited some Lutheran congregations. He would find the same, at best, but more likely a piety which does not reflect Who they just received and this is most unfortunate indeed!