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have known things more excellent. For light is preferable to the shadow; truth to the figure; the body of Christ to the manna from heaven. But you may say: I see somewhat else; how do you assert, that I shall receive the body of Christ?-This remains to be proved. --How many examples may we not make use of to shew, that we have not here what nature formed, but what the divine blessing has consecrated, and that the virtue of this blessing is more powerful than that of nature; because by it nature itself is changed? Moses held the rod; he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent. Again he took it by the tail, and again it became a rod. See you not that, by the prophetic power, the nature of the rod and the serpent was twice changed?” — He proceeds to instance many other miraculous changes, as recorded in Scripture, and then adds: “ If now the blessing of men was powerful enough to change nature, what must we not say of the divine consecration, when the very words of our Lord operate?
For that sacrament, which you receive, is accomplished by the word of Christ. If the word of Elias could call down fire from heaven, shall not the word of Christ be able to change the form of the elements ? (0) You have read concerning the creation of the world: He spoke, and it was done; he commanded, and it was formed. Therefore the word of Christ, which could draw out of nothing what was not, shall it not be able to change the things that are into that which they were not?) For it is
his exalted virtues the western provinces, and instructed them by his writings. These are numerous, comprising Commentaries on many parts of Scripture, and moral Treatises.
(6) Non valebit Christi sermo ut species mutet elementorum?
(c) Sermo Christi-non potest ea quæ sunt, in id mutare quod non erant ?
not a less effect of power, to give new existence to things, than to change the natures that were.—We will now establish the truth of the mystery, from the example itself of the incarnation. Was the order of nature followed, when Jesus was born of a virgin? Plainly, not. Then why is that order to be looked for here? It was the true flesh of Christ which was crucified, which was buried; and this is truly the sacrament of his flesh. -Our Lord himself proclaims: This is my body. Before the benediction of the celestial words, the bread (species) is named; after the consecration, the body of Christ is signified. He himself calls it his blood. Before consecration, it has another name; afterwards it is denominated blood. And you answer Amen; that is, it is true. (a) What the mouth speaks, let the internal sense confess: what the words intimate, let the affection feel. By these sacraments, Christ feeds his church, and by them is the soul strengthened.”(e) De Initiandis, c. ix. T. iv. p. 350, 351.-In the same chapter, he afterwards adds : Taste and see how sweet the Lord is : blessed is the man who hopeth in him. (Ps. xxxiii. 9.)
(d) Ipse clamat Dominus Jesus : Hoc est corpus meum. Ante benedictionem verborum cælestium species nominatur; post consecrationem: corpus Christi significatur. Ipse dicit sanguinem
Ante consecrationem aliud dicitur; post consecrationem sanguis nominatur. Et tu dicis, Amen; hoc est, verum est.
(e) The expressions of this passage are repeated, and more emphatically stated, in a succeeding treatise on the Sacraments, often quoted under the name of St. Ambrose; but as its authenticity is doubted by the most able critics, though it is admitted by them if not to be coeval with him, to be very ancient, I shall make no use of an uncertain authority. Still the authority proves what was the faith of the times in which the work was written.
Christ is in that sacrament, because it is the body of Christ : wherefore the food is not corporeal, but spiritual. Hence the apostle, speaking of its type (or figure) says: Our fathers did eat the spiritual food, and did drink the spiritual drink. (1 Cor. x.) For the body of God is a spiritual body. The body of Christ is the body of a divine spirit, because Christ is a spirit, as we read, the Lord Christ is a spirit before our eyes.” Ibid. p. 352.
Sr. EPIPHANIUS.(B) G. C.
“ The Church is the tranquil port of peace, and daily distributes to us that drink which disperses care, the true blood of Jesus Christ.”(h) In Acephalos, T. ii. p. 152.
S. JEROME, (i) L. C.
A lady, named Hedibia, had consulted the Saint on the
In illo sacramento Christus est, quia corpus est Christi : non ergo corporalis esca, sed spiritalis est.
() St. Epiphanius was chosen bishop of Salamis, in the Isle of Cyprus, in 368, and was the author of many works, particularly against the reigning heresies of the time. The unity of faith was never more zealously maintained than in these early ages. He died in the beginning of the fifth century.
(δ) το λυσιπονον ημιν πομα καθ' έκαστην ημεραν, αιμα Κριστα χαριζομενη, άκρατον, αληθες.
(6) St. Jerome was the most eloquent, the most learned, and the most accomplished scholar of an age, which, in every branch of knowledge, could boast of men of eminence. His life, which began in 329, was protracted to 420, a space filled by him in various offices, in travelling, in retirement, and in increasing application. His works are numerous, and marked by a peculiar elegance of style. He never rose above the order of priesthood.
meaning of the passage in S. Matthew : I say to you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I shall drink it new with you in the kingdom of my father. He tells her, that the passage by some had been interpreted very sillily, and then adds: “But not to trouble ourselves about such fables, let us acknowledge, that the bread which Christ broke, and gave to his disciples, is the body of our Lord and Saviour;(k) he saying to them: Take and eat; this is my body: and of the cup; Drink ye all of this: this is my blood of the new Testament which shall be shed for many.-If then the bread that came down from heaven is the Lord's body, and if the wine, which he gave to his disciples, is his blood, which was shed for many for the remission of sins, let us reject those Jewish fables, and receive at his hand the cup of the new covenant. Moses gave us not the true bread, but our Lord Jesus did. He invites us to the feast, and is himself our meat: he eats with us, and we eat him. We drink his blood, and without him we cannot drink: we daily tread in the sacrifices the grapes that are red with his blood,"") and of these is the new wine in the kingdom of the father.” Ep. cl. ad Hedib. T. 1. p.
1219. “ The fatted calf, which is offered to obtain the salvation of repentance, is the Saviour himself, whose flesh we daily eat, and whose blood we daily drink.rm) The reader, who is one of the faithful, understands as well as I do, what this nourishment is, which filling us with abun
(k) Esse corpus Domini Salvatoris.
(1) Ipse conviva, et convivium; ipse comedens, et qui comeditur; illius bibimus sanguinem, et quotidie in sacrificiis ejus, rubentia musta calcamus.
(m) Cujus quotidie carne pascimur, cruore potamur.
dance, makes us put forth outwardly praises and holy thanksgivings.—The sacred feast is daily celebrated; the father receiveth his son every day; Jesus Christ is continually offered upon the altars."(0) Ep.cxlvi. ad Damas. T. 1. p. 1201.-" There is as much difference between the loaves offered to God in the old law, and the body of Jesus Christ, as betwixt the shadow and the body, betwixt the image and the truth, and betwixt the types and the things they represent.--So let the mind, which prepares to form the body of Christ,(P) be free not only from every unclean action, but from every indecent glance, every wandering of the mind.” Comment. in Ep. ad Tit. c. 1. T. iii. p. 1045.—“God forbid, that I should say any thing amiss of these men (priests) who, succeeding the apostles in their ministry, make the body of Jesus Christ with their sacred mouth."(9) Ep. 1. ad Heliod. T. 1. p. 5.
_“ After the typical passover was accomplished, and Christ had eaten the lamb with his apostles, he takes the bread, which comforteth the heart of man, and passes to the true sacrament of the passover; that as Melchisedec, priest of the high God, in prefiguring him, had done, offering bread and wine, Christ also should make present the truth of his body and blood." (0) Comment. in Matt. c. 26. T. iii. p. 716.
(m) Hoc convivium quotidie celebratur.
(a) Ut quomodo in præfiguratione ejus, Melchisedec, summi Dei sacerdos, panem et vinum offerens, fecerat, ipse quoque veritatem sui corporis et sanguinis repræsentaret. See Perpétuité de la Foi, T. i. L. iii. c. v.