Bread of Life

 this is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die. (john 6: 50)
The miracle of God’s physical presence to us at every Mass is the truest testament to Christ’s love for us and His desire for each of us to have a personal relationship with Him. Jesus Christ celebrated the first Mass with His disciples at the Last Supper, the night before He died. He commanded His disciples, “Do this in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19). The celebration of the Mass then became the main form of worship in the early Church, as a reenactment of the Last Supper, as Christ had commanded. Each and every Mass since commemorates Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross through the Holy Eucharist. Because the Mass “re-presents” (makes present) the sacrifice on Calvary, Catholics all around the world join together to be made present in Christ’s timeless sacrifice for our sins. There is something fascinating about continuing to celebrate the same Mass—instituted by Christ and practiced by the early Church—with the whole community of Catholics around the world…and in heaven.


Why does the Catholic Church believe Christ is really present in the Eucharist?
The Catholic doctrine of the Real Presence is the belief that Jesus Christ is literally, not symbolically, present in the Holy Eucharist—body, blood, soul and divinity. Catholics believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist because Jesus tells us this is true in the Bible:

“I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that a man may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh." The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, ‘How can this man give us his flesh to eat?’ So Jesus said to them,

"Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him” - John 6:48-56
Furthermore, the early Church Fathers either imply or directly state that the bread and wine offered in the celebration of the Lord’s Supper is really the body and blood of Jesus Christ. In other words, the doctrine of the Real Presence that Catholics believe today was believed by the earliest Christians 2,000 years ago!

This miracle of God’s physical presence to us at every Mass is the truest testament to Christ’s love for us and His desire for each of us to have a personal relationship with Him.

Thursday, July 8, 2010


St. Prosper of Aquitaine: “God forbid that this should ever enter Catholic minds! God forbid such ungodliness that we should ever think that anyone “is delivered from the power of darkness and translated into the kingdom of the Son of God” by an adoption which is a reward he deserved and not a pure grace! Adam was lost by a grave sin of his, and all men were lost in him. Eternal perdition is what is owing in Adam to every man who is born from this cursed stem.
And just as we have no right to complain because in past ages God left all nations to walk in their own ways, so also we would have no reason for complaint if God even now withholding His grace allowed us to perish together with those whose condition is the same as ours.” (Answers to the Genoese 6)

“35 Or who hath first given to him, and recompense shall be made him?” (Romans 11)

St. John Marie Vianney: “The angels sin, and are cast into Hell. Man sins, and God promises him a Deliverer. What have we done to deserve this favour? What have we done to deserve to be born in the Catholic religion, while so many souls are every day lost in other religions? What have we done to deserve to be baptized, while so many little children in France, as well as in China and America, die without baptism?” (The Little Catechism of the Curé of Ars)”

St. Peter Julian Eymard: “Unfortunate are the nations that do not live in the Church of Jesus Christ. They are like men outside the Ark at the time of the flood. Outside the Church, these poor travellers wander without a guide in the desert. They are like a sailor on a boat without either rudder or pilot. Alas, unfortunate children, abandoned on the road, without a mother to nourish and love them; they will soon die of cold and hunger!

The gift of the Church as our mother and teacher in the Faith is therefore the greatest grace Jesus Christ could bestow upon us. And the greatest charity we can do to a man is to lead him to the true Church, outside which there is no salvation.” (Eucharistic Handbook)

St. Thomas Aquinas: “Objection: It seems that man is not bound to believe anything explicitly. For no man is bound to do what is not in his power. Now it is not in man's power to believe a thing explicitly, for it is written (Rom. x. 14, 15): How shall they believe Him, of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they be sent? Therefore man is not bound to believe anything explicitly.

Reply: As regards the primary points or articles of the faith [such as on the Trinity and Incarnation], man is bound to believe them, just as he is bound to have faith [i.e., absolutely]; but as to other points of faith, man is not bound to believe them explicitly, but only implicitly, or to be ready to believe them, in so far as he is ready to believe whatever is contained in the Divine Scriptures.

Then alone is he bound to believe such things explicitly, when it is clear to him that they are contained in the doctrine of faith. If we understand those things alone to be in a man's power, which we can do without the help of grace, then we are bound to do many things which we cannot do without the aid of healing grace, such as to love God and our neighbour, and likewise to believe the articles of faith.

But with the help of grace we can do this, for this help to whomsoever it is given from above it is mercifully given; and from whom it is withheld it is justly withheld, as a punishment of a previous, or at least of original sin, as Augustine states (De Corr. et Grat. v., vi.).” (Summa Theologica 2, 2, 2, 5)

“27 All things are delivered to me by my Father. And no one knoweth the Son, but the Father: neither doth any one know the Father, but the Son, and he to whom it shall please the Son to reveal him.” (St. Matthew 11)

St. Augustine: “Why, then, does He not teach all that they may come to Christ, except because all whom He teaches, He teaches in mercy, while those whom He teaches not, in judgment He teaches not? Since, “On whom He will He has mercy, and whom He will He hardeneth.” But He has mercy when He gives good things. He hardens when He recompenses what is deserved. […]
And why He does not teach all men the apostle explained, as far as he judged that it was to be explained, because, willing to show His wrath, and to exhibit His power, He endured with much patience the vessels of wrath which were perfected for destruction; and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy which He has prepared for glory.” Hence it is that the “word of the cross is foolishness to them that perish; but unto them that are saved it is the power of God.” God teaches all such to come to Christ, for He wills all such to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth.  And if He had willed to teach even those to whom the word of the cross is foolishness to come to Christ beyond all doubt these also would have come. For He neither deceives nor is deceived when He says, “Every one that hath heard of the Father, and hath learned, cometh to me.”” (The Predestination of the Saints 14, 15)

“21 For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and giveth life: so the Son also giveth life to whom he will.” (St. John 5)

“19 He answered: I will shew thee all good, and I will proclaim in the name of the Lord before thee: and I will have mercy on whom I will, and I will be merciful to whom it shall please me.” (Exodus 33)

“14 What shall we say then? Is there injustice with God? God forbid.

15 For he saith to Moses: I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy; and I will shew mercy to whom I will shew mercy.

16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.” (Romans 9)

“13 For it is God who worketh in you, both to will and to accomplish, according to his good will.” (Philippians 2)

“35 The will is prepared by the Lord.” (Proverbs 8 (LXX))

St. Augustine: “And when they [Pelagians] affect to believe that God is a respecter of persons, because without any antecedent merits of theirs “He hath mercy on whom he will,” and calls whom He deigns to call and makes righteous whom He will, they overlook the fact that a deserved penalty is meted out to the damned, an undeserved grace to the saved, so that the former cannot complain that he is undeserving nor the latter boast that he is deserving.

Where one and the same clay of damnation and offence [from Adam] is involved, there can be no respect had of persons, so that the saved may learn from the lost that the same punishment would have been his lot, also, if grace had not rescued him; if it is grace, it is obviously not awarded for any merit, but bestowed as a pure act of bounty. But, they object, “it is unjust in one and the same case for this one to be saved and that one to be punished.” That means it is just for both to be punished. Would anyone deny this?” (Letter 194, to St. Sixtus)

“21 Or hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump, to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?” (Romans 9)

“2 I have loved you, saith the Lord: and you have said: Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau brother to Jacob, saith the Lord, and I have loved Jacob,

3 But have hated Esau? and I have made his mountains a wilderness, and given his inheritance to the dragons of the desert.” (Malachi 1)

“11 For when the children were not yet born, nor had done any good or evil (that the purpose of God, according to election, might stand,)

12 Not of works, but of him that calleth, it was said to her: The elder shall serve the younger.

13 As it is written: Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated.” (Romans 9)

St. Prosper of Aquitaine: “Just as He made us and not we ourselves, so also He remakes us and not we ourselves. And lest man may seem by his natural powers to repay the price of his reparation with his works of justice, at least after he has been restored, we see the riches of God's goodness poured out over the first moments of infants whom God does not choose because of their piety whether before or after their baptism, in whom He finds neither obedience, nor discernment, nor will.

I speak of those infants who are baptized at once after their birth and, taken away from this life, are carried up into eternal happiness. And there is another countless multitude of infants of the same nature and condition as the former who die without baptism and of whom we may not doubt that they have no share in the city of God.” (Letter, to Rufinus 12)

St. Thomas Aquinas: “And so others said that merits following the effect of predestination are the reason of predestination; giving us to understand that God gives grace to a person, and preordains that He will give it, because He knows beforehand that He will make good use of that grace, as if a king were to give a horse to a soldier because he knows he will make good use of it.

But these seem to have drawn a distinction between that which flows from grace, and that which flows from free will, as if the same thing cannot come from both. It is, however, manifest that what is of grace is the effect of predestination; and this cannot be considered as the reason of predestination, since it is contained in the notion of predestination. Therefore, if anything else in us be the reason of predestination, it will lie outside the effect of predestination.

Now there is no distinction between what flows from free will, and what is of predestination; as there is not distinction between what flows from a secondary cause and from a first cause. For the providence of God produces effects through the operation of secondary causes. Wherefore, that which flows from free-will is also of predestination.” (Summa Theologica 1, 23, 5)

“20 O man, who art thou that repliest against God?” (Romans 9)


1 comment:

Tortoise said...

Jesus said to his Apostles:
"As you go, make this proclamation:
'The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.'

Cure the sick, raise the dead,
cleanse the lepers, drive out demons.

Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.

Do not take gold or silver or copper for your belts; no sack for the journey, or a second tunic, or sandals, or walking stick.

The laborer deserves his keep.

Whatever town or village you enter, look for a worthy person in it, and stay there until you leave.
As you enter a house, wish it peace.

If the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; if not, let your peace return to you.

Whoever will not receive you or listen to your words go outside that house or town and shake the dust from your feet.

Amen, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town."

(Matthew 10:7-15)