The Eucharist – the source and summit of the Christian Life.
Special Guest: Thomas Lackey – a parishioner at Most Precious Blood in Tulsa, Ok.
We threw out the format in this episode! No drink. No gear. Just sitting around the table with friends and talking about the most important topics in our faith. We want to thank Thomas and his family for being our guest on not only this episode but next week’s episode as well! Spoiler Alert: We talk about 5 philosophers men need to know and read
If you want to watch what happens in between segments – make sure to watch out the episode below.
Here are some of the notes Thomas Lackey provided:
- ○ Three things are necessary for man to be saved: (1) knowledge of what is to be believed, (2)
knowledge of what is to be desired, and (3) knowledge of what is to be done. The first is taught in the Creed, where knowledge of the articles of faith is given; the second is in the Lord’s Prayer; the third is in the Law.
- ○ The Church’s sacraments are ordained for helping man in the spiritual life. But the spiritual life is analogous to the corporeal, since corporeal things bear a resemblance to spiritual. Now it is clear that just as generation is required for corporeal life, since thereby man receives life; and growth, whereby man is brought to maturity: so likewise food is required for the preservation of life. Consequently, just as for the spiritual life there had to be Baptism, which is spiritual generation; and Confirmation, which is spiritual growth: so there needed to be the sacrament of the Eucharist, which is spiritual food. 3.Q73.A1
- ○ A sacrament is so termed because it contains something sacred. Now a thing can be styled sacred from two causes; either absolutely, or in relation to something else. The difference between the Eucharist and other sacraments having sensible matter is that whereas the Eucharist contains something which is sacred absolutely, namely, Christ’s own body; the baptismal water contains something which is sacred in relation to something else, namely, the sanctifying power: and the same holds good of chrism and such like. Consequently, the sacrament of the Eucharist is completed in the very consecration of the matter, whereas the other sacraments are completed in the application of the matter for the sanctifying of the individual. And from this follows another difference. For, in the sacrament of the Eucharist, what is both reality and sacrament is in the matter itself. but what is reality only, namely, the grace bestowed, is in the recipient; whereas in Baptism both are in the recipient, namely, the character, which is both reality and sacrament, and the grace of pardon of sins, which is reality only. And the same holds good of the other sacraments. 3.Q73.A1
- ○ We can consider three things in this sacrament: namely, that which is sacrament only, and this is the bread and wine; that which is both reality and sacrament, to wit, Christ’s true body; and lastly that which is reality only, namely, the effect of this sacrament. Consequently, in relation to what is sacrament only, the chief figure of this sacrament was the oblation of Melchisedech, who offered up bread and wine. In relation to Christ crucified, Who is contained in this sacrament, its figures were all the sacrifices of the Old Testament, especially the sacrifice of expiation, which was the most solemn of all. While with regard to especially the sacrifice of expiation, which was the most solemn of all. While with regard to its effect, the chief figure was the Manna, “having in it the sweetness of every taste” (Wis. [16:20]), just as the grace of this sacrament refreshes the soul in all respects. The Paschal Lamb foreshadowed this sacrament in these three ways. First of all, because it was eaten with unleavened loaves, according to Ex. 12:8: “They shall eat flesh . . . and unleavened bread.” As to the second because it was immolated by the entire multitude of the children of Israel on the fourteenth day of the moon; and this was a figure of the Passion of Christ, Who is called the Lamb on account of His innocence. As to the effect, because by the blood of the Paschal Lamb the children of Israel were preserved from the destroying Angel, and brought from the Egyptian captivity; and in this respect the Paschal Lamb is the chief figure of this sacrament, because it represents it in every respect.
- ○ As stated above (Article ), since Christ’s true body is in this sacrament, and since it does not begin to be there by local motion, nor is it contained therein as in a place, as is evident from what was stated above (Article , ad 2), it must be said then that it begins to be there by conversion of the substance of bread into itself.
Yet this change is not like natural changes, but is entirely supernatural, and effected by God’s power alone. Hence Ambrose says [(De Sacram. iv): “See how Christ’s word changes nature’s laws, as He wills: a man is not wont to be born save of man and woman: see therefore that against the established law and order a man is born of a Virgin”: and] [*The passage in the brackets is not in the Leonine edition] (De Myster. iv): “It is clear that a Virgin begot beyond the order of nature: and what we make is the body from the Virgin. Why, then, do you look for nature’s order in Christ’s body, since the Lord Jesus was Himself brought forth of a Virgin beyond nature?” Chrysostom likewise (Hom. xlvii), commenting on Jn. [6:64]: “The words which I have spoken to you,” namely, of this sacrament, “are spirit and life,” says: i.e. “spiritual, having nothing carnal, nor natural consequence; but they are rent from all such necessity which exists upon earth, and from the laws here established.”
For it is evident that every agent acts according as it is in act. But every created agent is limited in its act, as being of a determinate genus and species: and consequently the action of every created agent bears upon some determinate act. Now the determination of every thing in actual existence comes from its form. Consequently, no natural or created agent can act except by changing the form in something; and on this account every change made according to nature’s laws is a formal change. But God is infinite act, as stated in the FP, Question , Article ; Question , Article ; hence His action extends to the whole nature of being. Therefore He can work not only formal conversion, so that diverse forms succeed each other in the same subject; but also the change of all being, so that, to wit, the whole substance of one thing be changed into the whole substance of another. And this is done by Divine power in this sacrament; for the whole substance of the bread is changed into the whole substance of Christ’s body, and the whole substance of the wine into the whole substance of Christ’s blood. Hence this is not a formal, but a substantial conversion; nor is it a kind of natural movement: but, with a name of its own, it can be called “transubstantiation. 3.Q75.A4
- ○ It is absolutely necessary to confess according to Catholic faith that the entire Christ is in this sacrament. Yet we must know that there is something of Christ in this sacrament in a twofold manner: first, as it were, by the power of the sacrament; secondly, from natural concomitance. By the power of the sacrament, there is under the species of this sacrament that into which the pre-existing substance of the bread and wine is changed, as expressed by the words of the form, which are effective in this as in the other sacraments; for instance, by the words: “This is My body,” or, “This is My blood.” But from natural concomitance there is also in this sacrament that which is really united with that thing wherein the aforesaid conversion is terminated. For if any two things be really united, then wherever the one is really, there must the other also be: since things really united together are only distinguished by an operation of the mind. 3.Q76.A1 distinguished by an operation of the mind. 3.Q76.A1
- ○ Because the change of the bread and wine is not terminated at the Godhead or the soul of Christ, it follows as a consequence that the Godhead or the soul of Christ is in this sacrament not by the power of the sacrament, but from real concomitance. For since the Godhead never set aside the assumed body, wherever the body of Christ is, there, of necessity, must the Godhead be; and therefore it is necessary for the Godhead to be in this sacrament concomitantly with His body. Hence we read in the profession of faith at Ephesus (P. I., chap. xxvi): “We are made partakers of the body and blood of Christ, not as taking common flesh, nor as of a holy man united to the Word in dignity, but the truly life-giving flesh of the Word Himself.” 3.Q76.A1
- ○ On the other hand, His soul was truly separated from His body, as stated above (Question , Article ). And therefore had this sacrament been celebrated during those three days when He was dead, the soul of Christ would not have been there, neither by the power of the sacrament, nor from real concomitance. But since “Christ rising from the dead dieth now no more” (Rm. 6:9), His soul is always really united with His body. And therefore in this sacrament the body indeed of Christ is present by the power of the sacrament, but His soul from real concomitance. 3.Q76.A1
As has been already stated (Question , Article ), after the consecration of the bread into the body of Christ, or of the wine into His blood, the accidents of both remain. From which it is evident that the dimensions of the bread or wine are not changed into the dimensions of the body of Christ, but substance into substance. And so the substance of Christ’s body or blood is under this sacrament by the power of the sacrament, but not the dimensions of Christ’s body or blood. Hence it is clear that the body of Christ is in this sacrament “by way of substance,” and not by way of quantity. But the proper totality of substance is contained indifferently in a small or large quantity; as the whole nature of air in a great or small amount of air, and the whole nature of a man in a big or small individual. Wherefore, after the consecration, the whole substance of Christ’s body and blood is contained in this sacrament, just as the whole substance of the bread and wine was contained there before the consecration. 3.Q76.A1
- ○ After what we have said above (Article ), it must be held most certainly that the whole Christ is under each sacramental species yet not alike in each. For the body of Christ is indeed present under the species of bread by the power of the sacrament, while the blood is there from real concomitance, as stated above (Article , ad 1) in regard to the soul and Godhead of Christ; and under the species of wine the blood is present by the power of the sacrament, and His body by real concomitance, as is also His soul and Godhead: because now Christ’s blood is not separated from His body, as it was at the time of His Passion and death. Hence if this sacrament had been celebrated then, the body of Christ would have been under the species of the bread, but without the blood; and, under the species of the wine, the blood would have been present without the body, as it was then, in fact. 3.Q76.A2
- ○ As stated above, the body of Christ is not under the species of wine by the power of the sacrament, but by real concomitance: and therefore by the consecration of the wine the body of Christ is not there of itself, but concomitantly. 3.Q76.A2
- ○ This sacrament differs from the other sacraments in two respects. First of all, in this, that this sacrament is accomplished by the consecration of the matter, while the rest are perfected in the use of the consecrated matter. Secondly, because in the other sacraments the consecration of the matter consists only in a blessing, from which the matter consecrated derives instrumentally a spiritual power, which through the priest who is an animated instrument, can pass on to inanimate instruments. But in this sacrament the animated instrument, can pass on to inanimate instruments. But in this sacrament the consecration of the matter consists in the miraculous change of the substance, which can only be done by God; hence the minister in performing this sacrament has no other act save the pronouncing of the words. And because the form should suit the thing, therefore the form of this sacrament differs from the forms of the other sacraments in two respects. First, because the form of the other sacraments implies the use of the matter, as for instance, baptizing, or signing; but the form of this sacrament implies merely the consecration of the matter, which consists in transubstantiation, as when it is said, “This is My body,” or, “This is the chalice of My blood.” Secondly, because the forms of the other sacraments are pronounced in the person of the minister, whether by way of exercising an act, as when it is said, “I baptize thee,” or “I confirm thee,” etc.; or by way of command, as when it is said in the sacrament of order, “Take the power,” etc.; or by way of entreaty, as when in the sacrament of Extreme Unction it is said, “By this anointing and our intercession,” etc. But the form of this sacrament is pronounced as if Christ were speaking in person, so that it is given to be understood that the minister does nothing in perfecting this sacrament, except to pronounce the words of Christ. 3.Q78.A1
○ The effect of this sacrament ought to be considered, first of all and principally, from what is contained in this sacrament, which is Christ; Who, just as by coming into the world, He visibly bestowed the life of grace upon the world, according to Jn. [1:17]: “Grace and truth came by Jesus Christ,” so also, by coming sacramentally into man causes the life of grace, according to Jn. [6:58]: “He that eateth Me, the same also shall live by Me.” Hence Cyril says on Lk. [22:19]: “God’s life-giving Word by uniting Himself with His own flesh, made it to be productive of life. For it was becoming that He should be united somehow with bodies through His sacred flesh and precious blood, which we receive in a life-giving blessing in the bread and wine.”
Secondly, it is considered on the part of what is represented by this sacrament, which is Christ’s Passion, as stated above (Question , Article ; Question , Article , ad 1). And therefore this sacrament works in man the effect which Christ’s Passion wrought in the world. Hence, Chrysostom says on the words, “Immediately there came out blood and water” (Jn. [19:34]): “Since the sacred mysteries derive their origin from thence, when you draw nigh to the awe-inspiring chalice, so approach as if you were going to drink from Christ’s own side.” Hence our Lord Himself says (Mt. [26:28]): “This is My blood . . . which shall be shed for many unto the remission of sins.”
Thirdly, the effect of this sacrament is considered from the way in which this sacrament is given; for it is given by way of food and drink. And therefore this sacrament does for the spiritual life all that material food does for the bodily life, namely, by sustaining, giving increase, restoring, and giving delight. Accordingly, Ambrose says (De Sacram. v): “This is the bread of everlasting life, which supports the substance of our soul.” And Chrysostom says (Hom. xlvi in Joan.): “When we desire it, He lets us feel Him, and eat Him, and embrace Him.” And hence our Lord says (Jn. [6:56]): “My flesh is meat indeed, and My blood is drink indeed.”
Fourthly, the effect of this sacrament is considered from the species under which it is given. Hence Augustine says (Tract. xxvi in Joan.): “Our Lord betokened His body and blood in things which out of many units are made into some one whole: for out of many grains is one thing made,” viz. bread; “and many grapes flow into one thing,” viz. wine. And therefore he observes elsewhere (Tract. xxvi in Joan.): “O sacrament of piety, O sign of unity, O bond of charity!”
And since Christ and His Passion are the cause of grace. and since spiritual refreshment, and charity cannot be without grace, it is clear from all that has been set forth that this and charity cannot be without grace, it is clear from all that has been set forth that this sacrament bestows grace.
○ The celebration of this sacrament is called a sacrifice for two reasons. First, because, as Augustine says (Ad Simplician. ii), “the images of things are called by the names of the things whereof they are the images; as when we look upon a picture or a fresco, we say, ‘This is Cicero and that is Sallust.’” But, as was said above (Question , Article ), the celebration of this sacrament is an image representing Christ’s Passion, which is His true sacrifice. Accordingly the celebration of this sacrament is called Christ’s sacrifice. Hence it is that Ambrose, in commenting on Heb. 10:1, says: “In Christ was offered up a sacrifice capable of giving eternal salvation; what then do we do? Do we not offer it up every day in memory of His death?” Secondly it is called a sacrifice, in respect of the effect of His Passion: because, to wit, by this sacrament, we are made partakers of the fruit of our Lord’s Passion. Hence in one of the Sunday Secrets (Ninth Sunday after Pentecost) we say: “Whenever the commemoration of this sacrifice is celebrated, the work of our redemption is enacted.” Consequently, according to the first reason, it is true to say that Christ was sacrificed, even in the figures of the Old Testament: hence it is stated in the Apocalypse (13:8): “Whose names are not written in the Book of Life of the Lamb, which was slain from the beginning of the world.” But according to the second reason, it is proper to this sacrament for Christ to be sacrificed in its celebration. 3.Q83.A1
TOPIC: The Eucharist
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