Monday, July 30, 2012

To Be A Church One Must Eat God - Five Weeks of Eucharist Posts

Time for another Eucharist post. See My Five Weeks of Eucharistic Posts - July 29 through August 26 ( Bread of Life )

In 2007 there was  a little bit of an uproar when the Church released the document RESPONSES TO SOME QUESTIONS REGARDING CERTAIN ASPECTS OF THE DOCTRINE ON THE CHURCH

The gist of it was in the Catholic Church's view only the Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox could be called Churches. The rest were Faith communities where the  " Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using them as instruments of salvation, whose value derives from that fullness of grace and of truth which has been entrusted to the Catholic Church”.

Where this called an uproar. Interesting enough Southern Baptist Albert Mohler told every one to stop be offended . See No, I’m Not Offended.

At the heart of what a Church is according to our Faith is linked to the Eucharist which of course is linked to the Priesthood and the Succession of Bishops.

According to Catholic doctrine, these Communities do not enjoy apostolic succession in the sacrament of Orders, and are, therefore, deprived of a constitutive element of the Church. These ecclesial Communities which, specifically because of the absence of the sacramental priesthood, have not preserved the genuine and integral substance of the Eucharistic Mystery cannot, according to Catholic doctrine, be called “Churches” in the proper sense .

In other words one has to EAT GOD to be Church.

The Sacred Page put it well when commenting on the this past Sunday's Mass readings

God could have made us with solar cells in our skin, so all we would have to do is lie in the sun to get the energy we need for life.

But he didn't. In his divine plan, God created us as creature that need to eat. The first command he ever gave us concerned food: what to eat and what not to eat. We turned away from him by an act of eating. And now, since the coming of Christ, we can turn back to him by an act of eating.

Our need to eat reminds us that we are dependent on something or someone outside ourselves—ultimately God—to stay alive.

The Church of course is saying nothing new here. We can see this theme played out in the Church Fathers

See that ye all follow the bishop, even as Jesus Christ does the Father, and the presbytery as ye would the apostles; and reverence the deacons, as being the institution of God. Let no man do anything connected with the Church without the bishop. Let that be deemed a proper Eucharist, which is[administered] either by the bishop, or by one to whom he has entrusted it. Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude [of the people] also be; even as, wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church. It is not lawful without the bishop either to baptize or to celebrate a love-feast; but whatsoever he shall approve of, that is also pleasing to God, so that everything that is done may be secure and valid."

Ignatius of Antioch,Epistle to the Smyraens,8 (c.A.D. 110),

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