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1  Forums / Submissions / Re: The Word of Our Lord Jesus Christ on: November 17, 2021, 11:19:00 PM
I wish we could find a new word for Heavenly treasure, to more clearly distinguish from earthly mammon or wealth.
 
Heavenly Treasure can rightly be called glory. For based upon the merits of the Saints, God rewards each with varying degrees of glory. Similarly, the wicked are punished according to their demerits in hell.

 
Many thanks for your wonderful response.  Contemplation, or Communion with the Divine Trinity seems so much more pure than at least some of the results of meditation, especially if my mind roams to speculation or curiosity.  
This is correct, contemplation is a higher degree of prayer which  makes use of love, rather than reason, to ascend to God.

I often think of the threefold wings of the seraphim, which with two they cover their feet, with two they cover face and with two they fly.
The feet are overshadowed by faith as we pray that our path may be guided upon the Way of Jesus.
The face is overshadowed by hope as we meditate upon the Word of God and the Sacred Mysteries with our mind.
The wings that overshadow nothing, fly with love as it is through love that we draw near to God and it is through love that our contemplation and actions acquire a wonderful and supernatural character.
In heaven, it is said, faith and hope shall be no more, but love shall remain forever. Furthermore, when our Lord Jesus Christ comes, the living shall ascend to meet Him. We spiritually ascend to meet Him when He comes to meet us through loving contemplation.
Denis the Carthusian also says that contemplation is the most similar action to what we shall do in heaven.
2  Forums / Submissions / Re: The Word of Our Lord Jesus Christ on: November 16, 2021, 01:20:26 PM
Now I begin with a prayer, read the card, make a second prayer, listen, imagine, reflect on key words, repeat them, and then close with that second prayer again.
This seems like a suitable method.
In my experience I almost always sense God's Presence unexpectantly and without a recent prior request, although usually in prayer as I speak to Him.
Sensing God's presence is a mystical experience. Your experience shows the clear doctrine that God does not require techniques to be present with His beloved children. God delights to be with us and loves to make His presence known.

One thing I want you to know is that complexity should not discourage you but should cause you to rely upon God all the more and seek the Holy Spirit who leads us into all truth and teaches us all truth. Even a single sentence from the Holy Spirit is worth more than an entire essay by a secular scholar.

Scripture involving the word treasure:
Matthew 6:19-21
Lay not up to yourselves treasures on earth: where the rust, and moth consume, and where thieves break through, and steal.
But lay up to yourselves treasures in heaven: where neither the rust nor moth doth consume, and where thieves do not break through, nor steal.
For where thy treasure is, there is thy heart also.

Numbers 20:5
O Lord God, hear the cry of this people, and open to them thy treasure, a fountain of living water, that being satisfied, they may cease to murmur. And the glory of the Lord appeared over them.

Proverbs 2:1-11
My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and wilt hide my commandments with thee,
That thy ear may hearken to wisdom: incline thy heart to know prudence.
For if thou shalt call for wisdom, and incline thy heart to prudence:
If thou shalt seek her as money, and shalt dig for her as for a treasure:
Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and shalt find the knowledge of God:
Because the Lord giveth wisdom: and out of his mouth cometh prudence and knowledge.
He wilt keep the salvation of the righteous, and protect them that walk in simplicity,
Keeping the paths of justice, and guarding the ways of saints.
Then shalt thou understand justice, and judgment, and equity, and every good path.
If wisdom shall enter into thy heart, and knowledge please thy soul:
Counsel shall keep thee, and prudence shall preserve thee,

Isaiah 33:5-6
The Lord is magnified, for he hath dwelt on high: he hath filled Sion with judgment and justice.
And there shall be faith in thy times: riches of salvation, wisdom and knowledge: the fear of the Lord is his treasure.

Matthew 12:35
A good man out of a good treasure bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of an evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.

Matthew 13:44-45,52
The kingdom of heaven is like unto a treasure hidden in a field. Which a man having found, hid it, and for joy thereof goeth, and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.
Again the kingdom of heaven is like to a merchant seeking good pearls.
Who when he had found one pearl of great price, went his way, and sold all that he had, and bought it.
He said unto them: Therefore every scribe instructed in the kingdom of heaven, is like to a man that is a householder, who bringeth forth out of his treasure new things and old.

2 Corinthians 4:5-7
For we preach not ourselves, but Jesus Christ our Lord: and ourselves your servants through Jesus.
For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God, in the face of Christ Jesus.
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency may be of the power of God and not of us.

Meditation: What is our treasure? Our treasure is the grace of God. Where is our treasure? Our treasure is in the Kingdom of Heaven which is both within our hearts and in the world to come. Why do we treasure God's grace? God's grace is more valuable than all the gold and silver in the universe. Why is God's grace so valuable? God's grace is our salvation, it is remits our sins, it brings is unto friendship with God, it is our adoption as sons and daughters, it makes us pleasing to God, it raises us permanently to a higher plane of existence and infuses into us the theological virtues of faith, hope and love. If grace is valuable why does God give this treasure to us? God gives us the treasure of divine grace because God is Supremely Generous, Infinitely Wealthy, and Perfectly Benevolent.
Why is the treasure hidden in a field? Because it is easily overlooked unless one knows where to look and what it looks like. Thus knowledge of the hidden treasure is the first step towards recognizing it.
Knowledge of God precedes love for God, as one cannot love what one knows nothing about. The fear of the Lord or rather, awe before God is a great treasure and the beginning of Wisdom.
God is our treasure, His Word, His Wisdom, His Virtue, His Righteousness, His Holiness, His Glory, His Love: this is our treasure.
This treasure we do not lose by giving it to others but multiplying what we have, as the broken loathes filled twelve baskets, the treasure of the Divine Word we offer to enrich the poverty of this spiritually bankrupt world. For faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God and the Word of God is Jesus Christ. Seeing as the Holy Spirit is the Treasury of Blessings and the Giver of Life we are made rich by the Spirit of God who enables us to appreciate the true value of the Word of God and to accumulate interest within the bank of our mind. For if we treasure God, we shall possess Him and if we possess Him, we shall possess all things. For to have God is sufficient. Nothing more is necessary.
God gives us the opportunity to work for Him and to gain immense treasure in heaven by cooperating with His Spirit, namely merit which is the just reward for a good deed which God's grace has enabled and God's will has desired. This is the good treasure of the good man, meritorious thoughts, words and actions. Demerit is the just reward for evil deeds which man's will has desired to perform against the will of God and this is the evil treasure of the evil man. For the good man delights in the good he has performed by the grace of God and the evil man delights in the evil he has done by his own freedom.
Wisdom is a great treasure, the greatest of the gifts of the Spirit, which allows us to taste the sweetness of the Lord and behave in a manner befitting of the Gospel, for Wisdom is justified by wise deeds.
3  Forums / Submissions / Re: The Word of Our Lord Jesus Christ on: November 15, 2021, 09:54:09 PM
Recently I've tried to follow some of the Contemplation methods we've discussed here instead of other meditation procedures for the cards, although I think many of the cards are too complex, like this one, for Contemplation
I personally would like you to describe which method you used that we have discussed. Are you referring to Lectio Divina? Contemplation is the last step in Lectio Divina; which is reading, meditation, prayer then contemplation.

Also try to describe the complexity. You need divine grace in order to be able to perform infused contemplation otherwise you acquired contemplation requires laborious study and a high degree of focus.
Denis the Carthusian, the Ecstatic Doctor, specifically says that contemplation is very taxing and cannot be sustained for long periods of time. Furthermore, contemplation, according to Brother Chrysostomos' book on Christian Doctrine says that contemplation does not use reason and that meditation makes use of discursive reasoning. Denis the Carthusian specifically designates contemplation as being propelled upward, anagogically, by the power of divine love to heavenly realities.

Meditation in brief: consider why did Jesus predict his passion? Because people would doubt that he had been crucified? Why would people doubt the crucifixion? People expected the Messiah to be a military leader who would wage war against the Roman state through raising an army and receiving supernatural help from God to establish a Jewish nationstate like that of David. The Cross was a stumbling block to the Jewish people because they rejected the murdered Messiah and foolishness to the Gentiles who expected an exalted orator to pronounce divine doctrines until natural death. The death of the Messiah, upon a Cross no less, is a great and dreadful scandal to the world who esteems the Christ as a criminal and the Messiah as a miscreant. Yet, according to the Apostle: the Cross is our salvation and our boast and the Christ is the Wisdom and Virtue of God no less! O what sublime and incomprehensible doctrine! O what foolishness that God has wrought, that He would allow His anointed to be touched, and no less mishandled, by the grave and reprobate merciless oppressors. Yet it was through His passion, that Jesus redeemed the world.

Contemplation in brief: It was in the Garden of Gethsemane that Jesus contemplated the sins of the world; His gentle heart was forced to behold all the sins of the dead, all the sins of the living and all the sins of every generation to come! O the humanity! Was it any wonder that He was covered in bloody sweat in anticipation of His selfless passion! O depraved and wretched world! How our sins caused the Savior such anguish and turmoil that His most blessed soul was sorrowful unto death, even begging in all sincerity that He might be spared from undergoing His bloody passion, He prayed the Father three times and no less that He might not have to drink this cup of torment and bear the dreadful curse of reprobation and the lashes of torment and the crown of sorrow and the mockery of the Gentiles and the rejection of Jews and the smiting of the hands and the spitting of the face! O wretched and depraved generation of mortals! How dare they treat the King of the Universe as a common criminal with no respect for His royal lineage, nor did they take into account His many good deeds, nor did they esteem Him as the Word made flesh full of grace and truth! O blind and reprehensible mankind! Rather they esteemed God as an object of scorn and a cause for mockery! Denied by His own people according to the flesh and beaten and abused by those whom He came to enlighten, Christ was scorned and mocked cruelly, mistreated by lawless men. Commanded to bear the heavy cross which so tormented Him as to inflict so great a wound upon His shoulder as to lay bare His bones and embracing the bloody instrument of His own death, He marched onwards to the place of the skull that He might become a champion over death by the power of love and mercy! Even as He was nailed with blunt and horrible nails upon that wretched wood, His blood spilt and covering His entire frame, He thought only of mercy and love to His captors and oppressors! O blessed and most merciful God! Thy love is above the heavens and thy mercy greater than all ours sins! This most blessed man, who though God, suffered greatly as to wound our hearts with the holy wound of love! O unapproachable Godhead, you approached mankind that you might die in order to give life to those dead in sins! Exalted above the earth, the Christ was raised between two thieves, mockers came by and denied Him, demanding that He should come down as He had saved others and yet He was unable to save Himself. They esteemed Him not, and yet loving them still, He did not rebuke them nor condemn them. His blessed Mother and most beloved disciple stood in awe, watching the Light of the world died in darkness, as the entire world began to shake and the light of the sun began to be shrouded. The reprobate thief demanding that Christ, if He was so, ought to save them. And the repentant thief, rebuked the reprobate thief, seeing that he feared not God and commended him to accept the just condemnation which had befallen the two thieves but seeing the innocent Messiah amongst them declared Him to be the cause of no wickedness. Turning his heart to the loving Christ and beseeching him, with godly humility, he begged the good Lord Jesus Christ to remember him when He would come into His kingdom. The Lord, with all beneficence befitting God, declared to that godly thief, that even this very day he would enter into Paradise with Him. O sweetest consolation! O most wonderful declaration! O holy Gospel of the Blessed God! That God would be crucified to save a single thief! O ineffable and inscrutable love of God! The heart cannot fathom the designs of the Almighty! And yet, loving the entirety of mankind, the gentle Christ, with eyes turned to heaven, beseeched the Father to grant pardon to the ignorant world, for they know not what they do. Indeed, the Holy Apostle informs us "For if they had known the mystery of God, they would never have crucified the Lord of glory.?" The Holy Pope Leo the Great also says that the devil, if he had known the plan of God, would have not crucified Jesus because it was by the Cross that humanity was redeemed and so unwittingly, the devil was deceived into bringing about the redemption of mankind! O subtle design of the Almighty! O blessed Wisdom from on high! O divine and indestructible providence! Nailed to the Cross, all the sins of the world, the Lamb of God took them upon Himself and by shedding His most precious blood to the very last drop, He secured salvation for the world! O love which knows no bounds! For upon the Cross, Jesus promised Paradise, begged Pardon, received the gall and consummated the Law and the Prophets! He payed in full the redemption price of all the sons of Adam! O most wealthy Redeemer! Above every created being is the Lord God! And when the time had come, He commended His human spirit to the Father and breathed His last breath and died for the sins of the world! And all of creation cried out! The veil was torn! The dead arose! The ground was rent and quaked! For the Holy One had descended among the dead, to seek those who had been waiting since the time of the flood! And to every soul that embraced the True Light in the world of the dead, they followed Him in His ascent, as a train of captives He took their souls to heaven, where they await the general resurrection at the blessed and dreadful second coming of our great Lord and God Jesus Christ who shall judge the living and the dead with great mercy and justice!
4  Forums / Submissions / Re: Prayer Rule of Saint Pachomius on: November 15, 2021, 05:38:18 PM
I deeply regret being so slow to express my appreciation of this post- I've come back to it many times, especially when I'm thinking about monastic rules and Founders, or Angels, or soldiers.  Would you imagine that each hour a rotation of monks might make the prayer?
The Prayer Rule of Saint Pachomius was meant to be said once per day. Monks would either say it all at once or throughout the day
5  Forums / Saints' & Spiritual Life General Discussion / Re: Mystical Prayer on: November 15, 2021, 02:03:04 AM
Mystical prayer is also called infused prayer, be it infused contemplation or infused meditation or infused petition or infused supplication or infused praise. The infusion is given by the Holy Spirit of our Lord Jesus Christ by the good pleasure of God to help the soul attain to a greater degree of sanctification through expedient means not available naturally. This Supreme Master designs that certain members of the elect should be chosen to receive sublime gifts of prayer and insight either as a means of sanctification of themselves or others or as an actual grace that accompanies and leads to sanctification. In the design of God all His works are for the salvation of souls and His glory. The mystery of mystical prayer is that it leads, very often to a perceivable presence of God within the soul, and often within the body through silent and ineffable union. It is this union with God that is the true goal of every mystic. Visions, insights and instructions may be given by God to the souls that need them but the greatest and most exalted mystical state is the state of union and thus is the last and most blessed of the mystical process. The threefold path is a part of Magisterial teachings that first comes Purification or the purgative way. Then Illumination or the Illuminative way. Finally the soul is brought to union or the unative way. These states are not momentary but habitual though there may be fluctuations between them the most common state of all Catholics is the purgative way, few reach the Illuminative way and even fewer reach the unative way. Though this does not mean that God withholds Illumination or Union from most Catholics it simply means that most Catholics are not habitually receiving divine Illumination or in a state of habitual union with God for prolonged periods of time. Ascetic practices are the means of preparing oneself for the entry into the Illuminative way but God tests the soul to see if it is ready by withdrawing consolations in so far as the soul is capable of bearing their absence. This absence of consolation is intended to create a longing in the soul for the presence of God that can only be satisfied by the grace of God and is a intense motive to seek to remain in a state of grace where the soul is able to spiritually progress and grow in grace, virtue and merit supernaturally.
6  Forums / Book Study / Re: The Five Books of Psalms on: November 14, 2021, 05:36:41 PM
Reflection on Psalm 9 part 2
Let the praise of my heart be offered to Thee Almighty God!
For Thou hast made me to be glad in Thy goodness and Thy works have dazzled my soul with Thy glory!
Fill my heart with a new song O God!
Let the Song of the Gospel be within me and may the meditation of my heart be pleasing to Thee.
I will sing, o my soul, I will sung of the glory of the name of God!
I will bless His name forever, O blessed name, O sacred treasure!
O Most High turn back my diabolical enemies in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ!
Turn back all my demonic foes, and let them be utterly ashamed!
Let the devils which assault me stumble and let the demons who oppress me be driven into the unending fires!
Unveil Thy might against my demonic foes O God and leave not one standing in Thy awesome presence!
Deliever my earthly enemies from there slavery to satan, bring Thy blessing upon them and shelter them in the shade of Thy peace from the dreadful day of Judgement.
Make feeble the the wicked serpents who strike at my heel and give me strength to crush their heads into the dust by the power of Christ.
For you are the Maintainer of Justice.
You are the First Cause and the Ultimate End, the Alpha and the Omega!
You are the Source of Righteousness!
I turn to Thee in supplication and pray that Thou would justify me by Thy grace!
Our Lord Jesus Christ shall come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and He shall judge justly all the nations.
In the exercise of His divine mercy He shall confer immortality upon all those who have kept His commandments and turned from wickedness by the power of the Holy Spirit.
He shall rebuke the nations with righteous fury He shall render judgement upon the wicked according to their crimes.
He shall blot out the names of the wicked from the Book of Life and they shall never enter into heaven.
O Most Merciful God, O Most Gracious Lord, O Most Benevolent Sovereign, O Most Loving Master, do not allow us to be consumed by Thy fury but in the greatness of Thy mercy grant us pardon and peace and eternal rest.
For You O Lord art our Rock and our Refuge.
You O God are a Stronghold of Justice and a Shelter for sinners to run into, calling upon the name of the Lord in humility and repentance and You shall hide us from Thy wrath and cleanse us in the blood of the Lamb.
The swords of the enemies kill the bodies but they have failed to kill the soul, for You O God deliever the soul from eternal death and with Thee is Eternal Life and Unending Joy!
The cities of Sodom and Gammorah are no more, neither are they wept for but God is glorified in their destruction.
But You O Lord endure forever!
You are our Hope and our Sweetness O Sovereign God!
You are our Peace and our Gladness O Blessed God!
You O God have prepared Your judgment before Eternity and You know whom shall inherit eternal life with Thee and who shall reject Thee and turn to satan.
With Thee O God is Life and with Thee is Beatitude!
With Thee O God is pardon and peace!
You shall judge all peoples in equity and with mercy, and you shall judge the world by fire and make all things new!
You shall renovate the whole of Thy creation and the heavens shall roll up as a scroll and vanish and the stars shall fall from heaven and the elements of the earth shall be laid bare, but Thy Majesty shall regenerate the universe, transfiguring all things in the Light of Thy countenance and a New Heaven and a New Earth shall appear!
O Lord you are a Refuge for the poor and the humble!
You are a Helper of all who are in tribulation, You give seasonable help in affliction!
Let all who know the name of the Lord trust in Thee O God!
For You never forsake those who diligently seek Thee neither do you fail those who vigilantly watch for Thee!

7  Forums / Everything Else / Re: The Praises of Blessed Mary, Ever Virgin Queen of Heaven and Earth on: November 14, 2021, 05:09:38 PM
Blessed Vermilion Rose of Heaven, of whose milk the Savior was nourished, do thou in Thy charity obtain from God the infusion of divine grace that we may become Saints. Amen
8  Forums / Saints' & Spiritual Life General Discussion / Re: Mystical Prayer on: November 12, 2021, 10:56:45 PM
Life of Saint Teresa of Avila, Doctor of the Church
Chapter 11 paragraphs 10-25
OF FOUR DEGREES OF PRAYER.
OF THE FIRST DEGREE.
THE DOCTRINE PROFITABLE FOR BEGINNERS, AND FOR THOSE WHO HAVE NO SENSIBLE SWEETNESS
"10. A beginner must look upon himself as making a garden, wherein our Lord may take His delight, but in a soil unfruitful, and abounding in weeds. His Majesty roots up the weeds, and has to plant good herbs. Let us, then, take for granted that this is already done when a soul is determined to give itself to prayer, and has begun the practice of it. We have, then, as good gardeners, by the help of God, to see that the plants grow, to water them carefully, that they may not die, but produce blossoms, which shall send forth much fragrance, refreshing to our Lord, so that He may come often for His pleasure into this garden, and delight Himself in the midst of these virtues.

11. Let us now see how this garden is to be watered, that we may understand what we have to do: how much trouble it will cost us, whether the gain be greater than the trouble, or how long a time it will take us. It seems to me that the garden may be watered in four ways: by water taken out of a well, which is very laborious; or with water raised by means of an engine and buckets, drawn by a windlass—I have drawn it this way sometimes—it is a less troublesome way than the first, and gives more water; or by a stream or brook, whereby the garden is watered in a much better way—for the soil is more thoroughly saturated, and there is no necessity to water it so often, and the labour of the gardener is much less; or by showers of rain, when our Lord Himself waters it, without labour on our part—and this way is incomparably better than all the others of which I have spoken.

12. Now, then, for the application of these four ways of irrigation by which the garden is to be maintained; for without water it must fail. The comparison is to my purpose, and it seems to me that by the help of it I shall be able to explain, in some measure, the four degrees of prayer to which our Lord, of His goodness, has occasionally raised my soul. May He graciously grant that I may so speak as to be of some service to one of those who has commanded me to write, whom our Lord has raised in four months to a greater height than I have reached in seventeen years! He prepared himself better than I did, and therefore is his garden, without labour on his part, irrigated by these four waters—though the last of them is only drop by drop; but it is growing in such a way, that soon, by the help of our Lord, he will be swallowed up therein, and it will be a pleasure to me, if he finds my explanation absurd, that he should laugh at it.

13. Of those who are beginners in prayer, we may say, that they are those who draw the water up out of the well—a process which, as I have said, is very laborious; for they must be wearied in keeping the senses recollected, and this is a great labour, because the senses have been hitherto accustomed to distractions. It is necessary for beginners to accustom themselves to disregard what they hear or see, and to put it away from them during the time of prayer; they must be alone, and in retirement think over their past life. Though all must do this many times, beginners as well as those more advanced, all, however, must not do so equally, as I shall show hereafter. Beginners at first suffer much, because they are not convinced that they are penitent for their sins; and yet they are, because they are so sincerely resolved on serving God. They must strive to meditate on the life of Christ, and the understanding is wearied thereby. Thus far we can advance of ourselves—that is, by the grace of God—for without that, as every one knows, we never can have one good thought.

 14. This is beginning to draw water up out of the well. God grant there may be water in it! That, however, does not depend on us; we are drawing it, and doing what we can towards watering the flowers. So good is God, that when, for reasons known to His Majesty—perhaps for our greater good—it is His will the well should be dry, He Himself preserves the flowers without water—we, like good gardeners, doing what lies in our power—and makes our virtues grow. By water here I mean tears, and if there be none, then tenderness and an inward feeling of devotion.

15. What, then, will he do here who sees that, for many days, he is conscious only of aridity, disgust, dislike, and so great an unwillingness to go to the well for water, that he would give it up altogether, if he did not remember that he has to please and serve the Lord of the garden; if he did not trust that his service was not in vain, and did not hope for some gain by a labour so great as that of lowering the bucket into the well so often, and drawing it up without water in it? It will happen that he is often unable to move his arms for that purpose or to have one good thought: working with the understanding is drawing water out of the well.

16. What, then, once more, will the gardener do now? He must rejoice and take comfort, and consider it as the greatest favour to labour in the garden of so great an Emperor; and as he knows that he is pleasing Him in the matter—and his purpose must not be to please himself, but Him—let him praise Him greatly for the trust He has in him—for He sees that, without any recompense, he is taking so much care of that which has been confided to him; let him help Him to carry the Cross, and let him think how He carried it all His life long; let him not seek his kingdom here, nor ever intermit his prayer; and so let him resolve, if this aridity should last even his whole life long, never to let Christ fall down beneath the Cross.

17. The time will come when he shall be paid once for all. Let him have no fear that his labour is in vain: he serves a good Master, Whose eyes are upon him. Let him make no account of evil thoughts, but remember that Satan suggested them to St. Jerome also in the desert. These labours have their reward, I know it; for I am one who underwent them for many years. When I drew but one drop of water out of this blessed well, I considered it was a mercy of God. I know these labours are very great, and require, I think, greater courage than many others in this world; but I have seen clearly that God does not leave them without a great recompense, even in this life; for it is very certain that in one hour, during which our Lord gave me to taste His sweetness, all the anxieties which I had to bear when persevering in prayer seem to me ever afterwards perfectly rewarded.

18. I believe that it is our Lord’s good pleasure frequently in the beginning, and at times in the end, to send these torments, and many other incidental temptations, to try those who love Him, and to ascertain if they will drink the chalice, and help Him to carry the Cross, before He entrusts them with His great treasures. I believe it to be for our good that His Majesty should lead us by this way, so that we may perfectly understand how worthless we are; for the graces which He gives afterwards are of a dignity so great, that He will have us by experience know our wretchedness before He grants them, that it may not be with us as it was with Lucifer.

19. What canst Thou do, O my Lord, that is not for the greater good of that soul which Thou knowest to be already Thine, and which gives itself up to Thee to follow Thee whithersoever Thou goest, even to the death of the Cross; and which is determined to help Thee to carry that Cross, and not to leave Thee alone with it? He who shall discern this resolution in himself has nothing to fear: no, no; spiritual people have nothing to fear. There is no reason why he should be distressed who is already raised to so high a degree as this is of wishing to converse in solitude with God, and to abandon the amusements of the world. The greater part of the work is done; give praise to His Majesty for it, and trust in His goodness Who has never failed those who love Him. Close the eyes of your imagination, and do not ask why He gives devotion to this person in so short a time, and none to me after so many years. Let us believe that all is for our greater good; let His Majesty guide us whithersoever He will; we are not our own, but His. He shows us mercy enough when it is His pleasure we should be willing to dig in His garden, and to be so near the Lord of it: He certainly is near to us. If it be His will that these plants and flowers should grow—some of them when He gives water we may draw from the well, others when He gives none—what is that to me? Do Thou, O Lord, accomplish Thy will; let me never offend Thee, nor let my virtues perish; if Thou hast given me any, it is out of Thy mere goodness. I wish to surfer, because Thou, O Lord, hast suffered; do Thou in every way fulfil Thy will in me, and may it never be the pleasure of Thy Majesty that a gift of so high a price as that of Thy love, be given to people who serve Thee only because of the sweetness they find thereby.

20. It is much to be observed, and I say so because I know by experience, that the soul which begins to walk in the way of mental prayer with resolution, and is determined not to care much, neither to rejoice nor to be greatly afflicted, whether sweetness and tenderness fail it, or our Lord grants them, has already travelled a great part of the road. Let that soul, then, have no fear that it is going back, though it may frequently stumble; for the building is begun on a firm foundation. It is certain that the love of God does not consist in tears, nor in this sweetness and tenderness which we for the most part desire, and with which we console ourselves; but rather in serving Him in justice, fortitude, and humility. That seems to me to be a receiving rather than a giving of anything on our part."
9  Forums / Saints' & Spiritual Life General Discussion / Re: Mystical Prayer on: November 12, 2021, 10:33:24 PM
Excerpt from
St. Teresa's Teaching on the Grades of Prayer by Jordan Aumann, O.P.
"In her first work St. Teresa explains the grades of prayer by using the symbol of the "four waters," or more precisely, the four methods of watering a garden.

The first method is by drawing water from a well by means of a bucket attached to a rope. This is the first stage of prayer and it includes vocal prayer and discursive meditation. The individual is active, exercising the facultiesand reaping what benefit it can through one's own efforts. But lest the beginners think too much and turn their discursive meditationinto an intellectual exercise, St. Teresa advises them "not to spend all their time in doing so. Their method of prayer is most meritorious, but since they enjoy it so much, they sometimes fail to realize that they should have some kind of a sabbath, that is, a period of rest from their labors. . . . Let them imagine themselves, as I have suggested, in the presence of Christ, and let them continue conversing with him and delighting in him, without wearying their minds or exhausting themselves by composing speeches to him" (The Life, chap. 13).

The second method of watering a garden is by means of a waterwheel to which dippers are attached. As the wheel is turned, the water is poured into a trough that carries the water to the garden. St. Teresa explains that this stage, in which "the soul begins to recollect itself, borders on the supernatural. . . . This state is a recollecting of the faculties within the soul, so that its enjoyment of that contentment may provide greater delight" (The Life, chap. 13).

The third type of watering a garden is by irrigation by means of a running stream. It doesn't call for human effort as in the two previous methods. Prayer at this stage is mystical; that is, all the faculties are centered on God. "This kind of prayer," says St. Teresa, "is quite definitely a union of the entire soul with God" (The Life, chap. 17). She calls it a "sleep of the faculties" because they are totally occupied with God. "Not one of them, it seems, ventures to stir, nor can we cause any of them to be active except by striving to fix our attention very carefully on something else, and even then I don't think we could succeed entirely in doing so" (The Life, chap. 16).

The fourth and final method for watering a garden is by means of falling rain. This stage of prayer is totally mystical, meaning that it is infused by God and is not attained by human effort. It is called the prayer of union, and it admits of varying degrees.

The grades of prayer described by St. Teresa in The Life do not correspond to the division of prayer that is usually given in manuals of spiritual theology. There are several reasons for this, and the first one is possibly the fact of the discrepancy of 15 years between her first and the last major work. Secondly, the precise terminology to describe some the transitional grades of prayer between discursive mental prayer and the prayer of the transforming union did not come into common use until the seventeenth century. Thirdly, since she was writing from her own experience, it is possible that St. Teresa had passed immediately from discursive meditation to a high degree of infused, mystical prayer."
10  Forums / Saints' & Spiritual Life General Discussion / Re: Mystical Prayer on: November 12, 2021, 12:45:49 PM
The use of the term mystical raises in my mind concerns that ancient Christians had about the many mystery religions like Gnostics that preceded Jesus and similar heresies that followed Him.  On the other hand, I am well aware that Part II of our Catechism is entitled Celebration of the Christian Mystery.  And I recall St Paul's frustration with his weak reception in Athens and his subsequent resolution to change his kerygma.  But Jesus' persistence was about truth, and that all things hidden would be brought to light.  Can you comment on how and why Church emphasis seems to have changed?
First of all, you seem confused.
The Gnostics did not precede Jesus but came after.
Saint Irenaeus Against Heresy Book 3 chapter 4 paragraph 1 and 2
"CHAP. IV.--THE TRUTH IS TO BE FOUND NOWHERE ELSE BUT IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH, THE SOLE DEPOSITORY OF APOSTOLICAL DOCTRINE. HERESIES ARE OF RECENT FORMATION, AND CANNOT TRACE THEIR ORIGIN UP TO THE APOSTLES.
1. Since therefore we have such proofs, it is not necessary to seek the truth among others which it is easy to obtain from the Church; since the apostles, like a rich man [depositing his money] in a bank, lodged in her hands most copiously all things pertaining to the truth: so that every man, whosoever will, can draw from her the water of life.For she is the entrance to life; all others are thieves and robbers. On this account are we bound to avoid them, but to make choice of the thing pertaining to the Church with the utmost diligence, and to lay hold of the tradition of the truth. For how stands the case? Suppose there arise a dispute relative to some important question among us, should we not have recourse to the most ancient Churches with which the apostles held constant intercourse, and learn from them what is certain and clear in regard to the present question? For how should it be if the apostles themselves had not left us writings? Would it not be necessary, [in that case,] to follow the course of the tradition which they handed down to those to whom they did commit the Churches? To which course many nations of those barbarians who believe in Christ do assent, having salvation written in their hearts by the Spirit, without paper or ink, and, carefully preserving the ancient tradition, believing in one God, the Creator of heaven and earth, and all things therein, by means of Christ Jesus, the Son of God; who, because of His surpassing love towards His creation, condescended to be born of the virgin, He Himself uniting man through Himself to God, and having suffered under Pontius Pilate, and rising again, and having been received up in splendor, shall come in glory, the Saviour of those who are saved, and the Judge of those who are judged, and sending into eternal fire those who transform the truth, and despise His Father and His advent. Those who, in the absence of written documents, have believed this faith, are barbarians, so far as regards our language; but as regards doctrine, manner, and tenor of life, they are, because of faith, very wise indeed; and they do please God, ordering their conversation in all righteousness, chastity, and wisdom. If any one were to preach to these men the inventions of the heretics, speaking to them in their own language, they would at once stop their ears, and flee as far off as possible, not enduring even to listen to the blasphemous address. Thus, by means of that ancient tradition of the apostles, they do not suffer their mind to conceive anything of the [doctrines suggested by the] portentous language of these [Gnostic] teachers, among whom neither Church nor doctrine has ever been established."

There was no change of the kerygma.
Saint Irenaeus Against Heresy Book 3 chapter 1 paragraph 2 excerpt
"The apostles, who were commissioned to find out the wanderers, and to be for sight to those who saw not, and medicine to the weak, certainly did not address them in accordance with their opinion at the time, but according to revealed truth. For no persons of any kind would act properly, if they should advise blind men, just about to fall over a precipice, to continue their most dangerous path, as if it were the right one, and as if they might go on in safety. Or what medical man, anxious to heal a sick person, would prescribe in accordance with the patient's whims, and not according to the requisite medicine? But that the Lord came as the physician of the sick, He does Himself declare saying, "They that are whole need not a physician, but they that are sick; I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." How then shall the sick be strengthened, or how shall sinners come to repentance? Is it by persevering in the very same courses? or, on the contrary, is it by undergoing a great change and reversal of their former mode of living, by which they have brought upon themselves no slight amount of sickness, and many sins? But ignorance, the mother of all these, is driven out by knowledge. Wherefore the Lord used to impart knowledge to His disciples, by which also it was His practice to heal those who were suffering, and to keep back sinners from sin. He therefore did not address them in accordance with their pristine notions, nor did He reply to them in harmony with the opinion of His questioners, but according to the doctrine leading to salvation, without hypocrisy or respect of person."

A little catechetical insight into mysticism.
Christ our Pascha Ukrainian Greek Catholic Catechism
Paragraph 13 excerpt
"The Church encourages everyone to come to the knowledge of God, that by reading and listening to the Word of God, they may live by it daily.
As a seed planted in good soil, the Word of God grows within us, illuminating and leading us into the mystical depth of God’s life."
paragraph 726
"Life in Christ, offered in the Holy Mysteries, is the foundation of Christian morality, of the rules and norms of Christian behavior.
Christian moral life is a witness to faith.
The active manifestation of Christian faith in personal, familial, socio-political, and other areas of human life demands true heroism and courage.
Created in the image of God, one is called to reflect God in his or her Christian life, to mystically reveal the life of the Most Holy Trinity, and in so doing, to grow from the image to the likeness of God.
Every Christian is called to reveal the mysterious reflection of the divine life in their own life ever more clearly.
Achieving divine likeness through concrete actions defines Christian morality."
paragraph 852-854
852 For the Holy Fathers, spiritual struggle is the primary path to divinization.
The first (“purgative”) stage of this spiritual asceticism is purification from passions and passionate intentions through the power and grace of the Holy Spirit. [Reference Macarius the Great, Homilies, 17, 21.]
The second (“illuminative”) stage is the illumination of the mind and contemplation or vision of God (in Greek, theoria).
The third (“unitive”) stage is the actual attainment of divinization. [Reference Macarius the Great, Homilies, 7.]
853 The mystical and dynamic process of divinization takes place in the Body of Christ, which is the Church.
A Christian is a living member of Christ’s divinized Body to the extent in which he or she fully participates in the Church’s mystical life.
In divinization, God’s life becomes our life and our life becomes divinized.
The unique mission of the Church is to be the place and path of divinization.
This mission manifests itself in the proclamation of the good news of God’s Word, in the Holy Mysteries, in prayer and worship, and in the moral and ascetical life.
854 Divinization is the meeting of God and the human person in faith.
It is impossible without one’s openness to grace and one’s spiritual efforts.
Only by fulfilling God’s commandments and purifying one’s heart can a Christian, in cooperation with God’s grace, rise to ever higher degrees of perfection.
Interior purification, a virtuous life, and life in holiness are the primary conditions for divinization, for union with him who is the Source of Holiness, Purity, and Perfection.


Seeking the guidance or counsel of the Holy Spirit regarding the Divine Logos which reveals the Father is a suitable method of access into the Trinity. The other way would be to approach Jesus as the Door and ask Him to pray the Father to send you the Spirit of Truth that you may be lead into all Truth and have the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit dwell within you by invoking them and beseeching their presence earnestly with a humble and pure heart, free from distractions and attentive to the Sacred Scripture.
The written word of God is an excellent means of communicating with the uncreated Word of God, our Lord Jesus Christ. The life of communion with the All Holy Undivided Trinity is accomplished through grace and the divine indwelling by which you are made a temple of the Holy Spirit, where the Great High Priest, our Lord Jesus Christ offers fragrant prayers upon the altar of your heart and the love of the Father is poured into you live dew from heaven that you may be cleansed and sanctified as a holy temple dedicated to God, a house of prayer not made with hands.

The Life of the Divine Trinity is best understood through indwelling, inspiration and inflowing and infusion. God, the Holy Trinity dwells within you to the degree that you prepare yourself through kenosis or self-emptying. Examination of conscience, prayers for contrition and desire of grace and prayers for inspiration and understanding and prayers for inflowing of divine love and infusion of virtues and holy contemplation are good practices.
Prayer is broken into two forms: mystical or God-inspired and acquired or discursive prayer that is intellectually driven. The integration of Scripture into one's life is the process of reading, it is this process of meditation that inscribes the Sacred Word upon the tablet of the heart, where the finger of the Holy Spirit inspires living devotion and gives ample means to fulfill what God has put into your heart to accomplish. The Life, that is Christ, which abides in the soul is the fountain of all meditation, contemplation and satisfaction.
While we can prepare for discursive or acquired prayer by mental practices, memorization, and understanding the skopos or goal of the methods we employ they cannot be compared to the dignity and sublimity of mystical prayer which we we ought to desire with all spirit longing. For, mystical prayer is the prayer of the Holy Spirit within us, over which we have no power to force or even to equal. Though we may always raise ourselves up, by degrees, with acts of faith, hope and love, acts of desire and contrition, acts of worship and acts of praise and acts of supplication. These pious acts and holy inspirations we ought to pray for, long for, wait for and be desirous of and to savor with all sweetness when they are divinely bestowed upon the dryness of the soul. For God causes the growth even though one man sowed and another watered. For the Sun of Righteousness is the fountain of eternal Light and from Him does the vine ripen and the grape glisten with interior sweetness, made rich by the abundance of life giving sap, drawn from the Holy Root of the Blessed Seed.


Mystical theology is strictly speaking theology concerning the Mysteries of the Faith, such as the Undivided Trinity, the Incarnation, the Sacred Mysteries (Sacraments), Grace (both actual and sanctifying), Salvation (Redemption, Regeneration, Justification, Sanctification, Deification/Glorification), the Divine Attributes of God, Free-will, Predestination, the Second Coming, the New Creation, the Glories of Heaven, the Torment of Hell. There are more but these are sufficient to enumerate.
What I think is lacking in your understanding is a cohesive grasp that Christianity is a Mystery Religion, greater than all the mystery religions that came before or after. The Sacred Mysteries were considered too holy to be revealed to just anyone.
The process of becoming a Christian changed as persecution increased. A catechetical process was administered, catechumens were not allowed to stay for the Liturgy of the Faithful (the Liturgy of the Eucharist) and instead were taken out of the Church and given catechetical discourses on matters of faith and regularly exorcized according to Saint Cyril of Jerusalem's Catechetical Orations.

I do not understand the vagueness of your question "why Church emphasis seems to have changed?" The Church is an organic body, while the words have changed the same Gospel is preached.
Saint Gregory of Nyssa Great Catechism Prologue Excerpt
"Not that the same method of instruction will be suitable in the case of all who approach the word. The catechism must be adapted to the diversities of their religious worship; with an eye, indeed, to the one aim and end of the system, but not using the same method of preparation in each individual case. The Judaizer has been preoccupied with one set of notions, one conversant with Hellenism, with others; while the Anomoean, and the Manichee, with the followers of Marcion , Valentinus, and Basilides , and the rest on the list of those who have wandered into heresy, each of them being prepossessed with their peculiar notions, necessitate a special controversy with their several. opinions. The method of recovery must be adapted to the form of the disease. You will not by the same means cure the polytheism of the Greek, and the unbelief of the Jew as to the Only-begotten God: nor as regards those who have wandered into heresy will you, by the same arguments in each case, upset their misleading romances as to the tenets of the Faith. No one could set Sabellius right by the same instruction as would benefit the Anomoean . The controversy with the Manichee is profitless against the Jew . It is necessary, therefore, as I have said, to regard the opinions which the persons have taken up, and to frame your argument in accordance with the error into which each has fallen, by advancing in each discussion certain principles and reasonable propositions, that thus, through what is agreed upon on both sides, the truth may conclusively be brought to light. When, then, a discussion is held with one of those who favour Greek ideas, it would be well to make the ascertaining of this the commencement of the reasoning, i.e. whether he presupposes the existence of a God, or concurs with the atheistic view. Should he say there is no God, then, from the consideration of the skilful and wise economy of the Universe he will be brought to acknowledge that there is a certain overmastering power manifested through these channels."
11  Forums / Saints' & Spiritual Life General Discussion / Re: The Power of Obedience on: October 24, 2021, 07:41:41 PM
Why is obedience to the Lord God important?
In Hebrew the word for obedient is the same word meaning to hear.  Thus the first Commandment
"Hear O Israel the Lord is God the Lord is One" also means "Israel obey the Lord our God, for the Lord is One"
Isaiah 1:19 GNT
If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the land.

1 Samuel 15:22 GNT
Samuel said, "Which does the LORD prefer: obedience or offerings and sacrifices? It is better to obey him than to sacrifice the best sheep to him

Deuteronomy 8:20 Douay-Rheims
As the nations, which the Lord destroyed at thy entrance, so shall you also perish, if you be disobedient to the voice of the Lord your God.

Psalm 103:20 GNT
Praise the LORD, you strong and mighty angels, who obey his commands, who listen to what he says.

1 King 8:58 GNT
may he make us obedient to him, so that we will always live as he wants us to live, keeping all the laws and commands he gave our ancestors.

Malachi 3:17 GNT
"They will be my people," says the LORD Almighty. "On the day when I act, they will be my very own. I will be merciful to them as parents are merciful to the children who serve them.

Deuteronomy 30:17-20a GNT
17But if you disobey and refuse to listen, and are led away to worship other gods, 18you will be destroyed—I warn you here and now. You will not live long in that land across the Jordan that you are about to occupy. 19I am now giving you the choice between life and death, between God's blessing and God's curse, and I call heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Choose life. 20 Love the LORD your God, obey him and be faithful to him

Thus from this brief summary of the Old Testament we can see that without obedience there is no salvation only death. The events of the Fall of Satan show the cause of disobedience, namely pride. To disobey God is the ultimate act of pride, to put one's will above God's will and to show disdain for the wisdom of the Almighty who had ordained all things in goodness and only commanded that which is good and profitable for salvation. Turning to the dispensation of the Lord's Incarnation we shall see that obedience is the ultimate virtue, the living enactment of humility is obedience.

Luke 6:46-49 GNT
46“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and yet don't do what I tell you? 47Anyone who comes to me and listens to my words and obeys them—I will show you what he is like. 48He is like a man who, in building his house, dug deep and laid the foundation on rock. The river flooded over and hit that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. 49But anyone who hears my words and does not obey them is like a man who built his house without laying a foundation; when the flood hit that house it fell at once—and what a terrible crash that was!”

Matthew 7:21-23 GNT
21“Not everyone who calls me ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but only those who do what my Father in heaven wants them to do. 22When the Judgment Day comes, many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord! In your name we spoke God's message, by your name we drove out many demons and performed many miracles!’ 23 Then I will say to them, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you wicked people!

Luke 1:29-38 GNT
29Mary was deeply troubled by the angel's message, and she wondered what his words meant. 30The angel said to her, “Don't be afraid, Mary; God has been gracious to you. 31 You will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High God. The Lord God will make him a king, as his ancestor David was, 33and he will be the king of the descendants of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end!”

34Mary said to the angel, “I am a virgin. How, then, can this be?”

35The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and God's power will rest upon you. For this reason the holy child will be called the Son of God. 36Remember your relative Elizabeth. It is said that she cannot have children, but she herself is now six months pregnant, even though she is very old. 37 For there is nothing that God cannot do.”

38“I am the Lord's servant,” said Mary; “may it happen to me as you have said.” And the angel left her.

Roman's 1:1-5 GNT
1From Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus and an apostle chosen and called by God to preach his Good News.

2The Good News was promised long ago by God through his prophets, as written in the Holy Scriptures. 3It is about his Son, our Lord Jesus Christ: as to his humanity, he was born a descendant of David; 4as to his divine holiness, he was shown with great power to be the Son of God by being raised from death. 5Through him God gave me the privilege of being an apostle for the sake of Christ, in order to lead people of all nations to believe and obey.

Roman's 6:16-21 GNT
16Surely you know that when you surrender yourselves as slaves to obey someone, you are in fact the slaves of the master you obey—either of sin, which results in death, or of obedience, which results in being put right with God. 17But thanks be to God! For though at one time you were slaves to sin, you have obeyed with all your heart the truths found in the teaching you received. 18You were set free from sin and became the slaves of righteousness. 19(I use everyday language because of the weakness of your natural selves.) At one time you surrendered yourselves entirely as slaves to impurity and wickedness for wicked purposes. In the same way you must now surrender yourselves entirely as slaves of righteousness for holy purposes.

20When you were the slaves of sin, you were free from righteousness. 21What did you gain from doing the things that you are now ashamed of? The result of those things is death! 22But now you have been set free from sin and are the slaves of God. Your gain is a life fully dedicated to him, and the result is eternal life. 23For sin pays its wage—death; but God's free gift is eternal life in union with Christ Jesus our Lord.

Roman's 16:25-27 GNT
25Let us give glory to God! He is able to make you stand firm in your faith, according to the Good News I preach about Jesus Christ and according to the revelation of the secret truth which was hidden for long ages in the past. 26Now, however, that truth has been brought out into the open through the writings of the prophets; and by the command of the eternal God it is made known to all nations, so that all may believe and obey.

27To the only God, who alone is all-wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever! Amen.

Philippians 2:5-11 GNT
5The attitude you should have is the one that Christ Jesus had:

6He always had the nature of God,

but he did not think that by force he should try to remain+ equal with God.

7Instead of this, of his own free will he gave up all he had,

and took the nature of a servant.

He became like a human being

and appeared in human likeness.

8He was humble and walked the path of obedience all the way to death—

his death on the cross.

9For this reason God raised him to the highest place above

and gave him the name that is greater than any other name.

10 And so, in honor of the name of Jesus

all beings in heaven, on earth, and in the world below+

will fall on their knees,

11and all will openly proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord,

to the glory of God the Father

1 Peter:1-2 GNT
1From Peter, apostle of Jesus Christ—

To God's chosen people who live as refugees scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia. 2You were chosen according to the purpose of God the Father and were made a holy people by his Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be purified by his blood.

May grace and peace be yours in full measure.

Clearly obedience is how we obtain an inheritance that is undefiled for by disobedience we obtained an inheritance
among the devils with unquenchable fire. Therefore, repent and believe the Gospel for the Kingdom of Heaven has been brought near to you! Do not be unbelieving but turn to God in obedience! Beg pardon and confess your sins that you may escape the dreadful judgment which befell the Angel's who remained not obedient to God! For the Lord is Merciful and Gentle, filled with Kindness and Love, full of Compassion and Patience! As the prodigal son was disobedient and went astray yet returning was greated with great joy, so too will your Father in heaven await your return and rejoice in saving you and pardoning your transgressions if only you will put away your wickedness and pride and embrace the innocence of children of God and come into the Light that your deeds would be made known and receive the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and be cleansed by His Most Precious Blood for obedience and submission to Almighty God. Amen
12  Forums / Prayer Requests / Re: New member. Prayer for Godly home on: October 06, 2021, 10:11:57 AM
Hi there! I hope for you all good things today. I am new and deeply needing to change my ways of my household. Your blessings please
May Almighty God free you and your household from satan's grasp! May He deliever you from the vanity and profitless ways of the world and place upon you the Spirit of Christ, so that you may be equipped and prepared for all the necessities of spiritual combat to which you have been called. May the Lord God give you strength and courage to overcome every obstacle and may He cast out all unclean spirits in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen
13  Forums / Saints' & Spiritual Life General Discussion / Evil is not from God according to the Catechism on: October 05, 2021, 06:18:36 PM
Catechism
Providence and the scandal of evil.

309 If God the Father almighty, the Creator of the ordered and good world, cares for all his creatures, why does evil exist? To this question, as pressing as it is unavoidable and as painful as it is mysterious, no quick answer will suffice. Only Christian faith as a whole constitutes the answer to this question: the goodness of creation, the drama of sin and the patient love of God who comes to meet man by his covenants, the redemptive Incarnation of his Son, his gift of the Spirit, his gathering of the Church, the power of the sacraments and his call to a blessed life to which free creatures are invited to consent in advance, but from which, by a terrible mystery, they can also turn away in advance. There is not a single aspect of the Christian message that is not in part an answer to the question of evil.

310 But why did God not create a world so perfect that no evil could exist in it? With infinite power God could always create something better. But with infinite wisdom and goodness God freely willed to create a world "in a state of journeying" towards its ultimate perfection. In God's plan this process of becoming involves the appearance of certain beings and the disappearance of others, the existence of the more perfect alongside the less perfect, both constructive and destructive forces of nature. With physical good there exists also physical evil as long as creation has not reached perfection.

311 Angels and men, as intelligent and free creatures, have to journey toward their ultimate destinies by their free choice and preferential love. They can therefore go astray. Indeed, they have sinned. Thus has moral evil, incommensurably more harmful than physical evil, entered the world. God is in no way, directly or indirectly, the cause of moral evil. He permits it, however, because he respects the freedom of his creatures and, mysteriously, knows how to derive good from it:

For almighty God. . ., because he is supremely good, would never allow any evil whatsoever to exist in his works if he were not so all-powerful and good as to cause good to emerge from evil itself.
312 In time we can discover that God in his almighty providence can bring a good from the consequences of an evil, even a moral evil, caused by his creatures: "It was not you", said Joseph to his brothers, "who sent me here, but God. . . You meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive." From the greatest moral evil ever committed - the rejection and murder of God's only Son, caused by the sins of all men - God, by his grace that "abounded all the more", brought the greatest of goods: the glorification of Christ and our redemption. But for all that, evil never becomes a good.

313 "We know that in everything God works for good for those who love him." The constant witness of the saints confirms this truth:

St. Catherine of Siena said to "those who are scandalized and rebel against what happens to them": "Everything comes from love, all is ordained for the salvation of man, God does nothing without this goal in mind."
St. Thomas More, shortly before his martyrdom, consoled his daughter: "Nothing can come but that that God wills. And I make me very sure that whatsoever that be, seem it never so bad in sight, it shall indeed be the best."

Dame Julian of Norwich: "Here I was taught by the grace of God that I should steadfastly keep me in the faith. . . and that at the same time I should take my stand on and earnestly believe in what our Lord shewed in this time - that 'all manner [of] thing shall be well.'

314 We firmly believe that God is master of the world and of its history. But the ways of his providence are often unknown to us. Only at the end, when our partial knowledge ceases, when we see God "face to face", will we fully know the ways by which - even through the dramas of evil and sin - God has guided his creation to that definitive sabbath rest for which he created heaven and earth.
14  Forums / Submissions / “Fide Confiteor” by Sancti Nersetis Clajensis Armeniorum Patriarchae on: September 30, 2021, 06:15:44 PM
“Fide Confiteor”

Sancti Nersetis Clajensis Armeniorum Patriarchae

.

I

Fide confiteor et adoro te, Pater et Fili et Spiritus Sancte; increata et immortalis natura, Angelorum hominumque et omnium entium creatrix. Tuarum miserere creaturarum.

~

II

Fide confiteor et adoro te, indivisibilis Lux, Sancta consubstantialis Trinitas unaque Deitas, lucis creatrix ac tenebrarum dissipatrix;
expelle a spiritu meo peccatorum et ignorantiae tenebras, atque illumina in istâ horâ mentem meam, ut orem te in beneplacito tuo, atque a te mea postulata percipiam.
Porro miserere mei omnimode peccatoris.

~

III

Pater caelestis, Deus vere, qui Filium, tuum dilectum misisti ad ovem perditam quaerendam:
peccavi in caelum et coram te; suscipe me sicut prodigum filium, meque indue stolâ primâ, quam per peccatum exui.
Atque tuarum miserere creaturarum, nec non mei peccatoris maximi.

~

IV

Fili Dei, Deus vere, qui te de sinu paterno humiliasti et propter nostram salutem corpus de Sanctâ Virgine Mariâ sumpsisti,
crucifixus fuisti ac sepultus, et surrexisti a mortuis, et ascendisti ad Patrem:
 peccavi in caelum et coram te; memento mei sicut Latronis, quum veneris in regnum tuum.
Atque miserere creaturarum tuarum, nec non mei peccatoris maximi.

~

V

Spiritus Dei, Deus vere, qui descendisti in Jordanem, et in Caenaculum, meque per Sancti Fontis lotionem illuminasti:
peccavi in caelum. et coram te; munda me rursus igne tuo divino, quemadmodum igneis linguis Apostolos.
 Atque miserere creaturarum tuarum, nec non mei peccatoris maximi.

~

VI

Increata Natura: peccavi in te mente meâ, spiritu et corpore meo;
ne memineris iniquitatum mearum antiquarum propter Nomen Sanctum tuum.
Atque miserere creaturarum tuarum, nec non mei peccatoris maximi.

~

VII

Speculator omnium rerum: peccavi in te cogitatione verbo et opere:
dele chirographum delictorum meorum, et scribe nomen meum in catalogo vitae.
Atque miserere creaturarum tuarum, nec non mei peccatoris maximi.

~

VIII

Scrutator occultarum cogitationum: peccavi in te ultro et invite, scienter et ignoranter:
veniam largire mihi peccatori, ex quo enim per lavacrum renatus fui, usque in hodiernum diem, peccavi coram tuâ Divinitate sensibus meis cunctisque corporis membris.
Atque miserere creaturarum tuarum, nec non mei peccatoris maximi.

~

IX

Provisor omnium, Domine: pone timorem sanctum tuum custodem oculis meis, ne turpia aspiciant;
atque auribus meis, ne libenter audiant sermones malos; et labiis meis, ne loquantur mendacium; et cordi meo, ne cogitet malum;
et manibus meis, ne operentur injustitiam; et pedibus meis, ne pergant in viam iniquitatis; sed dirige motus eorum, ut sint in omnibus secundum praecepta tua.
Atque miserere creaturarum tuarum, nec non mei peccatoris maximi.

~

X

Ignis ardens, Christe: ignem amoris tui, quem effudisti in terram, accende in animâ meâ;
ut spiritûs mei sordes absumat, et purificet conscientiam meam, atque corporis mei peccata detergat et in corde meo accendat lumen sapientiae tuae.
Atque miserere creaturarum tuarum, nec non mei peccatoris maximi.

~

XI

Jesu, sapientia Patris: da mihi sapientiam cogitandi et loquendi et agendi bonitatem in conspectu tuo semper:
a pravis cogitationibus verbis et operibus libera me.
Atque miserere creaturarum tuarum, nec non mei peccatoris maximi.

~

XII

Domine volens bonum, ac voluntatem movens: ne permittas me incedere secundum desideria mea;
sed perduc me ad tuam voluntatem, quae rectum diligit, adimplendam.
Atque miserere creaturarum tuarum, nec non mei peccatoris maximi.

~

XIII

Rex caelestis: da mihi regnum tuum, quod diligentibus te promisisti;
et corrobora cor meum ad peccata abhorrenda, ac diligendum te solum, et voluntatem tuam perficiendam.
Atque miserere creaturarum tuarum, nec non mei peccatoris maximi.

~

XIV

Creaturarum Provisor: per signum Crucis tuae custodi spiritum et corpus meum a peccati illecebris, a daemonum tentationibus, ab hominibus iniquis, et ab omnibus animae et corporis periculis.
Atque miserere creaturarum tuarum, nec non mei peccatoris maximi.

~

XV

Omnium Custos, Christe: dextera tua protegat me die ac nocte, domi commorantem et iter facientem, dormientem et surgentem; ne quando fluctuem.
Atque miserere creaturarum tuarum, nec non mei peccatoris maximi.

~

XVI

Deus mi: qui aperis manum tuam et imples omnem creaturam misericordiâ tuâ, tibi commendo animam meam:
tu curam habe et para necessaria spiritui et corpori meo ex hoc nunc et usque in saeculum.
Atque miserere creaturarum tuarum, nec non mei peccatoris maximi.

~

XVII

Errantium reductor: reduc me ex pravis consuetudinibus meis ad bonos habitus;
et infige spiritui meo formidabilem mortis diem, atque inferni metum, ac Regni tui amorem;
ut peccatorum me poeniteat, ac justitiam operer.
Atque miserere creaturarum tuarum, nec non mei peccatoris maximi.

~

XVIII

Fons immortalitatis: effluere fac de corde meo, quemadmodum ex peccatrice, lacrymas poenitentiae;
ut abluam peccata mea priusquam egrediar de hoc mundo.
Atque miserere creaturarum tuarum, nec non mei peccatoris maximi.

~

XIX

Largitor misericordiae: largire, me ad Te venire per orthodoxam fidem, per bona opera et per sanctam corporis et sanguinis tui communionem.
Atque miserere creaturarum tuarum, nec non mei peccatoris maximi.

~

XX

Benefice Domine: committe me Angelo bono, ut suaviter animam meam reddam, atque incolumis per malitiam daemonum, qui sub caelo sunt, transeam.
Atque miserere creaturarum tuarum, nec non mei peccatoris maximi.

~

XXI

Lux vera, Christe; dignum redde spiritum meum, qui in die eccitûs videat laetanter gloriae tuae lumen, et usque ad diem adventûs tui magni requiescat in spe bonorum, in mansione justorum.
Atque miserere creaturarum tuarum, nec non mei peccatoris maximi.

~

XXII

Juste Judex: quando veneris cum gloriâ Patris judicare vivos et mortuos, non intres in judicium cum servo tuo;
sed libera me ab igno aeterno, et auditum fac mihi beatum justorum accitum ad caeleste regnum tuum.
Atque miserere creaturarum tuarum, nec non mei peccatoris maximi.

~

XXIII

Misericors Domine: miserere cunctorum in te credentium, meorum et alienorum, notorum et ignotorum, vivorum et mortuorum:
meis quoque inimicis et adversariis veniam concede injuriarum, quas in me operati sunt, eosque ab improbitate, qua in me afficiuntur, converte, ut fiant et ipsi misericordiâ tuâ digni.
Atque miserere creaturarum tuarum, nec non mei peccatoris maximi.

~

XXIV

Gloriosissime Domine: istas suscipe deprecationes famuli tui, benigneque petitiones meas imple.

Per intercessionem Sanctae Deiparae et Sancti Johannis Baptistae et Sancti Stephani protomartyris et Sancti Gregorii nostri Illuminatoris
et sanctorum Apostolorum et Prophetarum et Doctorum et Martyrum et sanctorum Patriarcharum et Eremitarum et Virginum et omnium Sanctorum tuorum caelestium et terrestrium.

Tibique, sancta et individua Trinitas, gloria et adoratio in saecula saeculorum. Amen.
15  Forums / Prayer Requests / Re: The Seven Dolors on: September 15, 2021, 10:18:15 PM
Meditation on the Passion and Resurrection:
Good Mother, Mary, you watched the Light of the world die in darkness. Saint John the Beloved took you into his home and comforted your sorrow in the shadow of the Cross. As Guardian of the Holy Virgin, Saint John the Apostle suffered greatly seeing firsthand the death of the Master, Jesus Christ and the sorrow that accompanied the Virgin's mourning. Sweetest Lord Jesus, you beheld the tears of anguish of Mary Thy Mother with greater distress than any other. The Holy Mother of the Lord became the Mother of the martyred Messiah and the handmaiden of the Lord became the Widow of the Lord. Yet three days in the tomb Christ's body lay, Friday Night, all of Saturday and by first light of Sunday, the True Light had risen from the dead. Yet in this great mystery, Thy Apostles and Thy sorrowful Mother did weep and mourn and lament. And it was the Father's Spirit that raised up the Savior from death and made immortal the mortal nature of Christ, having put on glory and dispelling every manner of sorrow, the Lord put to flight the sadness and weeping of His Virgin Mother and banished the cowardice of His fearful disciples.
16  Forums / Catholic General Discussion / Re: Eucharistic Catechesis on: September 15, 2021, 08:28:44 PM
CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
SECOND EDITION
PART TWO
THE CELEBRATION OF THE CHRISTIAN MYSTERY
SECTION TWO
THE SEVEN SACRAMENTS OF THE CHURCH

CHAPTER ONE
THE SACRAMENTS OF CHRISTIAN INITIATION

ARTICLE 3
THE SACRAMENT OF THE EUCHARIST

1322 The holy Eucharist completes Christian initiation. Those who have been raised to the dignity of the royal priesthood by Baptism and configured more deeply to Christ by Confirmation participate with the whole community in the Lord's own sacrifice by means of the Eucharist.

1323 "At the Last Supper, on the night he was betrayed, our Savior instituted the Eucharistic sacrifice of his Body and Blood. This he did in order to perpetuate the sacrifice of the cross throughout the ages until he should come again, and so to entrust to his beloved Spouse, the Church, a memorial of his death and resurrection: a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a Paschal banquet 'in which Christ is consumed, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us.'"135

I. THE EUCHARIST - SOURCE AND SUMMIT OF ECCLESIAL LIFE

1324 The Eucharist is "the source and summit of the Christian life."136 "The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it. For in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself, our Pasch."137

1325 "The Eucharist is the efficacious sign and sublime cause of that communion in the divine life and that unity of the People of God by which the Church is kept in being. It is the culmination both of God's action sanctifying the world in Christ and of the worship men offer to Christ and through him to the Father in the Holy Spirit."138

1326 Finally, by the Eucharistic celebration we already unite ourselves with the heavenly liturgy and anticipate eternal life, when God will be all in all.139

1327 In brief, the Eucharist is the sum and summary of our faith: "Our way of thinking is attuned to the Eucharist, and the Eucharist in turn confirms our way of thinking."140

II. WHAT IS THIS SACRAMENT CALLED?

1328 The inexhaustible richness of this sacrament is expressed in the different names we give it. Each name evokes certain aspects of it. It is called:

Eucharist, because it is an action of thanksgiving to God. The Greek words eucharistein141 and eulogein142 recall the Jewish blessings that proclaim - especially during a meal - God's works: creation, redemption, and sanctification.

1329 The Lord's Supper, because of its connection with the supper which the Lord took with his disciples on the eve of his Passion and because it anticipates the wedding feast of the Lamb in the heavenly Jerusalem.143

The Breaking of Bread, because Jesus used this rite, part of a Jewish meal, when as master of the table he blessed and distributed the bread,144 above all at the Last Supper.145 It is by this action that his disciples will recognize him after his Resurrection,146 and it is this expression that the first Christians will use to designate their Eucharistic assemblies;147 by doing so they signified that all who eat the one broken bread, Christ, enter into communion with him and form but one body in him.148

The Eucharistic assembly (synaxis), because the Eucharist is celebrated amid the assembly of the faithful, the visible expression of the Church.149

1330 The memorial of the Lord's Passion and Resurrection.

The Holy Sacrifice, because it makes present the one sacrifice of Christ the Savior and includes the Church's offering. The terms holy sacrifice of the Mass, "sacrifice of praise," spiritual sacrifice, pure and holy sacrifice are also used,150 since it completes and surpasses all the sacrifices of the Old Covenant.

The Holy and Divine Liturgy, because the Church's whole liturgy finds its center and most intense expression in the celebration of this sacrament; in the same sense we also call its celebration the Sacred Mysteries. We speak of the Most Blessed Sacrament because it is the Sacrament of sacraments. The Eucharistic species reserved in the tabernacle are designated by this same name.

1331 Holy Communion, because by this sacrament we unite ourselves to Christ, who makes us sharers in his Body and Blood to form a single body.151 We also call it: the holy things (ta hagia; sancta)152 - the first meaning of the phrase "communion of saints" in the Apostles' Creed - the bread of angels, bread from heaven, medicine of immortality,153 viaticum. . . .

1332 Holy Mass (Missa), because the liturgy in which the mystery of salvation is accomplished concludes with the sending forth (missio) of the faithful, so that they may fulfill God's will in their daily lives.

III. THE EUCHARIST IN THE ECONOMY OF SALVATION

The signs of bread and wine

1333 At the heart of the Eucharistic celebration are the bread and wine that, by the words of Christ and the invocation of the Holy Spirit, become Christ's Body and Blood. Faithful to the Lord's command the Church continues to do, in his memory and until his glorious return, what he did on the eve of his Passion: "He took bread. . . ." "He took the cup filled with wine. . . ." The signs of bread and wine become, in a way surpassing understanding, the Body and Blood of Christ; they continue also to signify the goodness of creation. Thus in the Offertory we give thanks to the Creator for bread and wine,154 fruit of the "work of human hands," but above all as "fruit of the earth" and "of the vine" - gifts of the Creator. The Church sees in the gesture of the king-priest Melchizedek, who "brought out bread and wine," a prefiguring of her own offering.155

1334 In the Old Covenant bread and wine were offered in sacrifice among the first fruits of the earth as a sign of grateful acknowledgment to the Creator. But they also received a new significance in the context of the Exodus: the unleavened bread that Israel eats every year at Passover commemorates the haste of the departure that liberated them from Egypt; the remembrance of the manna in the desert will always recall to Israel that it lives by the bread of the Word of God;156 their daily bread is the fruit of the promised land, the pledge of God's faithfulness to his promises. The "cup of blessing"157 at the end of the Jewish Passover meal adds to the festive joy of wine an eschatological dimension: the messianic expectation of the rebuilding of Jerusalem. When Jesus instituted the Eucharist, he gave a new and definitive meaning to the blessing of the bread and the cup.

1335 The miracles of the multiplication of the loaves, when the Lord says the blessing, breaks and distributes the loaves through his disciples to feed the multitude, prefigure the superabundance of this unique bread of his Eucharist.158 The sign of water turned into wine at Cana already announces the Hour of Jesus' glorification. It makes manifest the fulfillment of the wedding feast in the Father's kingdom, where the faithful will drink the new wine that has become the Blood of Christ.159

1336 The first announcement of the Eucharist divided the disciples, just as the announcement of the Passion scandalized them: "This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?"160 The Eucharist and the Cross are stumbling blocks. It is the same mystery and it never ceases to be an occasion of division. "Will you also go away?":161 the Lord's question echoes through the ages, as a loving invitation to discover that only he has "the words of eternal life"162 and that to receive in faith the gift of his Eucharist is to receive the Lord himself.

The institution of the Eucharist

1337 The Lord, having loved those who were his own, loved them to the end. Knowing that the hour had come to leave this world and return to the Father, in the course of a meal he washed their feet and gave them the commandment of love.163 In order to leave them a pledge of this love, in order never to depart from his own and to make them sharers in his Passover, he instituted the Eucharist as the memorial of his death and Resurrection, and commanded his apostles to celebrate it until his return; "thereby he constituted them priests of the New Testament."164

1338 The three synoptic Gospels and St. Paul have handed on to us the account of the institution of the Eucharist; St. John, for his part, reports the words of Jesus in the synagogue of Capernaum that prepare for the institution of the Eucharist: Christ calls himself the bread of life, come down from heaven.165

1339 Jesus chose the time of Passover to fulfill what he had announced at Capernaum: giving his disciples his Body and his Blood:

Then came the day of Unleavened Bread, on which the passover lamb had to be sacrificed. So Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, "Go and prepare the passover meal for us, that we may eat it. . . ." They went . . . and prepared the passover. And when the hour came, he sat at table, and the apostles with him. And he said to them, "I have earnestly desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer; for I tell you I shall not eat it again until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.". . . . And he took bread, and when he had given thanks he broke it and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me." And likewise the cup after supper, saying, "This cup which is poured out for you is the New Covenant in my blood."166
1340 By celebrating the Last Supper with his apostles in the course of the Passover meal, Jesus gave the Jewish Passover its definitive meaning. Jesus' passing over to his father by his death and Resurrection, the new Passover, is anticipated in the Supper and celebrated in the Eucharist, which fulfills the Jewish Passover and anticipates the final Passover of the Church in the glory of the kingdom.

"Do this in memory of me"

1341 The command of Jesus to repeat his actions and words "until he comes" does not only ask us to remember Jesus and what he did. It is directed at the liturgical celebration, by the apostles and their successors, of the memorial of Christ, of his life, of his death, of his Resurrection, and of his intercession in the presence of the Father.167

1342 From the beginning the Church has been faithful to the Lord's command. Of the Church of Jerusalem it is written:

They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. . . . Day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they partook of food with glad and generous hearts.168
1343 It was above all on "the first day of the week," Sunday, the day of Jesus' resurrection, that the Christians met "to break bread."169 From that time on down to our own day the celebration of the Eucharist has been continued so that today we encounter it everywhere in the Church with the same fundamental structure. It remains the center of the Church's life.

1344 Thus from celebration to celebration, as they proclaim the Paschal mystery of Jesus "until he comes," the pilgrim People of God advances, "following the narrow way of the cross,"170 toward the heavenly banquet, when all the elect will be seated at the table of the kingdom.

IV. THE LITURGICAL CELEBRATION OF THE EUCHARIST

The Mass of all ages

1345 As early as the second century we have the witness of St. Justin Martyr for the basic lines of the order of the Eucharistic celebration. They have stayed the same until our own day for all the great liturgical families. St. Justin wrote to the pagan emperor Antoninus Pius (138-161) around the year 155, explaining what Christians did:

On the day we call the day of the sun, all who dwell in the city or country gather in the same place.
The memoirs of the apostles and the writings of the prophets are read, as much as time permits.

When the reader has finished, he who presides over those gathered admonishes and challenges them to imitate these beautiful things.

Then we all rise together and offer prayers* for ourselves . . .and for all others, wherever they may be, so that we may be found righteous by our life and actions, and faithful to the commandments, so as to obtain eternal salvation.

When the prayers are concluded we exchange the kiss.

Then someone brings bread and a cup of water and wine mixed together to him who presides over the brethren.

He takes them and offers praise and glory to the Father of the universe, through the name of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and for a considerable time he gives thanks (in Greek: eucharistian) that we have been judged worthy of these gifts.

When he has concluded the prayers and thanksgivings, all present give voice to an acclamation by saying: 'Amen.'

When he who presides has given thanks and the people have responded, those whom we call deacons give to those present the "eucharisted" bread, wine and water and take them to those who are absent.171

1346 The liturgy of the Eucharist unfolds according to a fundamental structure which has been preserved throughout the centuries down to our own day. It displays two great parts that form a fundamental unity:
- the gathering, the liturgy of the Word, with readings, homily and general intercessions;
- the liturgy of the Eucharist, with the presentation of the bread and wine, the consecratory thanksgiving, and communion.

The liturgy of the Word and liturgy of the Eucharist together form "one single act of worship";172 the Eucharistic table set for us is the table both of the Word of God and of the Body of the Lord.173

1347 Is this not the same movement as the Paschal meal of the risen Jesus with his disciples? Walking with them he explained the Scriptures to them; sitting with them at table "he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them."174

The movement of the celebration

1348 All gather together. Christians come together in one place for the Eucharistic assembly. At its head is Christ himself, the principal agent of the Eucharist. He is high priest of the New Covenant; it is he himself who presides invisibly over every Eucharistic celebration. It is in representing him that the bishop or priest acting in the person of Christ the head (in persona Christi capitis) presides over the assembly, speaks after the readings, receives the offerings, and says the Eucharistic Prayer. All have their own active parts to play in the celebration, each in his own way: readers, those who bring up the offerings, those who give communion, and the whole people whose "Amen" manifests their participation.

1349 The Liturgy of the Word includes "the writings of the prophets," that is, the Old Testament, and "the memoirs of the apostles" (their letters and the Gospels). After the homily, which is an exhortation to accept this Word as what it truly is, the Word of God,175 and to put it into practice, come the intercessions for all men, according to the Apostle's words: "I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all men, for kings, and all who are in high positions."176

1350 The presentation of the offerings (the Offertory). Then, sometimes in procession, the bread and wine are brought to the altar; they will be offered by the priest in the name of Christ in the Eucharistic sacrifice in which they will become his body and blood. It is the very action of Christ at the Last Supper - "taking the bread and a cup." "The Church alone offers this pure oblation to the Creator, when she offers what comes forth from his creation with thanksgiving."177 The presentation of the offerings at the altar takes up the gesture of Melchizedek and commits the Creator's gifts into the hands of Christ who, in his sacrifice, brings to perfection all human attempts to offer sacrifices.

1351 From the very beginning Christians have brought, along with the bread and wine for the Eucharist, gifts to share with those in need. This custom of the collection, ever appropriate, is inspired by the example of Christ who became poor to make us rich:178

Those who are well off, and who are also willing, give as each chooses. What is gathered is given to him who presides to assist orphans and widows, those whom illness or any other cause has deprived of resources, prisoners, immigrants and, in a word, all who are in need.179
1352 The anaphora: with the Eucharistic Prayer - the prayer of thanksgiving and consecration - we come to the heart and summit of the celebration:

In the preface, the Church gives thanks to the Father, through Christ, in the Holy Spirit, for all his works: creation, redemption, and sanctification. The whole community thus joins in the unending praise that the Church in heaven, the angels and all the saints, sing to the thrice-holy God.

1353 In the epiclesis, the Church asks the Father to send his Holy Spirit (or the power of his blessing180) on the bread and wine, so that by his power they may become the body and blood of Jesus Christ and so that those who take part in the Eucharist may be one body and one spirit (some liturgical traditions put the epiclesis after the anamnesis).

In the institution narrative, the power of the words and the action of Christ, and the power of the Holy Spirit, make sacramentally present under the species of bread and wine Christ's body and blood, his sacrifice offered on the cross once for all.

1354 In the anamnesis that follows, the Church calls to mind the Passion, resurrection, and glorious return of Christ Jesus; she presents to the Father the offering of his Son which reconciles us with him.

In the intercessions, the Church indicates that the Eucharist is celebrated in communion with the whole Church in heaven and on earth, the living and the dead, and in communion with the pastors of the Church, the Pope, the diocesan bishop, his presbyterium and his deacons, and all the bishops of the whole world together with their Churches.

1355 In the communion, preceded by the Lord's prayer and the breaking of the bread, the faithful receive "the bread of heaven" and "the cup of salvation," the body and blood of Christ who offered himself "for the life of the world":181

Because this bread and wine have been made Eucharist ("eucharisted," according to an ancient expression), "we call this food Eucharist, and no one may take part in it unless he believes that what we teach is true, has received baptism for the forgiveness of sins and new birth, and lives in keeping with what Christ taught."182
V. THE SACRAMENTAL SACRIFICE THANKSGIVING, MEMORIAL, PRESENCE

1356 If from the beginning Christians have celebrated the Eucharist and in a form whose substance has not changed despite the great diversity of times and liturgies, it is because we know ourselves to be bound by the command the Lord gave on the eve of his Passion: "Do this in remembrance of me."183

1357 We carry out this command of the Lord by celebrating the memorial of his sacrifice. In so doing, we offer to the Father what he has himself given us: the gifts of his creation, bread and wine which, by the power of the Holy Spirit and by the words of Christ, have become the body and blood of Christ. Christ is thus really and mysteriously made present.

1358 We must therefore consider the Eucharist as:

- thanksgiving and praise to the Father;
- the sacrificial memorial of Christ and his Body;
- the presence of Christ by the power of his word and of his Spirit.

Thanksgiving and praise to the Father

1359 The Eucharist, the sacrament of our salvation accomplished by Christ on the cross, is also a sacrifice of praise in thanksgiving for the work of creation. In the Eucharistic sacrifice the whole of creation loved by God is presented to the Father through the death and the Resurrection of Christ. Through Christ the Church can offer the sacrifice of praise in thanksgiving for all that God has made good, beautiful, and just in creation and in humanity.

1360 The Eucharist is a sacrifice of thanksgiving to the Father, a blessing by which the Church expresses her gratitude to God for all his benefits, for all that he has accomplished through creation, redemption, and sanctification. Eucharist means first of all "thanksgiving."

1361 The Eucharist is also the sacrifice of praise by which the Church sings the glory of God in the name of all creation. This sacrifice of praise is possible only through Christ: he unites the faithful to his person, to his praise, and to his intercession, so that the sacrifice of praise to the Father is offered through Christ and with him, to be accepted in him.

The sacrificial memorial of Christ and of his Body, the Church

1362 The Eucharist is the memorial of Christ's Passover, the making present and the sacramental offering of his unique sacrifice, in the liturgy of the Church which is his Body. In all the Eucharistic Prayers we find after the words of institution a prayer called the anamnesis or memorial.

1363 In the sense of Sacred Scripture the memorial is not merely the recollection of past events but the proclamation of the mighty works wrought by God for men.184 In the liturgical celebration of these events, they become in a certain way present and real. This is how Israel understands its liberation from Egypt: every time Passover is celebrated, the Exodus events are made present to the memory of believers so that they may conform their lives to them.

1364 In the New Testament, the memorial takes on new meaning. When the Church celebrates the Eucharist, she commemorates Christ's Passover, and it is made present the sacrifice Christ offered once for all on the cross remains ever present.185 "As often as the sacrifice of the Cross by which 'Christ our Pasch has been sacrificed' is celebrated on the altar, the work of our redemption is carried out."186

1365 Because it is the memorial of Christ's Passover, the Eucharist is also a sacrifice. The sacrificial character of the Eucharist is manifested in the very words of institution: "This is my body which is given for you" and "This cup which is poured out for you is the New Covenant in my blood."187 In the Eucharist Christ gives us the very body which he gave up for us on the cross, the very blood which he "poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins."188

1366 The Eucharist is thus a sacrifice because it re-presents (makes present) the sacrifice of the cross, because it is its memorial and because it applies its fruit:

[Christ], our Lord and God, was once and for all to offer himself to God the Father by his death on the altar of the cross, to accomplish there an everlasting redemption. But because his priesthood was not to end with his death, at the Last Supper "on the night when he was betrayed," [he wanted] to leave to his beloved spouse the Church a visible sacrifice (as the nature of man demands) by which the bloody sacrifice which he was to accomplish once for all on the cross would be re-presented, its memory perpetuated until the end of the world, and its salutary power be applied to the forgiveness of the sins we daily commit.189
1367 The sacrifice of Christ and the sacrifice of the Eucharist are one single sacrifice: "The victim is one and the same: the same now offers through the ministry of priests, who then offered himself on the cross; only the manner of offering is different." "And since in this divine sacrifice which is celebrated in the Mass, the same Christ who offered himself once in a bloody manner on the altar of the cross is contained and is offered in an unbloody manner. . . this sacrifice is truly propitiatory."190

1368 The Eucharist is also the sacrifice of the Church. The Church which is the Body of Christ participates in the offering of her Head. With him, she herself is offered whole and entire. She unites herself to his intercession with the Father for all men. In the Eucharist the sacrifice of Christ becomes also the sacrifice of the members of his Body. The lives of the faithful, their praise, sufferings, prayer, and work, are united with those of Christ and with his total offering, and so acquire a new value. Christ's sacrifice present on the altar makes it possible for all generations of Christians to be united with his offering.

In the catacombs the Church is often represented as a woman in prayer, arms outstretched in the praying position. Like Christ who stretched out his arms on the cross, through him, with him, and in him, she offers herself and intercedes for all men.

1369 The whole Church is united with the offering and intercession of Christ. Since he has the ministry of Peter in the Church, the Pope is associated with every celebration of the Eucharist, wherein he is named as the sign and servant of the unity of the universal Church. The bishop of the place is always responsible for the Eucharist, even when a priest presides; the bishop's name is mentioned to signify his presidency over the particular Church, in the midst of his presbyterium and with the assistance of deacons. The community intercedes also for all ministers who, for it and with it, offer the Eucharistic sacrifice:

Let only that Eucharist be regarded as legitimate, which is celebrated under [the presidency of] the bishop or him to whom he has entrusted it.191
Through the ministry of priests the spiritual sacrifice of the faithful is completed in union with the sacrifice of Christ the only Mediator, which in the Eucharist is offered through the priests' hands in the name of the whole Church in an unbloody and sacramental manner until the Lord himself comes.192

1370 To the offering of Christ are united not only the members still here on earth, but also those already in the glory of heaven. In communion with and commemorating the Blessed Virgin Mary and all the saints, the Church offers the Eucharistic sacrifice. In the Eucharist the Church is as it were at the foot of the cross with Mary, united with the offering and intercession of Christ.

1371 The Eucharistic sacrifice is also offered for the faithful departed who "have died in Christ but are not yet wholly purified,"193 so that they may be able to enter into the light and peace of Christ:

Put this body anywhere! Don't trouble yourselves about it! I simply ask you to remember me at the Lord's altar wherever you are.194
Then, we pray [in the anaphora] for the holy fathers and bishops who have fallen asleep, and in general for all who have fallen asleep before us, in the belief that it is a great benefit to the souls on whose behalf the supplication is offered, while the holy and tremendous Victim is present. . . . By offering to God our supplications for those who have fallen asleep, if they have sinned, we . . . offer Christ sacrificed for the sins of all, and so render favorable, for them and for us, the God who loves man.195

1372 St. Augustine admirably summed up this doctrine that moves us to an ever more complete participation in our Redeemer's sacrifice which we celebrate in the Eucharist:

This wholly redeemed city, the assembly and society of the saints, is offered to God as a universal sacrifice by the high priest who in the form of a slave went so far as to offer himself for us in his Passion, to make us the Body of so great a head. . . . Such is the sacrifice of Christians: "we who are many are one Body in Christ" The Church continues to reproduce this sacrifice in the sacrament of the altar so well-known to believers wherein it is evident to them that in what she offers she herself is offered.196
The presence of Christ by the power of his word and the Holy Spirit

1373 "Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised from the dead, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us," is present in many ways to his Church:197 in his word, in his Church's prayer, "where two or three are gathered in my name,"199 in the poor, the sick, and the imprisoned,199 in the sacraments of which he is the author, in the sacrifice of the Mass, and in the person of the minister. But "he is present . . . most especially in the Eucharistic species."200

1374 The mode of Christ's presence under the Eucharistic species is unique. It raises the Eucharist above all the sacraments as "the perfection of the spiritual life and the end to which all the sacraments tend."201 In the most blessed sacrament of the Eucharist "the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ and, therefore, the whole Christ is truly, really, and substantially contained."202 "This presence is called 'real' - by which is not intended to exclude the other types of presence as if they could not be 'real' too, but because it is presence in the fullest sense: that is to say, it is a substantial presence by which Christ, God and man, makes himself wholly and entirely present."203

1375 It is by the conversion of the bread and wine into Christ's body and blood that Christ becomes present in this sacrament. The Church Fathers strongly affirmed the faith of the Church in the efficacy of the Word of Christ and of the action of the Holy Spirit to bring about this conversion. Thus St. John Chrysostom declares:

It is not man that causes the things offered to become the Body and Blood of Christ, but he who was crucified for us, Christ himself. The priest, in the role of Christ, pronounces these words, but their power and grace are God's. This is my body, he says. This word transforms the things offered.204
And St. Ambrose says about this conversion:

Be convinced that this is not what nature has formed, but what the blessing has consecrated. The power of the blessing prevails over that of nature, because by the blessing nature itself is changed. . . . Could not Christ's word, which can make from nothing what did not exist, change existing things into what they were not before? It is no less a feat to give things their original nature than to change their nature.205
1376 The Council of Trent summarizes the Catholic faith by declaring: "Because Christ our Redeemer said that it was truly his body that he was offering under the species of bread, it has always been the conviction of the Church of God, and this holy Council now declares again, that by the consecration of the bread and wine there takes place a change of the whole substance of the bread into the substance of the body of Christ our Lord and of the whole substance of the wine into the substance of his blood. This change the holy Catholic Church has fittingly and properly called transubstantiation."206

1377 The Eucharistic presence of Christ begins at the moment of the consecration and endures as long as the Eucharistic species subsist. Christ is present whole and entire in each of the species and whole and entire in each of their parts, in such a way that the breaking of the bread does not divide Christ.207

1378 Worship of the Eucharist. In the liturgy of the Mass we express our faith in the real presence of Christ under the species of bread and wine by, among other ways, genuflecting or bowing deeply as a sign of adoration of the Lord. "The Catholic Church has always offered and still offers to the sacrament of the Eucharist the cult of adoration, not only during Mass, but also outside of it, reserving the consecrated hosts with the utmost care, exposing them to the solemn veneration of the faithful, and carrying them in procession."208

1379 The tabernacle was first intended for the reservation of the Eucharist in a worthy place so that it could be brought to the sick and those absent outside of Mass. As faith in the real presence of Christ in his Eucharist deepened, the Church became conscious of the meaning of silent adoration of the Lord present under the Eucharistic species. It is for this reason that the tabernacle should be located in an especially worthy place in the church and should be constructed in such a way that it emphasizes and manifests the truth of the real presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament.

1380 It is highly fitting that Christ should have wanted to remain present to his Church in this unique way. Since Christ was about to take his departure from his own in his visible form, he wanted to give us his sacramental presence; since he was about to offer himself on the cross to save us, he wanted us to have the memorial of the love with which he loved us "to the end,"209 even to the giving of his life. In his Eucharistic presence he remains mysteriously in our midst as the one who loved us and gave himself up for us,210 and he remains under signs that express and communicate this love:

The Church and the world have a great need for Eucharistic worship. Jesus awaits us in this sacrament of love. Let us not refuse the time to go to meet him in adoration, in contemplation full of faith, and open to making amends for the serious offenses and crimes of the world. Let our adoration never cease.211
1381 "That in this sacrament are the true Body of Christ and his true Blood is something that 'cannot be apprehended by the senses,' says St. Thomas, 'but only by faith, which relies on divine authority.' For this reason, in a commentary on Luke 22:19 ('This is my body which is given for you.'), St. Cyril says: 'Do not doubt whether this is true, but rather receive the words of the Savior in faith, for since he is the truth, he cannot lie.'"212

Godhead here in hiding, whom I do adore
Masked by these bare shadows, shape and nothing more,
See, Lord, at thy service low lies here a heart
Lost, all lost in wonder at the God thou art.
Seeing, touching, tasting are in thee deceived;
How says trusty hearing? that shall be believed;
What God's Son has told me, take for truth I do;
Truth himself speaks truly or there's nothing true.213

VI. THE PASCHAL BANQUET

1382 The Mass is at the same time, and inseparably, the sacrificial memorial in which the sacrifice of the cross is perpetuated and the sacred banquet of communion with the Lord's body and blood. But the celebration of the Eucharistic sacrifice is wholly directed toward the intimate union of the faithful with Christ through communion. To receive communion is to receive Christ himself who has offered himself for us.

1383 The altar, around which the Church is gathered in the celebration of the Eucharist, represents the two aspects of the same mystery: the altar of the sacrifice and the table of the Lord. This is all the more so since the Christian altar is the symbol of Christ himself, present in the midst of the assembly of his faithful, both as the victim offered for our reconciliation and as food from heaven who is giving himself to us. "For what is the altar of Christ if not the image of the Body of Christ?"214 asks St. Ambrose. He says elsewhere, "The altar represents the body [of Christ] and the Body of Christ is on the altar."215 The liturgy expresses this unity of sacrifice and communion in many prayers. Thus the Roman Church prays in its anaphora:

We entreat you, almighty God,
that by the hands of your holy Angel
this offering may be borne to your altar in heaven
in the sight of your divine majesty,
so that as we receive in communion at this altar
the most holy Body and Blood of your Son,
we may be filled with every heavenly blessing and grace.216
"Take this and eat it, all of you": communion

1384 The Lord addresses an invitation to us, urging us to receive him in the sacrament of the Eucharist: "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."217

1385 To respond to this invitation we must prepare ourselves for so great and so holy a moment. St. Paul urges us to examine our conscience: "Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself."218 Anyone conscious of a grave sin must receive the sacrament of Reconciliation before coming to communion.

1386 Before so great a sacrament, the faithful can only echo humbly and with ardent faith the words of the Centurion: "Domine, non sum dignus ut intres sub tectum meum, sed tantum dic verbo, et sanabitur anima mea" ("Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul will be healed.").219 And in the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom the faithful pray in the same spirit:

O Son of God, bring me into communion today with your mystical supper. I shall not tell your enemies the secret, nor kiss you with Judas' kiss. But like the good thief I cry, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom."
1387 To prepare for worthy reception of this sacrament, the faithful should observe the fast required in their Church.220 Bodily demeanor (gestures, clothing) ought to convey the respect, solemnity, and joy of this moment when Christ becomes our guest.

1388 It is in keeping with the very meaning of the Eucharist that the faithful, if they have the required dispositions,221 receive communion when they participate in the Mass.222 As the Second Vatican Council says: "That more perfect form of participation in the Mass whereby the faithful, after the priest's communion, receive the Lord's Body from the same sacrifice, is warmly recommended."223

1389 The Church obliges the faithful to take part in the Divine Liturgy on Sundays and feast days and, prepared by the sacrament of Reconciliation, to receive the Eucharist at least once a year, if possible during the Easter season.224 But the Church strongly encourages the faithful to receive the holy Eucharist on Sundays and feast days, or more often still, even daily.

1390 Since Christ is sacramentally present under each of the species, communion under the species of bread alone makes it possible to receive all the fruit of Eucharistic grace. For pastoral reasons this manner of receiving communion has been legitimately established as the most common form in the Latin rite. But "the sign of communion is more complete when given under both kinds, since in that form the sign of the Eucharistic meal appears more clearly."225 This is the usual form of receiving communion in the Eastern rites.

The fruits of Holy Communion

1391 Holy Communion augments our union with Christ. The principal fruit of receiving the Eucharist in Holy Communion is an intimate union with Christ Jesus. Indeed, the Lord said: "He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him."226 Life in Christ has its foundation in the Eucharistic banquet: "As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats me will live because of me."227

On the feasts of the Lord, when the faithful receive the Body of the Son, they proclaim to one another the Good News that the first fruits of life have been given, as when the angel said to Mary Magdalene, "Christ is risen!" Now too are life and resurrection conferred on whoever receives Christ.228
1392 What material food produces in our bodily life, Holy Communion wonderfully achieves in our spiritual life. Communion with the flesh of the risen Christ, a flesh "given life and giving life through the Holy Spirit,"229 preserves, increases, and renews the life of grace received at Baptism. This growth in Christian life needs the nourishment of Eucharistic Communion, the bread for our pilgrimage until the moment of death, when it will be given to us as viaticum.

1393 Holy Communion separates us from sin. The body of Christ we receive in Holy Communion is "given up for us," and the blood we drink "shed for the many for the forgiveness of sins." For this reason the Eucharist cannot unite us to Christ without at the same time cleansing us from past sins and preserving us from future sins:

For as often as we eat this bread and drink the cup, we proclaim the death of the Lord. If we proclaim the Lord's death, we proclaim the forgiveness of sins. If, as often as his blood is poured out, it is poured for the forgiveness of sins, I should always receive it, so that it may always forgive my sins. Because I always sin, I should always have a remedy.230
1394 As bodily nourishment restores lost strength, so the Eucharist strengthens our charity, which tends to be weakened in daily life; and this living charity wipes away venial sins.231 By giving himself to us Christ revives our love and enables us to break our disordered attachments to creatures and root ourselves in him:

Since Christ died for us out of love, when we celebrate the memorial of his death at the moment of sacrifice we ask that love may be granted to us by the coming of the Holy Spirit. We humbly pray that in the strength of this love by which Christ willed to die for us, we, by receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit, may be able to consider the world as crucified for us, and to be ourselves as crucified to the world. . . . Having received the gift of love, let us die to sin and live for God.232
1395 By the same charity that it enkindles in us, the Eucharist preserves us from future mortal sins. The more we share the life of Christ and progress in his friendship, the more difficult it is to break away from him by mortal sin. The Eucharist is not ordered to the forgiveness of mortal sins - that is proper to the sacrament of Reconciliation. The Eucharist is properly the sacrament of those who are in full communion with the Church.

1396 The unity of the Mystical Body: the Eucharist makes the Church. Those who receive the Eucharist are united more closely to Christ. Through it Christ unites them to all the faithful in one body - the Church. Communion renews, strengthens, and deepens this incorporation into the Church, already achieved by Baptism. In Baptism we have been called to form but one body.233 The Eucharist fulfills this call: "The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread:"234

If you are the body and members of Christ, then it is your sacrament that is placed on the table of the Lord; it is your sacrament that you receive. To that which you are you respond "Amen" ("yes, it is true!") and by responding to it you assent to it. For you hear the words, "the Body of Christ" and respond "Amen." Be then a member of the Body of Christ that your Amen may be true.235
1397 The Eucharist commits us to the poor. To receive in truth the Body and Blood of Christ given up for us, we must recognize Christ in the poorest, his brethren:

You have tasted the Blood of the Lord, yet you do not recognize your brother,. . . . You dishonor this table when you do not judge worthy of sharing your food someone judged worthy to take part in this meal. . . . God freed you from all your sins and invited you here, but you have not become more merciful.236
1398 The Eucharist and the unity of Christians. Before the greatness of this mystery St. Augustine exclaims, "O sacrament of devotion! O sign of unity! O bond of charity!"237 The more painful the experience of the divisions in the Church which break the common participation in the table of the Lord, the more urgent are our prayers to the Lord that the time of complete unity among all who believe in him may return.

1399 The Eastern churches that are not in full communion with the Catholic Church celebrate the Eucharist with great love. "These Churches, although separated from us, yet possess true sacraments, above all - by apostolic succession - the priesthood and the Eucharist, whereby they are still joined to us in closest intimacy." A certain communion in sacris, and so in the Eucharist, "given suitable circumstances and the approval of Church authority, is not merely possible but is encouraged."238

1400 Ecclesial communities derived from the Reformation and separated from the Catholic Church, "have not preserved the proper reality of the Eucharistic mystery in its fullness, especially because of the absence of the sacrament of Holy Orders."239 It is for this reason that, for the Catholic Church, Eucharistic intercommunion with these communities is not possible. However these ecclesial communities, "when they commemorate the Lord's death and resurrection in the Holy Supper . . . profess that it signifies life in communion with Christ and await his coming in glory."240

1401 When, in the Ordinary's judgment, a grave necessity arises, Catholic ministers may give the sacraments of Eucharist, Penance, and Anointing of the Sick to other Christians not in full communion with the Catholic Church, who ask for them of their own will, provided they give evidence of holding the Catholic faith regarding these sacraments and possess the required dispositions.241

VII. THE EUCHARIST - "PLEDGE OF THE GLORY TO COME"

1402 In an ancient prayer the Church acclaims the mystery of the Eucharist: "O sacred banquet in which Christ is received as food, the memory of his Passion is renewed, the soul is filled with grace and a pledge of the life to come is given to us." If the Eucharist is the memorial of the Passover of the Lord Jesus, if by our communion at the altar we are filled "with every heavenly blessing and grace,"242 then the Eucharist is also an anticipation of the heavenly glory.

1403 At the Last Supper the Lord himself directed his disciples' attention toward the fulfillment of the Passover in the kingdom of God: "I tell you I shall not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom."243 Whenever the Church celebrates the Eucharist she remembers this promise and turns her gaze "to him who is to come." In her prayer she calls for his coming: "Marana tha!" "Come, Lord Jesus!"244 "May your grace come and this world pass away!"245

1404 The Church knows that the Lord comes even now in his Eucharist and that he is there in our midst. However, his presence is veiled. Therefore we celebrate the Eucharist "awaiting the blessed hope and the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ,"246 asking "to share in your glory when every tear will be wiped away. On that day we shall see you, our God, as you are. We shall become like you and praise you for ever through Christ our Lord."247

1405 There is no surer pledge or dearer sign of this great hope in the new heavens and new earth "in which righteousness dwells,"248 than the Eucharist. Every time this mystery is celebrated, "the work of our redemption is carried on" and we "break the one bread that provides the medicine of immortality, the antidote for death, and the food that makes us live for ever in Jesus Christ."249

IN BRIEF

1406 Jesus said: "I am the living bread that came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; . . . he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life and . . . abides in me, and I in him" (Jn 6:51, 54, 56).

1407 The Eucharist is the heart and the summit of the Church's life, for in it Christ associates his Church and all her members with his sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving offered once for all on the cross to his Father; by this sacrifice he pours out the graces of salvation on his Body which is the Church.

1408 The Eucharistic celebration always includes: the proclamation of the Word of God; thanksgiving to God the Father for all his benefits, above all the gift of his Son; the consecration of bread and wine; and participation in the liturgical banquet by receiving the Lord's body and blood. These elements constitute one single act of worship.

1409 The Eucharist is the memorial of Christ's Passover, that is, of the work of salvation accomplished by the life, death, and resurrection of Christ, a work made present by the liturgical action.

1410 It is Christ himself, the eternal high priest of the New Covenant who, acting through the ministry of the priests, offers the Eucharistic sacrifice. And it is the same Christ, really present under the species of bread and wine, who is the offering of the Eucharistic sacrifice.

1411 Only validly ordained priests can preside at the Eucharist and consecrate the bread and the wine so that they become the Body and Blood of the Lord.

1412 The essential signs of the Eucharistic sacrament are wheat bread and grape wine, on which the blessing of the Holy Spirit is invoked and the priest pronounces the words of consecration spoken by Jesus during the Last Supper: "This is my body which will be given up for you. . . . This is the cup of my blood. . . ."

1413 By the consecration the transubstantiation of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ is brought about. Under the consecrated species of bread and wine Christ himself, living and glorious, is present in a true, real, and substantial manner: his Body and his Blood, with his soul and his divinity (cf. Council of Trent: DS 1640; 1651).

1414 As sacrifice, the Eucharist is also offered in reparation for the sins of the living and the dead and to obtain spiritual or temporal benefits from God.

1415 Anyone who desires to receive Christ in Eucharistic communion must be in the state of grace. Anyone aware of having sinned mortally must not receive communion without having received absolution in the sacrament of penance.

1416 Communion with the Body and Blood of Christ increases the communicant's union with the Lord, forgives his venial sins, and preserves him from grave sins. Since receiving this sacrament strengthens the bonds of charity between the communicant and Christ, it also reinforces the unity of the Church as the Mystical Body of Christ.

1417 The Church warmly recommends that the faithful receive Holy Communion when they participate in the celebration of the Eucharist; she obliges them to do so at least once a year.

1418 Because Christ himself is present in the sacrament of the altar, he is to be honored with the worship of adoration. "To visit the Blessed Sacrament is . . . a proof of gratitude, an expression of love, and a duty of adoration toward Christ our Lord" (Paul VI, MF 66).

1419 Having passed from this world to the Father, Christ gives us in the Eucharist the pledge of glory with him. Participation in the Holy Sacrifice identifies us with his Heart, sustains our strength along the pilgrimage of this life, makes us long for eternal life, and unites us even now to the Church in heaven, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and all the saints.


Citations:
  • 135 SC 47.
    136 LG 11.
    137 PO 5.
    138 Congregation of Rites, instruction, Eucharisticum mysterium, 6.
    139 Cf. 1 Cor 15:28.
    140 St. Irenaeus, Adv. haeres. 4,18,5:PG 7/l,1028.
    141 Cf. Lk 22:19; 1 Cor 11:24.
    142 Cf. Mt 26:26; Mk 14:22.
    143 Cf. 1 Cor 11:20; Rev 19:9.
    144 Cf. Mt 14:19; 15:36; Mk 8:6, 19.
    145 Cf. Mt 26:26; 1 Cor 11:24.
    146 Cf. Lk 24:13-35.
    147 Cf. Acts 2:42, 46; 20:7,11.
    148 Cf. 1 Cor 10:16-17.
    149 Cf. 1 Cor 11:17-34.
    150 Heb 13:15; cf. 1 Pet 25; Ps 116:13, 17; Mal 1:11.
    151 Cf. 1 Cor 1016-17.
    152 Apostolic Constitutions 8,13,12:PG 1,1108; Didache 9,5; 10:6:SCh 248,176-178.
    153 St. Ignatius of Antioch, Ad Eph. 20,2:SCh 10,76.
    154 Cf. Ps 104:13-15.
    155 Gen 14:18; cf. Roman Missal, EP I (Roman Canon) 95.
    156 Cf. Deut 8:3.
    157 1 Cor 10:16.
    158 Cf. Mt 14:13-21; 15:32-39.
    159 Cf. Jn 2:11; Mk 14:25.
    160 Jn 6:60.
    161 Jn 6:67.
    162 Jn 6:68.
    163 Cf. Jn 13:1-17; 34-35.
    164 Council of Trent (1562): DS 1740.
    165 Cf. Jn 6.
    166 Lk 22:7-20; Cf. Mt 26:17-29; Mk 14:12-25; 1 Cor 11:23-26.
    167 Cf. 2 Cor 11:26.
    168 Acts 2:42,46.
    169 Acts 20:7.
    170 AG 1; cf. 1 Cor 11:26.
    171 St. Justin, Apol. 1, 65-67:PG 6,428-429; the text before the asterisk (*) is from chap. 67.
    172 SC 56.
    173 Cf. DV 21.
    174 Cf. Lk 24:13-35.
    175 Cf. 1 Thess 2:13.
    176 1 Tim 2:1-2.
    177 St. Irenaeus, Adv. haeres. 4,18,4:PG 7/1,1027; cf. Mal 1:11.
    178 Cf. 1 Cor 16:1; 2 Cor 8:9.
    179 St. Justin, Apol. 1,67:PG 6,429.
    180 Cf. Roman Missal, EP I (Roman Canon) 90.
    181 Jn 6:51.
    182 St. Justin, Apol. 1,66,1-2:PG 6,428.
    183 1 Cor 11:24-25.
    184 Cf. Ex 13:3.
    185 Cf. Heb 7:25-27.
    186 LG 3; cf. 1 Cor 5:7.
    187 Lk 22:19-20.
    188 Mt 26:28.
    189 Council of Trent (1562): DS 1740; cf. 1 Cor 11:23; Heb 7:24, 27.
    190 Council of Trent (1562) Doctrina de ss. Missae sacrificio, c. 2: DS 1743; cf. Heb 9:14,27.
    191 St. Ignatius of Antioch, Ad Smyrn. 8:1;SCh 10,138.
    192 PO 2 § 4.
    193 Council of Trent (1562): DS 1743.
    194 St. Monica, before her death, to her sons, St. Augustine and his brother; Conf. 9,11,27:PL 32,775.
    195 St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Catech. myst. 5,9,10:PG 33,1116-1117.
    196 St. Augustine, De civ Dei, 10,6:PL 41,283; cf. Rom 12:5.
    197 Rom 8:34; cf. LG 48.
    198 Mt 18:20.
    199 Cf. Mt 25:31-46.
    200 SC 7.
    201 St. Thomas Aquinas, STh III,73,3c.
    202 Council of Trent (1551): DS 1651.
    203 Paul VI, MF 39.
    204 St. John Chrysostom, prod. Jud. 1:6:PG 49,380.
    205 St. Ambrose, De myst. 9,50; 52:PL 16,405-407.
    206 Council of Trent (1551): DS 1642; cf. Mt 26:26 ff.; Mk 14:22 ff.; Lk 22:19 ff.; 1 Cor 11:24 ff.
    207 Cf. Council of Trent: DS 1641.
    208 Paul VI, MF 56.
    209 Jn 13:1.
    210 Cf. Gal 2:20.
    211 John Paul II, Dominicae cenae, 3.
    212 St. Thomas Aquinas, STh III,75,1; cf. Paul VI, MF 18; St. Cyril of Alexandria, In Luc. 22,19:PG 72,912; cf. Paul VI, MF 18.
    213 St. Thomas Aquinas (attr.), Adoro te devote; tr. Gerard Manley Hopkins.
    214 St. Ambrose, De Sacr. 5,2,7:PL 16,447C.
    215 St. Ambrose, De Sacr. 4,2,7:PL 16,437D.
    216 Roman Missal, EP I (Roman Canon) 96: Supplices te rogamus, omnipotens Deus: iube hæc perferri per manus sancti Angeli tui in sublime altare tuum, in conspectu divinae maiestatis tuae: ut, quotquot ex hac altaris participatione sacrosanctum Filii Corpus et Sanguinem sumpserimus, omni benedictione cælesti et gratia repleamur.
    217 Jn 6:53.
    218 1 Cor 11:27-29.
    219 Roman Missal, response to the invitation to communion; cf. Mt 8:8.
    220 Cf. CIC, can. 919.
    221 Cf. CIC, can. 916. 222 Cf. CIC, can. 917; The faithful may recieve the Holy Eucharist only a second time on the same day [CF. Pontificia Commissio Codici luris Canonici Authentice Intrepretando, Responsa ad proposita dubia, 1:AAS 76 (1984) 746].
    223 SC 55.
    224 OE 15; CIC, can. 920.
    225 GIRM 240.
    226 Jn 6:56.
    227 Jn 6:57.
    228 Fanqith, Syriac Office of Antioch, Vol. I, Commun., 237a-b.
    229 PO 5.
    230 St. Ambrose, De Sacr. 4,6,28:PL 16,446; cf. 1 Cor 11:26.
    231 Cf. Council of Trent (1551): DS 1638.
    232 St. Fulgentius of Ruspe, Contra Fab. 28,16-19: CCL 19A,813-814.
    233 Cf. 1 Cor 12:13.
    234 1 Cor 10:16-17.
    235 St. Augustine, Sermo 272:PL 38,1247.
    236 St. John Chrysostom, Hom. in 1 Cor. 27,4:PG 61,229-230; cf. Mt 25:40.
    237 St. Augustine, In Jo. ev. 26,13:PL 35,1613; cf. SC 47.
    238 UR 15 § 2; cf. CIC, can. 844 § 3.
    239 UR 22 § 3.
    240 UR 22 § 3.
    241 Cf. CIC, can. 844 § 4.
    242 Roman Missal, EP I (Roman Canon) 96: Supplices te rogamus.
    243 Mt 26:29; cf. Lk 22:18; Mk 14:25.
    244 Rev 1:4; 22 20; 1 Cor 16:22.
    245 Didache 10,6:SCh 248,180.
    246 Roman Missal 126, embolism after the Our Father: expectantes beatam spem et adventum Salvatoris nostri Jesu Christi; cf. Titus 2:13.
    247 EP III 116: prayer for the dead.
    248 2 Pet 3:13.
    249 LG 3; St. Ignatius of Antioch, Ad Eph. 20,2:SCh 10,76.
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