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Fathers of the Church on the Eucharist

Discussion in 'The Saints' started by Luan Ribeiro, Feb 5, 2018.

  1. Luan Ribeiro

    Luan Ribeiro Angels

    Fathers of the Church on the Eucharist
    by Fr. Burns K. Seeley, S.S.J.C., Ph.D.

    The Didache(c. 90 A.D.)
    But concerning the Eucharist, after this fashion give ye thanks.

    First, concerning the cup. We thank thee, our Father, for the holy vine, David thy Son, which thou hast made known unto us through Jesus Christ thy Son; to thee be the glory for ever.

    And concerning the broken bread. We thank thee, our Father, for the life and knowledge which thou hast made known unto us through Jesus thy Son; to thee be the glory for ever.

    As this broken bread was once scattered on the mountains, and after it had been brought together became one, so may thy Church be gathered together from the ends of the earth unto thy kingdom; for thine is the glory, and the power, through Jesus Christ, for ever.

    And let none eat or drink of your Eucharist but such as have been baptized into the name of the Lord, for of a truth the Lord hath said concerning this, Give not that which is holy unto dogs. ( 9:1-5)

    On the Lord's Day of the Lord gather together, break bread and give thanks, after confessing your transgressions SO THAT YOUR SACRIFICE MAY BE PURE. Let no one who has a quarrel with his neighbor join you until he is reconciled by the Lord: "In every place and time let there be OFFERED TO ME A CLEAN SACRIFICE. For I am Great King," says the Lord, "and My name is wonderful among the Gentiles." (14:1-2)

    St. Ignatius of Antioch (c. 110 A.D.)
    I have no taste for corruptible food nor for the pleasures of this life. I desire the Bread of God, WHICH IS THE FLESH OF JESUS CHRIST, who was of the seed of David; and for drink I DESIRE HIS BLOOD, which is love incorruptible. (Letter to the Romans 7:3)

    Take care, then, to use one Eucharist, so that whatever you do, you do according to God: FOR THERE IS ONE FLESH OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, and one cup IN THE UNION OF HIS BLOOD; one ALTAR, as there is one bishop with the presbytery… (Letter to the Philadelphians 4:1)

    They [i.e. the Gnostics] abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they do not confess that THE EUCHARIST IS THE FLESH OF OUR SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST, flesh which suffered for our sins and which the Father, in his goodness, raised up again. (Letter to Smyrnians 7:1)

    St. Justin the Martyr (c. 100 - 165 A.D.)
    We call this food Eucharist; and no one else is permitted to partake of it, except one who believes our teaching to be true and who has been washed in the washing which is for the remission of sins and for regeneration [Baptism], and is thereby living as Christ has enjoined.

    For not as common bread nor common drink do we receive these; but since Jesus Christ our Savior was made incarnate by the word of God and had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so too, as we have been taught, the food which has been made into the Eucharist by the Eucharistic prayer set down by Him, AND BY THE CHANGE OF WHICH our blood and flesh is nourished, IS BOTH THE FLESH AND THE BLOOD OF THAT INCARNATED JESUS. (First Apology, 66)

    Moreover, as I said before, concerning the sacrifices which you at that time offered, God speaks through Malachi [1:10-12]…It is of the SACRIFICES OFFERED TO HIM IN EVERY PLACE BY US, the Gentiles, that is, OF THE BREAD OF THE EUCHARIST AND LIKEWISE OF THE CUP OF THE EUCHARIST, that He speaks at that time; and He says that we glorify His name, while you profane it. (Dialogue with Trypho, 41)


    St. Irenaeus of Lyons (c. 140 - 202 A.D.)
    …He took from among creation that which is bread, and gave thanks, saying, "THIS IS MY BODY." The cup likewise, which is from among the creation to which we belong, HE CONFESSED TO BE HIS BLOOD.

    He taught THE NEW SACRIFICE OF THE NEW COVENANT, of which Malachi, one of the twelve prophets, had signified beforehand: [quotes Mal 1:10-11]. By these words He makes it plain that the former people will cease to make offerings to God; BUT THAT IN EVERY PLACE SACRIFICE WILL BE OFFERED TO HIM, and indeed, a pure one; for His name is glorified among the Gentiles. (Against Heresies 4:17:5)

    But what consistency is there in those who hold that the bread over which thanks have been given IS THE BODY OF THEIR LORD, and the cup HIS BLOOD, if they do not acknowledge that He is the Son of the Creator… How can they say that the flesh which has been nourished BY THE BODY OF THE LORD AND BY HIS BLOOD gives way to corruption and does not partake of life? …For as the bread from the earth, receiving the invocation of God, IS NO LONGER COMMON BREAD BUT THE EUCHARIST, consisting of two elements, earthly and heavenly… (Against Heresies 4:18:4-5)

    If the BODY be not saved, then, in fact, neither did the Lord redeem us with His BLOOD; and neither is the cup of the EUCHARIST THE PARTAKING OF HIS BLOOD nor is the bread which we break THE PARTAKING OF HIS BODY…He has declared the cup, a part of creation, TO BE HIS OWN BLOOD, from which He causes our blood to flow; and the bread, a part of creation, HE HAS ESTABLISHED AS HIS OWN BODY, from which He gives increase to our bodies.

    When, therefore, the mixed cup and the baked bread receives the Word of God and BECOMES THE EUCHARIST, THE BODY OF CHRIST, and from these the substance of our flesh is increased and supported, how can they say that the flesh is not capable of receiving the gift of God, WHICH IS ETERNAL LIFE -- flesh which is nourished BY THE BODY AND BLOOD OF THE LORD…receiving the Word of God, BECOMES THE EUCHARIST, WHICH IS THE BODY AND BLOOD OF CHRIST(Against Heresies 5:2:2-3)

    Tertullian (c. 155 - 250 A.D.)
    Likewise, in regard to days of fast, many do not think they should be present at the SACRIFICIAL prayers, because their fast would be broken if they were to receive THE BODY OF THE LORDTHE BODY OF THE LORD HAVING BEEN RECEIVED AND RESERVED, each point is secured: both the participation IN THE SACRIFICE(Prayer 19:1)

    The flesh feeds on THE BODY AND BLOOD OF CHRIST, so that the SOUL TOO may fatten on God. (Resurrection of the Dead 8:3)

    The Sacrament of the Eucharist, which the Lord commanded to be taken at meal times and by all, we take even before daybreak in congregations… WE OFFER SACRIFICES FOR THE DEAD on their birthday anniversaries…. We take anxious care lest something of our Cup or Bread should fall upon the ground… (The Crown 3:3-4)

    A woman, after the death of her husband, is bound not less firmly but even more so, not to marry another husband…Indeed, she prays for his soul and asks that he may, while waiting, find rest; and that he may share in the first resurrection. And each year, on the anniversary of his death, SHE OFFERS THE SACRIFICE.(Monogamy 10:1,4)

    Origen (c. 185 - 254 A.D.)
    We give thanks to the Creator of all, and, along with thanksgiving and prayer for the blessings we have received, we also eat the bread presented to us; and this bread BECOMES BY PRAYER A SACRED BODY, which sanctifies those who sincerely partake of it.(Against Celsus 8:33)

    You see how the ALTARS are no longer sprinkled with the blood of oxen, but consecrated BY THE PRECIOUS BLOOD OF CHRIST. (Homilies on Joshua 2:1)

    But if that text (Lev 24:5-9) is taken to refer to the greatness of what is mystically symbolized, then there is a 'commemoration' which has an EFFECT OF GREAT PROPITIATORY VALUE. If you apply it to that 'Bread which came down from heaven and gives life to the world,' that shewbread which 'God has offered to us as a means of reconciliation, in virtue of faith, ransoming us with his blood,' and if you look to that commemoration of which the Lord says, 'Do this in commemoration of me,' then you will find that this is the unique commemoration WHICH MAKES GOD PROPITIOUS TO MEN. (Homilies on Leviticus 9)

    You are accustomed to take part in the divine mysteries, so you know how, when you have received THE BODY OF THE LORD, you reverently exercise every care lest a particle of it fall, and lest anything of the consecrated gift perish….how is it that you think neglecting the word of God a lesser crime than neglecting HIS BODY? (Homilies on Exodus 13:3)

    …now, however, in full view, there is the true food, THE FLESH OF THE WORD OF GOD, as He Himself says: "MY FLESH IS TRULY FOOD, AND MY BLOOD IS TRULY DRINK." (Homilies on Numbers 7:2)

    St. Clement of Alexandria (c. 150 - 216 A.D.)
    Calling her children about her, she [the Church] nourishes them with holy milk, that is, with the Infant Word…The Word is everything to a child: both Father and Mother, both Instructor and Nurse. "EAT MY FLESH," He says, "AND DRINK MY BLOOD." The Lord supplies us with these intimate nutriments. HE DELIVERS OVER HIS FLESH, AND POURS OUT HIS BLOOD; and nothing is lacking for the growth of His children. O incredible mystery! (Instructor of Children 1:6:42,1,3)

    http://www.therealpresence.org/eucharst/father/fathers.htm
     
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