Friday, 6 May 2016

The Catholic Church Alone. The One True Church of Christ. Part 57.

REV. F. LEWIS, of Granada

Q. Is water to be mixed with the wine ?

A. Yes, by the Church precept; and, it is probable after Christ's example. Water represents the water which flowed from our Saviour's side: not but that consecration without water is valid.

Q. Is the consecration valid in wine only, or bread only?

A. Yes; but there is a divine precept not to separate them, from these words of Christ, " Do this for a commemoration of me," etc., St. Luke xxii., 1 Cor. x. Besides, unless they are consecrated together, they do not represent Christ's passion distinctly.

Q. What is the form of this sacrament ?

A. The sufficient and necessary form of the consecration of bread, are these words : " This is my body: " of wine, " This is the chalice of my blood, of the new and everlasting testament, a mystery of faith, which shall be shed for you and for many, to the remission of sins." The prayer, and words before and after, are only necessary, by reason of the Church precept. These forms are known by the Scripture and constant doctrine of the fathers: for, as the catechism of the council of Trent argues, " Do this"* falls upon the words, as well as upon the signification.

Q. What is transubstantiation ?

A. It is the conversion or change of the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ.

Q. In what manner is this performed? Is the substance of bread and wine annihilated ? Is Christ's body created anew, or does it forsake heaven ?

A. No: it is done by a total change of one substance into the other, by the almighty power of God, to whom nothing is hard or impossible; who daily changes bread and wine, by digestion, into our body and blood.

Q. How can there be a change of substances, seeing that on one hand, the bread and wine still remain in their natural properties, viz.: Their quality, extension, color, and taste; they are tangible, they retain their usual property of nourishing, nay, they are subject to corruption. Are Christ's body and blood subject to these affections ? Are they extended, are they seen, touched, can they be moved, or subject to corruption ?

A. What appears to the senses are not the substance, but only the accidents of bread and wine; and even local extension is not essential to a body; so that, though the substance of bread and wine are changed, they still retain their natural properties, under the new substance, into which they are miraculously changed. Now, these properties, which are still retained, belong not to Christ's body and blood immediately, but are the accidents of the former substance. Hence extension, motion, visibility, tangibility, nourishment, and corruption, are not ascribed in Christ's body and blood, only indirectly, and in appearance.

Q. By this transubstantiation, the evidence of all our senses, and reason too, seems to be destroyed, which God bestowed upon rational creatures, as a rule or guide to judge of all matters whatever; so that they cannot be deceived without injury to the divine goodness and veracity, in providing us with a deceitful guide.

A. The senses are commonly the mediums of true information, but in no cases the judges; judgment being an act of the understanding. However, in some cases, the senses are not proper mediums or true informers, being detected of * false information, both in natural and supernatural things. For instance, our sight gives false information concerning the bigness of the celestial bodies, that the stars are no bigger than walnuts, and the sun no bigger than a plate, when at the same time they are bigger than the whole earth. The senses all gave a wrong information concerning the divine nature of Christ, as also that he who appeared to the women in the monument was a man, although the Scripture says he was an angel. St. Mark xvi.; St. Matthew xxviii. In the same manner, the reasoning faculty is not a true judge,when it is under the direction of ignorance, passion, malice etc. There is a distinction to be made between the faculty of reason and the right use of it. For instance, the faculty of reason is a false informer, when it pretends to penetrate into the mysteries of faith. Hence, both the senses and reasoning, though in other things true informers, yet in mysteries of faith are liable to mistake, as in the trinity; so that, though our senses speak bread and wine; faith and reason, rightly made use of, correct their information: for to say you would believe your senses rather than God, is blasphemy.