Friday, September 01, 2006

Cults-Roman Catholic Church

I apologize for the length of time it has taken to get back to my blog. I appreciate all who have read and currently read it. I do welcome comments. If you want to comment, especially about the cult posts, all I ask is that you read my post first, and then comment.

The cult that I would like to cover is the Roman Catholic Church. Yes, the Church of Rome. Let's get right to it.

"For it is through Christ's Catholic Church alone, which is the universal help towards salvation that the fullness of the means of salvation can be obtained. It was to the apostolic college alone, of which Peter is the head, that we believe that Our Lord entrusted all the blessings of the New Covenant, in order to establish on earth the one Body of Christ into which all those should be fully incorporated who belong in any way to the people of God" (Vatican Council II, p. 456).
"Therefore, the Church announces the good tidings of salvation to those who do not believe, so that all men may know the one true God and Jesus Christ whom he has sent and may be converted from their ways, doing penance (Vatican Council II, p. 6).

"The doctrine of purgatory clearly demonstrates that even when the guilt of sin has been taken away, punishment for it or the consequences of it may remain to be expiated or cleansed. They often are. In fact, in purgatory the souls of those 'who died in the charity of God and truly repentant, but who had not made satisfaction with adequate penance for their sins and omissions' are cleansed after death with punishment designed to purge away their debt" (Vatican Council II, p. 64).

Roman Catholicism believes that redemption is not accomplished in Christ alone:

"For it is the liturgy through which, especially in the divine sacrifice of the Eucharist, 'the work of our redemption is accomplished'" (Vatican Council II, p. 1).

The Roman Catholic Church says that Christ's sacrifice was not sufficient in itself to take away the penalty for our sins:

"Hence the Mass, the Lord's Supper, is at the same time and inseparably: a sacrifice in which the sacrifice of the cross is perpetuated (Vatican Council II, p. 102).

This is in direct violation of Isa. 53.4-6.

There are seven sacraments in the Catholic Church: baptism, confirmation, Eucharist, penance, anointing of the sick, holy orders, and matrimony. "The seven sacraments are the signs and instruments by which the Holy Spirit spreads the grace of Christ the head throughout the Church which is his Body" (CCC, no. 774). Catholics believe that the sacraments actually "confer the grace that they signify" (CCC, no. 1127) and that their ordained priesthood "guarantees that it really is Christ who acts in the sacraments" (CCC, no. 1120). For believers, the sacraments of the Catholic Church "are necessary for salvation" (CCC, no. 1129).

The Roman Catholic Church teaches that the Bible is the inspired Word of God, and that is the basis for establishing truth, doctrine, and practice. But it also has other criteria that it says are equal to Scripture: tradition, and Magesterium (the leaders of the Roman Catholic Church).

"Sacred Tradition and sacred Scripture, then, are bound closely together, and communicate one with the other. For both of them , flowing out from the same divine wellspring, move towards the same goal. Sacred Scripture is the speech of God as it is put down in writing under the breath of the Holy Spirit. And Tradition transmits in its entirety the Word of God which has been entrusted to the apostles by Christ the Lord and the Holy Spirit. It transmits it to the successors of the apostles [the pope and bishops of the Roman Catholic Church] so that, enlightened by the Spirit of truth, they may faithfully preserve, expound and spread it abroad by their preaching. Thus it comes about that the Church does not draw her certainty about all revealed truths from the Holy Scriptures alone. Hence, both Scripture and Tradition must be accepted and honored with equal feelings of devotion and reverence...

"But the task of giving an authentic interpretation of the Word of God, whether in its written form or in the form of Tradition, has been entrusted to the living teaching office of the Church alone...

"It is clear, therefore, that, in the supremely wise arrangement of God, sacred Tradition, sacred Scripture and the Magesterium of the Church are so connected and associated that one of them cannot stand without the others. Working together, each in its own way under the action of the one Holy Spirit, they all contribute effectively to the salvation of souls" (Vatican Council II , pp. 755-756).

This is Hellish. To compare something man-made and man-centered to the Word of God is Hellish.

To those of us that are not part of the Roman Catholic Church we are called "separated brethren."

According to the Roman Catholic Church, unless we toward accepting the Roman Catholic doctrine we remain outside the graces of the Church, regardless of how much in God's grace we live.

"Bishops should show affectionate consideration in their relations with the separated brethren and should urge the faithful also to exercise all kindness and charity in their regard, encouraging ecumenism as it is understood by the Church" (Vatican Council II, p. 573).

Notice the phrase "understood by the church." The Roman Catholic Church has set itself up as the final authority.

Here are a few more things to think on.

Catholics believe that Mary "was totally preserved from the stain of original sin and she remained pure from all personal sin throughout her life" (Catechism of the Catholic Church) (CCC, no. 508). Catholics teach that Mary remained a virgin throughout her life. They also believe that at the end of her life she "was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things" (CCC, no. 966). Catholics refer to Mary as "the Holy Mother of God" (CCC, no. 975). They view her as a co-mediator of God's grace and as a collaborator with the salvation of Jesus her Son (CCC, nos. 510, 973). According to Pope Paul VI, "The Church's devotion to the Blessed Virgin is intrinsic to Christian worship" (CCC, no. 971).

The CCC defines sin as "an utterance, a deed, or a desire contrary to the eternal law" (CCC, no. 1871). Catholics distinguish between two types of sin. The two types of sin are mortal and venial (CCC, no. 1854). Mortal sin destroys the sanctifying grace of God within the individual and necessitates forgiveness through a sacrament of reconciliation (CCC, no. 1856). It causes exclusion from heaven and results in "the eternal death of hell" (CCC, no. 1861). Catholics classify a sin as mortal when it meets the following conditions: the sin is serious or "grave" (murder, adultery, stealing, bearing false witness, etc.), is committed with "full knowledge and complete consent" (CCC, nos. 1857-59). A venial sin is a sin that either is not serious or grave, or does not involve full knowledge or complete consent (CCC, no. 1862). Unlike mortal sin, venial sin does not destroy the saving grace of God in the individual. "Venial sin does not deprive the sinner of sanctifying grace, friendship with God, charity, and consequently eternal happiness" (CCC, no. 1863).

Where is this in Scripture?

"The faithful are born anew by Baptism" (CCC, no. 1212). "Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ" (CCC, no. 1213). Catholics baptize their children shortly after birth. "The Church and the parents would deny a child the priceless grace of becoming a child of God were they not to confer Baptism shortly after birth" (CCC, no. 1250). Catholics teach that "Baptism is necessary for salvation for those to whom the Gospel has been proclaimed and who have had the possibility of asking for this sacrament" (CCC, no. 1257). "By Baptism all sins are forgiven, original sin and all personal sins, as well as all punishment for sin" (CCC, no. 1263).

Here a few things that the Roman Catholic Church has proclaimed:

1. Prayers for the dead . ………………300 A.D.
2. Making the sign of the cross ………………………… …300 A.D.
3. Veneration of angels & dead saints ……………….375 A.D.
4. Use of images in worship………………………………… . 375 A.D.
5. The Mass as a daily celebration……………………………… 394 A.D.
6. Beginning of the exaltation of Mary; the term, "Mother of God" applied a Council of Ephesus…431 A.D.
7. Extreme Unction (Last Rites)……………………………… ..526 A.D.
8. Doctrine of Purgatory-Gregory 1…………………………… .593 A.D..
9. Prayers to Mary & dead saints ……………………………… .600 A.D.
10. Worship of cross, images & relics ……………………… … 786 A.D.
11. Canonization of dead saints ………………………………… ..995 A.D.
12. Celibacy of priesthood …………………………………… …1079 A.D.
13. The Rosary ……………………………………………… … 1090 A.D.
14. Indulgences ……………………………………………… …..1190 A.D.
15. Transubstantiation-Innocent III …………………………… 1215 A.D.
16. Auricular Confession of sins to a priest …………………… 1215 A.D.
17. Adoration of the wafer (Host)…………………………… .. 1220 A.D.
18. Cup forbidden to the people at communion …………………..1414 A.D.
19. Purgatory proclaimed as a dogma……………………………..1439 A.D.
20. The doctrine of the Seven Sacraments confirmed …………….1439 A.D.
21. Tradition declared of equal authority with Bible by Council of Trent..1545 A.D.
22. Apocryphal books added to Bible ……………….1546 A.D.
23. Immaculate Conception of Mary……………………………….1854 A.D.
24. Infallibility of the pope in matters of faith and morals, proclaimed by the Vatican Council …1870 A.D.
25. Assumption of the Virgin Mary (bodily ascension into heaven shortly after her death) .1950 A.D. 26. Mary proclaimed Mother of the Church……………………… 1965 A.D.

When you get tired of reading this, study the Inquisition. It is very eye-opening.

I will be glad to provide more info if anyone feels it is needed.

30 comments:

Mrs. U said...

Wow, thanks for sharing all of this!! I know a TON of people that are Catholic!!! They need to know all this!! How sad for them!!

Again, thank you for sharing this MUCH-need-to-hear info!!

His,
Mrs. U

Mrs. U said...

DEFINITELY something that we all need to hear!! Thank you for taking the time to post this information. I know many that are Catholic and, sadly, misled.

His,
Mrs. U

Anonymous said...

It is sad that you feel the need to attack the Catholic Church. Your straw dog attacks are without merit on many fronts. You would do well to study early church history and to get your facts correct. And your attacks on certain statements from the Catholic Church are taken way out of context. Have you ever been a Catholic or trained as a Catholic?

You should spend more time promoting positive things rather than making false statements about the Catholic Church.

Where did your bible come from? The Catholic Church. You state that cults add or subtract from scripture, so by your definition all but the Catholics are cults who left the Catholic Church:

The Old Testament in Catholic Bibles contains seven more books than are found in Protestant Bibles (46 and 39, respectively). Protestants call these seven books the Apocrypha and Catholics know them as the deuterocanonical books. These seven books are: Tobit, Judith, 1 and 2 Maccabees, Wisdom of Solomon, Ecclesiasticus (or, Sirach), and Baruch. Also, Catholic Bibles contain an additional six chapters (107 verses) in the book of Esther and another three in the book of Daniel (174 verses).

All of these were dogmatically acknowledged as Scripture at the Council of Trent in 1548 (which means that Catholics were henceforth not allowed to question their canonicity), although the tradition of their inclusion was ancient. At the same time, the Council rejected 1 and 2 Esdras and the Prayer of Manasses as part of Sacred Scripture (these are often included in collections of the "Apocrypha" as a separate unit).
The Catholic perspective on this issue is widely misunderstood. Protestants accuse Catholics of "adding" books to the Bible, while Catholics retort that Protestants have "booted out" part of Scripture. Catholics are able to offer very solid and reasonable arguments in defense of the scriptural status of the deuterocanonical books. These can be summarized as follows:
1) They were included in the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Old Testament from the third century B.C.), which was the "Bible" of the Apostles. They usually quoted the Old Testament scriptures (in the text of the New Testament) from the Septuagint.
2) Almost all of the Church Fathers regarded the Septuagint as the standard form of the Old Testament. The deuterocanonical books were in no way differentiated from the other books in the Septuagint, and were generally regarded as canonical. St. Augustine thought the Septuagint was apostolically-sanctioned and inspired, and this was the consensus in the early Church.
3) Many Church Fathers (such as St. Irenaeus, St. Cyprian, Tertullian) cite these books as Scripture without distinction. Others, mostly from the east (for example, St. Athanasius, St. Cyril of Jerusalem, St. Gregory Nazianzus) recognized some distinction but nevertheless still customarily cited the deuterocanonical books as Scripture. St. Jerome, who translated the Hebrew Bible into Latin (the Vulgate, early fifth century), was an exception to the rule (the Church has never held that individual Fathers are infallible).
4) The Church Councils at Hippo (393) and Carthage (397, 419), influenced heavily by St. Augustine, listed the deuterocanonical books as Scripture, which was simply an endorsement of what had become the general consensus of the Church in the west and most of the east. Thus, the Council of Trent merely reiterated in stronger terms what had already been decided eleven and a half centuries earlier, and which had never been seriously challenged until the onset of Protestantism.
5) Since these Councils also finalized the 66 canonical books which all Christians accept, it is quite arbitrary for Protestants to selectively delete seven books from this authoritative Canon. This is all the more curious when the complicated, controversial history of the New Testament Canon is understood.
6) Pope Innocent I concurred with and sanctioned the canonical ruling of the above Councils (Letter to Exsuperius, Bishop of Toulouse) in 405.
7) The earliest Greek manuscripts of the Old Testament, such as Codex Sinaiticus (fourth century), and Codex Alexandrinus (c.450) include all of the deuterocanonical books mixed in with the others and not separated.
8) The practice of collecting these books into a separate unit dates back no further than 1520 (in other words, it was a novel innovation of Protestantism). This is admitted by, for example, the Protestant New English Bible (Oxford University Press, 1976), in its "Introduction to the Apocrypha," (p.iii).
9) Protestantism, following Martin Luther, removed the deuterocanonical books from their Bibles due to their clear teaching of doctrines which had been recently repudiated by Protestants, such as prayers for the dead (Tobit 12:12, 2 Maccabees 12:39-45 ff.; cf. 1 Corinthians 15:29), intercession of dead saints (2 Maccabees 15:14; cf. Revelation 6:9-10), and intermediary intercession of angels (Tobit 12:12,15; cf. Revelation 5:8, 8:3-4). We know this from plain statements of Luther and other Reformers.
10) Luther was not content even to let the matter rest there, and proceeded to cast doubt on many other books of the Bible which are accepted as canonical by all Protestants. He considered Job and Jonah mere fables, and Ecclesiastes incoherent and incomplete. He wished that Esther (along with 2 Maccabees) "did not exist," and wanted to "toss it into the Elbe" river.
11) The New Testament fared scarcely better under Luther's gaze. He rejected from the New Testament Canon ("chief books") Hebrews, James ("epistle of straw"), Jude and Revelation, and placed them at the end of his translation, as a New Testament "Apocrypha." He regarded them as non-apostolic. Of the book of Revelation he said, "Christ is not taught or known in it." These opinions are found in Luther's Prefaces to biblical books, in his German translation of 1522.
12) Although the New Testament does not quote any of these books directly, it does closely reflect the thought of the deuterocanonical books in many passages. For example, Revelation 1:4 and 8:3-4 appear to make reference to Tobit 12:15:
Revelation 1:4 Grace to you . . . from the seven spirits who are before his throne. {see also 3:1, 4:5, 5:6}
Revelation 8:3-4 And another angel came and stood at the altar with a golden censer; and he was given much incense to mingle with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar before the throne; and the smoke of the incense rose with the prayers of the saints from the hand of the angel before God.
{see also Revelation 5:8}
Tobit 12:15 I am Raphael, one of the seven holy angels who present the prayers of the saints and enter into the presence of the glory of the Holy One.
St. Paul, in 1 Corinthians 15:29, seems to have 2 Maccabees 12:44 in mind. This saying of Paul is one of the most difficult in the New Testament for Protestants to interpret, given their theology:
1 Corinthians 15:29 Otherwise, what do people mean by being baptized on behalf of the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized on their behalf?
2 Maccabees 12:44 For if he were not expecting that those who had fallen would rise again, it would have been superfluous and foolish to pray for the dead.
This passage of St. Paul shows that it was the custom of the early Church to watch, pray and fast for the souls of the deceased. In Scripture, to be baptized is often a metaphor for affliction or (in the Catholic understanding) penance (for example, Matthew 3:11, Mark 10:38-39, Luke 3:16, 12:50). Since those in heaven have no need of prayer, and those in hell can't benefit from it, these practices, sanctioned by St. Paul, must be directed towards those in purgatory. Otherwise, prayers and penances for the dead make no sense, and this seems to be largely what Paul is trying to bring out. The "penance interpretation" is contextually supported by the next three verses, where St. Paul speaks of Why am I in peril every hour? . . . I die every day, and so forth.
As a third example, Hebrews 11:35 mirrors the thought of 2 Maccabees 7:29:
Hebrews 11:35 Women received their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, that they might rise again to a better life.
2 Maccabees 7:29 Do not fear this butcher, but prove worthy of your brothers. Accept death, so that in God's mercy I may get you back again with your brothers.
{a mother speaking to her son: see 7:25-26}
13) Ironically, in some of the same verses where the New Testament is virtually quoting the "Apocrypha," doctrines are taught which are rejected by Protestantism, and which were a major reason why the deuterocanonical books were "demoted" by them. Therefore, it was not as easy to eliminate these disputed doctrines from the Bible as it was (and is) supposed, and Protestants still must grapple with much New Testament data which does not comport with their beliefs.
14) Despite this lowering of the status of the deuterocanonical books by Protestantism, they were still widely retained separately in Protestant Bibles for a long period of time (unlike the prevailing practice today). John Wycliffe, considered a forerunner of Protestantism, included them in his English translation. Luther himself kept them separately in his Bible, describing them generally as (although sub-scriptural) "useful and good to read." Zwingli and the Swiss Protestants, and the Anglicans maintained them in this secondary sense also. The English Geneva Bible (1560) and Bishop's Bible (1568) both included them as a unit. Even the Authorized, or King James Version of 1611 contained the "Apocrypha" as a matter of course. And up to the present time many Protestant Bibles continue this practice. The revision of the King James Bible (completed in 1895) included these books, as did the Revised Standard Version (1957), the New English Bible (1970), and the Goodspeed Bible (1939), among others.
15) The deuterocanonical books are read regularly in public worship in Anglicanism, and also among the Eastern Orthodox, and most Protestants and Jews fully accept their value as historical and religious documents, useful for teaching, even though they deny them full canonical status.
In your prior chart of “Why so Many” different Christian denominations its FUNNY when you attempt to show the Catholic Church as some type of offshoot when in fact all Christian denominations fell OUT of the Catholic Church. As Jesus states in John, not everyone can/wants to follow the hard teachings.

You mention the inquisition. Yes the Catholic Church has it problem just like any large congregation of people. They never claimed to be perfect. Who is? You talk a lot about your favorite readings from the reformers. What about Martin Luther’s “On the Jews and their Lies”, the basic foundation for the NAZI program against the Jewish people and the holocaust? That is an eye opening revelation about the views of a founder of the reformation movement! Let him without out sin cast the first stone.

It is sad that you throw so many stones at the Catholic Church in your threads regarding things that you obviously have no idea about. I could refute all your misconceptions but do not have the time to do so in this forum.

My writing is not meant to cause a stir but to give a fair and equal view to things. As you stated in your cult thread, as you must belong to a group that I consider a cult by your own definition, you are open game.

Peace

Anonymous said...

To "Peace" (whomever that may be):

I find it interesting that in the lengthy comment you posted, you never once mentioned the idolatrous exaltation of the "Virgin Mary". There is no Scripture to support that she remained a Virgin her whole life (since Jesus had brothers Mark 3:32) or that we should pray to her. How do you explain praying to Mary and saints when Christ teaches his apostles to pray to the Father (Matthew 6). You have no Biblical support for these traditions of Catholics. Indeed, you have no legitimate and credible answers for these questions. I could refute all your loopholes, but I don't have the time for that.

War

Dead Theologians said...

Hello,

As the originator of this blog I appreciate you reading my post and then commenting. I also do appreciate the fact that you appeared to read my post in its entirety and then comment. So many want to read a line and then go off.

Anonymous replies are ok but a name makes it a little more personal.

I welcome you to take me to task on every point if you wish but I think that history is heavily against you on this one. There is not one point that I misconstrued or twisted because my quotes are documented from Catholic literature.

You are welcome to call me a “cult” but the burden of proof is on your shoulders, not mine.

Lastly, our belief systems have arisen out of the Catholic Church. You are correct on that point. Between the 600’s and the Great Schizm the Catholic Church really came unglued doctrinally and organizationally. Praise the Lord for the reformers that were not afraid to stand up to their (Catholic Church) wicked doctrines that were being introduced and changing like the wind.

Blessings,
DT

Dead Theologians said...

mrs. u,

Thanks for the kind comments.

DT

Anonymous said...

I. The Uniqueness of Mary as the Mother of God
Gen. 3:15 - we see from the very beginning that God gives Mary a unique role in salvation history. God says "I will put enmity between you and the woman, between your seed and her seed." This refers to Jesus (the "emnity") and Mary (the "woman"). The phrase "her seed" (spermatos) is not seen elsewhere in Scripture.

Gen 3:15 / Rev. 12:1 - the Scriptures begin and end with the woman battling satan. This points to the power of the woman with the seed and teaches us that Jesus and Mary are the new Adam and the new Eve.

John 2:4, 19:26 - Jesus calls Mary "woman" as she is called in Gen. 3:15. Just as Eve was the mother of the old creation, Mary is the mother of the new creation. This woman's seed will crush the serpent's skull.

Isaiah 7:14; Matt. 1:23 - a virgin (the Greek word used is "parthenos") will bear a Son named Emmanuel, which means "God is with us." John 1:14 - God in flesh dwelt among us. Mary is the Virgin Mother of God.

Matt. 2:11 - Luke emphasizes Jesus is with Mary His Mother, and the magi fall down before both of them, worshiping Jesus.

Luke 1:35 - the child will be called holy, the Son of God. Mary is the Mother of the Son of God, or the Mother of God (the "Theotokos").

Luke 1:28 - "Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you." These are the words spoken by God and delivered to us by the angel Gabriel (who is a messenger of God). Thus, when Catholics recite this verse while praying the Rosary, they are uttering the words of God.

Luke 1:28 - also, the phrase "full of grace" is translated from the Greek word "kecharitomene." This is a unique title given to Mary, and suggests a perfection of grace from a past event. Mary is not just "highly favored." She has been perfected in grace by God. "Full of grace" is only used to describe one other person - Jesus Christ in John 1:14.

Luke 1:38 - Mary's fiat is "let it be done to me according to thy word." Mary is the perfect model of faith in God, and is worthy of our veneration.

Luke 1:42 - "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus." The phrase "blessed are you among women" really means "you are most blessed of all women." A circumlocution is used because there is no superlative in the Greek language. Note also that Elizabeth praises Mary first, and then Jesus. This is hyperdulia (but not latria which is worship owed to God alone). We too can go through Mary to praise Jesus. Finally, Catholics repeat these divinely inspired words of Elizabeth in the Rosary.

Luke 1:43 - Elizabeth's use of "Mother of my Lord" (in Hebrew, Elizabeth used "Adonai" which means Lord God) is the equivalent of "Holy Mary, Mother of God" which Catholics pray in the Rosary. The formula is simple: Jesus is a divine person, and this person is God. Mary is Jesus' Mother, so Mary is the mother of God (Mary is not just the Mother of Jesus' human nature - mothers are mothers of persons, not natures).

Luke 1:44 - Mary's voice causes John the Baptist to leap for joy in Elizabeth's womb. Luke is teaching us that Mary is our powerful intercessor.

Luke 1:46 - Mary claims that her soul magnifies the Lord. This is a bold statement from a young Jewish girl from Nazareth. Her statement is a strong testimony to her uniqueness. Mary, as our Mother and intercessor, also magnifies our prayers.

Luke 1:48 - Mary prophesies that all generations shall call her blessed, as Catholics do in the "Hail Mary" prayer. What Protestant churches have existed in all generations (none), and how many of them call Mary blessed with special prayers and devotions?

Gal. 4:4 - God sent His Son, born of a woman, to redeem us. Mary is the woman with the redeemer. By calling Mary co-redemptrix, we are simply calling Mary "the woman with the redeemer." This is because "co" is from the Latin word "cum" which means "with." Therefore, "co-redemptrix" means "woman with the redeemer." Mary had a unique but subordinate role to Jesus in salvation.

Eph. 1:1; Phil. 1:1; Col. 1:2 - the word "saints" (in Hebrew "qaddiysh") means "holy" ones. So Mary is called Holy, the greatest Saint of all.

Luke 2:35 - Simeon prophesies that a sword would also pierce Mary's soul. Mary thus plays a very important role in our redemption. While Jesus' suffering was all that we needed for redemption, God desired Mary to participate on a subordinate level in her Son's suffering, just as he allows us to participate through our own sufferings.

Luke 2:19,51 - Mary kept in mind all these things as she pondered them in her heart. Catholics remember this by devoting themselves to Mary's Immaculate Heart and all the treasures and wisdom and knowledge contained therein.

Anonymous said...

II. Mary - the Immaculate Ark of the New Covenant
Exodus 25:11-21 - the ark of the Old Covenant was made of the purest gold for God's Word. Mary is the ark of the New Covenant and is the purest vessel for the Word of God made flesh.

2 Sam. 6:7 - the Ark is so holy and pure that when Uzzah touched it, the Lord slew him. This shows us that the Ark is undefiled. Mary the Ark of the New Covenant is even more immaculate and undefiled, spared by God from original sin so that she could bear His eternal Word in her womb.

1 Chron. 13:9-10 - this is another account of Uzzah and the Ark. For God to dwell within Mary the Ark, Mary had to be conceived without sin. For Protestants to argue otherwise would be to say that God would let the finger of Satan touch His Son made flesh. This is incomprehensible.

1 Chron. 15 and 16 - these verses show the awesome reverence the Jews had for the Ark - veneration, vestments, songs, harps, lyres, cymbals, trumpets.

Luke 1:39 / 2 Sam. 6:2 - Luke's conspicuous comparison's between Mary and the Ark described by Samuel underscores the reality of Mary as the undefiled and immaculate Ark of the New Covenant. In these verses, Mary (the Ark) arose and went / David arose and went to the Ark. There is a clear parallel between the Ark of the Old and the Ark of the New Covenant.

Luke 1:41 / 2 Sam. 6:16 - John the Baptist / King David leap for joy before Mary / Ark. So should we leap for joy before Mary the immaculate Ark of the Word made flesh.

Luke 1:43 / 2 Sam. 6:9 - How can the Mother / Ark of the Lord come to me? It is a holy privilege. Our Mother wants to come to us and lead us to Jesus.

Luke 1:56 / 2 Sam. 6:11 and 1 Chron. 13:14 - Mary / the Ark remained in the house for about three months.

Rev 11:19 - at this point in history, the Ark of the Old Covenant was not seen for six centuries (see 2 Macc. 2:7), and now it is finally seen in heaven. The Jewish people would have been absolutely amazed at this. However, John immediately passes over this fact and describes the "woman" clothed with the sun in Rev. 12:1. John is emphasizing that Mary is the Ark of the New Covenant and who, like the Old ark, is now worthy of veneration and praise. Also remember that Rev. 11:19 and Rev. 12:1 are tied together because there was no chapter and verse at the time these texts were written.

Rev 12:1 - the "woman" that John is describing is Mary, the Ark of the New Covenant, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. Just as the moon reflects the light of the sun, so Mary, with the moon under her feet, reflects the glory of the Sun of Justice, Jesus Christ.

Rev. 12:17 - this verse tells us that Mary's offspring are those who keep God's commandments and bear testimony to Jesus. This demonstrates, as Catholics have always believed, that Mary is the Mother of all Christians.

Rev. 12:2 - Some Protestants argue that, because the woman had birth pangs, she was a woman with sin. However, Revelation is apocalyptic literature unique to the 1st century. It contains varied symbolism and multiple meanings of the woman (Mary, the Church and Israel). The birth pangs describe both the birth of the Church and Mary's offspring being formed in Christ. Mary had no birth pangs in delivering her only Son Jesus.

Isaiah 66:7 - for example, we see Isaiah prophesying that before she (Mary) was in labor she gave birth; before her pain came upon her she was delivered of a son (Jesus). This is a Marian prophecy of the virgin birth of Jesus Christ.

Gal 4:19 - Paul also describes his pain as birth pangs in forming the disciples in Christ. Birth pangs describe formation in Christ.

Rom. 8:22 - also, Paul says the whole creation has been groaning in travail before the coming of Christ. We are all undergoing birth pangs because we are being reborn into Jesus Christ.

Jer. 13:21 - Jeremiah describes the birth pangs of Israel, like a woman in travail. Birth pangs are usually used metaphorically in the Scriptures.

Hos. 13:12-13 - Ephraim is also described as travailing in childbirth for his sins. Again, birth pangs are used metaphorically.

Micah 4:9-10 - Micah also describes Jerusalem as being seized by birth pangs like a woman in travail.

Rev. 12:13-16 - in these verses, we see that the devil still seeks to destroy the woman even after the Savior is born. This proves Mary is a danger to satan, even after the birth of Christ. This is because God has given her the power to intercede for us, and we should invoke her assistance in our spiritual lives.

Anonymous said...

III. Mary is our Mother and Queen of the New Davidic Kingdom
John 19:26 - Jesus makes Mary the Mother of us all as He dies on the Cross by saying "behold your mother." Jesus did not say "John, behold your mother" because he gave Mary to all of us, his beloved disciples. All the words that Jesus spoke on Cross had a divine purpose. Jesus was not just telling John to take care of his mother.

Rev. 12:17 - this verse proves the meaning of John 19:26. The "woman's" (Mary's) offspring are those who follow Jesus. She is our Mother and we are her offspring in Jesus Christ. The master plan of God's covenant love for us is family. But we cannot be a complete family with the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Christ without the Motherhood of Mary.

John 2:3 - this is a very signifcant verse in Scripture. As our mother, Mary tells all of us to do whatever Jesus tells us. Further, Mary's intercession at the marriage feast in Cana triggers Jesus' ministry and a foreshadowing of the Eucharistic celebration of the Lamb. This celebration unites all believers into one famiy through the marriage of divinity and humanity.

John 2:7 - Jesus allows His mother to intercede for the people on His behalf, and responds to His mother's request by ordering the servants to fill the jars with water.

Psalm 45:9 - the psalmist teaches that the Queen stands at the right hand of God. The role of the Queen is important in God's kingdom. Mary the Queen of heaven is at the right hand of the Son of God.

1 Kings 2:17, 20 - in the Old Testament Davidic kingdom, the King does not refuse his mother. Jesus is the new Davidic King, and He does not refuse the requests of his mother Mary, the Queen.

1 Kings 2:18 - in the Old Testament Davidic kingdom, the Queen intercedes on behalf of the King's followers. She is the Queen Mother (or "Gebirah"). Mary is our eternal Gebirah.

1 Kings 2:19 - in the Old Testament Davidic kingdom the King bows down to his mother and she sits at his right hand. We, as children of the New Covenant, should imitate our King and pay the same homage to Mary our Mother. By honoring Mary, we honor our King, Jesus Christ.

1 Kings 15:13 - the Queen Mother is a powerful position in Israel's royal monarchy. Here the Queen is removed from office. But now, the Davidic kingdom is perfected by Jesus, and our Mother Mary is forever at His right hand.

2 Chron. 22:10 - here Queen Mother Athalia destroys the royal family of Judah after she sees her son, King Ahaziah, dead. The Queen mother plays a significant role in the kingdom.

Neh. 2:6 - the Queen Mother sits beside the King. She is the primary intercessor before the King.

Anonymous said...

IV. Mary is Ever Virgin
Exodus 13:2,12 - Jesus is sometimes referred to as the "first-born" son of Mary. But "first-born" is a common Jewish expression meaning the first child to open the womb. It has nothing to do the mother having future children.

Exodus 34:20 - under the Mosaic law, the "first-born" son had to be sanctified. "First-born" status does not require a "second" born.

Ezek. 44:2 - Ezekiel prophesies that no man shall pass through the gate by which the Lord entered the world. This is a prophecy of Mary's perpetual virginity. Mary remained a virgin before, during and after the birth of Jesus.

Mark 6:3 - Jesus was always referred to as "the" son of Mary, not "a" son of Mary. Also "brothers" could have theoretically been Joseph's children from a former marriage that was dissolved by death. However, it is most likely, perhaps most certainly, that Joseph was a virgin, just as were Jesus and Mary. As such, they embodied the true Holy Family, fully consecrated to God.

Luke 1:31,34 - the angel tells Mary that you "will" conceive (using the future tense). Mary responds by saying, "How shall this be?" Mary's response demonstrates that she had taken a vow of lifelong virginity by having no intention to have relations with a man. If Mary did not take such a vow of lifelong virginity, her question would make no sense at all (for we can assume she knew how a child is conceived). She was a consecrated Temple virgin as was an acceptable custom of the times.

Luke 2:41-51 - in searching for Jesus and finding Him in the temple, there is never any mention of other siblings.

John 7:3-4; Mark 3:21 - we see that younger "brothers" were advising Jesus. But this would have been extremely disrespectful for devout Jews if these were Jesus' biological brothers.

John 19:26-27 - it would have been unthinkable for Jesus to commit the care of his mother to a friend if he had brothers.

John 19:25 - the following verses prove that James and Joseph are Jesus' cousins and not his brothers: Mary the wife of Clopas is the sister of the Virgin Mary.

Matt. 27:61, 28:1 - Matthew even refers to Mary the wife of Clopas as "the other Mary."

Matt. 27:56; Mark 15:47 - Mary the wife of Clopas is the mother of James and Joseph.

Mark 6:3 - James and Joseph are called the "brothers" of Jesus. So James and Joseph are Jesus' cousins.

Matt. 10:3 - James is also called the son of "Alpheus." This does not disprove that James is the son of Clopas. The name Alpheus may be Aramaic for Clopas, or James took a Greek name like Saul (Paul), or Mary remarried a man named Alpheus.

Anonymous said...

V. Jesus' "Brothers" (adelphoi)) = Cousins or Kinsmen
Luke 1:36 - Elizabeth is Mary's kinswoman. Some Bibles translate kinswoman as "cousin," but this is an improper translation because in Hebrew and Aramaic, there is no word for "cousin."

Luke 22:32 - Jesus tells Peter to strengthen his "brethren." In this case, we clearly see Jesus using "brethren" to refer to the other apostles, not his biological brothers.

Acts 1:12-15 - the gathering of Jesus' "brothers" amounts to about 120. That is a lot of "brothers." Brother means kinsmen in Hebrew.

Acts 7:26; 11:1; 13:15,38; 15:3,23,32; 28:17,21 - these are some of many other examples where "brethren" does not mean blood relations.

Rom. 9:3 - Paul uses "brethren" and "kinsmen" interchangeably. "Brothers" of Jesus does not prove Mary had other children.

Gen. 11:26-28 - Lot is Abraham's nephew ("anepsios") / Gen. 13:8; 14:14,16 - Lot is still called Abraham's brother (adelphos") . This proves that, although a Greek word for cousin is "anepsios," Scripture also uses "adelphos" to describe a cousin.

Gen. 29:15 - Laban calls Jacob is "brother" even though Jacob is his nephew. Again, this proves that brother means kinsmen or cousin.

Deut. 23:7; 1 Chron. 15:5-18; Jer. 34:9; Neh. 5:7 -"brethren" means kinsmen. Hebrew and Aramaic have no word for "cousin."

2 Sam. 1:26; 1 Kings 9:13, 20:32 - here we see that "brethren" can even be one who is unrelated (no bloodline), such as a friend.

2 Kings 10:13-14 - King Ahaziah's 42 "brethren" were really his kinsmen.

1 Chron. 23:21-22 - Eleazar's daughters married their "brethren" who were really their cousins.

Neh. 4:14; 5:1,5,8,10,14 - these are more examples of "brothers" meaning "cousins" or "kinsmen."

Tobit 5:11 - Tobit asks Azarias to identify himself and his people, but still calls him "brother."

Amos 1: 9 - brotherhood can also mean an ally (where there is no bloodline).

Anonymous said...

VI. Mary's Assumption into Heaven
Gen. 5:24, Heb. 11:5 - Enoch was bodily assumed into heaven without dying. Would God do any less for Mary the Ark of the New Covenant?

2 Kings 2:11-12; 1 Mac 2:58 - Elijah was assumed into heaven in fiery chariot. Jesus would not do any less for His Blessed Mother.

Psalm 132:8 - Arise, O Lord, and go to thy resting place, thou and the Ark (Mary) of thy might. Both Jesus and Mary were taken up to their eternal resting place in heaven.

2 Cor. 12:2 - Paul speaks of a man in Christ who was caught up to the third heaven. Mary was also brought up into heaven by God.

Matt. 27:52-53 - when Jesus died and rose, the bodies of the saints were raised. Nothing in Scripture precludes Mary's assumption into heaven.

1 Thess. 4:17 - we shall be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air and so we shall always be with the Lord.

Rev. 12:1 - we see Mary, the "woman," clothed with the sun. While in Rev. 6:9 we only see the souls of the martyrs in heaven, in Rev. 12:1 we see Mary, both body and soul.

2 Thess. 2:15 - Paul instructs us to hold fast to oral (not just written) tradition. Apostolic tradition says Mary was assumed into heaven. While claiming the bones of the saints was a common practice during these times (and would have been especially important to obtain Mary's bones as she was the Mother of God), Mary's bones were never claimed. This is because they were not available. Mary was taken up body and soul into heaven.

Anonymous said...

VII. Mary's Coronation in Heaven
2 Tim 4:8 - Paul says that there is laid up for him the crown of righteousness. The saints are crowned in heaven, and Mary is the greatest saint of all.

James 1:12 - those who endure will receive the crown of life which God has promised. Mary has received the crown of life by bringing eternal life to the world.

1 Peter 5:4 - when the chief Shepherd is manifested we will receive the unfading crown of glory.

Rev. 2:10 - Jesus will give the faithful unto death the crown of life. Jesus gave Mary His Mother the crown of life.

Rev. 12:1 - Mary, the "woman," is crowned with twelve stars. She is Queen of heaven and earth and the Mother of the Church.

Wis. 5:16 - we will receive a glorious crown and a beautiful diadem from the hand of the Lord. Mary is with Jesus forever crowned in His glory.

Anonymous said...

VIII. Misunderstanding about Matthew 1:25 (Joseph knew her "not until")
Matt. 1:25 - this verse says Joseph knew her "not until ("heos", in Greek)" she bore a son. Some Protestants argue that this proves Joseph had relations with Mary after she bore a son. This is an erroneous reading of the text because "not until" does not mean "did not...until after." "Heos" references the past, never the future. Instead, "not until" she bore a son means "not up to the point that" she bore a son. This confirms that Mary was a virgin when she bore Jesus. Here are other texts that prove "not until" means "not up to the point that":

Matt. 28:29 - I am with you "until the end of the world." This does not mean Jesus is not with us after the end of the world.

Luke 1:80 - John was in the desert "up to the point of his manifestation to Israel." Not John "was in the desert until after" his manifestation.

Luke 2:37 - Anna was a widow "up to the point that" she was eighty-four years old. She was not a widow after eighty-four years old.

Luke 20:43 - Jesus says, "take your seat at my hand until I have made your enemies your footstool." Jesus is not going to require the apostles to sit at His left hand after their enemies are their footstool.

1 Tim. 4:13 - "up to the point that I come," attend to teaching and preaching. It does not mean do nothing "until after" I come.

Gen. 8:7 - the raven flew back and forth "up to the point that" [until] the waters dried from the earth. The raven did not start flying after the waters dried.

Gen. 28:15 - the Lord won't leave Jacob "up to the point that" he does His promise. This does not mean the Lord will leave Jacob afterward.

Deut. 34:6 - but "up to the point of today" no one knows Moses' burial place. This does not mean that "they did not know place until today."

2 Sam. 6:23 - Saul's daughter Micah was childless "up to the point" [until] her death. She was not with child after her death.

1 Macc. 5:54 - not one was slain "up to the point that" they returned in peace. They were not slain after they returned in peace.

Anonymous said...

IX. Misunderstanding about Romans 3:23 ("All have sinned")
Rom. 3:23 - Some Protestants use this verse "all have sinned" in an attempt to prove that Mary was also with sin. But "all have sinned " only means that all are subject to original sin. Mary was spared from original sin by God, not herself. The popular analogy is God let us fall in the mud puddle, and cleaned us up afterward through baptism. In Mary's case, God did not let her enter the mud puddle.

Rom. 3:23 - "all have sinned" also refers only to those able to commit sin. This is not everyone. For example, infants, the retarded, and the senile cannot sin.

Rom. 3:23 - finally, "all have sinned," but Jesus must be an exception to this rule. This means that Mary can be an exception as well. Note that the Greek word for all is "pantes."

1 Cor. 15:22 - in Adam all ("pantes") have died, and in Christ all ("pantes") shall live. This proves that "all" does not mean "every single one." This is because not all have died (such as Enoch and Elijah who were taken up to heaven), and not all will go to heaven (because Jesus said so).

Rom. 5:12 - Paul says that death spread to all ("pantes") men. Again, this proves that "all" does not mean "every single one" because death did not spread to all men (as we have seen with Enoch and Elijah).

Rom. 5:19 - here Paul says "many (not all) were made sinners." Paul uses "polloi," not "pantes." Is Paul contradicting what he said in Rom. 3:23? Of course not. Paul means that all are subject to original sin, but not all reject God.

Rom. 3:10-11 - Protestants also use this verse to prove that all human beings are sinful and thus Mary must be sinful. But see Psalm 14 which is the basis of the verse.

Psalm 14 - this psalm does not teach that all humans are sinful. It only teaches that, among the wicked, all are sinful. The righteous continue to seek God.

Psalm 53:1-3 - "there is none that does good" expressly refers to those who have fallen away. Those who remain faithful do good, and Jesus calls such faithful people "good."

Luke 18:19 - Jesus says, "No one is good but God alone." But then in Matt. 12:35, Jesus also says "The good man out of his good treasure..." So Jesus says no one is good but God, and then calls another person good.

Rom. 9:11 - God distinguished between Jacob and Esau in the womb, before they sinned. Mary was also distinguished from the rest of humanity in the womb by being spared by God from original sin.

Luke 1:47 - Mary calls God her Savior. Some Protestants use this to denigrate Mary. Why? Of course God is Mary's Savior! She was freed from original sin in the womb (unlike us who are freed from sin outside of the womb), but needed a Savior as much as the rest of humanity.

Luke 1:48 - Mary calls herself lowly. But any creature is lowly compared to God. For example, in Matt. 11:29, even Jesus says He is lowly in heart. Lowliness is a sign of humility, which is the greatest virtue of holiness, because it allows us to empty ourselves and receive the grace of God to change our sinful lives.

Anonymous said...

X. Misunderstandings about Jesus "rebuking" Mary
Matt. 12:48; Mark 3:33; Luke 8:21 - when Jesus asks, "Who are my mother, and sisters and brothers?," some Protestants argue that Jesus is rebuking Mary in order to denigrate her. To the contrary, when Jesus' comments are read in light of Luke 8:5-15 and the parable of the sower which Jesus taught right before His question, Jesus is actually implying that Mary has already received the word as the sower of good ground and is bearing fruit. Jesus is teaching that others must, like Mary, also receive the word and obey it.

Matt. 12:48; Mark 3:33; Luke 8:21 - Jesus' question about "who are my mother, and sisters and brothers" was also made in reference to Psalm 69:8-9. Jesus the Prophet was answering the psalmist's prophecy that those closest to Him would betray Him at His passion. Jesus is emphasizing the spiritual family's importance over the biological family, and the importance of being faithful to Him. While many were unfaithful to Jesus, Mary remained faithful to Him, even to the point of standing at the foot of the Cross.

Matt. 12:48; Mark 3:33; Luke 8:21 - finally, to argue that Jesus rebuked Mary is to argue that Jesus violated the Torah, here, the 4th commandment. This argument is blasphemous because it essentially says that God committed sin by dishonoring His Mother.

Luke 11:28 - when Jesus says, "Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it," some Protestants also call this a rebuke of Mary. Again, to the contrary, Jesus is exalting Mary by emphasizing her obedience to God's word as being more critical than her biological role of mother. This affirms Luke 1:48.

Luke 11:28 - also, the Greek word for "rather" is "menounge." Menounge really means "Yes, but in addition," or "Further." Thus, Jesus is saying, yes my mother is blessed indeed, but further blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it. Jesus is encouraging others to follow Mary's example in order to build up His kingdom.

Luke 11:27-28 - finally, Jesus is the one being complimented, not Mary. Therefore, Jesus is refocusing the attention from Him to others who obey the word of God. If He is refocusing the attention away from Him to others, His comment cannot be a rebuke of Mary His mother.

John 2:4 - this is another example that Protestants use to diminish Mary's significance. Jesus' question to Mary, "what have you to do with me?" does no such thing. To the contrary, Jesus' question illustrates the importance of Mary's role in the kingdom. Jesus' question is in reality an invitation to His mother to intercede on behalf of all believers and begin His ministry, and His Mother understands this. Mary thus immediately intercedes, Jesus obeys her, and performs the miracle which commenced His ministry of redemption.

Luke 8:28 - the demons tell Jesus the same thing, "what have you to do with us." The demons are not rebuking Jesus, for God would not allow it. Instead, the demons are acknowledging the power of Jesus by their question to Him.

John 2:4; 19:26 - when Jesus uses the title "woman" (gnyai), it is a title of dignity and respect. It is the equivalent of Lady or Madam. Jesus honored His Mother as God requires us to do.

Anonymous said...

Tradition / Church Fathers
I. Mary is the Mother of God
"After this, we receive the doctrine of the resurrection from the dead, of which Jesus Christ our Lord became the first-fruits; Who bore a Body, in truth, not in semblance, derived from Mary the mother of God in the fullness of time sojourning among the race, for the remission of sins: who was crucified and died, yet for all this suffered no diminution of His Godhead." Alexander of Alexandria, Epistle to Alexander, 12 (A.D. 324).

"Many, my beloved, are the true testimonies concerning Christ. The Father bears witness from heaven of His Son: the Holy Ghost bears witness, descending bodily in likeness of a dove: the Archangel Gabriel bears witness, bringing good tidings to Mary: the Virgin Mother of God bears witness: the blessed place of the manger bears witness." Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures, X:19 (c. A.D. 350).

"And the Angel on his appearance, himself confesses that he has been sent by his Lord; as Gabriel confessed in the case of Zacharias, and also in the case of Mary, bearer of God." Athanasius, Orations III, 14(A.D. 362).

"Just as, in the age of Mary the mother of God, he who had reigned from Adam to her time found, when he came to her and dashed his forces against the fruit of her virginity as against a rock, that he was shattered to pieces upon her, so in every soul which passes through this life in the flesh under the protection of virginity, the strength of death is in a manner broken and annulled, for he does not find the places upon which he may fix his sting." Gregory of Nyssa, On Virginity, 14 (A.D. 370).

"He reshaped man to perfection in Himself, from Mary the Mother of God through the Holy Spirit." Epiphanius, The man well-anchored, 75 (A.D. 374).

"Let, then, the life of Mary be as it were virginity itself, set forth in a likeness, from which, as from a mirror, the appearance of chastity and the form of virtue is reflected. From this you may take your pattern of life, showing, as an example, the clear rules of virtue: what you have to correct, to effect, and to hold fast. The first thing which kindles ardour in learning is the greatness of the teacher. What is greater than the Mother of God?" Ambrose, Virginity, II:6 (c. A.D. 378).

"If anyone does not believe that Holy Mary is the Mother of God, he is severed from the Godhead." Gregory of Nazianzus, To Cledonius, 101 (A.D. 382).

"To the question: 'Is Mary the bearer of Man, or the bearer of God?' we must answer: 'Of Both.'" Theodore of Mopsuestia, The Incarnation, 15 (ante A.D. 428).

"And so you say, O heretic, whoever you may be, who deny that God was born of the Virgin, that Mary the Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ ought not to be called Theotocos, i.e., Mother of God, but Christotocos, i.e., only the Mother of Christ, not of God. For no one, you say, brings forth what is anterior in time. And of this utterly foolish argument whereby you think that the birth of God can be understood by carnal minds, and fancy that the mystery of His Majesty can be accounted for by human reasoning, we will, if God permits, say something later on. In the meanwhile we will now prove by Divine testimonies that Christ is God, and that Mary is the Mother of God." John Cassian, The Incarnation of Christ, II:2 (A.D. 430).

"But since the Holy Virgin brought forth after the flesh God personally united to the flesh, for this reason we say of her that she is Theotokos, not as though the nature of the Word had its beginning of being from the flesh, for he was in the beginning, and the Word was God, and the Word was with God...but, as we said before, because having personally united man's nature to himself..." Cyril of Alexandria, To Nestorius, Epistle 17:11 (A.D. 430).

"If anyone will not confess that the Emmanuel is very God, and that therefore the Holy Virgin is the Mother of God (Theotokos), inasmuch as in the flesh she bore the Word of God made flesh [as it is written, 'The Word was made flesh': let him be anathema." Council of Ephesus, Anathemas Against Nestorius, I (A.D. 430).

"For by the singular gift of Him who is our Lord and God, and withal, her own son, she is to be confessed most truly and most blessedly--The mother of God 'Theotocos,' but not in the sense in which it is imagined by a certain impious heresy which maintains, that she is to be called the Mother of God for no other reason than because she gave birth to that man who afterwards became God, just as we speak of a woman as the mother of a priest, or the mother of a bishop, meaning that she was such, not by giving birth to one already a priest or a bishop, but by giving birth to one who afterwards became a priest or a bishop. Not thus, I say, was the holy Mary 'Theotocos,' the mother of God, but rather, as was said before, because in her sacred womb was wrought that most sacred mystery whereby, on account of the singular and unique unity of Person, as the Word in flesh is flesh, so Man in God is God." Vincent of Lerins, Commonitory for the Antiquity and Universality of the Catholic Faith, 15 (A.D. 434).

"So then He was both in all things and above all things and also dwelt in the womb of the holy Mother of God, but in it by the energy of the incarnation." John Damascene, Source of Knowledge, III:7 (A.D. 743).

Anonymous said...

II. Mary’s Immaculate Conception
"He was the ark formed of incorruptible wood. For by this is signified that His tabernacle was exempt from putridity and corruption." Hippolytus, Orations Inillud, Dominus pascit me (ante A.D. 235).

"This Virgin Mother of the Only-begotten of God, is called Mary, worthy of God, immaculate of the immaculate, one of the one." Origen, Homily 1(A.D. 244).

"Let woman praise Her, the pure Mary." Ephraim, Hymns on the Nativity, 15:23 (A.D. 370).

"Thou alone and thy Mother are in all things fair, there is no flaw in thee and no stain in thy Mother." Ephraem, Nisibene Hymns, 27:8 (A.D. 370).

"O noble Virgin, truly you are greater than any other greatness. For who is your equal in greatness, O dwelling place of God the Word? To whom among all creatures shall I compare you, O Virgin? You are greater than them all O Covenant, clothed with purity instead of gold! You are the Ark in which is found the golden vessel containing the true manna, that is, the flesh in which divinity resides." Athanasius, Homily of the Papyrus of Turin, 71:216 (ante AD 373).

"Mary, a Virgin not only undefiled but a Virgin whom grace has made inviolate, free of every stain of sin." Ambrose, Sermon 22:30 (A.D. 388).

"We must except the Holy Virgin Mary, concerning whom I wish to raise no question when it touches the subject of sins, out of honour to the Lord; for from Him we know what abundance of grace for overcoming sin in every particular was conferred upon her who had the merit to conceive and bear Him who undoubtedly had no sin." Augustine, Nature and Grace,4 2[36] (A.D.415).

"As he formed her without my stain of her own, so He proceeded from her contracting no stain." Proclus of Constantinople, Homily 1 (ante A.D. 446).

"A virgin, innocent, spotless, free of all defect, untouched, unsullied, holy in soul and body, like a lily sprouting among thorns." Theodotus of Ancrya, Homily VI:11(ante A.D. 446).

"The angel took not the Virgin from Joseph, but gave her to Christ, to whom she was pledged from Joseph, but gave her to Christ, to whom she was pledged in the womb, when she was made." Peter Chrysologus, Sermon 140 (A.D. 449).

"[T]he very fact that God has elected her proves that none was ever holier than Mary, if any stain had disfigured her soul, if any other virgin had been purer and holier, God would have selected her and rejected Mary." Jacob of Sarug (ante A.D. 521).

"She is born like the cherubim, she who is of a pure, immaculate clay." Theotokos of Livias, Panegyric for the feast of the Assumption, 5:6 (ante A.D. 650).

"Today humanity, in all the radiance of her immaculate nobility, receives its ancient beauty. The shame of sin had darkened the splendour and attraction of human nature; but when the Mother of the Fair One par excellence is born, this nature regains in her person its ancient privileges and is fashioned according to a perfect model truly worthy of God.... The reform of our nature begins today and the aged world, subjected to a wholly divine transformation, receives the first fruits of the second creation." Andrew of Crete, Sermon I, On the Birth of Mary (A.D. 733).

"[T]ruly elect, and superior to all, not by the altitude of lofty structures, but as excelling all in the greatness and purity of sublime and divine virtues, and having no affinity with sin whatever." Germanus of Constantinople, Marracci in S. Germani Mariali (ante A.D. 733).

"O most blessed loins of Joachim from which came forth a spotless seed! O glorious womb of Anne in which a most holy offspring grew." John of Damascus, Homily I (ante A.D. 749).

Anonymous said...

III. Mary is Ever-virgin
“And indeed it was a virgin, about to marry once for all after her delivery, who gave birth to Christ, in order that each title of sanctity might be fulfilled in Christ's parentage, by means of a mother who was both virgin, and wife of one husband. Again, when He is presented as an infant in the temple, who is it who receives Him into his hands? Who is the first to recognize Him in spirit? A man just and circumspect,' and of course no digamist, (which is plain) even (from this consideration), lest (otherwise) Christ should presently be more worthily preached by a woman, an aged widow, and the wife of one man;' who, living devoted to the temple, was (already) giving in her own person a sufficient token what sort of persons ought to be the adherents to the spiritual temple,--that is, the Church. Such eye-witnesses the Lord in infancy found; no different ones had He in adult age." Tertullian, On Monogamy, 8 (A.D. 213).

"For if Mary, as those declare who with sound mind extol her, had no other son but Jesus, and yet Jesus says to His mother, Woman, behold thy son,' and not Behold you have this son also,' then He virtually said to her, Lo, this is Jesus, whom thou didst bear.' Is it not the case that every one who is perfect lives himself no longer, but Christ lives in him; and if Christ lives in him, then it is said of him to Mary, Behold thy son Christ.' What a mind, then, must we have to enable us to interpret in a worthy manner this work, though it be committed to the earthly treasure-house of common speech, of writing which any passer-by can read, and which can be heard when read aloud by any one who lends to it his bodily ears?" Origen, Commentary on John, I:6 (A.D. 232).

"Therefore let those who deny that the Son is from the Father by nature and proper to His Essence, deny also that He took true human flesh of Mary Ever-Virgin; for in neither case had it been of profit to us men, whether the Word were not true and naturally Son of God, or the flesh not true which He assumed." Athanasius, Orations against the Arians, II:70 (A.D. 362).

"And when he had taken her, he knew her not, till she had brought forth her first-born Son.' He hath here used the word till,' not that thou shouldest suspect that afterwards he did know her, but to inform thee that before the birth the Virgin was wholly untouched by man. But why then, it may be said, hath he used the word, till'? Because it is usual in Scripture often to do this, and to use this expression without reference to limited times. For so with respect to the ark likewise, it is said, The raven returned not till the earth was dried up.' And yet it did not return even after that time. And when discoursing also of God, the Scripture saith, From age until age Thou art,' not as fixing limits in this case. And again when it is preaching the Gospel beforehand, and saying, In his days shall righteousness flourish, and abundance of peace, till the moon be taken away,' it doth not set a limit to this fair part of creation. So then here likewise, it uses the word "till," to make certain what was before the birth, but as to what follows, it leaves thee to make the inference.” John Chrysostom, Gospel of Matthew, V:5 (A.D. 370).

“Thus, what it was necessary for thee to learn of Him, this He Himself hath said; that the Virgin was untouched by man until the birth; but that which both was seen to be a consequence of the former statement, and was acknowledged, this in its turn he leaves for thee to perceive; namely, that not even after this, she having so become a mother, and having been counted worthy of a new sort of travail, and a child-bearing so strange, could that righteous man ever have endured to know her. For if he had known her, and had kept her in the place of a wife, how is it that our Lord commits her, as unprotected, and having no one, to His disciple, and commands him to take her to his own home? How then, one may say, are James and the others called His brethren? In the same kind of way as Joseph himself was supposed to be husband of Mary. For many were the veils provided, that the birth, being such as it was, might be for a time screened. Wherefore even John so called them, saying, For neither did His brethren believe in Him.' John Chrysostom, Gospel of Matthew, V:5 (A.D. 370).

"But those who by virginity have desisted from this process have drawn within themselves the boundary line of death, and by their own deed have checked his advance; they have made themselves, in fact, a frontier between life and death, and a barrier too, which thwarts him. If, then, death cannot pass beyond virginity, but finds his power checked and shattered there, it is demonstrated that virginity is a stronger thing than death; and that body is rightly named undying which does not lend its service to a dying world, nor brook to become the instrument of a succession of dying creatures. In such a body the long unbroken career of decay and death, which has intervened between the first man and the lives of virginity which have been led, is interrupted. It could not be indeed that death should cease working as long as the human race by marriage was working too; he walked the path of life with all preceding generations; he started with every new-born child and accompanied it to the end: but he found in virginity a barrier, to pass which was an impossible feat." Gregory of Nyssa, On Virginity, 13 (A.D. 371).

"[T]he Son of God...was born perfectly of the holy ever-virgin Mary by the Holy Spirit..." Epiphanius, Well Anchored Man, 120 (A.D. 374).

"The friends of Christ do not tolerate hearing that the Mother of God ever ceased to be a virgin" Basil, Homily In Sanctum Christi generationem, 5 (ante A.D. 379).

"But as we do not deny what is written, so we do reject what is not written. We believe that God was born of the Virgin, because we read it. That Mary was married after she brought forth, we do not believe, because we do not read it. Nor do we say this to condemn marriage, for virginity itself is the fruit of marriage; but because when we are dealing with saints we must not judge rashly. If we adopt possibility as the standard of judgment, we might maintain that Joseph had several wives because Abraham had, and so had Jacob, and that the Lord's brethren were the issue of those wives, an invention which some hold with a rashness which springs from audacity not from piety. You say that Mary did not continue a virgin: I claim still more, that Joseph himself on account of Mary was a virgin, so that from a virgin wedlock a virgin son was born. For if as a holy man he does not come under the imputation of fornication, and it is nowhere written that he had another wife, but was the guardian of Mary whom he was supposed to have to wife rather than her husband, the conclusion is that he who was thought worthy to be called father of the Lord, remained a virgin." Jerome, The Perpetual Virginity of Mary Against Helvedius, 21 (A.D. 383).

"Imitate her, holy mothers, who in her only dearly beloved Son set forth so great an example of maternal virtue; for neither have you sweeter children, nor did the Virgin seek the consolation of being able to bear another son." Ambrose, To the Christian at Vercellae, Letter 63:111 (A.D. 396).

"Her virginity also itself was on this account more pleasing and accepted, in that it was not that Christ being conceived in her, rescued it beforehand from a husband who would violate it, Himself to preserve it; but, before He was conceived, chose it, already dedicated to God, as that from which to be born. This is shown by the words which Mary spake in answer to the Angel announcing to her conception; How,' saith she, shall this be, seeing I know not a man?' Which assuredly she would not say, unless she had before vowed herself unto God as a virgin. But, because the habits of the Israelites as yet refused this, she was espoused to a just man, who would not take from her by violence, but rather guard against violent persons, what she had already vowed. Although, even if she had said this only, How shall this take place ?' and had not added, seeing I know not a man,' certainly she would not have asked, how, being a female, she should give birth to her promised Son, if she had married with purpose of sexual intercourse. She might have been bidden also to continue a virgin, that in her by fitting miracle the Son of God should receive the form of a servant, but, being to be a pattern to holy virgins, lest it should be thought that she alone needed to be a virgin, who had obtained to conceive a child even without sexual intercourse, she dedicated her virginity to God, when as yet she knew not what she should conceive, in order that the imitation of a heavenly life in an earthly and mortal body should take place of vow, not of command; through love of choosing, not through necessity of doing service. Thus Christ by being born of a virgin, who, before she knew Who was to be born of her, had determined to continue a virgin, chose rather to approve, than to command, holy virginity. And thus, even in the female herself, in whom He took the form of a servant, He willed that virginity should be free." Augustine, Of Holy Virginity, 4 (A.D. 401).

"Where are they who think that the Virgin's conception and giving birth to her child are to be likened to those of other woman? For, this latter case is one of the earth, and the Virgin's is one from heaven. The one case is a case of divine power; the other of human weakness. The one case occurs in a body subject to passion; the other in the tranquility of the divine Spirit and peace of the human body. The blood was still, and the flesh astonished; her members were put at rest, and her entire womb was quiescent during the visit of the Holy One, until the Author of flesh could take on His garment of flesh, and until He, who was not merely to restore the earth to man but also to give him heaven, could become a heavenly Man. The virgin conceives, the Virgin brings forth her child, and she remains a virgin." Peter Chrysoslogus, Sermon 117, (A.D. 432).

"And by a new nativity He was begotten, conceived by a Virgin, born of a Virgin, without paternal desire, without injury to the mother's chastity: because such a birth as knew no taint of human flesh, became One who was to be the Saviour of men, while it possessed in itself the nature of human substance. For when God was born in the flesh, God Himself was the Father, as the archangel witnessed to the Blessed Virgin Mary: because the Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the most High shall overshadow thee: and therefore, that which shall be born of thee shall be called holy, the Son of God.' The origin is different but the nature like: not by intercourse with man but by the power of God was it brought about: for a Virgin conceived, a Virgin bare, and a Virgin she remained." Pope Leo the Great (regn. A.D. 440-461), On the Feast of the Nativity, Sermon 22:2 (ante A.D. 461).

"The ever-virgin One thus remains even after the birth still virgin, having never at any time up till death consorted with a man. For although it is written, And knew her not till she had brought forth her first-born Son, yet note that he who is first-begotten is first-born even if he is only-begotten. For the word first-born' means that he was born first but does not at all suggest the birth of others. And the word till' signifies the limit of the appointed time but does not exclude the time thereafter. For the Lord says, And lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world, not meaning thereby that He will be separated from us after the completion of the age. The divine apostle, indeed, says, And so shall we ever be with the Lord, meaning after the general resurrection." John of Damascus, Orthodox Faith, 4:14 (A.D. 743).

Anonymous said...

IV. Mary’s Assumption into Heaven
“If the Holy Virgin had died and was buried, her falling asleep would have been surrounded with honour, death would have found her pure, and her crown would have been a virginal one...Had she been martyred according to what is written: 'Thine own soul a sword shall pierce', then she would shine gloriously among the martyrs, and her holy body would have been declared blessed; for by her, did light come to the world."
Epiphanius, Panarion, 78:23 (A.D. 377).

"[T]he Apostles took up her body on a bier and placed it in a tomb; and they guarded it, expecting the Lord to come. And behold, again the Lord stood by them; and the holy body having been received, He commanded that it be taken in a cloud into paradise: where now, rejoined to the soul, [Mary] rejoices with the Lord's chosen ones..." Gregory of Tours, Eight Books of Miracles, 1:4 (inter A.D. 575-593).

"As the most glorious Mother of Christ, our Savior and God and the giver of life and immortality, has been endowed with life by him, she has received an eternal incorruptibility of the body together with him who has raised her up from the tomb and has taken her up to himself in a way known only to him." Modestus of Jerusalem, Encomium in dormitionnem Sanctissimae Dominae nostrae Deiparae semperque Virginis Mariae (PG 86-II,3306),(ante A.D. 634).

"It was fitting ...that the most holy-body of Mary, God-bearing body, receptacle of God, divinised, incorruptible, illuminated by divine grace and full glory ...should be entrusted to the earth for a little while and raised up to heaven in glory, with her soul pleasing to God." Theoteknos of Livias, Homily on the Assumption (ante A.D. 650).

"You are she who, as it is written, appears in beauty, and your virginal body is all holy, all chaste, entirely the dwelling place of God, so that it is henceforth completely exempt from dissolution into dust. Though still human, it is changed into the heavenly life of incorruptibility, truly living and glorious, undamaged and sharing in perfect life." Germanus of Constantinople, Sermon I (PG 98,346), (ante A.D. 733).

"St. Juvenal, Bishop of Jerusalem, at the Council of Chalcedon (451), made known to the Emperor Marcian and Pulcheria, who wished to possess the body of the Mother of God, that Mary died in the presence of all the Apostles, but that her tomb, when opened upon the request of St. Thomas, was found empty; wherefrom the Apostles concluded that the body was taken up to heaven." John of Damascene, PG (96:1) (A.D. 747-751).

"It was fitting that the she, who had kept her virginity intact in childbirth, should keep her own body free from all corruption even after death. It was fitting that she, who had carried the Creator as a child at her breast, should dwell in the divine tabernacles. It was fitting that the spouse, whom the Father had taken to himself, should live in the divine mansions. It was fitting that she, who had seen her Son upon the cross and who had thereby received into her heart the sword of sorrow which she had escaped when giving birth to him, should look upon him as he sits with the Father, It was fitting that God's Mother should possess what belongs to her Son, and that she should be honored by every creature as the Mother and as the handmaid of God." John of Damascene, Dormition of Mary (PG 96,741), (ante A.D. 749).

"Venerable to us, O Lord, is the festivity of this day on which the holy Mother of God suffered temporal death, but still could not be kept down by the bonds of death, who has begotten Thy Son our Lord incarnate from herself." Gregorian Sacramentary, Veneranda (ante A.D. 795).

"[A]n effable mystery all the more worthy of praise as the Virgin's Assumption is something unique among men." Gallican Sacramentary, from Munificentis simus Deus (8th Century).

"God, the King of the universe, has granted you favors that surpass nature. As he kept you virgin in childbirth, thus he kept your body incorrupt in the tomb and has glorified it by his divine act of transferring it from the tomb." Byzantine Liturgy, from Munificentis simus Deus (8th Century).

"[T]he virgin is up to now immortal, as He who lived, translated her into the place of reception." Timotheus of Jerusalem (8th Century).

Anonymous said...

V. Mary is the New Eve and Most Blessed Among Women
“There is one Physician who is possessed both of flesh and spirit; both made and not made; God existing in flesh; true life in death; both of Mary and of God; first possible and then impossible, even Jesus Christ our Lord." Ignatius, To the Ephesians, 7 (c. A.D. 110).

"[T]hey blessed her, saying: O God of our fathers, bless this child, and give her an everlasting name to be named in all generations. And all the people said: So be it, so be it, amen. And he brought her to the chief priests; and they blessed her, saying: O God most high, look upon this child, and bless her with the utmost blessing, which shall be for ever." Protoevangelium of John, 6:2 (A.D. 150).

"He became man by the Virgin, in order that the disobedience which proceeded from the serpent might receive its destruction in the same manner in which it derived its origin. For Eve, who was a virgin and undefiled, having conceived the word of the serpent, brought forth disobedience and death. But the Virgin Mary received faith and joy, when the angel Gabriel announced the good tidings to her that the Spirit of the Lord would come upon her, and the power of the Highest would overshadow her: wherefore also the Holy Thing begotten of her is the Son of God; and she replied, 'Be it unto me according to thy word.' And by her has He been born, to whom we have proved so many Scriptures refer, and by whom God destroys both the serpent and those angels and men who are like him; but works deliverance from death to those who repent of their wickedness and believe upon Him." Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho, 100 (A.D. 155).

"[H]e was born of Mary the fair ewe." Melito de Sardo, Easter Homily (c. A.D. 177).

"In accordance with this design, Mary the Virgin is found obedient, saying, 'Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.' But Eve was disobedient; for she did not obey when as yet she was a virgin. And even as she, having indeed a husband, Adam, but being nevertheless as yet a virgin (for in Paradise 'they were both naked, and were not ashamed,' inasmuch as they, having been created a short time previously, had no understanding of the procreation of children: for it was necessary that they should first come to adult age, and then multiply from that time onward), having become disobedient, was made the cause of death, both to herself and to the entire human race; so also did Mary, having a man betrothed [to her], and being nevertheless a virgin, by yielding obedience, become the cause of salvation, both to herself and the whole human race. And on this account does the law term a woman betrothed to a man, the wife of him who had betrothed her, although she was as yet a virgin; thus indicating the back-reference from Mary to Eve, because what is joined together could not otherwise be put asunder than by inversion of the process by which these bonds of union had arisen; s so that the former ties be cancelled by the latter, that the latter may set the former again at liberty… Wherefore also Luke, commencing the genealogy with the Lord, carried it back to Adam, indicating that it was He who regenerated them into the Gospel of life, and not they Him. And thus also it was that the knot of Eve's disobedience was loosed by the obedience of Mary. For what the virgin Eve had bound fast through unbelief, this did the virgin Mary set free through faith." Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 3:22 (A.D. 180).

"For whereas the Word of God was without flesh, He took upon Himself the holy flesh by the holy Virgin, and prepared a robe which He wove for Himself, like a bridegroom, in the sufferings of the cross, in order that by uniting His own power with our moral body, and by mixing the incorruptible with the corruptible, and the strong with the weak, He might save perishing man." Hippolytus, Treatise on Christ and antiChrist, 4 (A.D. 200).

"But the Lord Christ, the fruit of the Virgin, did not pronounce the breasts of women blessed, nor selected them to give nourishment; but when the kind and loving Father had rained down the Word, Himself became spiritual nourishment to the good. O mystic marvel! The universal Father is one, and one the universal Word; and the Holy Spirit is one and the same everywhere, and one is the only virgin mother. I love to call her the Church. This mother, when alone, had not milk, because alone she was not a woman. But she is once virgin and mother--pure as a virgin, loving as a mother. And calling her children to her, she nurses them with holy milk, viz., with the Word for childhood. Therefore she had not milk; for the milk was this child fair and comely, the body of Christ, which nourishes by the Word the young brood, which the Lord Himself brought forth in throes of the flesh, which the Lord Himself swathed in His precious blood." Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor, I:6 (A.D.202).

"Accordingly, a virgin did conceive and bear 'Emmanuel, God with us.' This is the new nativity; a man is born in God. And in this man God was born, taking the flesh of an ancient race, without the help, however, of the ancient seed, in order that He might reform it with a new seed, that is, in a spiritual manner, and cleanse it by the re-moral of all its ancient stains. But the whole of this new birth was prefigured, as was the case in all other instances, in ancient type, the Lord being born as man by a dispensation in which a virgin was the medium. The earth was still in a virgin state, reduced as yet by no human labour, with no seed as yet cast into its furrows, when, as we are told, God made man out of it into a living soul…For it was while Eve was yet a virgin, that the ensnaring word had crept into her ear which was to build the edifice of death. Into a virgin's soul, in like manner, must be introduced that Word of God which was to raise the fabric of life; so that what had been reduced to ruin by this sex, might by the selfsame sex be recovered to salvation. As Eve had believed the serpent, so Mary believed the angel. The delinquency which the one occasioned by believing, the other by believing effaced. But (it will be said) Eve did not at the devil's word conceive in her womb. Well, she at all events conceived; for the devil's word afterwards became as seed to her that she should conceive as an outcast, and bring forth in sorrow. Indeed she gave birth to a fratricidal devil; whilst Mary, on the contrary, bare one who was one day to secure salvation to Israel, His own brother after the flesh, and the murderer of Himself. God therefore sent down into the virgin's womb His Word, as the good Brother, who should blot out the memory of the evil brother. Hence it was necessary that Christ should come forth for the salvation of man, in that condition of flesh into which man had entered ever since his condemnation." Tertullian, Flesh of Christ, 17 (A.D. 212).

"And I think it in harmony with reason that Jesus was the first-fruit among men of the purity which consists in chastity, and Mary among women; for it were not pious to ascribe to any other than to her the first-fruit of virginity." Origen, Commentary on Matthew, 10:17 (A.D. 244).

"Many, my beloved, are the true testimonies concerning Christ. The Father bears witness from heaven of His Son: the Holy Ghost bears witness, descending bodily in likeness of a dove: the Archangel Gabriel bears witness, bringing good tidings to Mary: the Virgin Mother of God [Theotokos] bears witness: the blessed place of the manger bears witness" Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures, 10:19 (A.D. 350).

"In what remains we have the appointment of the Father's will. The Virgin, the birth, the Body, then the Cross, the death, the visit to the lower world; these things are our salvation. For the sake of mankind the Son of God was born of tile Virgin and of the Holy Ghost. In this process He ministered to Himself; by His own power--the power of God--which overshadowed her He sowed the beginning of His Body, and entered on the first stage of His life in the flesh. He did it that by His Incarnation He might take to Himself from the Virgin the fleshly nature, and that through this commingling there might come into being a hallowed Body of all humanity; that so through that Body which He was pleased to assume all mankind might be hid in Him, and He in return, through His unseen existence, be reproduced in all. Thus the invisible Image of God scorned not the shame which marks the beginnings of human life. He passed through every stage; through conception, birth, wailing, cradle and each successive humiliation. What worthy return can we make for so great a condescension? The One Only-begotten God, ineffably born of God, entered the Virgin's womb and grew and took the frame of poor humanity. He Who upholds the universe, within Whom and through Whom are all things, was brought forth by common childbirth; He at Whose voice Archangels and Angels tremble, and heaven and earth and all the elements of this world are melted, was heard in childish wailing. The Invisible and Incomprehensible, Whom sight and feeling and touch cannot gauge, was wrapped in a cradle.” Hilary of Poitiers, On the Trinity, 2:24-25 (A.D. 355).

"And as the grace of the Triad is one, so also the Triad is indivisible. We can see this in regard to Saint Mary herself. The archangel Gabriel when sent to announce the coming of the Word upon her said, 'The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee', knowing that the Spirit was in the Word. Wherefore he added: 'and the Power of the Highest shall overshadow thee.'" Athanasius, To Serapion of Thmuis, III:6 (A.D. 360).

"And when he had taken her, 'he knew her not, till she had brought forth her first-born Son.' He hath here used the word 'till,' not that thou shouldest suspect that afterwards he did know her, but to inform thee that before the birth the Virgin was wholly untouched by man." John Chrysostom, Homily on Matthew, 5:5 (A.D. 370).

"It was, to divulge by the manner of His Incarnation this great secret; that purity is the only complete indication of the presence of God and of His coming, and that no one can in reality secure this for himself, unless he has altogether estranged himself from the passions of the flesh. What happened in the stainless Mary when the fullness of the Godhead which was in Christ shone out through her, that happens in every soul that leads by rule the virgin life." Gregory of Nyssa, On Virginity, 2 (A.D. 371).

"Thou alone and thy Mother are in all things fair; for there is no flaw in thee and no stain in thy Mother. Of these two fair ones, to whom are my children similar?" Ephraem, Nisbene Hymns, 27:8 (ante A.D. 373).

"Whoever honors the Lord also honors the holy [vessel]; who instead dishonors the holy vessel also dishonors his Master. Mary herself is that holy Virgin, that is, the holy vessel" Epiphanius, Panarion, 78:21 (A.D. 377).

"And if the God-bearing flesh was not ordained to be assumed of the lump of Adam, what need was there of the Holy Virgin?" Basil, To the Sozopolitans, Epistle 261 (A.D. 377).

"The first thing which kindles ardour in learning is the greatness of the teacher. What is greater than the Mother of God? What more glorious than she whom Glory Itself chose? What more chaste than she who bore a body without contact with another body? For why should I speak of her other virtues? She was a virgin not only in body but also in mind, who stained the sincerity of its disposition by no guile, who was humble in heart, grave in speech, prudent in mind, sparing of words, studious in reading, resting her hope not on uncertain riches, but on the prayer of the poor, intent on work, modest in discourse; wont to seek not man but God as the judge of her thoughts, to injure no one, to have goodwill towards all, to rise up before her elders, not to envy her equals, to avoid boastfulness, to follow reason, to love virtue." Ambrose, On Virginity, 2:15 (A.D. 377).

"Recalling these and other circumstances and imploring the Virgin Mary to bring assistance, since she, too, was a virgin and had been in danger, she entrusted herself to the remedy of fasting and sleeping on the ground." Gregory of Nazianzen, Oration 24:11 (A.D. 379).

"If anyone does not believe that Holy Mary is the Mother of God, he is severed from the Godhead. If anyone should assert that He passed through the Virgin as through a channel, and was not at once divinely and humanly formed in her (divinely, because without the intervention of a man; humanly, because in accordance with the laws of gestation), he is in like manner godless." Gregory of Nazianzen, To Cledonius, Epistle 101 (A.D. 382).

" 'There shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a flower shall grow out of his roots.' The rod is the mother of the Lord--simple, pure, unsullied; drawing no germ of life from without but fruitful in singleness like God Himself...Set before you the blessed Mary, whose surpassing purity made her meet to be the mother of the Lord." Jerome, To Eustochium, Epistle 22:19,38 (A.D. 384).

"We must except the holy Virgin Mary, concerning whom I wish to raise no question when it touches the subject of sins, out of honour to the Lord; for from Him we know what abundance of grace for overcoming sin in every particular was conferred upon her who had the merit to conceive and bear Him who undoubtedly had no sin." Augustine, Nature and Grace, 36:42 (A.D. 415).

"Hail, Mary, you are the most precious creature in the whole world; hail, Mary, uncorrupt dove; hail, Mary, inextinguishable lamp; for from you was born the Sun of justice...through you, every faithful soul achieves salvation.” Cyril of Alexandria, Homily 11 at Ephesus (A.D. 431).

"If anyone will not confess that the Emmanuel is very God, and that therefore the Holy Virgin is the Mother of God (theotokos), inasmuch as in the flesh she bore the Word of God made flesh [as it is written, 'The Word was made flesh' let him be anathema." Council of Ephesus [Cyril's Epistle 17], Anathema I (A.D. 431).

"A Virgin conceived, a Virgin bore, and a Virgin she remains." Peter Chyrsologus, Sermon 117 (post A.D. 432).

"And by a new nativity He was begotten, conceived by a Virgin, born of a Virgin, without paternal desire, without injury to the mother's chastity: because such a birth as knew no taint of human flesh, became One who was to be the Saviour of men, while it possessed in itself the nature of human substance. For when God was born in the flesh, God Himself was the Father, as the archangel witnessed to the Blessed Virgin Mary: 'because the Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the most High shall overshadow thee: and therefore, that which shall be born of thee shall be called holy, the Son of God.' The origin is different but the nature like: not by intercourse with man but by the power of God was it brought about: for a Virgin conceived, a Virgin bare, and a Virgin she remained…For the uncorrupt nature of Him that was born had to guard the primal virginity of the Mother, and the infused power of the Divine Spirit had to preserve in spotlessness and holiness that sanctuary which He had chosen for Himself: that Spirit (I say) who had determined to raise the fallen, to restore the broken, and by overcoming the allurements of the flesh to bestow on us in abundant measure the power of chastity: in order that the virginity which in others cannot be retained in child-bearing, might be attained by them at their second birth." Pope Leo the Great [regn. A.D. 440-461], in Sermon 22:2 (ante A.D. 461).

Anonymous said...

VI. Mary is our Powerful Intercessor
"For as Eve was seduced by the word of an angel to flee from God, having rebelled against His Word, so Mary by the word of an angel received the glad tidings that she would bear God by obeying his Word. The former was seduced to disobey God, but the latter was persuaded to obey God, so that the Virgin Mary might become the advocate of the virgin Eve. As the human race was subjected to death through [the act of] a virgin, so it was saved by a virgin." Irenaeus, Against Heresies, V:19,1 (A.D. 180).

"Under your mercy we take refuge, O Mother of God. Do not reject our supplications in necessity, but deliver us from danger,[O you] alone pure and alone blessed." Sub Tuum Praesidium, From Rylands Papyrus, Egypt (3rd century).

"Let, then, the life of Mary be as it were virginity itself, set forth in a likeness, from which, as from a mirror, the appearance of chastity and the form of virtue is reflected.... Nor would I hesitate to admit you to the altars of God, whose souls I would without hesitation call altars, on which Christ is daily offered for the redemption of the body. For if the virgin's body be a temple of God, what is her soul, which, the ashes, as it were, of the body being shaken off, once more uncovered by the hand of the Eternal Priest, exhales the vapor of the divine fire. Blessed virgins, who emit a fragrance through divine grace as gardens do through flowers, temples through religion, altars through the priest." Ambrose, On Virginity II:6,18 (A.D. 378).

"Recalling these and other circumstances and imploring the Virgin Mary to bring assistance, since she, too, was a virgin and had been in danger, she entrusted herself to the remedy of fasting and sleeping on the ground." Gregory of Nazianzen, Oration 24:11 (A.D. 379).

"For it is said that he [Gregory the Wonderworker] heard the one who had appeared in womanly form exhorting John the Evangelist to explain to the young man the mystery of the true faith. John, in his turn, declared that he was completely willing to please the Mother of the Lord even in this matter and this was the one thing closest to his heart. And so the discussion coming to a close, and after they had made it quite clear and precise for him, the two disappeared from his sight." Gregory of Nyssa, On Gregory the WonderWorker (A.D. 380).

"Mary, the holy Virgin, is truly great before God and men. For how shall we not proclaim her great, who held within her the uncontainable One, whom neither heaven nor earth can contain?" Epiphanius, Panarion, 30:31 (ante A.D. 403).

"Give milk, Mother to him who is our food, give milk to the bread coming down from heaven ...give milk to him who made you such that he could be made fruitfulness in conception and in birth, did not take from you the ornament of virginity." Augustine, Sermon 369:1 (A.D. 430).

"Hail to thee Mary, Mother of God, to whom in towns and villages and in island were founded churches of true believers." Cyril of Alexandria, Homily 11 (ante A.D. 444).

"Hail, our desirable gladness; Hail, O rejoicing of the Churches; Hail, O name that breathes out sweetness; Hail, face that radiates divinity and grace; Hail, most venerable memory…" Theodotus of Ancrya, Homily 4:3 (ante A.D. 446).

"The Virgin's festival (parthenike panegyris) incites our tongue today to herald her praise ...handmaid and Mother, Virgin and heaven, the only bridge of God to men, the awful loom of the Incarnation, in which by some unspeakable way the garment of that union was woven, whereof the weaver is the Holy Ghost; and the spinner the overshadowing from on high; the wool the ancient fleece of Adam; the woof the undefiled flesh from the virgin, the weaver's shuttle the immense grace of Him who brought it about; the artificer the Word gliding through the hearing." Proclus of Constantinople, Homily 1 (ante A.D. 446).

"The Virgin received Salvation so that she may give it back to the centuries." Peter Chrysologus, Sermon 140 (ante A.D. 450).

"O Virgin all holy, he who has said of you all that is honorable and glorious has not sinned against the truth, but remains unequal to your merit. Look down upon us from above and be propitious to us. Lead us in peace and having brought us without shame to the throne of judgment, grant us a place at the right hand of your Son, that we may borne off to heaven and sing with angels to the uncreated, consubstantial Trinity. " Basil of Seleucia, PG 85:452 (ante A.D. 459).

"Cease your laments; I will make myself your advocate in my Son's presence. Meanwhile, no more sadness, because I have brought joy to the world. For it is to destroy the kingdom of sorrow that I have come into the world: I full of grace ... Then curb your tears; accept me as your mediatrix in the presence of him who was born from me, because the author of joy is the God generated before all ages. Remain calm; be troubled no longer: I come from him, full of grace." Romanos the Singer, On Christmas 2,10-11 (ante A.D. 560).

"Raised to heaven, she remains for the human race an unconquerable rampart, interceding for us before her Son and God." Theoteknos of Livias, Assumption 291(ante A.D. 560).

"Hail Mary full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, because thou didst conceive Christ, the Son of God, the Redeemer of our souls." Coptic Ostraca (A.D. 600).

"Mary the Ever-Virgin -- radiant with divine light and full of grace, mediatrix first through her supernatural birth and now because of the intercession of her maternal assistance -- be crowned with never ending blessings ...seeking balance and fittingness in all things, we should make our way honestly, as sons of light." Germanus of Constantinople, Homily on the Liberation of Constantinople, 23 (ante A.D. 733).

"O, how marvelous it is! She acts as a mediatrix between the loftiness of God and the lowliness of the flesh, and becomes Mother of the Creator." Andrew of Crete, Homily 1 on Mary's Nativity (ante A.D. 740).

"She is all beautiful, all near to God. For she, surpassing the cherubim. Exalted beyond the seraphim, is placed near to God." John of Damascene, Homily on the Nativity, 9 (ante A.D. 749).

"We today also remain near you, O Lady. Yes, I repeat, O Lady, Mother of God and Virgin. We bind our souls to your hope, as to a most firm and totally unbreakable anchor, consecrating to you mind, soul, body, and all our being and honoring you, as much as we can, with psalms, hymns, and spiritual canticles." John of Damascene, Homily 1 on the Dormition, 14 (ante A.D. 749).

"Let us entrust ourselves with all our soul's affection to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin: let us all, with all our strength, beg her patronage, that, at the moment when on earth we surround her with our suppliant homage, she herself may deign in heaven to commend us with fervent prayer. For without any doubt she who merited to bring ransom for those who needed deliverance, can more than all the saints benefit by her favor those who have received deliverance." Ambrose Autpert, Assumption of the Virgin, (ante A.D. 778).

"Let us approach with confident spirit the throne of the high Priest, where he is our victim, priest, advocate and judge." Radbert Paschasius, On the Assumption (ante A.D. 786).

"For she who brought forth the source of mercy, Jesus Christ, our God and Lord, receiving from him all things, will and through him, grant the wishes of all." Paul the Deacon, (ante A.D. 799).

"You scatter your favors with still greater abundance since you possess more fully him who is their source and who is entirely willing to give them to us, rather you possess almost everything by yourself and you show largesse to whom you will and to him who begs it of you." John the Geometer, Life of Mary (A.D. 989).

"May we deserve to have the help of your intercession in heaven, because as the Son of God has deigned to descend to us through you, so we also must come to him with you." Peter Damian, (ante A.D. 1072).

"The Mother of God is our mother. May the good mother ask and beg for us, may she request and obtain what is good for us." Anselm, Oration 7(ante A.D. 1109).

"O whoever you may be who feel yourself on the tide of this world drifting in storms and tempests rather than treading firm ground, turn not your eyes from the effulgence of this star, unless you wish to be submerged ... if she holds you, you do not fall, if she protects you, you have no fear; with her to lead you, you tire not; with her favour, you will reach your goal, conscious thus within yourself how rightly the word was spoken: 'And the Virgin's name was Mary.'" Bernard, Homily 2:17, Respice stellam (ante A.D. 1153).

caspar said...

First things first: the Catechism is usually quite good about citing the scriptures that refer to points of Catholic teaching. If you'd like to see them, I'd suggest you follow the footnotes.

Secondly, the issues with Mary have been answered by many different Catholics in many different forums. I'd suggest the Catholic Answers Library for some quality responses quickly (http://catholic.com/library/mary_saints.asp)

Finally, I'd suggest you start discussing the Catholic Church with some well informed Catholics. It is great that you've taken the time to cite your claims, but I think some discussion with well read and faithful Catholics would assist you in refining your technique.

Anonymous said...

"For it is the liturgy through which, especially in the divine sacrifice of the Eucharist, 'the work of our redemption is accomplished'" (Vatican Council II, p. 1).

John, Chapter 6:
48 I am the bread of life.
49 Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died;
50 this is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world."
52 The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, "How can this man give us (his) flesh to eat?"
53 Jesus said to them, "Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. 54 Whoever eats 19 my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. 55 For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. 56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. 57 Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever."

We Catholics take the Bible literally.

Anonymous said...

This is in direct violation of Isa. 53.4-6.

I'm not sure how you can say this since Christ constantly presents himself to the Father in a perpetual sacrifice. Look at Rev. Chapter 5. The Lamb of God is constantly presented as a sacrifice to the Father. The mass is a participation in this eternal sacrifice. In the mass, after the people say the Agnus Dei (Lamb of God), the priest holds up the host and proclaims: "This is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world".

It was prophesized in Micah 1:11 -- the perfect sacrifice offered from east to west (words used again in the mass) refer to the mass, the eternal sacrifice, of the Catholic Church.

Anonymous said...

"This is Hellish. To compare something man-made and man-centered to the Word of God is Hellish."

The Catholic Church is the body of Christ, with Christ as its founder and head. Your church was started by a man.

Anonymous said...

Scripture and the Eucharist

I. Old Testament

(a). Foreshadowing of the Eucharistic Sacrifice
Gen. 14:18 - this is the first time that the word "priest" is used in Old Testament. Melchizedek is both a priest and a king and he offers a bread and wine sacrifice to God.

Psalm 76:2 - Melchizedek is the king of Salem. Salem is the future Jeru-salem where Jesus, the eternal priest and king, established his new Kingdom and the Eucharistic sacrifice which He offered under the appearance of bread and wine.

Psalm 110:4 - this is the prophecy that Jesus will be the eternal priest and king in the same manner as this mysterious priest Melchizedek. This prophecy requires us to look for an eternal bread and wine sacrifice in the future. This prophecy is fulfilled only by the Eucharistic sacrifice of the Catholic Church.

Malachi 1:11 - this is a prophecy of a pure offering that will be offered in every place from the rising of the sun to its setting. Thus, there will be only one sacrifice, but it will be offered in many places around the world. This prophecy is fulfilled only by the Catholic Church in the Masses around the world, where the sacrifice of Christ which transcends time and space is offered for our salvation. If this prophecy is not fulfilled by the Catholic Church, then Malachi is a false prophet.

Exodus 12:14,17,24; cf. 24:8 - we see that the feast of the paschal lamb is a perpetual ordinance. It lasts forever. But it had not yet been fulfilled.

Exodus 29:38-39 – God commands the Israelites to “offer” (poieseis) the lambs upon the altar. The word “offer” is the same verb Jesus would use to institute the Eucharistic offering of Himself.

Lev. 19:22 – the priests of the old covenant would make atonement for sins with the guilt offering of an animal which had to be consumed. Jesus, the High Priest of the New Covenant, has atoned for our sins by His one sacrifice, and He also must be consumed.

Jer. 33:18 - God promises that His earthly kingdom will consist of a sacrificial priesthood forever. This promise has been fulfilled by the priests of the Catholic Church, who sacramentally offer the sacrifice of Christ from the rising of the sun to its setting in every Mass around the world.

Zech. 9:15-16 - this is a prophecy that the sons of Zion, which is the site of the establishment of the Eucharistic sacrifice, shall drink blood like wine and be saved. This prophecy is fulfilled only by the priests of the Catholic Church.

2 Chron. 26:18 - only validly consecrated priests will be able to offer the sacrifice to God. The Catholic priests of the New Covenant trace their sacrificial priesthood to Christ.




(b). Foreshadowing of the Requirement to Consume the Sacrifice
Gen. 22:9-13 - God saved Abraham's first-born son on Mount Moriah with a substitute sacrifice which had to be consumed. This foreshadowed the real sacrifice of Israel's true first-born son (Jesus) who must be consumed.

Exodus 12:5 - the paschal lamb that was sacrificed and eaten had to be without blemish. Luke 23:4,14; John 18:38 - Jesus is the true paschal Lamb without blemish.

Exodus 12:7,22-23 - the blood of the lamb had to be sprinkled on the two door posts. This paschal sacrifice foreshadows the true Lamb of sacrifice and the two posts of His cross on which His blood was sprinkled.

Exodus 12:8,11 - the paschal lamb had to be eaten by the faithful in order for God to "pass over" the house and spare their first-born sons. Jesus, the true paschal Lamb, must also be eaten by the faithful in order for God to forgive their sins.

Exodus 12:43-45; Ezek. 44:9 - no one outside the "family of God" shall eat the lamb. Non-Catholics should not partake of the Eucharist until they are in full communion with the Church.

Exodus 12:49 - no uncircumcised person shall eat of the lamb. Baptism is the new circumcision for Catholics, and thus one must be baptized in order to partake of the Lamb.

Exodus 12:47; Num. 9:12 - the paschal lamb's bones could not be broken. John 19:33 - none of Jesus' bones were broken.

Exodus 16:4-36; Neh 9:15 - God gave His people bread from heaven to sustain them on their journey to the promised land. This foreshadows the true bread from heaven which God gives to us at Mass to sustain us on our journey to heaven.

Exodus 24:9-11 - the Mosaic covenant was consummated with a meal in the presence of God. The New and eternal Covenant is consummated with the Eucharistic meal - the body and blood of Jesus Christ under the appearance of bread and wine.

Exodus 29:33 – God commands that they shall eat those things with which atonement was made. Jesus is the true Lamb of atonement and must now be eaten.

Lev. 7:15 - the Aaronic sacrifices absolutely had to be eaten in order to restore communion with God. These sacrifices all foreshadow the one eternal sacrifice which must also be eaten to restore communion with God. This is the Eucharist (from the Greek word "eukaristia" which means "thanksgiving").

Lev. 17:11,14 - in the Old Testament, we see that the life of the flesh is the blood which could never be drunk. In the New Testament, Jesus Christ's blood is the source of new life, and now must be drunk.

Gen. 9:4-5; Deut.12:16,23-24 - in these verses we see other prohibitions on drinking blood, yet Jesus commands us to drink His blood because it is the true source of life.

2 Kings 4:43 - this passage foreshadows the multiplication of the loaves and the true bread from heaven which is Jesus Christ.

2 Chron. 30:15-17; 35:1,6,11,13; Ezra 6:20-21; Ezek. 6:20-21- the lamb was killed, roasted and eaten to atone for sin and restore communion with God. This foreshadows the true Lamb of God who was sacrificed for our sin and who must now be consumed for our salvation.

Neh. 9:15 – God gave the Israelites bread from heaven for their hunger, which foreshadows the true heavenly bread who is Jesus.

Psalm 78:24-25; 105:40 - the raining of manna and the bread from angels foreshadows the true bread from heaven, Jesus Christ.

Isaiah 53:7 - this verse foreshadows the true Lamb of God who was slain for our sins and who must be consumed.

Wis. 16:20 - this foreshadows the true bread from heaven which will be suited to every taste. All will be welcome to partake of this heavenly bread, which is Jesus Christ.

Sir. 24:21 - God says those who eat Him will hunger for more, and those who drink Him will thirst for more.

Ezek. 2:8-10; 3:1-3 - God orders Ezekiel to open his mouth and eat the scroll which is the Word of God. This foreshadows the true Word of God, Jesus Christ, who must be consumed.

Zech. 12:10 - this foreshadows the true first-born Son who was pierced for the sins of the inhabitants of the new Jerusalem.

Zech. 13:1 - on the day of piercing, a fountain (of blood and water) will cleanse the sins of those in the new House of David.







II. New Testament

(a). Jesus Promises His Real Presence in the Eucharist
John 6:4,11-14 - on the eve of the Passover, Jesus performs the miracle of multiplying the loaves. This was prophesied in the Old Testament (e.g., 2 Kings4:43), and foreshadows the infinite heavenly bread which is Him.

Matt. 14:19, 15:36; Mark 6:41, 8:6; Luke 9:16 - these passages are additional accounts of the multiplication miracles. This points to the Eucharist.

Matt. 16:12 - in this verse, Jesus explains His metaphorical use of the term "bread." In John 6, He eliminates any metaphorical possibilities.

John 6:4 - Jesus is in Capernaum on the eve of Passover, and the lambs are gathered to be slaughtered and eaten. Look what He says.

John 6:35,41,48,51 - Jesus says four times "I AM the bread from heaven." It is He, Himself, the eternal bread from heaven.

John 6:27,31,49 - there is a parallel between the manna in the desert which was physically consumed, and this "new" bread which must be consumed.

John 6:51-52- then Jesus says that the bread He is referring to is His flesh. The Jews take Him literally and immediately question such a teaching. How can this man give us His flesh to eat?

John 6:53 - 58 - Jesus does not correct their literal interpretation. Instead, Jesus eliminates any metaphorical interpretations by swearing an oath and being even more literal about eating His flesh. In fact, Jesus says four times we must eat His flesh and drink His blood. Catholics thus believe that Jesus makes present His body and blood in the sacrifice of the Mass. Protestants, if they are not going to become Catholic, can only argue that Jesus was somehow speaking symbolically.

John 6:23-53 - however, a symbolic interpretation is not plausible. Throughout these verses, the Greek text uses the word "phago" nine times. "Phago" literally means "to eat" or "physically consume." Like the Protestants of our day, the disciples take issue with Jesus' literal usage of "eat." So Jesus does what?

John 6:54, 56, 57, 58 - He uses an even more literal verb, translated as "trogo," which means to gnaw or chew or crunch. He increases the literalness and drives his message home. Jesus will literally give us His flesh and blood to eat. The word “trogo” is only used two other times in the New Testament (in Matt. 24:38 and John 13:18) and it always means to literally gnaw or chew meat. While “phago” might also have a spiritual application, "trogo" is never used metaphorically in Greek. So Protestants cannot find one verse in Scripture where "trogo" is used symbolically, and yet this must be their argument if they are going to deny the Catholic understanding of Jesus' words. Moreover, the Jews already knew Jesus was speaking literally even before Jesus used the word “trogo” when they said “How can this man give us His flesh to eat?” (John 6:52).

John 6:55 - to clarify further, Jesus says "For My Flesh is food indeed, and My Blood is drink indeed." This phrase can only be understood as being responsive to those who do not believe that Jesus' flesh is food indeed, and His blood is drink indeed. Further, Jesus uses the word which is translated as "sarx." "Sarx" means flesh (not "soma" which means body). See, for example, John 1:13,14; 3:6; 8:15; 17:2; Matt. 16:17; 19:5; 24:22; 26:41; Mark 10:8; 13:20; 14:38; and Luke 3:6; 24:39 which provides other examples in Scripture where "sarx" means flesh. It is always literal.

John 6:55 - further, the phrases "real" food and "real" drink use the word "alethes." "Alethes" means "really" or "truly," and would only be used if there were doubts concerning the reality of Jesus' flesh and blood as being food and drink. Thus, Jesus is emphasizing the miracle of His body and blood being actual food and drink.

John 6:60 - as are many anti-Catholics today, Jesus' disciples are scandalized by these words. They even ask, "Who can 'listen' to it (much less understand it)?" To the unillumined mind, it seems grotesque.

John 6:61-63 - Jesus acknowledges their disgust. Jesus' use of the phrase "the spirit gives life" means the disciples need supernatural faith, not logic, to understand His words.

John 3:6 - Jesus often used the comparison of "spirit versus flesh" to teach about the necessity of possessing supernatural faith versus a natural understanding. In Mark 14:38 Jesus also uses the "spirit/flesh" comparison. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. We must go beyond the natural to understand the supernatural. In 1 Cor. 2:14,3:3; Rom 8:5; and Gal. 5:17, Paul also uses the "spirit/flesh" comparison to teach that unspiritual people are not receiving the gift of faith. They are still "in the flesh."

John 6:63 - Protestants often argue that Jesus' use of the phrase "the spirit gives life" shows that Jesus was only speaking symbolically. However, Protestants must explain why there is not one place in Scripture where "spirit" means "symbolic." As we have seen, the use of "spirit" relates to supernatural faith. What words are spirit and life? The words that we must eat Jesus' flesh and drink His blood, or we have no life in us.

John 6:66-67 - many disciples leave Jesus, rejecting this literal interpretation that we must eat His flesh and drink His blood. At this point, these disciples really thought Jesus had lost His mind. If they were wrong about the literal interpretation, why wouldn't Jesus, the Great Teacher, have corrected them? Why didn't Jesus say, "Hey, come back here, I was only speaking symbolically!"? Because they understood correctly.

Mark 4:34 - Jesus always explained to His disciples the real meanings of His teachings. He never would have let them go away with a false impression, most especially in regard to a question about eternal salvation.

John 6:37 - Jesus says He would not drive those away from Him. They understood Him correctly but would not believe.

John 3:5,11; Matt. 16:11-12 - here are some examples of Jesus correcting wrong impressions of His teaching. In the Eucharistic discourse, Jesus does not correct the scandalized disciples.

John 6:64,70 - Jesus ties the disbelief in the Real Presence of His Body and Blood in the Eucharist to Judas' betrayal. Those who don't believe in this miracle betray Him.

Psalm 27:2; Isa. 9:20; 49:26; Mic. 3:3; 2 Sam. 23:17; Rev. 16:6; 17:6, 16 - to further dispense with the Protestant claim that Jesus was only speaking symbolically, these verses demonstrate that symbolically eating body and blood is always used in a negative context of a physical assault. It always means “destroying an enemy,” not becoming intimately close with him. Thus, if Jesus were speaking symbolically in John 6:51-58, He would be saying to us, "He who reviles or assaults me has eternal life." This, of course, is absurd.

John 10:7 - Protestants point out that Jesus did speak metaphorically about Himself in other places in Scripture. For example, here Jesus says, "I am the door." But in this case, no one asked Jesus if He was literally made of wood. They understood him metaphorically.

John 15:1,5 - here is another example, where Jesus says, "I am the vine." Again, no one asked Jesus if He was literally a vine. In John 6, Jesus' disciples did ask about His literal speech (that this bread was His flesh which must be eaten). He confirmed that His flesh and blood were food and drink indeed. Many disciples understood Him and left Him.

Matt. 26:29; Mark 14:25; Luke 22:18 – Jesus says He will not drink of the “fruit of the vine” until He drinks it new in the kingdom. Some Protestants try to use this verse (because Jesus said “fruit of the vine”) to prove the wine cannot be His blood. But the Greek word for fruit is “genneema” which literally means “that which is generated from the vine.” In John 15:1,5 Jesus says “I am the vine.” So “fruit of the vine” can also mean Jesus’ blood. In 1 Cor. 11:26-27, Paul also used “bread” and “the body of the Lord” interchangeably in the same sentence. Also, see Matt. 3:7;12:34;23:33 for examples were “genneema” means “birth” or “generation.”

Rom. 14:14-18; 1 Cor. 8:1-13; 1 Tim. 4:3 – Protestants often argue that drinking blood and eating certain sacrificed meats were prohibited in the New Testament, so Jesus would have never commanded us to consume His body and blood. But these verses prove them wrong, showing that Paul taught all foods, even meat offered to idols, strangled, or with blood, could be consumed by the Christian if it didn’t bother the brother’s conscience and were consumed with thanksgiving to God.

Matt. 18:2-5 - Jesus says we must become like children, or we will not enter the kingdom of God. We must believe Jesus' words with child-like faith. Because Jesus says this bread is His flesh, we believe by faith, even though it surpasses our understanding.

Luke 1:37 - with God, nothing is impossible. If we can believe in the incredible reality of the Incarnation, we can certainly believe in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. God coming to us in elements He created is an extension of the awesome mystery of the Incarnation.




(b). Jesus Institutes the Eucharist / More Proofs of the Real Presence
Matt. 26:26-28; Mark. 14:22,24; Luke 22;19-20; 1 Cor. 11:24-25 - Jesus says, this IS my body and blood. Jesus does not say, this is a symbol of my body and blood.

Matt. 26:26; Mark. 14:22; Luke 22:19-20 - the Greek phrase is "Touto estin to soma mou." This phraseology means "this is actually" or "this is really" my body and blood.

1 Cor. 11:24 - the same translation is used by Paul - "touto mou estin to soma." The statement is "this is really" my body and blood. Nowhere in Scripture does God ever declare something without making it so.

Matt. 26:26; Mark. 14:22; Luke 22:19 - to deny the 2,000 year-old Catholic understanding of the Eucharist, Protestants must argue that Jesus was really saying "this represents (not is) my body and blood." However, Aramaic, the language that Jesus spoke, had over 30 words for "represent," but Jesus did not use any of them. He used the Aramaic word for "estin" which means "is."

Matt. 26:28; Mark. 14:24; Luke 22:20 - Jesus' use of "poured out" in reference to His blood also emphasizes the reality of its presence.

Exodus 24:8 - Jesus emphasizes the reality of His actual blood being present by using Moses' statement "blood of the covenant."

1 Cor. 10:16 - Paul asks the question, "the cup of blessing and the bread of which we partake, is it not an actual participation in Christ's body and blood?" Is Paul really asking because He, the divinely inspired writer, does not understand? No, of course not. Paul's questions are obviously rhetorical. This IS the actual body and blood. Further, the Greek word "koinonia" describes an actual, not symbolic participation in the body and blood.

1 Cor. 10:18 - in this verse, Paul is saying we are what we eat. We are not partners with a symbol. We are partners of the one actual body.

1 Cor. 11:23 - Paul does not explain what he has actually received directly from Christ, except in the case when he teaches about the Eucharist. Here, Paul emphasizes the importance of the Eucharist by telling us he received directly from Jesus instructions on the Eucharist which is the source and summit of the Christian faith.

1 Cor. 11:27-29 - in these verses, Paul says that eating or drinking in an unworthy manner is the equivalent of profaning (literally, murdering) the body and blood of the Lord. If this is just a symbol, we cannot be guilty of actually profaning (murdering) it. We cannot murder a symbol. Either Paul, the divinely inspired apostle of God, is imposing an unjust penalty, or the Eucharist is the actual body and blood of Christ.

1 Cor. 11:30 - this verse alludes to the consequences of receiving the Eucharist unworthily. Receiving the actual body and blood of Jesus in mortal sin results in actual physical consequences to our bodies.

1 Cor. 11:27-30 - thus, if we partake of the Eucharist unworthily, we are guilty of literally murdering the body of Christ, and risking physical consequences to our bodies. This is overwhelming evidence for the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. These are unjust penalties if the Eucharist is just a symbol.

Acts 2:42 - from the Church's inception, apostolic tradition included celebrating the Eucharist (the "breaking of the bread") to fulfill Jesus' command "do this in remembrance of me."

Acts 20:28 - Paul charges the Church elders to "feed" the Church of the Lord, that is, with the flesh and blood of Christ.

Matt. 6:11; Luke 11:3 - in the Our Father, we ask God to give us this day our daily bread, that is the bread of life, Jesus Christ.

Matt. 12:39 – Jesus says no “sign” will be given except the “sign of the prophet Jonah.” While Protestants focus only on the “sign” of the Eucharist, this verse demonstrates that a sign can be followed by the reality (here, Jesus’ resurrection, which is intimately connected to the Eucharist).

Matt. 19:6 - Jesus says a husband and wife become one flesh which is consummated in the life giving union of the marital act. This union of marital love which reflects Christ's union with the Church is physical, not just spiritual. Thus, when Paul says we are a part of Christ's body (Eph. 1:22-23; 5:23,30-31; Col. 1:18,24), he means that our union with Christ is physical, not just spiritual. But our union with Christ can only be physical if He is actually giving us something physical, that is Himself, which is His body and blood to consume (otherwise it is a mere spiritual union).

Luke 14:15 - blessed is he who eats this bread in the kingdom of God, on earth and in heaven.

Luke 22:19, 1 Cor. 11:24-25 - Jesus commands the apostles to "do this," that is, offer the Eucharistic sacrifice, in remembrance of Him.

Luke 24:26-35 - in the Emmaus road story, Jesus gives a homily on the Scriptures and then follows it with the celebration of the Eucharist. This is the Holy Mass, and the Church has followed this order of the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist for 2,000 years.

Luke 24:30-31,35 - Jesus is known only in the breaking of bread. Luke is emphasizing that we only receive the fullness of Jesus by celebrating the Eucharistic feast of His body and blood, which is only offered in its fullness by the Catholic Church.

John 1:14 - literally, this verse teaches that the Word was made flesh and "pitched His tabernacle" among us. The Eucharist, which is the Incarnate Word of God under the appearance of bread, is stored in the tabernacles of Catholic churches around the world.

John 21:15,17 - Jesus charges Peter to "feed" His sheep, that is, with the Word of God through preaching and the Eucharist.

Acts 9:4-5; 22:8; 26:14-15 – Jesus asks Saul, “Why are you persecuting me?” when Saul was persecuting the Church. Jesus and the Church are one body (Bridegroom and Bride), and we are one with Jesus through His flesh and blood (the Eucharist).

1 Cor. 12:13 - we "drink" of one Spirit in the Eucharist by consuming the blood of Christ eternally offered to the Father.

Heb. 10:25,29 - these verses allude to the reality that failing to meet together to celebrate the Eucharist is mortal sin. It is profaning the body and blood of the Lord.

Heb. 12:22-23 - the Eucharistic liturgy brings about full union with angels in festal gathering, the just spirits, and God Himself, which takes place in the assembly or "ecclesia" (the Church).

Heb. 12:24 - we couldn't come to Jesus' sprinkled blood if it were no longer offered by Jesus to the Father and made present for us.

2 Pet. 1:4 - we partake of His divine nature, most notably through the Eucharist - a sacred family bond where we become one.

Rev. 2:7; 22:14 - we are invited to eat of the tree of life, which is the resurrected flesh of Jesus which, before, hung on the tree.




(c). Jesus' Passion is Connected to the Passover Sacrifice where the Lamb Must Be Eaten
Matt. 26:2; Mark 14:12; Luke 22:7 - Jesus' passion is clearly identified with the Passover sacrifice (where lambs were slain and eaten).

John 1:29,36; Acts 8:32; 1 Peter 1:19 - Jesus is described as the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. The Lamb must be sacrificed and eaten.

Luke 23:4,14; John 18:38; 19:4,6 - under the Old Covenant, the lambs were examined on Nisan 14 to ensure that they had no blemish. The Gospel writers also emphasize that Jesus the Lamb was examined on Nisan 14 and no fault was found in him. He is the true Passover Lamb which must be eaten.

Heb. 9:14 - Jesus offering Himself "without blemish" refers to the unblemished lamb in Exodus 12:5 which had to be consumed.

Matt. 26:29; Mark 14:25 - Jesus is celebrating the Passover seder meal with the apostles which requires them to drink four cups of wine. But Jesus only presents the first three cups. He stops at the Third Cup (called “Cup of Blessing” - that is why Paul in 1 Cor. 10:16 uses the phrase “Cup of Blessing” to refer to the Eucharist – he ties the seder meal to the Eucharistic sacrifice). But Jesus conspicuously tells his apostles that He is omitting the Fourth Cup called the “Cup of Consummation.” The Gospel writers point this critical omission of the seder meal out to us to demonstrate that the Eucharistic sacrifice and the sacrifice on the cross are one and the same sacrifice, and the sacrifice would not be completed until Jesus drank the Fourth Cup on the cross.

Matt. 26:30; Mark 14:26 - they sung the great Hallel, which traditionally followed the Third Cup of the seder meal, but did not drink the Fourth Cup of Consummation. The Passover sacrifice had begun, but was not yet finished. It continued in the Garden of Gethsemane and was consummated on the cross.

Matt. 26:39; Mark 14:36; Luke 22:42; John 18:11 - our Lord acknowledges He has one more cup to drink. This is the Cup of Consummation which he will drink on the cross.

Psalm 116:13 - this passage references this cup of salvation. Jesus will offer this Cup as both Priest and Victim. This is the final cup of the New Testament Passover.

Luke 22:44 - after the Eucharist, Jesus sweats blood in the garden of Gethsemane. This shows that His sacrifice began in the Upper Room and connects the Passion to the seder meal where the lamb must not only be sacrificed, but consumed.

Matt. 27:34; Mark 15:23 - Jesus, in his Passion, refuses to even drink an opiate. The writers point this out to emphasize that the final cup will be drunk on the cross, after the Paschal Lamb's sacrifice is completed.

John 19:23 - this verse describes the "chiton" garment Jesus wore when He offered Himself on the cross. These were worn by the Old Testament priests to offer sacrifices. See Exodus 28:4; Lev. 16:4.

John 19:29; cf. Matt. 27:48; Mark 15:36; - Jesus is provided wine (the Fourth Cup) on a hyssop branch which was used to sprinkle the lambs' blood in Exodus 12:22. This ties Jesus' sacrifice to the Passover lambs which had to be consumed in the seder meal which was ceremonially completed by drinking the Cup of Consummation. Then in John 19:30, Jesus says, “It is consummated.” The sacrifice began in the upper room and was completed on the cross. God’s love for humanity is made manifest.

Matt. 27:45; Mark 15:33; John 19:14 - the Gospel writers confirm Jesus' death at the sixth hour, just when the Passover lambs were sacrificed. Again, this ties Jesus' death to the death of the Passover lambs. Like the Old Covenant, in the New Covenant, the Passover Lamb must be eaten.

1 Cor. 5:7 - Paul tells us that the Lamb has been sacrificed. But what do we need to do? Some Protestants say we just need to accept Jesus as personal Lord and Savior.

1 Cor. 5:8 - But Paul says that we need to celebrate the Eucharistic feast. This means that we need to eat the Lamb. We need to restore communion with God.

Heb. 13:15 - "sacrifice of praise" or "toda" refers to the thanksgiving offerings of Lev. 7:12-15; 22:29-30 which had to be eaten.

1 Cor. 10:16 - Paul's use of the phrase "the cup of blessing" refers to the Third Cup of the seder meal. This demonstrates that the seder meal is tied to Christ's Eucharistic sacrifice.

John 19:34-35 - John conspicuously draws attention here. The blood (Eucharist) and water (baptism) make the fountain that cleanses sin as prophesied in Zech 13:1. Just like the birth of the first bride came from the rib of the first Adam, the birth of the second bride (the Church) came from the rib of the second Adam (Jesus). Gen. 2:22.

John 7:38 - out of His Heart shall flow rivers of living water, the Spirit. Consequently, Catholics devote themselves to Jesus' Sacred Heart.

Matt. 2:1, Luke 2:4-7 - Jesus the bread of life was born in a feeding trough in the city of Bethlehem, which means "house of bread."

Luke 2: 7,12 - Jesus was born in a "manger" (which means "to eat"). This symbolism reveals that Jesus took on flesh and was born to be food for the salvation of the world.




(d). The Eucharist Makes Present Jesus' One Eternal Sacrifice; it's Not Just a Symbolic Memorial
Gen. 14:18 - remember that Melchizedek's bread and wine offering foreshadowed the sacramental re-presentation of Jesus' offering.

Luke 22:19; 1 Cor. 11:24-25 - the translation of Jesus' words of consecration is "touto poieite tan eman anamnasin." Jesus literally said "offer this as my memorial sacrifice." The word “poiein” (do) refers to offering a sacrifice (see, e.g., Exodus 29:38-39, where God uses the same word – poieseis – regarding the sacrifice of the lambs on the altar). The word “anamnesis” (remembrance) also refers to a sacrifice which is really or actually made present in time by the power of God, as it reminds God of the actual event (see, e.g., Heb. 10:3; Num. 10:10). It is not just a memorial of a past event, but a past event made present in time.

In other words, the “sacrifice” is the “memorial” or “reminder.” If the Eucharist weren’t a sacrifice, Luke would have used the word “mnemosunon” (which is the word used to describe a nonsacrificial memorial. See, for example, Matt. 26:13; Mark 14:9; and especially Acts 10:4). So there are two memorials, one sacrificial (which Jesus instituted), and one non-sacrificial.

Lev. 24:7 - the word "memorial" in Hebrew in the sacrificial sense is "azkarah" which means to actually make present (see Lev. 2:2,9,16;5:12;6:5; Num.5:26 where “azkarah” refers to sacrifices that are currently offered and thus present in time). Jesus' instruction to offer the bread and wine (which He changed into His body and blood) as a "memorial offering" demonstrates that the offering of His body and blood is made present in time over and over again.

Num. 10:10 - in this verse, "remembrance" refers to a sacrifice, not just a symbolic memorial. So Jesus' command to offer the memorial “in remembrance” of Him demonstrates that the memorial offering is indeed a sacrifice currently offered. It is a re-presentation of the actual sacrifice made present in time. It is as if the curtain of history is drawn and Calvary is made present to us.

Mal. 1:10-11 - Jesus' command to his apostles to offer His memorial sacrifice of bread and wine which becomes His body and blood fulfills the prophecy that God would reject the Jewish sacrifices and receive a pure sacrifice offered in every place. This pure sacrifice of Christ is sacramentally re-presented from the rising of the sun to its setting in every place, as Malachi prophesied.

Heb. 9:23 - in this verse, the author writes that the Old Testament sacrifices were only copies of the heavenly things, but now heaven has better “sacrifices” than these. Why is the heavenly sacrifice called “sacrifices,” in the plural? Jesus died once. This is because, while Christ’s sacrifice is transcendent in heaven, it touches down on earth and is sacramentally re-presented over and over again from the rising of the sun to its setting around the world by the priests of Christ’s Church. This is because all moments to God are present in their immediacy, and when we offer the memorial sacrifice to God, we ask God to make the sacrifice that is eternally present to Him also present to us. Jesus’ sacrifice also transcends time and space because it was the sacrifice of God Himself.

Heb. 9:23 - the Eucharistic sacrifice also fulfills Jer. 33:18 that His kingdom will consist of a sacrificial priesthood forever, and fulfills Zech. 9:15 that the sons of Zion shall drink blood like wine and be saved.

Heb. 13:15 - this "sacrifice of praise" refers to the actual sacrifice or "toda" offering of Christ who, like the Old Testament toda offerings, now must be consumed. See, for example, Lev. 7:12-15; 22:29-30 which also refer to the “sacrifice of praise” in connection with animals who had to be eaten after they were sacrificed.

1 Peter 2:5-6 - Peter says that we as priests offer "sacrifices" to God through Jesus, and he connects these sacrifices to Zion where the Eucharist was established. These sacrifices refer to the one eternal Eucharistic sacrifice of Christ offered in every place around the world.

Rom. 12:1 - some Protestants argue that the Eucharist is not really the sacrifice of Christ, but a symbolic offering, because the Lord's blood is not shed (Heb. 9:22). However, Paul instructs us to present ourselves as a "living sacrifice" to God. This verse demonstrates that not all sacrifices are bloody and result in death (for example, see the wave offerings of Aaron in Num. 8:11,13,15,21 which were unbloody sacrifices). The Eucharistic sacrifice is unbloody and lifegiving, the supreme and sacramental wave offering of Christ, mysteriously presented in a sacramental way, but nevertheless the one actual and eternal sacrifice of Christ. Moreover, our bodies cannot be a holy sacrifice unless they are united with Christ's sacrifice made present on the altar of the Holy Mass.

1 Cor. 10:16 - "the cup of blessing" or Third cup makes present the actual paschal sacrifice of Christ, the Lamb who was slain.

1 Cor. 10:18 - Paul indicates that what is eaten from the altar has been sacrificed, and we become partners with victim. What Catholic priests offer from the altar has indeed been sacrificed, our Lord Jesus, the paschal Lamb.

1 Cor. 10:20 - Paul further compares the sacrifices of pagans to the Eucharistic sacrifice - both are sacrifices, but one is offered to God. This proves that the memorial offering of Christ is a sacrifice.

1 Cor. 11:26 - Paul teaches that as often as you eat the bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death. This means that celebrating the Eucharist is proclaiming the Gospel.

1 Cor. 10:21 - Paul's usage of the phrase "table of the Lord" in celebrating the Eucharist is further evidence that the Eucharist is indeed a sacrifice. The Jews always understood the phrase "table of the Lord" to refer to an altar of sacrifice. See, for example, Lev. 24:6, Ezek. 41:22; 44:16 and Malachi 1:7,12, where the phrase "table of the Lord" in these verses always refers to an altar of sacrifice.

Heb. 13:10,15 - this earthly altar is used in the Mass to offer the Eucharistic sacrifice of praise to God through our eternal Priest, Jesus Christ.




(e). Jesus in Glory Perpetually Offers the Father His Sacrifice on Our Behalf
Rev. 1 to 22 - Jesus is described as the "Lamb" 28 times in the book of Revelation. This is because Jesus emphasizes His sacrifice in heaven and in His Holy Catholic Church.

Rev. 1:13 - Jesus is clothed in heaven with a long robe and golden girdle like the Old Testament priests who offered animal sacrifices. See Exodus 28:4.

Rev. 2:17 - the spiritual manna, our Lord's glorious body and blood, is emphasized in the heavenly feast.

Rev. 3:20 - as Priest and Paschal Lamb, our Lord shares the Eucharistic meal with us to seal His New Covenant. Through the covenant of his body and blood, we are restored to the Father and become partakers of the divine nature.

Rev. 5:6 - this verse tells us that Jesus in His glory still looks like a lamb who was slain. Also, Jesus is "standing" as though a Lamb who was slain. Lambs that are slain lie down. This odd depiction shows Jesus stands at the Altar as our eternal priest in forever offering Himself to the Father for our salvation.

Rev. 7:14 - the blood of the Lamb is eternally offered in heaven with the washing of the robes to make them white.

Rev. 14:1, Heb. 12:22 - Zion is the city where Jesus established the Eucharist and which was miraculously preserved after the destruction of Jerusalem. See also Psalms 2:6 and 132:13. It represents the union of heaven and earth, of divinity and humanity. This is why those who enter into the Eucharistic celebration on earth enter into the presence of innumerable angels, the souls of the just made perfect, Jesus the Mediator of the Covenant and His sprinkled blood, and God the Judge of all.

Rev. 19:13 - in all His glory, Jesus' sacrifice is eternally present as He presents Himself to the Father clothed in a robe dipped in blood. Jesus' sacrifice is the focus in heaven and in the Mass. When the Father beholds His Son, He beholds His sacrifice for humanity.

Rev. 19:9 - we are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb where we become one with Him by consuming His body and blood. This is the nuptial union of divinity and humanity.

Heb. 2:17; 3:1; 4:14; 8:1; 9:11,25; 10:19,22 - Jesus is repeatedly described as "High Priest." But in order to be a priest, “it is necessary for [Jesus] to have something to offer.” Heb. 8:3. This is the offering of the eternal sacrifice of His body and blood to the Father.

Heb. 2:18 - although His suffering is past tense, His expiation of our sins is present tense because His offering is continual. Therefore, He is able (present tense) to help those who are tempted.

Heb. 5:6,10; 6:20; 7:15,17 - these verses show that Jesus restores the father-son priesthood after Melchizedek. Jesus is the new priest and King of Jerusalem and feeds the new children of Abraham with His body and blood. This means that His eternal sacrifice is offered in the same manner as the bread and wine offered by Melchizedek in Gen. 14:18. But the bread and wine that Jesus offers is different, just as the Passover Lamb of the New Covenant is different. The bread and wine become His body and blood by the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit.

Heb. 4:3 – God’s works were finished from the foundation of the world. This means that God’s works, including Christ’s sacrifice (the single act that secured the redemption of our souls and bodies), are forever present in eternity. Jesus’ suffering is over and done with (because suffering was earthly and temporal), but His sacrifice is eternal, because His priesthood is eternal (His victimized state was only temporal).

Heb. 4:14 – Jesus the Sacrifice passes through the heavens by the glory cloud of God, just like the sacrifices of Solomon were taken up into heaven by the glory cloud of God in 2 Chron. 7:1. See also Mark 16:19; Luke 24:51; and Acts 1:10.

Heb. 7:24 – Jesus holds His priesthood is forever because He continues forever, so His sacrificial offering is forever. He continues to offer His body and blood to us because He is forever our High Priest.

Heb. 8:2 - Jesus is a minister in the sanctuary offering up (present tense) His eternal sacrifice to the Father which is perfected in heaven. This is the same sanctuary that we enter with confidence by the blood of Jesus as written in Heb. 10:19. See also Heb. 12:22-24.

Heb. 8:3 - as High Priest, it is necessary for Jesus to have something to offer. What is Jesus offering in heaven? As eternal Priest, He offers the eternal sacrifice of His body and blood.

Heb. 8:6; 9:15; cf. Heb. 12:22-24; 13:20-21 - the covenant Jesus mediates (present tense) is better than the Old covenant. The covenant He mediates is the covenant of His body and blood which He offers in the Eucharist. See Matt. 26:26-28; Mark. 14:22,24; Luke 22;19-20; 1 Cor. 11:24-25 - which is the only time Jesus uses the word “covenant” (which is the offering of His body and blood).

Heb. 9:12 – Jesus enters into heaven, the Holy Place, taking His own blood. How can this be? He wasn’t bleeding after the resurrection. This is because He enters into the heavenly sanctuary to mediate the covenant of His body and blood by eternally offering it to the Father. This offering is made present to us in the same manner as Melchizedek’s offering, under the appearance of bread and wine.

Heb. 9:14 - the blood of Christ offered in heaven purifies (present tense) our consciences from dead works to serve the living God. Christ's offering is ongoing.

Heb. 9:22 – blood is indeed required for the remission of sin. Jesus' blood was shed once, but it is continually offered to the Father. This is why Jesus takes His blood, which was shed once and for all, into heaven. Heb. 9:12.

Heb. 9:23 – Jesus’ sacrifice, which is presented eternally to the Father in heaven, is described as “sacrifices” (in the plural) in the context of its re-presentation on earth (the author first writes about the earthly sacrifices of animals, and then the earthly offerings of Jesus Christ’s eternal sacrifice).

Heb. 9:26 – Jesus’ once and for all appearance into heaven to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself shows that Jesus’ presence in heaven and His sacrifice are inseparable. This also shows that “once for all,” which refers to Jesus’ appearance in heaven, means perpetual (it does not, and cannot mean, “over and done with” because Jesus is in heaven for eternity). “Once for all” also refers to Jesus’ suffering and death (Heb. 7:27; 9:12,26;10:10-14). But “once for all” never refers to Jesus’ sacrifice, which is eternally presented to the Father. This sacrifice is the Mal. 1:11 pure offering made present in every place from the rising of the sun to its setting in the Eucharist offered in the same manner as the Melchizedek offering.

Heb. 10:19 - we have confidence to enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus on earth in the Eucharistic liturgy, which is the heavenly sanctuary where Jesus’ offering is presented to God in Heb. 8:2.

Heb. 10:22 - our hearts and bodies are (not were) washed clean by the action of Jesus' perpetual priesthood in heaven.

Heb. 13:10 – the author writes that we have an altar from which those who serve the tent have no right to eat. This altar is the heavenly altar at which Jesus presides as Priest before the Father, eternally offering His body and blood on our behalf. See. Mal. 1:7,12; Lev. 24:7; Ez. 41:22; 44:16; Rev. 5:6; 6:9; 9:13; 11:1; 16:7.

Heb. 13:20-21 - Jesus died once, but His blood of the eternal covenant is eternally offered to equip us (present tense) with everything good that we may do God's will.

Heb. 13:8 - this is because Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. While His suffering was temporal (because bodily pain is temporal), Jesus and His sacrifice are eternal (because redemption, salvation, and the mediation of the New covenant are eternal).

Heb. 13:15 – the letter concludes with an instruction to continually offer up, through Christ, a sacrifice of praise to God. The phrase “sacrifice of praise” refers to the “toda” animal sacrifices that had to be consumed. See, for example, Lev. 7:12-15; 22:29-30.

1 Pet. 2:9; Rev. 20:6 - we are a royal priesthood in Jesus, and offer His sacrifice to the Father on earth as He does in heaven.

1 John 1:7 - the blood of Jesus cleanses us (present tense) from all sin. His blood cannot currently cleanse us unless it is currently offered for us.



(f). The Book of Revelation and the Holy Mass
The Book of Revelation shows us glimpses of the heavenly liturgy – Jesus Christ’s once and for all sacrifice eternally present in heaven. This is why the Church has always incorporated the elements that John saw in the heavenly liturgy into her earthly liturgy, for they are one and the same liturgical action of Jesus Christ our High Priest.

Rev. 1:6, 20:6 - heaven's identification of the priesthood of the faithful is the same as the Church's identification on earth.

Rev. 1:10 - John witnesses the heavenly liturgy on Sunday, the Lord's day, which is a Catholic holy day of obligation for attending Mass on earth.

Rev. 1:12, 2:5 - there are lampstands or Menorahs in heaven. These have always been used in the Holy Mass of the Church on earth.

Rev. 1:13 - Jesus is clothed as High Priest. Our priests also clothe themselves as "alter Christuses" (other Christs) in offering His sacrifice in the Holy Mass on earth.

Rev. 1:13, 4:4, 6:11, 7:9, 15:6, 19:13-14 - priests wear special vestments in heaven. Our priests also wear special vestments in celebrating the Holy Mass on earth.

Rev. 2:5,16,21; 3:3; 16:11 - there is a penitential rite in heaven which is also part of the liturgy of the Holy Mass on earth.

Rev. 2:17 - there is manna in heaven given to the faithful. This is the same as the Eucharistic manna given to the faithful at the Holy Mass on earth.

Rev. 4:4, 5:14; 11:16, 14:3, 19:4 - there are priests ("presbyteroi") in heaven. Priests offer sacrifice. Our earthly priests participate with the heavenly priests in offering Jesus' eternal sacrifice in the Holy Mass on earth.

Rev. 4:8 - heaven's liturgical chant "Holy, Holy, Holy" is the same that is used in the liturgy of the Holy Mass on earth.

Rev. 4:8-11, 5:9-14, 7:10-12, 18:1-8 - the various antiphonal chants in the heavenly liturgy are similar to those used at the Holy Mass on earth.

Rev. 5:1 - there is a book or scroll of God's word in heaven. This is reflected in the Liturgy of the Word at the Holy Mass on earth.

Rev. 5:6 and throughout - heaven's description of Jesus as the "Lamb" is the same as the description of Jesus as the Lamb of God in the Eucharistic liturgy of the Holy Mass on earth.

Rev. 5:8, 6:9-11, 8:3-4 - heaven's emphasis on the intercession of the saints is the same as the Holy Mass on earth.

Rev. 5:8, 8:3-4 - there is incense in heaven which has always been part of the liturgy of the Holy Mass on earth.

Rev. 5:14; 7:12; 19:4 - heaven's concluding liturgical prayer "Amen" is the same as is used at the Holy Mass on earth.

Rev. 6:9 - the martyrs who are seen under the heavenly altar is similar to the Church's tradition of keeping relics of saints under the earthly altars.

Rev. 7:3, 14:1, 22:4 - there is the sign of the cross ("tau") in heaven. This sign is used during the Holy Mass on earth.

Rev. 7:9; 14:6 - the catholicity or universality of heaven as God's family is the essence of the Catholic faith on earth.

Rev. 8:1 - the silent contemplation in heaven is similar to our silent contemplation at the Holy Mass on earth.

Rev. 8:3, 11:1, 14:18, 16:7 - there is an altar in heaven. But no altar is needed unless a sacrifice is being offered in heaven. This is the same sacrifice that is offered on the altars used in the Holy Masses on earth.

Rev. 11:12 - the phrase "come up here" is similar to the priest's charge to "lift up your hearts" at the Holy Mass on earth.

Rev. 12:1-6, 13-17 - heaven's emphasis on the Blessed Virgin Mary is the same as the Holy Mass on earth.

Rev. 12:7 - heaven's emphasis on the Archangel Michael's intercession is the same as the concluding prayers at the Holy Mass on earth.

Rev. 14:4 - there are consecrated celibates in heaven, as there are with our Catholic priests and religious on earth.

Rev. 15:7, 16:1-4,8,10,12,17; 21:9 - there are chalices (or bowls) in the heavenly liturgy. This is like the chalices used to offer Christ's sacrifice in the Holy Mass on earth.

Rev. 15:3-4 - there is the recitation of the "Gloria" in heaven. This is also recited at the Holy Mass on earth.

Rev. 15:5 - there is a tent or tabernacle in heaven. Tabernacles are used to store the Eucharist at the Holy Mass on earth.

Rev. 17, 19:9 - the consummation of the Lamb at heaven's marriage supper is the same as the Lamb's supper in the Holy Mass on earth.

Rev. 19:1,3,4,6 - there is the recitation of the "Alleluia" in heaven. This is also recited at the Holy Mass on earth.







Tradition / Church Fathers
I. Jesus’ Real Presence in the Eucharist
"They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they confess not the Eucharist to be the flesh of our Saviour Jesus Christ, which suffered for our sins, and which the Father, of His goodness, raised up again." Ignatius of Antioch, Epistle to Smyrnaeans, 7,1 (c. A.D. 110).

"For not as common bread and common drink do we receive these; but in like manner as Jesus Christ our Saviour, having been made flesh and blood for our salvation, so likewise have we been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word, and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished, is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh." Justin Martyr, First Apology, 66 (c. A.D. 110-165).

"[T]he bread over which thanks have been given is the body of their Lord, and the cup His blood..." Irenaeus, Against Heresies, IV:18,4 (c. A.D. 200).

"He acknowledged the cup (which is a part of the creation) as his own blood, from which he bedews our blood; and the bread (also a part of creation) he affirmed to be his own body, from which he gives increase to our bodies." Irenaeus, Against Heresies, V:2,2 (c. A.D. 200).

"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 of the world..." Irenaeus, Against Heresies, IV:18, 2 (c. A.D. 200).

"For the blood of the grape--that is, the Word--desired to be mixed with water, as His blood is mingled with salvation. And the blood of the Lord is twofold. For there is the blood of His flesh, by which we are redeemed from corruption; and the spiritual, that by which we are anointed. And to drink the blood of Jesus, is to become partaker of the Lord's immortality; the Spirit being the energetic principle of the Word, as blood is of flesh. Accordingly, as wine is blended with water, so is the Spirit with man. And the one, the mixture of wine and water, nourishes to faith; while the other, the Spirit, conducts to immortality. And the mixture of both--of the water and of the Word--is called Eucharist, renowned and glorious grace; and they who by faith partake of it are sanctified both in body and soul." Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor, 2 (ante A.D. 202).

"Then, having taken the bread and given it to His disciples, He made it His own body, by saying, 'This is my body,' that is, the figure of my body. A figure, however, there could not have been, unless there were first a veritable body…He did not understand how ancient was this figure of the body of Christ, who said Himself by Jeremiah: 'I was like a lamb or an ox that is brought to the slaughter, and I knew not that they devised a device against me, saying, Let us cast the tree upon His bread,' which means, of course, the cross upon His body. And thus, casting light, as He always did, upon the ancient prophecies, He declared plainly enough what He meant by the bread, when He called the bread His own body. He likewise, when mentioning the cup and making the new testament to be sealed 'in His blood,' affirms the reality of His body. For no blood can belong to a body which is not a body of flesh. If any sort of body were presented to our view, which is not one of flesh, not being fleshly, it would not possess blood. Thus, from the evidence of the flesh, we get a proof of the body, and a proof of the flesh from the evidence of the blood." Tertullian, Against Marcion, 40 (A.D. 212).

"For because Christ bore us all, in that He also bore our sins, we see that in the water is understood the people, but in the wine is showed the blood of Christ...Thus, therefore, in consecrating the cup of the Lord, water alone cannot be offered, even as wine alone cannot be offered. For if any one offer wine only, the blood of Christ is dissociated from us; but if the water be alone, the people are dissociated from Christ; but when both are mingled, and are joined with one another by a close union, there is completed a spiritual and heavenly sacrament. Thus the cup of the Lord is not indeed water alone, nor wine alone, unless each be mingled with the other; just as, on the other hand, the body of the Lord cannot be flour alone or water alone, unless both should be united and joined together and compacted in the mass of one bread; in which very sacrament our people are shown to be made one, so that in like manner as many grains, collected, and ground, and mixed together into one mass, make one bread; so in Christ, who is the heavenly bread, we may know that there is one body, with which our number is joined and united." Cyprian, To Caeilius, Epistle 62(63):13 (A.D. 253).

"Having learn these things, and been fully assured that the seeming bread is not bread, though sensible to taste, but the Body of Christ; and that the seeming wine is not wine, though the taste will have it so, but the Blood of Christ; and that of this David sung of old, saying, And bread strengtheneth man's heart, to make his face to shine with oil, 'strengthen thou thine heart,' by partaking thereof as spiritual, and "make the face of thy soul to shine."" Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures, XXII:8 (c. A.D. 350).

"For as to what we say concerning the reality of Christ's nature within us, unless we have been taught by Him, our words are foolish and impious. For He says Himself, My flesh is meat indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He that eateth My flesh and drinketh My blood abideth in Me, and I in him. As to the verity of the flesh and blood there is no room left for doubt. For now both from the declaration of the Lord Himself and our own faith, it is verily flesh and verily blood. And these when eaten and drunk, bring it to pass that both we are in Christ and Christ in us. Is not this true? Yet they who affirm that Christ Jesus is not truly God are welcome to find it false. He therefore Himself is in us through the flesh and we in Him, whilst together with Him our own selves are in God." Hilary of Poitiers, On the Trinity, 8:14 (inter A.D. 356-359).

"Let us then in everything believe God, and gainsay Him in nothing, though what is said seem to be contrary to our thoughts and senses, but let His word be of higher authority than both reasonings and sight. Thus let us do in the mysteries also, not looking at the things set before us, but keeping in mind His sayings. For His word cannot deceive, but our senses are easily beguiled. That hath never failed, but this in most things goeth wrong. Since then the word saith, 'This is my body,' let us both be persuaded and believe, and look at it with the eyes of the mind. For Christ hath given nothing sensible, but though in things sensible yet all to be perceived by the mind. So also in baptism, the gift is bestowed by a sensible thing, that is, by water; but that which is done is perceived by the mind, the birth, I mean, and the renewal. For if thou hadst been incorporeal, He would have delivered thee the incorporeal gifts bare; but because the soul hath been locked up in a body, He delivers thee the things that the mind perceives, in things sensible. How many now say, I would wish to see His form, the mark, His clothes, His shoes. Lo! Thou seest Him, Thou touchest Him, thou eatest Him. And thou indeed desirest to see His clothes, but He giveth Himself to thee not to see only, but also to touch and eat and receive within thee." John Chrysostom, Gospel of Matthew, Homily 82 (A.D. 370).

"It is good and beneficial to communicate every day, and to partake of the holy body and blood of Christ. For He distinctly says, 'He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood hath eternal life.' And who doubts that to share frequently in life, is the same thing as to have manifold life. I, indeed, communicate four times a week, on the Lord's day, on Wednesday, on Friday, and on the Sabbath, and on the other days if there is a commemoration of any Saint.” Basil, To Patrician Caesaria, Epistle 93 (A.D. 372).

"You will see the Levites bringing the loaves and a cup of wine, and placing them on the table. So long as the prayers and invocations have not yet been made, it is mere bread and a mere cup. But when the great and wonderous prayers have been recited, then the bread becomes the body and the cup the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ...When the great prayers and holy supplications are sent up, the Word descends on the bread and the cup, and it becomes His body." Athanasius, Sermon to the Newly Baptized, PG 26, 1325 (ante A.D. 373).

“…if a person sees bread he also, in a kind of way, looks on a human body, for by the bread being within it the bread becomes it, so also, in that other case, the body into which God entered, by partaking of the nourishment of bread, was, in a certain measure, the same with it; that nourishment, as we have said, changing itself into the nature of the body. For that which is peculiar to all flesh is acknowledged also in the case of that flesh, namely, that that Body too was maintained by bread; which Body also by the indwelling of God the Word was transmuted to the dignity of Godhead. Rightly, then, do we believe that now also the bread which is consecrated by the Word of God is changed into the Body of God the Word. For that Body was once, by implication, bread, but has been consecrated by the inhabitation of the Word that tabernacled in the flesh. Therefore, from the same cause as that by which the bread that was transformed in that Body was changed to a Divine potency, a similar result takes place now. For as in that case, too, the grace of the Word used to make holy the Body, the substance of which came of the bread, and in a manner was itself bread, so also in this case the bread, as says the Apostle, 'is sanctified by the Word of God and prayer'; not that it advances by the process of eating to the stage of passing into the body of the Word, but it is at once changed into the body by means of the Word, as the Word itself said, 'This is My Body.'” Gregory of Nyssa, The Great Catechism, 37 (post A.D. 383).

“ Seeing, too, that all flesh is nourished by what is moist (for without this combination our earthly part would not continue to live), just as we support by food which is firm and solid the solid part of our body, in like manner we supplement the moist part from the kindred element; and this, when within us, by its faculty of being transmitted, is changed to blood, and especially if through the wine it receives the faculty of being transmuted into heat. Since, then, that God-containing flesh partook for its substance and support of this particular nourishment also, and since the God who was manifested infused Himself into perishable humanity for this purpose, viz. that by this communion with Deity mankind might at the same time be deified, for this end it is that, by dispensation of His grace, He disseminates Himself in every believer through that flesh, whose substance comes from bread and wine, blending Himself with the bodies of believers, to secure that, by this union with the immortal, man, too, may be a sharer in incorruption. He gives these gifts by virtue of the benediction through which He trans-elements the natural quality of these visible things to that immortal thing." Gregory of Nyssa, The Great Catechism, 37 (post A.D. 383).

"Perhaps you will say, 'I see something else, how is it that you assert that I receive the Body of Christ?' And this is the point which remains for us to prove. And what evidence shall we make use of? Let us prove that this is not what nature made, but what the blessing consecrated, and the power of blessing is greater than that of nature, because by blessing nature itself is changed...The Lord Jesus Himself proclaims: 'This is My Body.' Before the blessing of the heavenly words another nature is spoken of, after the consecration the Body is signified. He Himself speaks of His Blood. Before the consecration it has another name, after it is called Blood. And you say, Amen, that is, It is true. Let the heart within confess what the mouth utters, let the soul feel what the voice speaks." Ambrose, On the Mysteries, 9:50 (A.D. 390-391).

"'And was carried in His Own Hands: ‘how carried in His Own Hands'? Because when He commended His Own Body and Blood, He took into His Hands that which the faithful know; and in a manner carried Himself, when He said, 'This is My Body.'" Augustine, On the Psalms, 33:1,10 (A.D. 392-418).

"Dearly-beloved, utter this confession with all your heart and reject the wicked lies of heretics, that your fasting and almsgiving may not be polluted by any contagion with error: for then is our offering of the sacrifice clean and oar gifts of mercy holy, when those who perform them understand that which they do. For when the Lord says, "unless ye have eaten the flesh of the Son of Man, and drunk His blood, ye will not have life in you,' you ought so to be partakers at the Holy Table, as to have no doubt whatever concerning the reality of Christ's Body and Blood. For that is taken in the mouth which is believed in Faith, and it is vain for them to respond Amend who dispute that which is taken." Pope Leo the Great, Sermon, 91:3 (ante A.D. 461).

"The body which is born of the holy Virgin is in truth body united with divinity, not that the body which was received up into the heavens descends, but that the bread itself and the wine are changed into God's body and blood. But if you enquire how this happens, it is enough for you to learn that it was through the Holy Spirit, just as the Lord took on Himself flesh that subsisted in Him and was born of the holy Mother of God through the Spirit. And we know nothing further save that the Word of God is true and energizes and is omnipotent, but the manner of this cannot be searched out. But one can put it well thus, that just as in nature the bread by the eating and the wine and the water by the drinking are changed into the body and blood of the eater and drinker, and do not become a different body from the former one, so the bread of the table and the wine and water are supernaturally changed by the invocation and presence of the Holy Spirit into the body and blood of Christ, and are not two but one and the same.” John of Damascus, Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, 4:13 (A.D. 743).

“Wherefore to those who partake worthily with faith, it is for the remission of sins and for life everlasting and for the safeguarding of soul and body; but to those who partake unworthily without faith, it is for chastisement and punishment, just as also the death of the Lord became to those who believe life and incorruption for the enjoyment of eternal blessedness, while to those who do not believe and to the murderers of the Lord it is for everlasting chastisement and punishment. The bread and the wine are not merely figures of the body and blood of Christ (God forbid!) but the deified body of the Lord itself: for the Lord has said, 'This is My body,' not, this is a figure of My body: and 'My blood,' not, a figure of My blood. And on a previous occasion He had said to the Jews, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, ye have no life in you. For My flesh is meat indeed and My blood is drink indeed. And again, He that eateth Me, shall live." John of Damascus, Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, 4:13 (A.D. 743).







II. The Bread and Wine Become Jesus’ Body and Blood
"For not as common bread and common drink do we receive these; but in like manner as Jesus Christ our Saviour, having been made flesh and blood for our salvation, so likewise have we been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word, and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished, is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh." Justin Martyr, First Apology, 66 (A.D. 110-165).

"He acknowledged the cup (which is a part of the creation) as his own blood, from which he bedews our blood; and the bread (also a part of creation) he affirmed to be his own body, from which he gives increase to our bodies." Irenaeus, Against Heresies, V:2,2 (c. A.D. 200).

"Then, having taken the bread and given it to His disciples, He made it His own body, by saying, 'This is my body,' that is, the figure of my body. A figure, however, there could not have been, unless there were first a veritable body. An empty thing, or phantom, is incapable of a figure. If, however, (as Marcion might say,) He pretended the bread was His body, because He lacked the truth of bodily substance, it follows that He must have given bread for us. It would contribute very well to the support of Marcion's theory of a phantom body, that bread should have been crucified! But why call His body bread, and not rather (some other edible thing, say) a melon, which Marcion must have had in lieu of a heart! He did not understand how ancient was this figure of the body of Christ, who said Himself by Jeremiah: 'I was like a lamb or an ox that is brought to the slaughter, and I knew not that they devised a device against me, saying, Let us cast the tree upon His bread,' which means, of course, the cross upon His body. And thus, casting light, as He always did, upon the ancient prophecies, He declared plainly enough what He meant by the bread, when He called the bread His own body.” Tertullian, Against Marcion, 40 (A.D. 212).

“He likewise, when mentioning the cup and making the new testament to be sealed 'in His blood,' affirms the reality of His body. For no blood can belong to a body which is not a body of flesh. If any sort of body were presented to our view, which is not one of flesh, not being fleshly, it would not possess blood. Thus, from the evidence of the flesh, we get a proof of the body, and a proof of the flesh from the evidence of the blood. In order, however, that you may discover how anciently wine is used as a figure for blood, turn to Isaiah, who asks, 'Who is this that cometh from Edom, from Bosor with garments dyed in red, so glorious in His apparel, in the greatness of his might? Why are thy garments red, and thy raiment as his who cometh from the treading of the full winepress?' The prophetic Spirit contemplates the Lord as if He were already on His way to His passion, clad in His fleshly nature; and as He was to suffer therein, He represents the bleeding condition of His flesh under the metaphor of garments dyed in red, as if reddened in the treading and crushing process of the wine-press, from which the labourers descend reddened with the wine-juice, like men stained in blood. Much more clearly still does the book of Genesis foretell this, when (in the blessing of Judah, out of whose tribe Christ was to come according to the flesh) it even then delineated Christ in the person of that patriarch, saying, 'He washed His garments in wine, and His clothes in the blood of grapes'--in His garments and clothes the prophecy pointed out his flesh, and His blood in the wine. Thus did He now consecrate His blood in wine, who then (by the patriarch) used the figure of wine to describe His blood." Tertullian, Against Marcion, 40 (A.D. 212).

"He once in Cana of Galilee, turned the water into wine, akin to blood, and is it incredible that He should have turned wine into blood?" Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures, XXII:4 (c. A.D. 350).

"Having learn these things, and been fully assured that the seeming bread is not bread, though sensible to taste, but the Body of Christ; and that the seeming wine is not wine, though the taste will have it so, but the Blood of Christ; and that of this David sung of old, saying, And bread strengtheneth man's heart, to make his face to shine with oil, 'strengthen thou thine heart,' by partaking thereof as spiritual, and "make the face of thy soul to shine."" Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures, XXII:8 (c. A.D. 350).

"Then having sanctified ourselves by these spiritual Hymns, we beseech the merciful God to send forth His Holy Spirit upon the gifts lying before Him; that He may make the Bread the Body of Christ, and the Wine the Blood of Christ; for whatsoever the Holy Ghost has touched, is surely sanctified and changed." Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures, XXIII:7 (c. A.D. 350).

"Let us then in everything believe God, and gainsay Him in nothing, though what is said seem to be contrary to our thoughts and senses, but let His word be of higher authority than both reasonings and sight. Thus let us do in the mysteries also, not looking at the things set before us, but keeping in mind His sayings. For His word cannot deceive, but our senses are easily beguiled. That hath never failed, but this in most things goeth wrong. Since then the word saith, 'This is my body,' let us both be persuaded and believe, and look at it with the eyes of the mind. For Christ hath given nothing sensible, but though in things sensible yet all to be perceived by the mind...How many now say, I would wish to see His form, the mark, His clothes, His shoes. Lo! Thou seest Him, Thou touchest Him, thou eatest Him. And thou indeed desirest to see His clothes, but He giveth Himself to thee not to see only, but also to touch and eat and receive within thee." John Chrysostom, Gospel of Matthew, Homily 82 (A.D. 370).

"You will see the Levites bringing the loaves and a cup of wine, and placing them on the table. So long as the prayers and invocations have not yet been made, it is mere bread and a mere cup. But when the great and wonderous prayers have been recited, then the bread becomes the body and the cup the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ....When the great prayers and holy supplications are sent up, the Word descends on the bread and the cup, and it becomes His body." Athanasius, Sermon to the Newly Baptized, PG 26, 1325 (ante A.D. 373).

"Then He added: 'For My Flesh is meat indeed, and My Blood is drink [indeed].' Thou hearest Him speak of His Flesh and of His Blood, thou perceivest the sacred pledges, [conveying to us the merits and power] of the Lord's death, and thou dishonourest His Godhead. Hear His own words: 'A spirit hath not flesh and bones.' Now we, as often as we receive the Sacramental Elements, which by the mysterious efficacy of holy prayer are transformed into the Flesh and the Blood, "do show the Lord's Death.'" Ambrose, On the Christian Faith, 4, 10:125 (A.D. 380).

“Rightly, then, do we believe that now also the bread which is consecrated by the Word of God is changed into the Body of God the Word. For that Body was once, by implication, bread, but has been consecrated by the inhabitation of the Word that tabernacled in the flesh. Therefore, from the same cause as that by which the bread that was transformed in that Body was changed to a Divine potency, a similar result takes place now. For as in that case, too, the grace of the Word used to make holy the Body, the substance of which came of the bread, and in a manner was itself bread, so also in this case the bread, as says the Apostle, 'is sanctified by the Word of God and prayer'; not that it advances by the process of eating to the stage of passing into the body of the Word, but it is at once changed into the body by means of the Word, as the Word itself said, 'This is My Body.'” Gregory of Nyssa, The Great Catechism, 37 (post A.D. 383).

“Seeing, too, that all flesh is nourished by what is moist (for without this combination our earthly part would not continue to live), just as we support by food which is firm and solid the solid part of our body, in like manner we supplement the moist part from the kindred element; and this, when within us, by its faculty of being transmitted, is changed to blood, and especially if through the wine it receives the faculty of being transmuted into heat. Since, then, that God-containing flesh partook for its substance and support of this particular nourishment also, and since the God who was manifested infused Himself into perishable humanity for this purpose, viz. that by this communion with Deity mankind might at the same time be deified, for this end it is that, by dispensation of His grace, He disseminates Himself in every believer through that flesh, whose substance comes from bread and wine, blending Himself with the bodies of believers, to secure that, by this union with the immortal, man, too, may be a sharer in incorruption. He gives these gifts by virtue of the benediction through which He trans-elements the natural quality of these visible things to that immortal thing." Gregory of Nyssa, The Great Catechism, 37 (post A.D. 383).

"Perhaps you will say, 'I see something else, how is it that you assert that I receive the Body of Christ?' And this is the point which remains for us to prove. And what evidence shall we make use of? Let us prove that this is not what nature made, but what the blessing consecrated, and the power of blessing is greater than that of nature, because by blessing nature itself is changed...The Lord Jesus Himself proclaims: 'This is My Body.' Before the blessing of the heavenly words another nature is spoken of, after the consecration the Body is signified. He Himself speaks of His Blood. Before the consecration it has another name, after it is called Blood. And you say, Amen, that is, It is true. Let the heart within confess what the mouth utters, let the soul feel what the voice speaks." Ambrose, On the Mysteries, 9:50 (A.D. 390-391).

"'And was carried in His Own Hands:' how 'carried in His Own Hands'? Because when He commended His Own Body and Blood, He took into His Hands that which the faithful know; and in a manner carried Himself, when He said, 'This is My Body.'" Augustine, On the Psalms, 33:1, 10 (A.D. 392-418).

"He did not say, 'This is the symbol of My Body, and this, of My Blood,' but, what is set before us, but that it is transformed by means of the Eucharistic action into Flesh and Blood." Theodore of Mopsuestia, Commentary on Matthew 26:26 (ante A.D. 428).

"Eran.--You have opportunely introduced the subject of the divine mysteries for from it I shall be able to show you the change of the Lord's body into another nature. Answer now to my questions.
Orth.--I will answer.
Eran.--What do you call the gift which is offered before the priestly invocation?
Orth.--It were wrong to say openly; perhaps some uninitiated are present.
Eran.--Let your answer be put enigmatically.
Orth.--Food of grain of such a sort.
Eran.--And how name we the other symbol?
Orth.--This name too is common, signifying species of drink.
Eran.--And after the consecration how do you name these?
Orth.--Christ's body and Christ's blood.
Eran.--And do yon believe that you partake of Christ's body and blood?
Orth.--I do." Theodoret of Cyrus, Eranistes, 2 (A.D. 451).


"Dearly beloved, utter this confession with all your heart and reject the wicked lies of heretics, that your fasting and almsgiving may not be polluted by any contagion with error: for then is our offering of the sacrifice clean and oar gifts of mercy holy, when those who perform them understand that which they do. For when the Lord says, "unless ye have eaten the flesh of the Son of Man, and drunk His blood, ye will not have life in you,' you ought so to be partakers at the Holy Table, as to have no doubt whatever concerning the reality of Christ's Body and Blood. For that is taken in the mouth which is believed in Faith, and it is vain for them to respond Amend who dispute that which is taken." Pope Leo the Great, Sermon, 91:3 (ante A.D. 461).

"The body which is born of the holy Virgin is in truth body united with divinity, not that the body which was received up into the heavens descends, but that the bread itself and the wine are changed into God's body and blood. But if you enquire how this happens, it is enough for you to learn that it was through the Holy Spirit, just as the Lord took on Himself flesh that subsisted in Him and was born of the holy Mother of God through the Spirit. And we know nothing further save that the Word of God is true and energises and is omnipotent, but the manner of this cannot be searched out. But one can put it well thus, that just as in nature the bread by the eating and the wine and the water by the drinking are changed into the body and blood of the eater and drinker, and do not become a different body from the former one, so the bread of the table and the wine and water are supernaturally changed by the invocation and presence of the Holy Spirit into the body and blood of Christ, and are not two but one and the same.” John of Damascus, Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, 4:13 (A.D. 743).

“Wherefore to those who partake worthily with faith, it is for the remission of sins and for life everlasting and for the safeguarding of soul and body; but to those who partake unworthily without faith, it is for chastisement and punishment, just as also the death of the Lord became to those who believe life and incorruption for the enjoyment of eternal blessedness, while to those who do not believe and to the murderers of the Lord it is for everlasting chastisement and punishment. The bread and the wine are not merely figures of the body and blood of Christ (God forbid!) but the deified body of the Lord itself: for the Lord has said, 'This is My body,' not, this is a figure of My body: and 'My blood,' not, a figure of My blood. And on a previous occasion He had said to the Jews, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, ye have no life in you. For My flesh is meat indeed and My blood is drink indeed. And again, He that eateth Me, shall live." John of Damascus, Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, 4:13 (A.D. 743).

Ex_Ottoyuhr said...

"The List" of ostensible Roman Catholic inventions, which you cite here, originates in Loraine Boettner, _Roman Catholicism_, pp. 7-9 and passim in much of the rest of the book. Citations are important -- although I imagine this has been circulating in the "anti-Catholic apologist" zeitgeist for a while. (In Mark Shea's comboxes, I used much harsher language speaking of this. I apologize for that...)

Also, "The List" is not a very strong argument. Catholic apologist Karl Keating demolishes much of it in _Catholicism and Fundamentalism_ (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1988, ISBN 0-89870-177-5); I'd recommend it to you for counter-arguments to this and many other such arguments. (This is also where I found out where "The List" comes from -- thus my lack of detail in page numbers above. I don't own a copy of _Roman Catholicism._)

However, Keating's tone is not exactly neutral. This is a Catholic work written for Catholic apologists, and he adopts a pretty smug tone, indulging in cheap asides in addition to his main argument. Despite that, though, I recommend that you read it, though it will require significant patience...

However, I have to say I like your title. Long live theologians who make good-faith efforts with their theories -- even though I really wince when I write that about Calvin. Luther, though, or Melanchthon or even Zwingli...

...

And then I click back to your blog title and see a tulip on the front page. Prionnsa Tearlach Righ nan Ghaidheil!

John C. Hathaway said...

Anonymous,

Talk about casting pearls before swine. You've done a good job amassing "proof texts," and one has to do one's duty to Christ, but I doubt these people are open to them, especially in this massive context.

For me, there is one definitive "proof text" of Catholicism versus Evangelicalism, to which no Evangelical can make an adequate reply without cancelling out the claims of _sola Scriptura_, biblical literalism and following "Christ alone."

That text is John 6:53: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you."

This is Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speaking. "Verily, Verily," (or "Amen, Amen") is the qualifier Jesus adds to his most important teachings.

As Thomas Aquinas (translated by Gerard Manley Hopkins) declares, "Truth Himself speaks truly else there's nothing true."

So-called "Evangelical Christians" (who, according to Christ's own words, have no life in them) cannot respond to this passage without calling Christ a liar. They say He is speaking figuratively, when, in the context of the passage, (including "verily, verily") it is clear He is being dead serious, especially since one of His last acts before the Passion is to say, "This is My Body."

Instead, they pull out their "faith alone" verses from St. Paul, themselves taken out of context, and try to use St. Paul to disprove the words of Christ Himself, thus showing that they do *not* follow Christ, but rather a particular reading of St. Paul.

Skyminder said...

I think you should expand your list of dead Theologians. Why do you accept Luther and Calvin and not Thomas Aquinas or St. Augustine, who wrote much on the very subjects which you claim the Catholic Church "invented." You understandably have a problem with the authority of the Church--many men, guided by the Holy Spirit, but you seem to have no problem accepting quite easily the authority of one or two men. Keep searching, and you'll find the Truth!

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