Saturday, June 13, 2009

Corpus Christi.

St. Vincent Ferrer on the Blessed Eucharist:

 The third secret wonder of this sacrament is the sacramental indwelling. O wonderful it is that 
the whole Christ dwells in such a small quantity. You ask how is this possible? Again how is it 
possible that when the host is broken, the whole Christ is not broken, moreover the whole 
remains integral, even in each broken particle. Here all rules of philosophy fail. Nevertheless 
for your consolation I will show you a comparison to the eye, from your image howsoever large 
you may be, which is received whole in a mirror. If there were a hundred thousand or even more 
mirrors in front of you, your image would be in all of them. And if you break a mirror, 
nevertheless the image is not broken, but in each of its fragments it remains integral. Shall not 
God the Father be able to do the same with his image, who is Christ? Christ is the image of the 
invisible God. (Cf 2 Cor 4:4, and Col 1:15). The host is a mirror, someone said. Is it not like an 
image in a mirror, which is not corporeal, and of Christ in the host, which has a real body. I say 
that always, because the glorified body is more subtle than an image which is prevented from
entering the mirror by a little handkerchief [panno]. Nothing can impede a glorified body; [it is] 
more subtle than light, than a voice, than even an image. Therefore, once the words are 
pronounced, immediately the whole body is in the host, like the image in the mirror. 

Therefore of this consecrated host it can be said "For she is the brightness of eternal light, and 
the unspotted mirror of God's majesty, and the image of his goodness," (Wis 7:26). " For she is 
the brightness of eternal light," with respect to the divinity which is there. For which it must be 
known that by the power of the word alone it is there, namely under the appearance of bread, the body of Christ, but from real concomitance there is also there the soul, because the body of 
Christ is there as a living body, which is not without a soul, nor without blood.

If in the triduum [triduo, thee day duration of Christ's entombment] the Apostles had 
consecrated, only the dead body of Christ would have been there, which was [its state] at that 
time. But now it is alive, together with the soul and blood and divinity. By the power of the 
words only the body is there, but concomitantly the soul is there with its excellences and the 
divinity with all its perfections. Just as if some lord had invited a certain great lord or prelate to 
dinner, and he had arrived with his shield-bearers, by virtue of the words of invitation., only the 
lord himself or the prelate was invited, but from concomitance or association the shield-bearers 
were also there. Thus the priest by consecrating with the power of the words, consecrates 
precisely only the body of Christ, but the soul, blood and divinity follow him. Therefore think 
what you eat, when you receive communion, because there is something greater there than all 
things corporeal, namely the body of Christ, something there more excellent than spiritual 
creatures, namely the soul of Christ, and divinity also is there, which is above everything which 
God made or will make or can make. Therefore the authority says, "For she is the brightness of
eternal light," (Wis 7:26), namely with respect to divinity. 
Therefore the host is round, which signifies the eternity of God and a mirror without flaw, with 
respect to the soul, ”and the unspotted mirror," with respect to the soul. Therefore the host ought 
to be most pure and white. "and the image of his goodness," (Wis 7:26). with respect to the body 
through which he accomplished his goodness in the work of redemption. 
Morally, we have here a teaching which if we wish to receive communion in a dignified way, 
we have three, namely, the brightness of eternal light through true belief without error and false 
opinion. Secondly, the mirror unspotted through chastity. Third that we have the image of his 
goodness through firm friendship, because just as Christ did not wish to take revenge on his 
enemies, neither should you out of your love of him. Therefore Christ, "Blessed are the 
peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God," (Mt 5:9). Note "peacemakers" from its 
etymology, i.e. making peace, and cursed is he who impedes peace about which it can be said, 
"Damned are the warmongers, because they shall be called children of the devil."

(Read the whole thing.)

No comments: