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Defending the Mystical Body of Christ and the Communion of Saints. Luke Haskell



When Protestantism began to develop it began to separate from the religion and ritual in scripture which Paul calls us to live in obedience to the faith in. In turn it separated good people from living the New Covenant; in turn in the construct of separation they created, they separated from the seamless fabric of scripture because in order to separate from 1400 years of truth they had to take a cookie cutter to scripture creating new false exegesis, concepts, and definitions.


 Through this process they actually compartmentalized scripture according to certain themes they wanted to express and in the process separated from the Catholic Church. This is why they cannot see the communion of saints and they developed a false image of prayer and mediator. When Paul refers to mediator in scripture, Paul is coming from the perspective of being a Pharisee and understanding Levitical law including its sacrificial nature. He is seeing mediator as much more than mediator of prayer. Every day he witnessed the Jews bringing sacrifices to the temple. Every day he witnessed Levitical priests as mediators in offering sacrifice for specific sins and the purification processes for these sins in order to be righteous in the kingdom among the body of the Jewish nation. Purification including a sprinkling of blood of the sacrifice. 

In the New Covenant Paul saw mediator as Jesus our high priest Melchizedek as head of the mystical body which is the church which has been redeemed from original sin through baptism. He saw the Christ the anointed as and mediator to the Father of the entire new covenant fulfilling the type in the mystery of Yom Kippur even bringing his spiritual body into the holies with Him. He had images in his mind of covenant, covenant oath and memorials of covenants in presentation to the Father of those memorials like we see in Leviticus 24:7


Thou shalt take also fine flower, and shalt bake twelve loaves thereof, two tenths shall be in every loaf : 6And thou shalt set them six and six one against another upon the most clean table before the Lord: 7And thou shalt put upon them the dearest frankincense, that the bread may be for a memorial of the oblation of the Lord. 8Every sabbath they shall be changed before the Lord, being received of the children of Israel by an everlasting covenant:


Every Sabbath the Levitical priests ate of the bread of the presence consecrated or made holy by the Shekinah cloud that overshadowed the holy and holy of holies.

Of course Catholics see these memorials as being fulfilled in the Holy Mass.

Now picture this in your mind.


The Shekinah separated the Israelites from the Egyptians as they were fleeing Egypt which is a sign for sin.


The Shekinah overshadowed the bread of the presence.


The Shekinah overshadowed The Ark of The Covenant.


The Shekinah overshadowed Mary establishing the incarnation.


The Shekinah is present at our baptism bringing us into the mystical body of Christ.


The Shekinah consecrates the Eucharist in much of the same way it overshadowed Mary.


Of course the Shekinah is the Holy Spirit.


In the Jewish encyclopedia we read: The majestic presence or manifestation of God which has descended to "dwell" among men.


And of course, inside the body of Christ, Jesus told us that he would send the Holy Spirit to teach us all truth. The Shekinah consecrates the marriage between a perfect groom and imperfect bride. We will build this understanding up in layers as we move on.

 

  The foundation of this compartmentalizing in Protestantism is the heretical doctrines of faith alone and scripture alone and as we discussed in our last presentation, born again separated from baptism is separation from the promise of Abraham fulfilled. It is a separation from the full union of the mystical body of Christ. Outside of the truth it creates a compartmentalization of the mind as they read scripture. It is God who said, “they will see and not see and hear and not hear.” So I ask our Protestant brothers and sisters that they say just a one word prayer before we move on, Ephphatha or be opened.


Irenaeus was a disciple of Polycarp and Polycarp was a disciple of John the apostle. Irenaeus taught that understanding comes from understanding God's covenants with man and how those covenants are fulfilled.


The last covenant is fulfilled in union with Jesus Christ through His glorified body and blood but if you do not believe in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist then you do not have the key to visualizing in your soul God's last covenant with man. To me, I see that God designed the key to understanding to be dying to the wisdom of this world in a process of believing Him when He said; “this is my body”.


Everything that God established is to reverse what happened to our souls in the Garden of Eden when ego entered the world. Paul who said, “The cup of benediction that we bless, is this not participation in the blood of Christ? Also said, God uses the base things of the world, the contemptible things, so that we do not glory in man’s wisdom but glory in God. The Eucharist is obviously base and contemptible to those who do not believe yet what we also see here is that true faith is truly dying to self. To what we want to believe and instead choose obedience to God even without fully understanding.


The church through the Holy Spirit, the Shekinah, establishes this process of humility in the sacramental life where through obedience to God's words even though we cannot truly comprehend them we learn to go from ego, or:

The eating of the fruit of the tree due to Satan using man’s ego against him.

 

To submission in believing something we cannot come close to fully understanding due to our love of Jesus and for our benevolent Father God who knows what we need to nurture the wounds of our souls  in fallen nature, with perfect knowledge. 


We do not even know ourselves because we do not have perfect imagery of how our souls seek God and how our egos often reject our very souls desires. We do not know how many demons are on our shoulders trying to stop us from always living in truth as it is revealed to the soul like Eve being tempted in the garden. God takes account throughout our entire lives every time truth is revealed to our souls in an act of grace and how the mind clouded by ego responds moving closer to God or denying God's truths which often takes a life time of dying to self to continuously live in truth. And of course, He sees the demons on our shoulders.

Therefore scripture tells us, “ he who knows what is right and refuses to do so for him this is sin.”


Jesus says:

Take eat this is my body.


Adam and Eve were unclothed. They did not understand guilt and ego. After they fell from union with God through self-love they began to recognize their nakedness. This is an allegory for separation from God for the entire human race. Paul refers to Adam as the man of flesh and sin while Christ whom we are born again into through our baptism is a quickening spirit.


One is of ego the other is of pure love. Jesus shows us an almost incomprehensible example of humility and love for us by as the ruler of the universe coming to us in the form of bread. This is also known as the divine condescension. First into human form and then into the Eucharist. Catholicism is beautiful. We could never give a more perfect example of humility than Jesus who as fully God and fully man cleaned the dirty feet of his apostles. So when I hear people saying I do not submit to man, I know that these words are not of God.


Paul tells us:

And all discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful, but to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. Hb 12:11


So this entire Biblical mystery through the Old Testament and throughout the new, is a mystery of a correction from separation from God to return into His family through the very glorified flesh of Christ by becoming the body of Christ through a practice of humility and submission in obedience to the faith. 


Paul who was a Catholic priest who taught the religion and ritual of the New Covenant explained that it was his duty to bring about obedience to the faith. Irenaeus said, “all of the apostles were priests.”


In faith we are not naked, we are clothed in Christ. In true expressions of faith there is no ego because we recognize the gifts of grace and begin to see our temporary trials through our eternal souls united to Christ. There is no true faith outside of unconditional love in our process of transforming grace through which we are saved. So our salvation is nothing less than our growth into the very nature of Christ while inside the womb of the mystical body nourished in the sacramental realities.


In this state of being there is the gift of being able to contemplate being in an eternal state with God who is perfect love, looking back into time even. And here is where we can find heaven on earth by understanding there is only two foundational emotions. Love and fear. Love leads you closer to God and His truths and the ability to submit in obedience to the faith of those truths while fear as a product of ego keeps you from letting go. Keeps you even from Gods rule for all of Christianity to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us.


Fear repeats the words of Satan. “ I will not serve”. While Paul calls us to obedience to the faith in the sacramental life therefore it is God who calls us as a benevolent Father and we are called to respond as children who do not truly comprehend but know that the way the Father established for us is what is perfect for us.

 

As the prophet Isaiah tells us:

For my thoughts are not your thoughts: nor your ways my ways, saith the Lord.

9For as the heavens are exalted above the earth, so are my ways exalted above your ways, and my thoughts above your thoughts.


Contemplating these words we repeat Gods words: “This IS my body.” These words are the key to opening up the entire Bible to the soul.

I use the word visualizing through the soul because to conceptualize the mysteries it takes both reason, humility, and through grace, a uniting of these mysteries in the soul creating something that we cannot ever do a good job putting to words but simply when accepting it through faith, it begins to open us up to a spiritual state of being inside the body of Christ. David may have been on to this when he used the phrase, “ pray unceasingly “.


It is in this state of being that Paul told the church which lives inside the Christ consciousness.


6Howbeit we speak wisdom among the perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, neither of the princes of this world that come to nought. 7But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, a wisdom which is hidden, which God ordained before the world, unto our glory: 8Which none of the princes of this world knew. For if they had known it, they would never have crucified the Lord of glory.

9But, as it is written: That eye hath not seen, nor ear heard: neither hath it entered into the heart of man, what things God hath prepared for them that love him.

10But to us God hath revealed them by his Spirit. For the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. 11For what man knoweth the things of a man, but the spirit of a man that is in him? So the things also that are of God, no man knoweth, but the Spirit of God. 12Now, we have received not the spirit of this world, but the Spirit that is of God: that we may know the things that are given us from God. 13Which things also we speak: not in the learned words of human wisdom, but in the doctrine of the Spirit, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

14But the sensual man perceiveth not these things that are of the Spirit of God. For it is foolishness to him: and he cannot understand, because it is spiritually examined. 15But the spiritual man judgeth all things: and he himself is judged of no man. 16For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

1 Cor 2


If Satan knew that Christ’s crucifixion would unite man into the body of Christ and establish baptism and the true Passover for the general redemption of the world, reversing Satan’s work in the Garden of Eden, then Satan would never have been involved in His crucifixion.


Paul says we speak the wisdom of the perfect. The saints in the church were those who were living obedience to the faith in the sacramental life on the way of transforming grace blamelessly. These are who he refers to, those as the perfect who have the mind of Christ. We see this through seeing the seamless fabric of scripture, we do not see it through the cookie cutter process of Protestantism in their goal to separate from the Catholic Church.


This almost sounds like arrogance but it is simply Bible. We are called to holiness but that does not mean we should water down truth in order to not hurt feelings. The greatest expression of love is to lead one from error to truth and most of the time when a Protestant moves from error to truth, God breaks hearts.


We must also take into consideration how the apostles were given the most holy mysteries of the universe during a time of persecution and those mysteries also fulfilled the types the Israelites lived in the Mosaic Law, so they had to tread lightly.


I could imagine how Jews would become irate and very violent. These same Jews said, free Barabas, crucify Jesus. 


What would all of the Jews think if they were told outright with no veiling of the scriptures by the apostles and first century Christians that their bread of the presence was only a type for the Eucharist. The menorah only a type for the cross. The bronze laver the Levitical priests needed to wash in before entering the veil or sacrificing at the altar only a type for baptism into the chosen people, the holy nation, the Royal Priesthood. That the meeting tent and the temple hides the mysteries of salvation through Christ and the church. That  their priesthood was only a type for the Catholic Priesthood of the order of Melchizedek to come, that the prophecy of the reestablished Kingdom of David in the book of Amos has been fulfilled in the universal church. That Jesus as king handed over the keys of the kingdom to His chief ambassador Peter in turn establishing apostolic succession of the kingdom until the King returns. That their prophecy of going up to Mount Sion in order to learn the wisdom of God is fulfilled in the Holy Spirit teaching through  the church which is the true spiritual reality of the body of Christ, the spiritual Israel with Christ as head of the body and mediator to the Father.


Why did Paul say:

Behold Israel according to the flesh, are not those who offer the sacrifice partakers of the altar?


Why did he sayWe have an altar at which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat of?


Because he is contrasting the Israel of the flesh with the Israel of the spirit we are baptized into. The mystical body.

Paul says:


The former indeed had also justifications of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary.

He says this in contrast to the heavenly reality of Israel and the sacramental reality of divine service in the true Passover inside the mystical body of Christ celebrated with the hosts of heaven.

These things had to be approached lightly.


In the early church during persecution the sign of the fish was used in a secret way to identify other Christians. A Christian would approach someone and make an arc in the dirt on the ground. If another Christian made another arc attached to the previous arc at the top then crossing at the bottom forming the fish then they would know that they were in the company of a brother. The original letters and epistles were kept and guarded in the heart of the church and Catholics went to their deaths when they were found with the manuscripts.


In the catacombs the most prevalent images were the images of the miracle of the loaves and fishes showing how Jesus perpetuates His glorified body through the sacraments feeding as many as needed. In the covenant memorial in Leviticus we see 12 loaves. In the miracle of the fishes we see 12 extra baskets. Jesus’s body and blood feeds all who comes to the table, the 12 tribes and 12 apostles representing the world of the universal church just like the 12 tribes pitching their tents around the meeting tent.


Diocletian who was emperor in 303 AD wrote an edict that all scripture was to be destroyed and it was Catholics that went to their deaths protecting them. There were no faith alone, scripture alone, once saved always saved, born again separated from baptism believers there and the early church even lived by the discipline of the secret.


The church explains this

And we went deep into the mystagogy in our last show so we will just touch on it a little here. For those who did not listen to the last show of course you are welcome to go back and listen to that show which will give you more of a foundation for what we are discussing here.


A Franciscan priest Fr Angelo Grieger writes:


“The mystogia was particularly necessary because of a custom practiced from the earliest times of the Church called the disciplina arcani, “the discipline of the secret,” whereby the most profound mysteries of the faith were kept hidden from heathens and from even the catechumens preparing for baptism.  The special—but not only—object of this discipline was the Eucharistic Sacrifice and Sacrament.”…”St. Bonaventure says that we must enter the tomb with Jesus—into another enclosed space—and there we must die and experience the suspension of our senses.  He is not necessarily referring to ecstasy, but what belongs more fundamentally to the mystical life, namely, a new way of thinking that is not dependent on what we see, but on what the Lord tells us.  Of course, first of all that means what the Church teaches, but it also must mean the manner in which we assimilate it through our own efforts to surrender in faith in the silence of prayer.”

 

Dr Scott Hahn does a great job of describing mystagogy also, he writes:

 

The Greek Fathers, following Saint Paul, called the sacraments “the mysteries”, and they are indeed the fulfillment of all the successive covenants in the “mysterious plan of God.” The Church and her apostles, and in turn their successors, serve as “stewards of the mysteries of God” (1 Corinthians 4:1)

                The early Christians explained the sacraments by means of a method they called mystagogy, an initiation into the divine mysteries, the hidden plan of the saving work of Christ. Mystagogy moves a Christian’s awareness from the visible to the invisible, from the temporal to the eternal, from the human to the divine, from the earthly to the heavenly, from the sacraments to the mysteries. Typology shows us how Christ fulfills the Old Covenant; mystagogy shows us how Christ sends the Spirit to extend his fulfillment to us, to bring us into his New Covenant.

                The Body of Christ that is risen and ascended in glory is the New Covenant; and it radiates out through the Spirit to encompass each one of us-through the liturgy and the sacraments.

Scott Hahn Consuming the Word P117


St Basil wrote 


Concerning the teachings of the Church, whether publicly proclaimed (kerygmata) or reserved to members of the household of faith (dogmata), we have received some from written sources, while others have been given to us secretly, through apostolic tradition. Both sources have equal force in true religion. No one would deny either source—no one, at any rate, who is even slightly familiar with the ordinances of the Church. If we attacked unwritten customs, claiming them to be of little importance, we would fatally mutilate the Gospel, no matter what our intentions—or rather, we would reduce the Gospel teachings to bare words.


Apostolic tradition was simply the faith lived and as I have said many times in the past, we must use reason when it comes to the epistles. They are written to people who already had a basic understanding of the faith who the apostles stayed with for up to three years. They are limited to addressing what was pressing on the mind of the author at the time and are in no way a catechism of faith. The first Catechism was possibly written by the apostles around 70 AD or even maybe even before the temple was destroyed. This was the Didache. In the Didache it tells us that no one is to receive the Eucharist until they are baptized into the church because Jesus said do not give what is holy to the dogs. It is basically saying that no one is to receive the Eucharist until they have entered the mystical body of Christ.


Scripture refers to the “ way” in an ambiguous way and due to this people falsely understand the use of the word as the name of the original church. The Didache teaches the way of holiness in the sacramental life. The early church used the phrase the way in describing confession as part of the “way” of life.


There is no clearer of an example of this having previous knowledge and the need for teaching mystagogy then in Paul’s words writing to the church of Corinth 

He writes:


The chalice of benediction, which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ ? And the bread, which we break, is it not the partaking of the body of the Lord ? For we, being many, are one bread, one body: all that partake of one bread. 18Behold Israel according to the flesh. Are not they that eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar? 

 

A rhetorical question to the church at Corinth who received the grace given freely of baptism into the mystical body of Christ so that they could participate in the Holy Mass which Paul is describing. And it shows the contrast between the Israel of the flesh and the Israel of the spirit. The reason for the Immaculate Conception is due to the holiness of the God man Jesus Christ. The reason for our baptism is due to the holiness of the God man Jesus Christ in the Eucharist.


“Is it not a participation in the blood of Christ?

It is a rhetorical question to which the only non-heretical answer to the question is yes. It is the body and blood of Christ and it does consummate our union with Him by partaking of His glorified body and blood by being partakers of what is offered to the Father.


There is no metaphor here and if it was only a metaphor Paul would be doing a huge disservice to the flock not being clear with them here even in a letter that could be intercepted. The same Paul addressing the church says we must be completely united in one faith. This is one doctrine of faith. The church was dedicated to the doctrine and the breaking of the bread and the prayers. From the beginning the breaking of the bread and the prayers was always understood as the Holy Mass.


There would be no rhetorical question here if the ones Paul is writing to were not already taught the faith and who were not already participating in the Holy Mass living the New Covenant in obedience to the faith as the body of Christ. There would be no rhetorical question here, if before a word of scripture was written one of the essential aspects of faith was believing in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist.


So we should not see scripture as a magic 8 ball looking at it through our 21st century sensibilities but we should use reason and look at it through the lens of a first century Jewish convert and even through logical deduction. 


There are actually a lot of things Paul would never have said if he did not believe that through the sacramental life we truly enjoy being part of the body of Christ in a mystical reality. As the body of Christ we participate in how Jesus established the general redemption of the world. This does not happen outside of Christ because Christ is head of the body which makes these things reality on the spiritual plane. We are called to walk by faith not by sight.


So Paul would never have said:

“Behold Israel according to the flesh, are not those who offer the sacrifice partakers of the altar”  if he did not believe in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist inside the body.

Further teaching the church how in the Holy Mass the body who offers the second part of the cross, the fruit of the cross, also partakes of the altar.


He would never have said, We have an altar at which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat of.


The Levitical priests could not participate in the spiritual reality; the grace’s obtained from the Christian altar without baptism into the body of Christ. Therefore Jesus says, wear your wedding garments or else there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. The wedding garments are the white baptismal garments.


The bride is prepared by the groom.

Peter says, baptism now saves you.


The wedding is consummated.

Jesus says, this is my body.


Paul would never would have said, “Oh you foolish Galatians who before your very eyes Christ is portrayed as crucified before you.”


Christ is portrayed as crucified before them because Christ has been crucified once and for all and in the Holy Mass at the consecration of the bread and wine through the action of the Holy Spirit, Christ is made present before us and before the Father, before the Father sees the sins of the world.


We spiritually are present at the cross so who is there with us? Our spiritual mother of course. This is one of the mysteries of the veil.  The Eucharist is the veil between our sinful world and the Father. 


From the Book the Incredible Catholic Mass we read:

“That the Holy Ghost is the agent in this mystery we know from the liturgy of the Apostle James. Immediately before the Consecration, we find this prayer: “Send down, O Lord, we beseech thee, upon these proposed gifts Thy Holy Spirit, that coming them with His Holy and glorious Presence, He may hallow them and make this bread the holy Body, and this cup the holy Blood of Thy Son Jesus Christ.” Almost identical are the words employed in the liturgy of St. Clement, Pope and martyr: “We beseech Thee, O Lord, to send down Thy Holy Spirit upon this oblation, that He may make this bread the Body, this chalice the Blood, of Thy Christ.” Both these eminent Saints, who were contemporaries, attribute the Transubstantiation of the bread and wine, not to Christ, but to the Holy Ghost, and Him they invoke to complete the work. For as the Holy Ghost effected the Incarnation of the Son of God, according to the testimony of the archangel Gabriel, “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee” (Luke 1:35) so in every Mass He accomplishes the renewal of this mystery.

                This is also indicated by the action of the priest, who before making the first sign of the cross over the host and chalice after they have been offered, elevates his eyes towards Heaven, stretches out both his hands and joining them again invokes the Holy Ghost in these words: “Come O sanctifier, Almighty, Eternal God, and bless this sacrifice prepared to Thy holy name.” This proves beyond a doubt that the Holy Ghost descends from Heaven to bless and hallow the Holy Sacrifice. Even so, St Ambrose says in his liturgy, “Send down, O Lord, the invisible majesty of Thy Holy Spirit, as He descended of old upon the holocausts of the patriarchs.”

 

The Incredible Catholic Mass

P232

 


And in order for there to be a worthy offering through the body. The body was made worthy through the justification and sanctification of baptism and the sprinkling of blood that speaks better than that of Able that occurs in every Holy Mass that destroys venial sins,  in order for the bride to offer herself with the Eucharist through Christ to the Father for the general redemption of the world. 


Here is where we offer ourselves as a sacrifice of a pure heart through a sacramental life including the humble act of confession. Without confession there is no cure for mortal sins' effect on the soul. Mortal sin which is a separation from grace.


If we go back to the book the incredible Catholic Mass we read:


“To this point, we have been inquiring in what way the Precious blood of Christ is shed in Holy Mass; we shall now see how it is sprinkled. For we know that as the Precious Blood of Christ is shed when Mass is celebrated, so it is likewise sprinkled upon all who are present and poured out upon their souls. Of this we have a clear type in the Old Testament, to which St. Paul refers when he says how Moses sprinkled the blood of calves and goats upon all the people saying: “This is the blood of the testament, which God hath enjoined unto you.” (Heb. 9:20). The words Christ employed when He consecrated the chalice at the Last Supper are almost identical: “This is…the new testament in My Blood.” (Luke 22:20). St. Paul adds, in the passage already quoted: “It is necessary, therefore, that the patterns of heavenly things should be cleansed with these: but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.” (Heb. 9:23). By this he meant to say:  The Jewish synagogue, which was a type of the Catholic Church, was cleansed by the sprinkling of the blood of calves and goats; whereas, the Catholic Church is cleansed by the Blood of the Lamb of God. Now in order that anything be cleansed either with blood or with water, it must be sprinkled or moistened with blood or water. Thus if our souls are cleansed by the Blood of Christ in the Mass, they must be sprinkled therewith, as we will now proceed to show.

                St. Chrysostom says: “Thou seest that Christ is immolated in the Mass: thou seest that the people present are sprinkled and marked with the crimson Blood from his veins.” In this passage this great Doctor of the Church expressly asserts that in Holy Mass the Blood of Christ is not merely poured out for us, but poured out upon us.”

The Incredible Catholic Mass

P 146


Therefore when Jesus through Paul is saying he presents his church to the Father, He is presenting his body which has been spiritually prepared to offer the true Passover with the hosts of heaven already made perfect as we see in Hebrews 12:22.

To the church at Ephesus where Timothy was bishop  Paul writes:

25Husbands, love your wives, as Christ also loved the church, and delivered himself up for it:  26That he might sanctify it, cleansing it by the laver of water in the word of life:  27That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any; such thing; but that it should be holy, and without blemish.  28So also ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife, loveth himself.  29For no man ever hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, as also Christ doth the church:  30Because we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 31For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they shall be two in one flesh. 32This is a great sacrament; but I speak in Christ and in the church.

Eph 5:25-

Of course as we discussed in our last presentation that laver is being born again through baptism.


Paul would never have said, Christ our true pasch ( Passover Lamb) has been sacrificed let us keep the feast. If he did not believe in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist is present on the altar and in the feast after the offering.


The offering uniting heaven and earth of the body of Christ in the true Passover.

You cannot separate the body of Christ from the Eucharist and from the memorial sacrifice of the cross.


A few questions to our Protestant brothers: 

Did the Israelites eat the Lamb before the angel of death past over?

Is Jesus the Lamb of God?

Is the bread, bread before the blessing or flesh?

Did God say His flesh is real food?

Is bread and wine real food?

Of course it is.

Can the word who sustains matter and time in existence place his glorified body, soul, and divinity in bread and wine and keep the material presence of real food and drink before our senses? So when we partake of the body and blood of Christ it is the Father who sees the true reality of what is being presented to Him as the veil between Him and the sins of the world. This is faith. This is the New Covenant.


We are not talking about carnal unglorified flesh and Jesus is not dead. We are talking about God that transcends the universe in a  bodily essence that produced more energy than the sun as it flowed through the shroud. A body that does not conform to time and space. Jesus is more naturally presented in all the tabernacles of the world 24 hours a day from the rising of the sun until its setting, then he was in the flesh walking among men.


This presence is what most likely suppressed the demonic world that had complete control before Christ and the Eucharist.


In john 16:23 Jesus tells us:

These things I have spoken to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you shall have distress: but have confidence, I have overcome the world.


Or, maybe. I have subdued the world.


Why do Protestants look to the law of nature from the one who transcends those laws? Many do so in a subconscious process due to not wanting to live obedience to the faith in the Catholic Church.

We all know God can do anything so now you should know why.


Those who partake of the one bread are part of the one body and they begin to be so through the purification of baptism of course. You do not pour new wine into old wine skins. You must wear your wedding garments or there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.


This is my body God says.


Through these words of Paul that we have just discussed, even before one develops faith, he or she should see through reason that it would only make sense that they were even written, if Jesus calling His body and blood real food and real drink is true. They look completely out of place if this was not true and if true those who have been baptized into the church who were purified in order to partake of the one bread are participants in the one body. If true then Protestantism is under a diabolical deception that separated them from the New Covenant.


There is extreme cognitive dissonance here but this is obvious because Protestantism does not only look different from the faith of the disciples of the apostles but it is worlds apart from it. The disciples of the apostles lived the Catholic faith and in true faith it is essential to believe in the Eucharist. You cannot live the New Covenant without belief in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Satan’s deceptions have been that damaging on our world.


I need to back track a little bit here to our last discussion on the diabolical deception of the born again movement where we talked about the meeting tent showing us salvation through Christ and the church. We will look at type fulfilled in heavenly reality here.

Here is how scripture shows us we spiritually  enter the body of Christ.


The meeting tent God gave Moses very specific instructions for had an outer tent covered in coarse animal hair.

 In Mt 3:4 we read

And the same John had his garment of camels' hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins: and his meat was locusts and wild honey.


John the Baptist wore coarse animal hair.


The outer tent shows us the baptism of repentance for the Jews that John proclaimed in preparing the way for the Lord.


Before the Levitical priests could sacrifice at the altar or enter the Holies they had to wash at the bronze laver less perhaps they died. 

 

Jesus said we must be born again of water and spirit in order to enter the Kingdom of heaven. We can place the words “ less perhaps we die” for our spiritual vision here as this was explained by God to Moses for those who did not wash at the laver before entering the veil.


Paul in Titus 3:5 writes

5Not by the works of justice which we have done, but according to his mercy, he saved us, by the laver of regeneration and renovation of the Holy Ghost. 6Whom he hath poured forth upon us abundantly, through Jesus Christ our Saviour: 7That, being justified by his grace, we may be heirs according to hope of life everlasting.

Titus 3:5


So there is a purification here that is a type for baptism and Paul shows us that this purification is needed to enter in type the veil or in the heavenly reality of the flesh of Christ; his mystical body. In the body as heirs of the promise of Abraham fulfilled, is where we establish hope for everlasting life. We do not begin our journey, we do not enter the body of Christ through our own justices, or anything we can do on our own, because baptism into the promise of Abraham fulfilled is grace given freely by regeneration and renovation of the Holy Spirit.


Paul writes 


19Having therefore, brethren, a confidence in the entering into the holies by the blood of Christ: 20A new and living way which he hath dedicated for us through the veil, that is to say, his flesh: 21And a high priest over the house of God: 22Let us draw near with a true heart, in fulness of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with clean water.

Hb 10:19

 

Entering the flesh of Christ is not a metaphor. We move from type to heavenly reality not from type to type.

So entrance into the mystical body of Christ does not occur without baptism into the church and the veil is the flesh of Christ, and yet Jesus married a Gentile bride so we cannot separate the flesh of Christ from the bride and Jesus even gives us a spiritual message of this reality when He said: “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. Mt 19:8

 

We see this coming marriage in the words of the prophet Hosea

19And I will espouse thee to me for ever: and I will espouse thee to me in justice, and judgment, and in mercy, and in commiserations.

20And I will espouse thee to me in faith: and thou shalt know that I am the Lord.

He goes on and at the end of the chapter we read

23And I will sow her unto me in the earth, and I will have mercy on her that was without mercy. [24] And I will say to that which is not my people: Thou art my people: and they shall say: Thou art my God.


We visualize outside of the concept of time and space the bride responding to the groom. A perfect groom will marry a sinful bride.


I am black but beautiful, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, as the tents of Cedar, as the curtains of Solomon. Song of Solomon 1


At the cross when Jesus began to quote Psalms 22 he is leading us to finish the Psalm. 

Let’s look at part of the psalm.


] O God my God, look upon me: why hast thou forsaken me? Far from my salvation are the words of my sins…22{21:23}I will declare thy name to my brethren: in the midst of the church will I praise thee…27{21:28}All the ends of the earth shall remember, and shall be converted to the Lord: And all the kindreds of the Gentiles shall adore in his sight…31{21:32}There shall be declared to the Lord a generation to come: and the heavens shall shew forth his justice to a people that shall be born, which the Lord hath made.

And this people will form a great church which is the body of Christ.

 

John the Baptist was the friend of the bride and the cross was a marriage bed.


John tells us

He that hath the bride, is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, who standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth with joy because of the bridegroom's voice. This my joy therefore is fulfilled

John 3:29


The Gospel of John is the wedding feast of the Lamb that begins Jesus’s ministry with honoring a marriage where we see the miracle of changing water into wine. The words “ He saved the best wine for last “ gives us the spiritual imagery of the New Covenant uniting to the blood of Christ in the final covenant with man.


Jesus said, this is my blood of the New Covenant.


So entering the body of Christ is being a member of the bride and entering the very glorified flesh of Christ as Paul shows us in Ephesians 5:29


9For no man ever hated his own flesh, but nourisheth and cherisheth it, as also Christ doth the church: 30Because we are members of him, body, of his flesh and of his bones. 31For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother: and shall cleave to his wife. And they shall be two in one flesh. 32This is a great sacrament: but I speak in Christ and in the church.

 

In many of the Catholic cathedrals over the high altars you often see the formation of the Jewish Huppah. The four pillar tent under which the marriage vows are expressed are in the same place where the Holy Spirit consecrates the Eucharist.


We read from the Jewish encyclopedia:

A Hebrew word signifying a canopy (Isa. iv. 5; Lev. R. xxv.; Eccl. R. vii. 11), especially the bridal canopy. Subsequently it became also the term for a wedding. Originally the ḥuppah was the chamber in which the bride awaited the groom for the marital union; hence the Biblical statement that the sun comes out of his tabernacle in the morning "as a bridegroom cometh out of his chamber [ḥuppah]" (Ps. xix. 6 [A. V. 5]; comp. Joel ii. 16). The bridal procession—a festal affair in which the whole town participated.


Many of the Fathers understood this marriage but I don’t know of anyone who puts it more beautifully to words than Augustine.


Augustine writes:

Every Celebration [of the Eucharist] is a celebration of Marriage; the Church’s nuptials are celebrated. The King’s Son is about to marry a wife, and the Kings Son [is] himself the King; and the guests frequenting the marriage are themselves the bride…for all the Church is Christ’s Bride, of which the beginning and first fruits is the Flesh of Christ, because there was a Bride joined to the Bridegroom in the flesh.

(Augustine, Homilies on 1 John 2:12-17)


Living in this sacramental truth is the environment Paul was in when He wrote:

1Therefore seeing we have this ministration, according as we have obtained mercy, we faint not. 2But we renounce the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness nor adulterating the word of God: but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience, in the sight of God. 3And if our gospel be also hid, it is hid to them that are lost, 4In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of unbelievers, that the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should not shine unto them. 5For we preach not ourselves, but Jesus Christ our Lord: and ourselves your servants through Jesus. 6For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God, in the face of Christ Jesus.

1 Cor 4:1-



So Irenaeus explained that understanding comes from understanding God's covenants with man.


So understanding includes understanding how those covenants are fulfilled.


The first time Jesus, the incarnation of God on earth refers to covenant is when at the last supper he ordained his first priests through the washing of their feet and giving them a new precept. Imagine the incredible mystery of this; the majesty the holiness. God who established the type of Passover in the people of Israel, came in the flesh 1300 years later to establish the true meaning of Passover as He said, “I strongly desire to celebrate this Passover with you.” The one who sustains the universe in existence strongly desires to celebrate the true Passover with His creatures and through His creatures which began with the marriage bed of the cross.


Augustine writes:

Like a bridegroom Christ went forth from his nuptial chamber…He came even to the marriage-bed of the cross, and sensed the creature sighing in her breath, he surrendered himself to torment for his bride in a communication of love.

(Augustine, Sermo Suppositus, 120:3)

It is consummated 


This is my blood of the New Covenant, do this in memory of me.


Like I said we can’t help but to overlap on many things but I want to emphasize what is going on here and Protestants really need to see the beauty of the covenant God established.


I don’t remember where I got this quote, I have tons of stuff in files so I am simply going to say this is not mine but it gets to the heart of what God on earth was doing at the last supper. He was establishing the new exodus in the new Passover which is the fulfillment of the type that will be presented by His body with He as head of the body and mediator of the true Passover to the Father for the general redemption of the world.

So let’s look at this word memory.


Do this in memory of me.

 “The Apostles and early believers recognized the sacrificial character of Jesus' instruction, "Do this in remembrance (Gr. anamnasin) of me" is better translated "Offer this as my memorial sacrifice."

Anamnesis ("remembrance") has sacrificial overtones. It occurs only eight times in the NT and the Greek OT. All but once (Wisdom 16:6) it is in a sacrificial context (Hebrews 10:3, Leviticus 24:7, Numbers 10:10 and Psalm 38 [39] and 70 [70]). In these cases the term anamnesis can be translated as "memorial portion," "memorial offering," or "memorial sacrifice." Thus in the remaining two occurrences of anamnesis (Luke 22:19; 1 Corinthians 11:24), Christ’s words "Do this in remembrance of Me," can be translated as "Offer this for my memorial sacrifice."


The types are fulfilled in the heavenly reality of the Eucharist.


Jesus says 

I have not come to abolish the law but to fulfill the law. He came to change the types into their heavenly realities. Catholicism is not replacement theology it is fulfilment theology.

If we look at the example I gave in the beginning and now you can place these examples as types for those who are living inside the body of Christ,   we read again from Leviticus:


And thou shalt put upon them the dearest frankincense, that the bread may be for a memorial of the oblation of the Lord.

Leviticus 24:7


We read from Numbers:

If at any time you shall have a banquet, end on your festival days, and on the first days of your months, you shall sound the trumpets over the holocausts, and the sacrifices of peace offerings, that they may be to you for a remembrance of your God. I am the Lord your God.

Numbers 10:10


So this is the primary reason why there is a chosen people, a holy nation, a Royal Priesthood, a mystical body of Christ that Peter explains as have to have been chosen to offer spiritual sacrifices worthy of God as the body of Christ. Peter says: “ You are a chosen people, a holy nation, a royal priesthood. “This is where there is predestination and election not through the foolish understanding of Calvin as predestined to salvation or hell but predestined as a holy nation, holy, meaning set apart for God. Set apart as the body of Christ to offer the true Passover for the general redemption of the world while Satan has the world attacking the general redemption.


Let’s build up another layer.


So the word covenant comes from the ancient Semitic word “Berit”, which means an oath secured in a blood bond.

Primitive People who entered covenant agreements would solidify the covenant through a blood oath that is not to be broken. If it is broken then the one who broke it is to die. One visual of this would be how two different people entering into a covenant relationship would both cut their arms, place their wounds together and tie their arms together while both sources of blood mixes between the two parties. Another way would actually be sucking of blood. 


The Jewish encyclopedia gives us a good image of this.


:an agreement between two contracting parties, originally sealed with blood; a bond, or a law; a permanent religious dispensation. The old, primitive way of concluding a covenant (, "to cut a covenant") was for the covenanters to cut into each other's arm and suck the blood, the mixing of the blood rendering them "brothers of the covenant" (see Trumbull, "The Blood Covenant," pp. 5 et seq., 322; W. R. Smith, "Religion of the Semites," pp. 296 et seq., 460 et seq.; compare Herodotus, iii. 8, iv. 70). Whether "berit" is to be derived from "barah" =to cut or from a root cognate with the Assyrian "berit" = fetter


The Jewish encyclopedia goes on to show us a covenant meal.

A rite expressive of the same idea is (see Jer. xxxiv. 18; compare Gen. xv. et seq.) the cutting of a sacrificial animal into two parts, between which the contracting parties pass, showing thereby that they are bound to each other; the eating together of the meat, which usually follows, reiterating the same idea. Originally the covenant was a bond of life-fellowship, where the mingling of the blood was deemed essential.

To break "the covenant of the brothers" (Amos i. 9) was a heinous sin, and imposed the penalty of death (II Sam. iii. 28). The Mosaic law, therefore, forbade Israel making a covenant with the idolatrous inhabitants of Canaan or "with their gods" (Ex. xxiii. 32, xxxiv. 12; Deut. vii. 2). 


It is in this same nature that types of covenant bonds and imperfect bonds were perfected in Christ. Our God came in the flesh to a covenant meal to secure the final covenant with man in his blood.


So covenant meals among Gods people are sacrificial in nature and are memorials of the covenant between God and man. God is present at a covenant meal. This is often described as a marriage between God and man because when the Israelites broke their covenant with God through idolatry and marriage to pagans, the prophets called them out as a whore in scarlet, a fornicator. 

So when a covenant bond is broken someone has to die.


Jesus willingly gave up His life.


Paul writes to the Hebrew Church:

where there is a testament the death of the testator must of necessity come in.17For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is as yet of no strength, whilst the testator liveth. 18Whereupon neither was the first indeed dedicated without blood. 19For when every commandment of the law had been read by Moses to all the people, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water, and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people. 20Saying: This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you. 21The tabernacle also and all the vessels of the ministry, in like manner, he sprinkled with blood. 22And almost all things, according to the law, are cleansed with blood: and without shedding of blood there is no remission.

23It is necessary therefore that the patterns of heavenly things should be cleansed with these: but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these

Hb 9


Patterns of heavenly realities is what Paul is saying.


In this destruction of the covenant bond Jesus who gave up his life so that a remnant of the Jews could enter the fulfillment of covenant in His mystical body, He even took on the curse for destroying his own house the Old Covenant tabernacle family.

In type we see this in the book of Ezra as a punishment for anyone who destroys the temple.

We read from Ezra 


And I have made a decree: That if any whosoever, shall alter this commandment, a beam be taken from his house, and set up, and he be nailed upon it, and his house be confiscated.

Ezra 6:11


It appears that Paul had a premonition of this destruction of the temple when he wrote:

Now in saying a new, he hath made the former old. And that which decayeth and groweth old, is near its end.

Hb 8:13


Hebrews was probably written around 68 AD before the destruction of the temple. After the destruction there could no longer be a Levitical priesthood. The type for the mystical body of Christ was destroyed.


So in addition to Christ taking on the curse of the oath he took on the curse for the destruction of the temple so that through baptism a remnant would be saved yet also through baptism those Gentiles us, could enter the promise of Abraham fulfilled.


Even though the Israelites failed in their oath God did not forget his promise to Abraham.

The early church had a clear understanding of this and we can see how clear when we read a document called the Didiscalia.


We find reference to the second legislation that could no longer be performed after the destruction of the temple  in the Didascalia written or added to, around 230 A.D. Many of the ancient documents are hard to date because of additions written at a latter dates.


“Him they denied and said : We have no God to go before us; and they made them a molten calf and worshipped it [Ex 32.1, 8] and sacrificed to a graven image. Therefore, the Lord was angry; and in His hot anger -- (yet) with the mercy of His goodness -- He bound them with the Second Legislation, and laid heavy burdens upon them, and a hard yoke (p. 109) upon their neck. And He says now no longer: If thou shalt make [cf. Ex 20.24-25; Dt 27.5-6], as formerly; but He said: 'Make an altar, and sacrifice continually' as though He had need of these things. Wherefore He laid upon them continual burnt offerings with a necessity, and caused them to abstain from meats by means of distinctions of meats. For from that time were animals discerned, and clean and unclean flesh; from that time were separations, and purifications, and baptisms, and sprinklings; from that time were sacrifices, and offerings, and tables; from that time were burnt offerings, and oblations, and shewbread, and the offering up of sacrifices, and firstlings, and redemptions, and he-goats for sin, and vows, and many other things marvellous. For because of manifold sins there were laid upon them customs unspeakable; but by none of them did they abide, but they again provoked the Lord… For the Second Legislation was imposed for the making of the calf and for idolatry. But you through baptism have been set free from idolatry, and from the Second Legislation, which was (imposed) on account of idols, For in the Gospel (p. 110) He  renewed and fulfilled and affirmed the Law; but the Second Legislation He did away and abolished.[1]


The gospel “affirmed” the law of unconditional love, and released the Jews from the second legislation through the cross by way of baptism into the body of Christ. This also shows us where Protestants erred in not properly identifying the difference between the law of works as the second legislation for Jews only and charity which is being Christ to man in our journey of transforming grace through which we are saved. The second legislation is literally the law of works. This is what Paul was referring to when he said we are saved by faith not works of the law.

 

So when Jesus established the New Covenant meal and oath he was beginning to fulfill his promise to Abraham that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars. It would be universal of both Jews and Gentiles. Even though Israel failed in their covenant, God did not forget His promise to Abraham.


Dr Scott Hahn says

The covenant and the oath. These terms are so closely related that the Bible sometimes uses them synonymously, as when Zachariah speaks of Gods holy covenant the oath which he swore ( Lk 1:72) and so the oath is the covenant and the covenant is the oath.


From DR Hahn’s explanation we can say that the covenant and the oath is a life of obedience to the faith.


So obedience to the faith, living the religion and ritual of the New Covenant is interchangeable with the oath. And the memorial of the New Covenant is a constant renewal through all generations until the second coming, in sharing of the glorified body and blood of Christ. Paul sums this up in the phrase “ obedience to the faith.” If there is no obedience to the faith throughout time then there is no general redemption of the world. Protestants should thank us for our obedience to the true Passover.

This is what Paul and the church understood when Paul wrote 


The cup of benediction that we bless is this not participation in the blood of Christ?


  A question to our Protestant friends .  Is this not participation in our blood bond covenant oath with God?  Yes it is and the bond is only true bond if the blood of Christ is truly present . 


So in this covenant reality is where Paul says 


Know you not that your bodies are the members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid! 16Or know you not that he who is joined to a harlot is made one body? For they shall be, saith he, two in one flesh. 17But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit.

18Fly fornication. Every sin that a man doth is without the body: but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. 19Or know you not that your members are the temple of the Holy Ghost, who is in you, whom you have from God: and you are not your own? 20For you are bought with a great price. Glorify and bear God in your body.


It is why Paul can say

Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up those things that are wanting of the sufferings of Christ, in my flesh, for his body, which is the church:


It is how Christ who was a perfect Lamb of sacrifice without sin, can after his death take on sin by being united to a sinful bride. “ I am black but comely”. This is what Paul shows us when he says


20For Christ therefore we are ambassadors, God as it were exhorting by us, for Christ, we beseech you, be reconciled to God. 21Him, who knew no sin, he hath made sin for us: that we might be made the justice of God in him.


Jesus was not sin while He was in the flesh or else He would not have been a perfect Lamb of sacrifice so Jesus could only have become sin through a true sacramental union with the church as the mystical body of Christ.


In this understanding of being part of the body as the chosen people, the holy nation, the Royal Priesthood who unites with heaven in the true Passover for the general redemption of the world we are called to holiness and Paul tells us.


For we in spirit, by faith, wait for the hope of justice. 6For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing nor uncircumcision: but faith that worketh by Charity.

7You did run well. What hath hindered you, that you should not obey the truth? 8This persuasion is not from him that calleth you. 9A little leaven corrupteth the whole lump.

In Christ Jesus is the same as in the mystical body of Christ which we enter into through baptism into the promise of Abraham fulfilled.

Therefore Paul tells the Galatians 

26For you are all the children of God, by faith in Christ Jesus. 27For as many of you as have been baptized in Christ have put on Christ. 28There is neither Jew nor Greek: there is neither bond nor free: there is neither male nor female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29And if you be Christ's, then are you the seed of Abraham, heirs according to the promise.


And again overlapping again here, Roman’s 9 shows us that entering the promise fulfilled is entrance into the family of God and 2 Peter 1 shows us that the promise fulfilled includes divinization which is the result of the graces of baptism.


There is no entrance into the body of Christ that participates in the true Passover for the general redemption of the world without divination of the soul.


There is a fascinating prophecy about Christ and Mary which also shows us the mystical body of Christ in Luke’s gospel.


And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother: Behold this child is set for the fall and for the resurrection of many in Israel and for a sign which shall be contradicted. 35And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that, out of many hearts thoughts may be revealed.

Out of many hearts thoughts may be revealed.


 It appears that these thoughts contemplated through the pierced heart of Mary are thoughts of the mystical body contemplating the love of Christ through the cross through the pierced heart of Mary. What better image can you find for the rosary in which we the body of Christ, unite in sorrow with her for the sins of the world as we ask her to pray for us.


So as Catholics we feel this union with heaven in our very souls so when Protestants say we pray to dead saints we know by the very definition of saint they are wrong. A saint is united to God in the mystical body and is more alive in the body than we are.

When we enter the promise of Abraham fulfilled being purged of original sin and becoming the divinized family of God, we are in the presence of heaven 24/7.

It is in this understanding  Paul wrote:


And therefore we also having so great a cloud of witnesses over our head, laying aside every weight and sin which surrounds us, let us run by patience to the fight proposed to us: 

Hb 12:1


In this same context in Hebrews 12:22 Paul tells us that we have come to mount Sion to the church of the first born to thousands of angels to the spirits of the just made perfect.

This is the cloud of witnesses that surround us. Us who have been divinized in order to enter the family of God. Therefore Jesus tells the church. “ You are not of the world, if you were of the world the world would know it’s own”.


No one understands Catholicism until they are given the grace to move toward Catholicism. Anyone who converts and enters the church will come to the conclusion that before they were enlightened by the truth they only knew a religion of anti-Catholicism.


The Old Covenant world is much different from the new.


In the new, Jesus has corrected most of what we lost in the Garden and Jesus has prepared a place for us. A place that those before us have already gone to that places them as the cloud of witnesses, the church of the first born.


In Matthew we read:

And Jesus said to them: Amen, I say to you, that you, who have followed me, in the regeneration, when the Son of man shall sit on the seat of his majesty, you also shall sit on twelve seats judging the twelve tribes of Israel. Mt 12:28


We followed Him into the regeneration of baptism. He didn’t need baptism he showed us through baptism how we become sons of God; He showed us the path of the narrow road; the “way”.


Revelation tells us:

Behold I make all things new. Rev 21:5


And Jesus rebukes those who do not believe it:

And as concerning the dead that they rise again, have you not read in the book of Moses, how in the bush God spoke to him, saying: I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? 27He is not the God of the dead, but of the living. You therefore do greatly err. Mk 12:26


Luther was known to have conversations with Satan and one of those conversations is very revealing. From a  Father Patrick Ohare            

We read:


"Read Luther's work against "The Mass and the Ordination of Priests," (Erl. 31, 311 ff.) where he tells of his famous disputation with the "father of lies" who accosted him "at midnight" and spoke to him with "a deep, powerful voice," causing "the sweat to break forth" from his brow and his "heart to tremble and beat." In that celebrated conference, of which he was an unexceptional witness and about which he never entertained the slightest doubt, he says plainly and unmistakingly that "the devil spoke against the Mass, and Mary and the Saints" and that, moreover, "Satan gave him the most unqualified approval of his doctrine of justification by faith alone." Who now, we ask in all sincerity, can be found, except those appallingly blind to truth, to accept such a man, approved by the enemy of souls, as a spiritual teacher and entrust to his guidance their eternal welfare?"


So to close I want to go  Dr David Anders in his conversion story.

Dr Anders writes: 

The Church was the issue I kept coming back to. Evangelicals tend to view the Church as simply an association of like-minded believers. Even the Reformers, Luther and Calvin, had a much stronger view of the Church than this, but the ancient Christians had the most sublime doctrine of all. I used to see their emphasis on Church as unbiblical, contrary to “faith alone,” but I began to realize that it was my Evangelical tradition that was unbiblical.

Scripture teaches that the Church is the Body of Christ (Eph 4:12). Evangelicals tend to dismiss this as mere metaphor, but the ancient Christians thought of it as literally, albeit mystically, true. St. Gregory of Nyssa could say, “He who beholds the Church really beholds Christ.”1 As I thought about this, I realized that it spoke to a profound truth about the biblical meaning of salvation. St. Paul teaches that the baptized have been united to Christ in His death, so that they might also be united to Him in resurrection (Rom 6:3–6). This union literally makes the Christian a participant in the divine nature (2 Pet 1:4). St. Athanasius could even say, “For He was made man that we might be made God” (De incarnatione, 54.3). The ancient doctrine of the Church now made sense to me because I saw that salvation itself is nothing other than union with Christ and a continual growth into His nature. The Church is no mere association of like-minded people. It is a supernatural reality because it shares in the life and ministry of Christ.

This realization also made sense of the Church’s sacramental doctrine. When the Church baptizes, absolves sins, or, above all, offers the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, it is really Christ who baptizes, absolves, and offers His own Body and Blood. The sacraments do not detract from Christ. They make Him present.

The Scriptures are quite plain on the sacraments. It you take them at face value, you must conclude that Baptism is the “bath of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:5 NAB). Jesus meant it when He said, “My flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink” (Jn 6:55 NAB). He was not lying when He promised, “Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them” (Jn 20:23 NAB). This is exactly how the ancient Christians understood the sacraments. I could no longer accuse the ancient Christians of being unbiblical. On what grounds could I reject them at all?…The ancient Christian doctrine of the Church also made sense of the veneration of saints and martyrs. I learned that the Catholic doctrine on the saints is just a development of this biblical doctrine of the Body of Christ. Catholics do not worship the saints. They venerate Christ in His members. By invoking their intercession, Catholics merely confess that Christ is present and at work in His Church in heaven. Protestants often object that the Catholic veneration of saints somehow detracts from the ministry of Christ. I understood now that the reverse is actually true. It is the Protestants who limit the reach of Christ’s saving work by denying its implications for the doctrine of the Church.

My studies showed this theology fleshed out in the devotion of the ancient Church. As I continued my investigation of Augustine, I learned that this “Protestant hero” thoroughly embraced the veneration of saints. The Augustine scholar Peter Brown (born 1935) also taught me that the saints were not incidental to ancient Christianity. He argued that you could not separate ancient Christianity from devotion to the saints, and he placed Augustine squarely in this tradition. Brown showed that this was no mere pagan importation into Christianity, but rather tied intimately to the Christian notion of salvation (see his Cult of Saints: Its Rise and Function in Latin Christianity).

 

 

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