Spiritual Real Presence

Discussion in 'Sacraments, Sacred Rites, and Holy Orders' started by Scottish Knight, Feb 23, 2012.

  1. highchurchman

    highchurchman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I wouldn't argue about, or over, what Rome thinks. There are so many claims, years ago I took lessons and the young priest, who later became a teacher at the English College at Rome spelled out quite clearly about,'arms, legs and veins,' . When I disputed, he laughed and said, it impresses the faithful.
     
  2. CatholicAnglican

    CatholicAnglican Active Member

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    Jesus said "This is my Body" "This is my Blood" not a figure of, not an illusion of, not a memorial of. But his real Body and Blood
     
  3. Toma

    Toma Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I'll gladly show you a photograph of my nan, and say "this is my nan". Is the photograph equivalent to the person?

    Again, when He said "this cup is the New Testament of my blood", can we say that The Chalice used at the Last Supper is literally the New Testament itself? Of course not. He's allowed to speak figuratively.

    Why do mystics and theologians feel we have the authority to deny everyday language and metaphor to such an everyday, humble, carpenter who just happens to be the glorious, Almighty God? He said very solemn things, but he wasn't a cardboard cutout.
     
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  4. Adam Warlock

    Adam Warlock Well-Known Member

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    Yes!

    If someone disagrees, he can take it up with the Lord in prayer!
     
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  5. Old Christendom

    Old Christendom Well-Known Member

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    Jesus also said "I am the door´" or, in another occasion, "I am the vine." Does this mean that he was a real door or a real vine? No.

    At the Last Supper, did any of the disciples who ate the bread and drunk the wine realised they were actually chewing on Christ's muscles and bones and ritually drinking his blood while He stood there peacefully in from of them? Hardly.
     
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  6. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    We both eat Christ's true body, but not eat his fleshy bits. We consume the spiritual Christ.
     
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  7. Patrick Sticks

    Patrick Sticks Member

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    This feels familiar to something I read once...

    For me I think this antithesis of fleshly/spiritual consuming is a theological dead-end, and it is so because it keeps thinking of 'body' in entirely human terms. To totally deny that we consume the body and blood is to deny the biblical teaching on the matter...but as Stalwart points out, nobody assumes a crude sort of cannibalism- that is to be avoided also. Yet I think the recourse to the 'spiritual' consuming is to make Eucharist entirely disincarnate- the fullness of God the Son is quite capable of dwelling in an earthly body, and is totally identifiable with that body...why shouldn't the post-resurrection body- one that, I might point out, can ascend to heaven, appear and disappear at will, enter locked rooms, and disguise itself from friends, is it so hard to imagine this as being capable of similarly being totally identifiable with the bread? If we have no access to the body of Christ, then clearly we lack something significant that only the first generation of believers had- does the bible support such inequality? Was Paul in fact any less because he did not encounter Christ on earth? I think Paul had the fullness of God and that gives me hope that all of us can do so, our temporal separation from first century palestine being no bar to being in the total presence of Christ, in his instituted eucharist. Resurrection implies disruption to the status quo- things change, the body becoming bread does not seem so mad to me considered in this light.

    And if it feels like this is breaking down the commonsense meaning of the words, I hardly see this as a complaint- There are no words that grasp the reality of God, we have no language for that experience, all we can do is press ordinary words to analogous use, or have we forgotten that 'forgiveness' 'creation' 'covenant' and most importantly of course 'love', all have ordinary-use meanings- they don't essentially tell us something about God or our relationship with him...and that assumes that words have an essential relator to what they signify (something I don't believe happens in actuality).

    Coincidentally the very fact that Christ doesn't merely 'happen' to be God (as if its some sort of surprising accident) is the fact that mystics and theologians take their cue from: There is no human action that proves Jesus was the Son of God, as the gospels themselves acknowledge- plenty thought him merely a prophet, or mad or possessed by a demon...one has to see what is beyond the ordinary and appreciate that it is an fitting act for God- and when one sees it in the person of Christ who is both fully man and fully God, who is brother and friend and intercessor for all who have faith in him- one might begin to wonder if it occurs elsewhere, and especially since there is nothing created that is apart from God, should we be so surprised when we find it?
     
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  8. Toma

    Toma Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Patrick, I cannot reply fully to that at the moment, but the words of Paul in Philippians 1 always haunt me with regards to the Eucharist:

    21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
    22 But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not.
    23 For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:
    24 Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.

    Paul here (and elsewhere) assumes that to be in the flesh, the world, the body, is to be separate from Christ. Only by dying (falling asleep) can we depart to be with Christ fully. Remember that Christ is only present with us via the Person of His Holy Spirit. He never promised to be with us in any other way. Unless there's some context I'm personally missing here, the Eucharistic presence doesn't seem to be the fullness of a physical fleshly body, or else Paul wouldn't say things like this?

    Please let's not get into accusing people of Eutychianism. The Incarnation is strengthened by the idea that the Human Body of Christ is in one local place in Heaven, rather than physically in the Eucharist: for His Body isn't just some astral or platonic form that can literally be in billions of pieces of "bread" at once. That doctrine denies the specificity of His holy Incarnation in one limited human body (even after the Resurrection) with one soul.

    Christ's physical body is still His physical body; He may pass through one locked door at once, but not two locked doors in different parts of the city at the same time; He'd truly be an incorporeal ghost or spirit if that were true. In the same way, His divinity and human soul are able to be present in bread and wine, which make that bread and that wine to be His body because He dwells in them while His human body remains in Heaven - but His physical human body cannot be there, or there is no Incarnation!

    Does that make sense?
     
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  9. Adam Warlock

    Adam Warlock Well-Known Member

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    I like Luther's approach. Communication of attributes, different modes of presence for a glorified body, and a recognition of Christ's continued omnipresence.
     
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  10. Toma

    Toma Well-Known Member Anglican

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    But Christ's continued omnipresence is already assured by His Holy Spirit, isn't it?

    Without the Promise, Eucharistic literalism or "local real presence" would make sense to me... however, the Spirit of Jesus is sent.
     
  11. Adam Warlock

    Adam Warlock Well-Known Member

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    Some hold that position. I would be inclined to argue that the Holy Spirit has his own omnipresence (rather than assigning his to the Son), as all members of the Trinity are fully God and fully possess all of the unchanging attributes of God. The Son is omnipresent, although he also simultaneously maintained a local, physical presence in the Incarnation. Both are true.
     
  12. rhiannon

    rhiannon Member

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    This is something I choose not to think about because I believe it is far more important that we are celebrating God at this service. To worry about about such matters, for me, takes away the importance of being there. Breaking it down to human level of which by trying to state, is doing just that... no one can actually provide an answer because there isn't any proof either side of the argument. Churches can teach all they want to and 'brain wash' their congregations all they want to but at the end of the day, no one can say one is more wrong than the other or more right than the other because there isn't enough scientific evidence to create an academic argument out of it and therefore cannot produce a proper reasoned answer. So it is safer not to go down that road and concentrate on God rather than worry about the invisible remembering that theories can change....:) All I am called to do is join in the regular worship per se. It not that I believe one thing or the other. It isn't that for me. Just simply that for me it is about being at the service. Catholics are no more right or wrong than Protestants about it though Catholics like to claim they are very right about it and on catholic answers it is regularly stated that our Eucharist is invalid because there isn't real presence and that is why they can't parttake - even Anglican Eucharist is considered invalid by them because real presence isn't there is what they are taught or what is taught to those who post on Catholic Answers. So for me, I have carefully chosen not to think about it because for whilst it varies for Priests within Anglican Community, like the issue of women priests, I am neither for or against. It isn't something that affects my own prayer with God and it don't take me away from God so.... just live on worship peacefully per se and just ticks along and if I was ever asked then my final answer is that for me it is about celebrating God that Jesus shows us rather than the politics of the church...
     
  13. Scottish Knight

    Scottish Knight Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps we do tend to go into the philosophical and the speculative sometimes. But to say the catholic and the protestant views are no more right or wrong than each other? Either the bread and wine are turned into Christ or they are not. If Rome is right then it is perfectly fitting to worship the bread as God, for to withold worship from Christ is to sin, however if protestants are right then to worship the bread and wine is gross idolatry and we can in no way approve it. We can't be neutral on this. We have to make a choice to choose one and condemn the other!
     
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  14. Toma

    Toma Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Here, here, Scottish Knight. :)

    It's bread, and it's the body of Christ. That is the view of the Fathers. Let's please get on and just worship Jesus.
     
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  15. Scottish Knight

    Scottish Knight Well-Known Member

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    amen!
     
  16. Aaytch Barton

    Aaytch Barton Active Member

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    According to the Nicene Creed, "the third day he rose again, according to the Scriptures, and ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father; from thence he shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead;"

    Thus we are taught where the substance and person of Jesus is: in Heaven, ENTHRONED next to His Father. The teaching that He is anywhere but heaven (before He comes again) is Gnostic and Arian. When the Creed says that He "sitteth on the right hand of the Father", it means that it is from this position of AUTHORITY that He sends the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost does not indwell inanimate objects (Gnosticism/Arianism), but rather the hearts and minds of the Elect. To say otherwise is a denial of the Creed.
     
  17. Toma

    Toma Well-Known Member Anglican

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    So, H. Barton, what do you take to mean by "This is my Body"? Do you put the stress on "is", or on "my Body"?
     
  18. Aaytch Barton

    Aaytch Barton Active Member

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    I guess I don't agree with the premise of the question. The Eucharist is not about metaphysics at all.

    Holy Communion, whose essential moment is "This is my Body", is a celebration on the remembrance of the facts of our religion, that Christ lived with a physical human body like ours, that He is now risen from the dead (with a death like ours), that physically (with his same body) He is now in Heaven, and that in this same body He promises to come again. If Christ did not rise and is not seated on the Throne, then indeed He must be crucified again... and again and again.

    As a result of being seated on the throne, He sent the Holy Ghost. If Christ is not seated in Heaven, then we would have no Holy Ghost; we would be alone in the world and abandoned by God. As to Jesus's body on earth, well what does Scripture teach?... that WE ARE HIS BODY by the power of the sent Spirit of God, to dwell in and among us by Faith.
     
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  19. Dave

    Dave Active Member

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  20. Toma

    Toma Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Dave, if the "where two or three are gathered" quote has to do with the Eucharist, then any grouping of more than two laypeople can consecrate.

    Also, Christ is present outside the Eucharist by the Person of His Holy Spirit, His Vicar, our Comforter. :)