Spiritual Real Presence

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

  1. Peteprint

    Peteprint Well-Known Member Anglican

    Posts:
    725
    Likes Received:
    681
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    High-Church Laudian
    I can see that most agree that Christ is, in some sense, truly present in the Bread and Wine. St. Paul mentions those who became sick or who even died from taking the Eucharist unworthily, so a purely memorial or symbolic view of the Eucharist makes no sense according to scripture. Thank you for the interesting links Lowly Layman.
     
    Lowly Layman likes this.
  2. Spherelink

    Spherelink Active Member

    Posts:
    545
    Likes Received:
    241
    Religion:
    Unhinged SC Anglican
    Of course. A purely memorial or symbolic eucharist is heretical anabaptism. However the precise location of the Spiritual Body has been offered differening views. While the standard opinion describes it as present in the host, a few have argued that it is present in the Recepient when he takes the host (rather than in the host itself). Minor distinctions compared to the awesome reality of His Presence for us at all.
     
    Kammi, Lowly Layman and Peteprint like this.
  3. seagull

    seagull Active Member

    Posts:
    536
    Likes Received:
    88
    Country:
    England
    Religion:
    Anglican
    My preferred option is consubstantiation. But there are plenty of Protestants, including some in the CofE, who do see the eucharist as memorial/symbolic. And you seem to imply that the priest should not only refuse them the Sacrament but possibly even turn them away from church because they are "heretical anabaptists".

    The Church of England isn't like that. Thank God.
     
  4. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    2,242
    Likes Received:
    1,995
    Seagull, I don't see anywhere where Spherelink implied that or how that it can possibly inferred. Perhaps his message implies that the CofE as well as other Anglican bodies should do a better job at catechesis, especially since the bible says that those who do not "discern the body of christ" in the sacram
     
  5. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    2,242
    Likes Received:
    1,995
    ent, take it unworthily, and so bring judgment on themselves for sinning against Our Lord's body and blood. That's just as easily umplied is it not?
     
  6. highchurchman

    highchurchman Well-Known Member Anglican

    Posts:
    706
    Likes Received:
    547
    Country:
    Britain
    Religion:
    Anglican/Catholic

    Do you propose that belief is open? The Catholic Church to allow freedom of belief in the faith?
     
  7. Spherelink

    Spherelink Active Member

    Posts:
    545
    Likes Received:
    241
    Religion:
    Unhinged SC Anglican
    I didn't mention a whit about what you are talking about.
    But now that you mention it, it is interesting that you're okay with the priest feeding his parishioner unto eternal damnation, so long as the priest doesn't appear sour and grumpy. To me this looks like a classic statement of unbelief wherein the things of this world possess more reality than the things of the Spirit.
     
    highchurchman likes this.
  8. seagull

    seagull Active Member

    Posts:
    536
    Likes Received:
    88
    Country:
    England
    Religion:
    Anglican
    Highchurchman, Spherelink and Lowly Layman.

    I love the Church of England for many reasons. It is kind, tolerant and mature enough to recognise doubt. It does not expect its flock to be bludgeoned into belief. Remember we are a broad church. That is why we have stuck together and not splintered. And I have never known a priest who has interrogated communicants about their beliefs.
     
  9. Spherelink

    Spherelink Active Member

    Posts:
    545
    Likes Received:
    241
    Religion:
    Unhinged SC Anglican
    What about God, will he interrogate the communicants about their beliefs? Will he judge those committing blasphemy, as Jesus says, to "eternal damnation?" It seems like your faith is all about what other people will say. All secular, all world-oriented.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2014
  10. seagull

    seagull Active Member

    Posts:
    536
    Likes Received:
    88
    Country:
    England
    Religion:
    Anglican
    One of the books I find most useful is Christianity by John Young, an Anglican priest. To quote him, referring to the eucharist, "many Catholics and Protestants believe that it does not matter whether all Christians believe in exactly the same way." Later he writes, "I believe that receiving the elements of bread and wine out of simple obedience to the Lord's command, has spiritual value". This does not, presumably, rule out those who receive it in a symbolic way, in memory of Our Lord. I am also very conscious of John Donne's stanza that the sacrament is what God makes it.

    When I receive the eucharist, as I do twice weekly, I feel a sense of God's grace and forgiveness. I feel no sense of interrogation.
     
  11. Spherelink

    Spherelink Active Member

    Posts:
    545
    Likes Received:
    241
    Religion:
    Unhinged SC Anglican
    It sounds like what matters is your feeling. Objective matters and warnings of God take second place?

    "I feel a sense of God's grace and forgiveness"
    -How could there be a forgiveness without an accusation?...
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2014
  12. seagull

    seagull Active Member

    Posts:
    536
    Likes Received:
    88
    Country:
    England
    Religion:
    Anglican
    Like everyone else, I am a sinner. Hence the general confession and asking forgiveness. I don't feel the need to ask forgiveness about my view of the real presence (which, as I have said, happens to be consubstantiation). Do you?
     
  13. Peteprint

    Peteprint Well-Known Member Anglican

    Posts:
    725
    Likes Received:
    681
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    High-Church Laudian
    highchurchman likes this.
  14. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    1,352
    Likes Received:
    1,513
    Country:
    Australia
    Religion:
    Anglican
    As an Anglican I grew up with much of this discussion, and the Elizabethan view

    always seemed to me in a way to sidestep the debate, yet with a little more maturity I think it is a valuable insight.

    As mere mortals, we light to box things up and contain them. In a two dimensional world if a sphere passes through the world there is a concept in the two dimensional world of a circle expanding and contracting from dot to dot. The residents of the two dimensional world have now firm grasp of a three dimensional world, though some my hypothesize of its existence. To me the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar is a significant moment of encounter with the Risen Lord.
     
    seagull, Lowly Layman and Peteprint like this.
  15. Peteprint

    Peteprint Well-Known Member Anglican

    Posts:
    725
    Likes Received:
    681
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    High-Church Laudian
    Actually Philip, the quote that I seen have is to the effect, "if we can't see Christ in the face of the beggar at the church door, we won't see him in the chalice," or something to that effect. It is by St. John Chrysostom. I can't find the specific page in my book.
     
    Kammi and Botolph like this.
  16. PointyHairedCalvinist

    PointyHairedCalvinist New Member

    Posts:
    7
    Likes Received:
    7
    Country:
    United States
    Religion:
    Presbyterian (PCA)
    Calvin's & the continental reformers viewed - contra Luther - that the body of Christ is not localized in the elements, but contra Zwingli that Christ is truly present. I think this certainly lines up with Cranmer and the classical Anglican view.

    Indeed, even Christ said "all who eat of this bread will never die." (John 6.51) While those who teach transubstantiation claim this passage as their own, those who believe in a spiritual real presence have just as much claims. Those who are not in Christ do NOT eat the Lord's body, else they would be saved. They are however under God's condemnation for profaning the sacrament.

    The Westminster Larger catechism also says -
    What is the Lord's Supper?
    Answer: The Lord's Supper is a sacrament of the New Testament, wherein, by giving and receiving bread and wine according to the appointment of Jesus Christ, his death is showed forth; and they that worthily communicate feed upon his body and blood, to their spiritual nourishment and growth in grace; have their union and communion with him confirmed; testify and renew their thankfulness, and engagement to God, and their mutual love and fellowship each with other, as members of the same mystical body.
     
    Kammi and highchurchman like this.
  17. highchurchman

    highchurchman Well-Known Member Anglican

    Posts:
    706
    Likes Received:
    547
    Country:
    Britain
    Religion:
    Anglican/Catholic
    I have, funnily enough it was about the BNP and the propaganda they were spreading about. The word was given that anyone who voted for the fascists would be denied communion.
    That was recently! Several year ago we had a High Church Vicar , who told us what the doctrine of the Church was and that is what we were supposed to believe. He wasn't liked by the liberal s, though his message stayed with us. It was to become a strong Anglican Parish! Even now its strength shows through.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2014
  18. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    2,242
    Likes Received:
    1,995
    Whew! Now I don't feel quite so dumb. Even CS Lewis couldn't figure out what the heck was going on with the Lord's Supper. In his 'Letters' he wrote:

    " I don’t know and can’t imagine what the disciples understood our Lord to mean when, His body still unbroken and His blood unshed, He handed them the bread and wine, saying they were His body and blood…I find ‘substance’ (in Aristotle’s sense), when stripped of its own accidents and endowed with the accidents of some other substance, an object I cannot think…On the other hand, I get no better with those who tell me that the elements are mere bread and mere wine, used symbolically to remind me of the death of Christ. They are, on the natural level, such a very odd symbol of that…and I cannot see why this particular reminder – a hundred other things may, psychologically, remind me of Christ’s death, equally, or perhaps more –should be so uniquely important as all Christendom (and my own heart) unhesitatingly declare…Yet I find no difficulty in believing that the veil between the worlds, nowhere else (for me) so opaque to the intellect, is nowhere else so thin and permeable to divine operation. Here a hand from the hidden country touches not only my soul but my body. Here the prig, the don, the modern , in me have no privilege over the savage or the child. Here is big medicine and strong magic…the command, after all, was Take, eat: not Take, understand."

    Amen brother Lewis. Amen.
     
    Peteprint likes this.
  19. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    2,242
    Likes Received:
    1,995
    Anglo-Catholic Hugh Cecil makes a compelling argument for the elemental presence of Christ in the Eucharist based on the PrayerBook and the Articles:

    "I find, first of all, that it seems clear that the Articles teach that the consecrated bread and wine become by consecration the sacrament of the body and blood of Christ. This is, I observe, sometimes denied by those of the Evangelical school, who maintain that the sacrament of the body and blood of Christ is to be found in the whole rite of His holy ordinance and not in the consecrated elements themselves. But this is an opinion which is irreconcilable with the language of the Articles. Article XXIX is on this point quite unequivocal: ‘The Wicked, and such as be void of a lively faith, although they do carnally and visibly press with their teeth (as Saint Augustine saith) the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ’, &c. Clearly neither the wicked nor the faithful ‘press with their teeth’ the whole rite or service, but only the consecrated elements. The Article teaches beyond doubt that the consecrated bread and wine are the sacrament of the body and blood of Christ. This is confirmed in the concluding words, where it is said that the wicked ‘to their condemnation do eat and drink the sign or Sacrament of so great a thing’. Article XXX has the same teaching. It is said that the cup is not to be refused, ‘for both the parts of the Lord’s sacrament . . . ought to be ministered’, &c. Clearly the sacrament is thought of as a thing of two parts, the bread and the wine. Article XXVIII teaches likewise, for it says: ‘The Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper was not by Christ’s ordinance reserved, carried about, lifted up, or worshipped.’ Evidently it is the bread and wine which alone can be reserved, carried about, &c.; one could not carry about the whole rite or service. Nor does the rest of the language of the Article teach differently. We read that ‘The Body of Christ is given, taken, and eaten . . . only after a heavenly and spiritual manner’. This, of course, conforms perfectly to the belief that the bread and wine are the outward and physical part of a sacrament, of which the inward part is spiritual. The rejection of transubstantiation is so phrased as to suggest the same way of thinking. For the condemnation is directed against a physical change, as is shown by the words ‘overthroweth the nature of a sacrament’. These words make the objection to the transformation of the physical, outward part of the sacrament that it leaves no sacrament, since a sacrament essentially unites in one mystical whole the physical and spiritual. The teaching of the Prayer Book is the same. The clearest expression is in the rubrick of the Communion of the Sick, where we read in the instruction for spiritual communion, ‘earnestly remembering the benefits he hath thereby, and giving Him hearty thanks therefore, he doth eat and drink the Body and Blood of our Saviour Jesus Christ profitably to his Soul’s health, although he do not receive the Sacrament with his mouth’. The sacrament is plainly the bread and wine: no one could receive the whole rite or service with his mouth. The language of the warning ordered to be read when notice is given of the celebration of the Holy Communion accords with the teaching of the Articles, that the bread and wine are the sacrament of the body and blood of Christ. The priest gives notice ‘to administer to all such as shall be religiously and devoutly disposed the most comfortable Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ’. What is administered is obviously the bread and wine, not the whole service. The longer Exhortation gives the same general impression, especially when it is said, ‘If with a true penitent heart and lively faith we receive that holy Sacrament (for then we spiritually eat the flesh of Christ, and drink His blood; then we dwell in Christ, and Christ in us; we are one with Christ, and Christ with us)’, and goes on to deal with the corporeal judgements which according to St. Paul await impenitent and unfaithful reception. The Prayer of Humble Access suggests the reality of the bodily relation between our bodies and the body of Christ, and this implies dependence on the belief that the bread which is eaten is the sacrament of Christ’s body. The words of administration, naturally interpreted, teach the same lesson; and so very emphatically does the rule that if the consecrated bread or wine be exhausted there must be a second consecration to supply what is needed. If the service were the essence of the sacrament, the circumstance that some of the bread or wine had not been consecrated would have no significance. The requirement that all the bread and wine which is sacramentally received should be expressly consecrated shows that the consecrated bread and wine are the sacrament of the body and blood, and that the mystical relation with Christ is through and by the consecrated elements. Nor is there any other sufficient explanation for the reverence with which the consecrated elements are required to be treated; nor for the rule that they must be reverently eaten and drunk, if any be left over after the service. The prayer of thanksgiving after communion, in which, it is said, ‘thou dost vouchsafe to feed us, who have duly received these holy mysteries, with the spiritual food of the most precious Body and Blood’, is to the same effect, for what communicants have received is the bread and wine, which are here described as ‘holy mysteries’. All this language confirms the teaching of Article XXIX, that what communicants carnally press with their teeth is the sacrament of the body and blood of Christ. And this mystery is expressly expounded in the Catechism. Here we are taught that a sacrament consists of an outward visible sign and an inward spiritual grace, and that the outward sign of the Lord’s Supper is the bread and wine, while the inward part or thing signified is the body and blood of Christ. Reading this with the Articles, we learn that the sacrament of the body and blood of Christ which is carnally pressed with our teeth has two parts—an outward part, the bread, and an inward part, the body of Christ. So that while we press with our teeth the outward part of the sacrament, we take and receive the inward part which inheres in the same sacrament. The, sacrament is thought of as a whole, comprising two parts, the outward part of which we physically eat and the inward part we spiritually receive. But both parts are parts of one sacrament—a mystical whole, to which both the spiritual and the physical belong. The words ‘spiritual’ and ‘spiritually’ are used as antithetical to ‘physical’, &c., and not to ‘bodily’. The human body is itself a sacramental mystery and, as the expression of personality, does partake of the body of Christ; cf. the language of the Prayer of Humble Access. 1 It seems that it may fairly be claimed that the Articles and Prayer Book do (more than is often believed) teach a definite and coherent doctrine about the relation of Christ to the consecrated elements. They teach that the bread and wine become by consecration the sacrament of the body and blood of Christ, and that that sacrament is thereafter a holy mystery, made up of two parts, an outward and physical part, which is taken in the mouth and pressed with the teeth of the communicant, and an inward and spiritual part, which is the body and blood of Christ, verily and indeed taken and received by the faithful. This is what it is common to call the doctrine of the real spiritual presence of Christ in the sacrament; and there does not seem to me to be any doubt at all that the Articles and Prayer Book teach that the relation of Christ to the communicant is in and through the consecrated elements, and that therefore, if you use the word ‘presence’ at all, it should be in respect to the elements that it is used. It is possible that this might not be disputed but for a further opinion which holds to belief in what theologians call ‘concomitance’. This means that where the sacrament of the body and blood of Christ is, there is also the whole person of Christ. About this opinion the Articles and Prayer Book say very little. They do indeed clearly teach that to the faithful communicants Christ is in the fullest sense concomitant with the consecrated elements—that is, that faithful communicants do fully partake of Christ in all the power of His divine person. But Article XXIX denies that the unfaithful communicant partakes of Christ. It is notable that it does not deny, though it is sometimes supposed so to do, that the unfaithful communicant partakes of the body of Christ. How sin hinders the unfaithful communicant, who receives the consecrated bread and wine, from partaking of Christ is not determined by the Article. It is said that the communicant ‘presses with his teeth’ the sacrament of the body and blood of Christ, but that he does not partake of Christ; and the matter is not carried any further, nor is any attempt made to reconcile these two propositions by an explanation. But apart from communion itself, I can find nothing in the Prayer Book and Articles relating either by affirmation or denial to the concomitance of Christ with the sacrament of His body and blood. The very guarded phrase that the sacrament ‘was not by Christ’s ordinance reserved, carried about, lifted up, or worshipped’ appears to censure the practices referred to as presumptuous, but does not make the conclusive objection against those practices, that Christ’s person is in no sense related to the sacrament so reserved or carried about. Concomitance is neither affirmed nor denied; but another and much safer objection is taken, that the censured practices go beyond the ordinance of Christ."
     
    Peteprint likes this.
  20. Fr. Bill

    Fr. Bill Member

    Posts:
    43
    Likes Received:
    30
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Anglican Christian
    Newbie to the forum, wandering in late here ...

    While a conventional Anabaptistic pastor of an international congregation in Europe, I was preaching expository sermons on Sunday, moving linearly through 1 Corinthians when I sort of stumbled onto the Real Presence. It was not (as it might have been) in 1 Cor. 10. No,it was in the second half of 1 Corinthians 11, when Paul was explaining why some in the Corinthian church were sick or dead. He specified that it was because whatever they were doing (or not doing) it amounted to "not discerning the Lord's body" and so becoming guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

    I can still remember sitting at my desk when a light went on in my head -- if, indeed, it was failure to discern the body of the Lord that was the crux of their sin, then it follows necessarily that the Lord's body is there to be discerned! His body is there whether the Christian believes it or not, whether he discerns it or not. What differs is whether he receives the various blessings and graces that attend a worthy reception of our Lord's body and blood (ala 1 Cor. 10) or, instead, receive judgment from the Lord as Paul delineates here.

    Oh dear. What a mess! The only ones I knew about who had that sort of notion about the bread and wine were the Romans! But, that tells you just where the blank spots were from my seminary education. I had some difficult months groping sort of blindly toward a whole area of Reformational thinking, debate, and controversy, all of which encouraged me (!) that what I had stumbled onto was not, in fact, some doctrinal creature of my own making.
     
    Kammi, Peteprint and Spherelink like this.