Friday, April 27, 2012

Irenaeus the Impressive!

Thursday's Office of Readings included a passage from St. Irenaeus' treatise Against Heresies.
It's a rousing defense of the literal, physical  reality of Christ's presence in the eucharist:

 He declared that the chalice, which comes from his creation, was his blood, and he makes it the nourishment of our blood. He affirmed that the bread, which comes from his creation, was his body, and he makes it the nourishment of our body. When the chalice we mix and the bread we bake receive the word of God, the eucharistic elements become the body and blood of Christ, by which our bodies live and grow. How then can it be said that flesh belonging to the Lord’s own body and nourished by his body and blood is incapable of receiving God’s gift of eternal life? Saint Paul says in his letter to the Ephesians that we are members of his body, of his flesh and bones. He is not speaking of some spiritual and incorporeal kind of man, for spirits do not have flesh and bones. He is speaking of a real human body composed of flesh, sinews and bones, nourished by the chalice of Christ’s blood and receiving growth from the bread which is his body.

I'm not theologian, but it seems that you can't get any closer to the doctrine of transubstantiation--without actuallly saying the word "transubstantiation"--than this.

Now the amazing part: Irenaues wrote this in the year--approximately--180 A.D.

Show this one to your protestant friends. 

This is why I love the Office of Readings.

No comments:

Post a Comment