Tag Archives: Eucharist

Blessed Virgin Mary and the Chalcedonian Christ

Virgin Mary with Child_KofC

“Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? ” [Luke 1:42-43]

The Blessed Virgin Mary, upon being greeted by the Archangel Gabriel, was addressed as a queen, acknowledged as “full of grace” and placed in the presence of God, “The Lord is with you.”

And the angel said to her:

“Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.  He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David,   and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there will be no end. [Luke 1:30-33]”

What does this mean about the identity of the Second Person of the Holy Trinity in keeping with the Chalcedonian formula?  How can God be born of a human, Mary and appear human without being divided?

The Chalcedonian formula describes the 2nd Person of the Trinity, the Son of God:    “…indeed born of the Father before the ages according to divinity, but in the latest days the same born of the virgin Mary, Mother of God according to the humanity; for us and for our salvation, one and the same Christ, only begotten Son, our Lord, acknowledged in two natures without mingling, without change, indivisibly, undividedly, the distinction of the natures removed on account of the union, but rather the uniqueness of each nature being kept and uniting in one person and one substance, not divided or separated into two persons, but one and the same Son only begotten God Word, Lord Jesus Christ, just as from the beginning the prophets taught about Him and the Lord Jesus Christ Himself taught us, and as the creed of the Fathers has handed down to us. [cf. Denzinger #148, Council of Chalcedon, A.D. 451]”

How might we understand, then, the Incarnation of the Word in Mary?  Let us think in terms of the indivisibility and divine love of Father and Son.  Jesus Christ said, “…For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me. [John 6:38]”  Jesus lives to be obedient to His Father’s Will; the Word enslaves Himself to His Will – the Will of the Father God and so He is able to say perfectly that “I and the Father are one. [John 10:30].”  And so where is the Will of God in the Incarnation?  During the Incarnation, was not at least a facsimile of the Will of God the Father present already in the Blessed Virgin (“the Lord is with you”)?  Is she not a perfect image of obedience through her fiat of “Yes!”  Humanity says “yes” to Divinity.  And so the Word, ingrafted with the power of the Father’s Will, overshadowed by the Holy Spirit brings forth the full Presence of God in the most holy womb of Mary, His most humble and obedient servant.

There are two distinct natures which are together in the Person of the Son: divine and human which form the Hypostatic Union.  But how might we understand this union of two natures more directly?  How does this Incarnation happen?  We don’t really know, but we can try to understand.  In humanity, the human seed  live only to be joined to the human egg and the two undergo a miraculous transformation.  In like fashion, but in an inestimably special way, so does the Word live to be joined to the Will.  The human seed and egg  come together under the control of the human soul, and life is germinated.  Likewise, the Word and the Will come together under the control of the Spirit and un-caused Life is Communicated.  “In him was life, and the life was the light of men. [ John 1:4].”

In regard to His divine nature, why does God “communicate” divine Life in the Son instead of “germinate” divine Life in the Son?  We have to remember that God’s essence is pure Spirit and He is eternal.  Whereas God’s creation (humanity) is caused by God and can therefore be “germinated,” divinity exists without cause (God does not cause Himself because only God can cause everything and anything to exist – He is the “Uncaused Cause.”)  And so He communicates Himself as He truly Is.  He Is Life in the Son.  This is why Jesus Christ prophesies:

“I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh…he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day…It is the spirit that gives life, the flesh is of no avail; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life [John 6:51, 54, 63].”

And then Jesus Christ institutes the Holy Eucharist at the Lord’s Supper:

“And he took bread, and when he had given thanks he broke it and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.’ [Luke 22:19]”

He communicates Himself in His body!  God in His essence is pure Spirit; in the Son, who is risen, He has both divine and glorified human nature.  When Jesus Christ, the risen Lord really communicates Himself, He is truly and actually Present.  He communicates Himself to our souls and our bodies – our whole persons.  This is why we truly do eat Him during Holy Communion – the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass –  that we may be healed and have eternal Life in us at the Resurrection.

St. Paul warns everybody about partaking of the Lord’s true Presence without the right dispositions – that it would affect their bodies as well as their souls:

“For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself.  That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. [1 Corinthians 11:29-30]”

And so in the Chalcedonian Christ, the Prosopon, the Hypostasis of the Son, the 2nd Person of the Trinity, is formed in Mary’s womb – Word and Will through the Spirit to Life and seed and egg through the soul to life.  Is this not a perfect “marriage” of divinity and humanity in Mary’s holy womb?  But, Mary knows no man.  How could this be?  From whence come seed?  She is a Virgin.

There is no human seed; only the effect of seed is there.  God causes this effect in her miraculously.  Indeed, there is no impurity in her – no stain of Original Sin – not ever.  There is no other human joined to her, but only the divine God Himself.

Finally, we must not misunderstand nor take lightly who the Blessed Virgin Mary is in the “eyes” of God and to us.  She is very special.  She is immaculate, unlike all of the rest of creation.  She is the Mother of God, the Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our true discipleship and relation to Jesus, we are also Mary’s children.  What has happened in her is truly and utterly miraculous, and only she is worthy and right and prepared for such a miracle.

His Word is Actual – God Gives Himself Actually, Intimately

In Psalm 33 we learn again how God created the world. For it is written:

“He spoke; and it came to be.
He commanded; it sprang into being.”

He spoke. He breathed of His Word. Do you understand that when God speaks, what He speaks…is?

And then in the Gospel of John 1:1-3, we find that the Word is eternal and powerful and creative:

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the
Word was God. He was in the beginning with God; all things were made
through him, and without him was not anything made that was made….

And then God comes to us physically to redeem us (Gospel of John 1:14) :

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth;
we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father.”

And then the Word, Jesus Christ, spoke His Command and it is forever His Will (Gospel of Luke, 22:19):

“And he took bread, and when he had given thanks he broke it and gave it
to them, saying, ‘This is my body which is given for you. Do this in
remembrance of me.'”

The Word spoke – “This is my body”, and it is and will always be. Do you understand? The Word, God makes clear His intent to give Himself for us actually when He exhorts (Gospel of John, 6:53-54, 58) :

“So Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh
of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you;
he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise
him up at the last day…This is the bread which came down from heaven,
not such as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live for
ever.'”

If Jesus is the one High Priest whose sacrifice was offered once for all (Hebrews 7:27, 9:12, 27), how can He say that we must take of His Body and Blood?  He is the Sacrifice, but while He has full human nature, He is also Divine God, and He can not die, and He lives to intercede for us always in Heaven.  His Sacrifice is always giving – always efficacious – always for us – for healing every existing and new generation of humanity from the ills of its sinfulness – if they will come to Him.  We need only participate in His one Sacrifice which is made present to us at every altar at every hour of every day in all of the Catholic Churches around the world.  Jesus Christ is our living Sacrifice – our living Savior – our living Parent – our living God – our living All.  The Word commanded to His apostles:  “Do this in remembrance of me” and it is done at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass where His Sacrificial Offering is re-presented.  We are to partake of His Body and Blood there present for our own good – presented to us under the appearance of Bread and Wine – but truly Present with us and for us.  And we are to partake worthily as St. Paul warned (1 Corinthians 11:27):

“Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord.”

God is there truly present at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in the Holy Eucharist.  For God wills a close intimacy with us. He calls us His children and He comes to heal us with Himself – His one true Sacrifice. As a mother gives of her breast to strengthen her child, so does God, who is neither man nor woman, will to strengthen you (Isaiah 66:12-13) through His Bride, the Church (Jerusalem):

“For thus says the LORD:
‘Behold, I will extend prosperity to her like a river,
and the wealth of the nations like an overflowing stream;
and you shall suck, you shall be carried upon her hip,
and dandled upon her knees.

As one whom his mother comforts,
so I will comfort you;
you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.'”

But many will not accept His tender overtures – His selfless and intimate giving. Many stiffen their necks and disbelieve and turn away and this displeases the Lord. For as it is written:

“After this many of his disciples drew back and no longer went about with
him.” (Gospel of John, 6:66)

And again here (Matthew 23:37):

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, killing the prophets and stoning those who are
sent to you! How often would I have gathered your children together as a
hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not!”

He has called and called.  He has gathered many to His Church, but many have turned and closed their eyes and ears and minds.

Those who are called and who turn away from His loving overtures may not be able to survive the General (Last) Judgement, for the Word said, “…unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you…and I will raise him up on the last day.”  He spoke this deliberately and forcefully and with the wisdom and concern of a parent who loves the child.

But many are taught today to doubt the true intimacy of His Word.  Many replace Him – His actual loving Eucharistic Presence – with the toxic things like popular music, with social standing, with money, with religious rivalry, with vain things instead of Himself which He gives constantly in His Word and His Sacraments, especially the Holy Eucharist of His Body and Blood.

Do you understand that He wills to give to us Himself in intimate ways that are difficult for us to comprehend – in a way similar to how an infant is fed by its parent?  An infant does not fully grasp the importance of a parent’s nurture, but he receives that nurture nonetheless.  But many who pray to the Lord claim to “feel” His Presence or Call, but they do not commit to His Grace – they stop exactly where full intimacy is required for their own good.

It is like when a nursing mother brings her infant to her breast, and when the mother’s nipple touches her infant child’s face – the child turns out of instinct toward her, but then willfully refuses to take and eat; they turn away in disbelief because they are taught evil doctrines.  They do not recognize their parent, and for lack of proper nutrition, they become sick or even die or eat what is toxic and are resurrected in the end in a state of serious decay and illness brought on by sin which was never treated by God’s intimate Grace.  This is because the child rebelled; not because God failed to love and offer Himself continually for the sake of humanity.  It is also like the mother who refuses to nurse her child or who does not keep herself healthy enough to nurse, and the child suffers as a result.

Believe the power of His Word and do not doubt what the Holy Spirit has brought about through the Catholic Church.  Refuse to continue to be divided.  Refuse to continue to follow doctrines which were prescribed not because they were true, but because they enabled division from the Lord’s one, true, holy, catholic and apostolic church.

Be true believers.  Do not be divided according to emotions and hatreds or petty rivalries.  Open your minds to understand and your hearts to trust God even more fully.  Come into the Catholic Church, be instructed and receive the full power of the Grace of God.

God’s Word is active and forceful and true and saves you when you believe and do – when you acknowledge, listen and respond.  Come!

Eucharist – Marriage Banquet – Eternal Joy

In the Eucharist, there is union and communion. We bring forward the gifts – the bread and wine – made with human hands – the product of humanity – that is, imperfect humanity itself. And then the Holy Spirit enters and converts the symbols of humanity into Christ. Humanity is healed and made one with Christ in that instant, and then there is another exchange: We individually receive Christ in our own persons, and we are made one – one Body in Christ – one Body with Christ – one Body through Christ. As one, bonded with Christ, we can never fail – we will never die – we have happiness on the horizon.

In the mean time, when we are one with Christ, we share in His holy suffering.  This is because we live in time, and Christ’s suffering is in time – re-presented in time at each offering to the Father – and we, when we say “yes” to this mystical marriage – become partners in His Suffering.  He is not alone, and we are not alone.  There is nothing that we do not share together.  We share sacrifice; we will share bliss.  We sacrifice through Christ’s Sacrifice; we will receive Love through Christ’s Love.  Christ is perfect; we are being perfected through Christ’s Perfection.

In suffering in this way, the Way which leads to eternal Salvation,  there is reason for great joy!

Without Him, we can do nothing – achieve nothing of lasting importance – that is, we can not achieve eternal blissful Life in Love with Him.  But with Him – holding hands along the Way, we will achieve precisely what God wills for us.  He wills to heal us and perfect us along our journey.  He wills our total happiness in Him.

Be patient.  Endure.  Suffering is but a spark in time; Joy is eternal.  🙂