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Catechesis
On-Going Instruction in the Principles of Christianity



2020 Jubilee 2021
YEAR OF THE EUCHARIST - 10/18


MYSTERIUM FIDEI
("MYSTERY OF FAITH",
ENCYCLICAL LETTER OF
POPE PAUL VI)

 

Christ Our Lord Is Present in the Sacrament of the Eucharist by Transubstantiation
(Continued)
 

The Fathers took special care to warn the faithful that in reflecting on this most august Sacrament, they should not trust to their senses, which read only the properties of bread and wine, but rather the words of Christ which have power to transform, change and transmute the bread and wine into His Body and Blood. For as those same Fathers often said, the power that accomplishes this is that same power by which God Almighty, at the beginning of time, created the world out of nothing.

“We have been instructed in these matters and filled with an unshakeable faith,” says St. Cyril of Alexandria, at the end of a sermon on the mysteries of faith, “that that which seems to be bread, is not bread, though it tastes like it, but the Body and Blood of Christ, and that which seems to be wine, is not wine, though it too tastes as such, but the Blood of Christ...draw inner strength by receiving this bread as spiritual food and your soul will rejoice.” 

St. John Chrusostom emphasizes this point, saying: “It is not the power of man which makes what is put before us the Body and Blood of Christ, but the power of Christ Himself who was crucified for us. The priest standing there in the place of Christ says these “words but their power and grace are from God. ‘This is My Body,’ he says, and these words transform what lies before him.”

Cyril, Bishop of Alexandria, is in full agreement with the Bishop of Constantinople when he writes in his commentary on the Gospel of Matthew: “Christ said indicating (the bread and wine): ‘This is My Body,’ and ‘This is My Blood,’ in order that you might not judge what you see to be a mere figure. The offerings, by the hidden power of God Almighty, are changed into Christ’s Body and Blood, and by receiving these we come to share in the life-giving and sanctifying efficacy of Christ.

Ambrose, Bishop of Milan, dealing with the Eucharistic change, says: “Let us be assured that this is not what nature formed, but what the blessing consecrated, and that greater efficacy resides in the blessing than in nature, for by the blessing nature is changed.” To confirm the truth of this mystery, he recounts many of the miracles described in the Scriptures, including Christ’s Birth of the Virgin Mary, and then turning to the work of Creation, concludes thus: “Surely the word of Christ, which could make out of nothing that which did not exist, can change things already in existence into what they were not. For it is no less extraordinary to give things new natures than to change their natures.” 

About Our Parish

Mary Immaculate of Lourdes is Newton and Needham Massachusetts's oldest Roman Catholic Parish. Founded as Saint Mary's Parish in 1870 it was renamed "Mary Immaculate of Lourdes" when the new Church was dedicated on Thanksgiving Day, 1910. In addition to being a regular territorial parish of the Archdiocese of Boston it is also a "Mission Parish" since 2007 with a special apostolate for the Traditional Latin Mass (1962 Missal).

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"If you are willing to serenely bear the trial of being displeasing to yourself, then you will be for Jesus a pleasant place of shelter."
- St. Therese of Lisieux (+1897)

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