This book was suggested on CAF. I bought it but now I’m .
In it, it says that “Only Christ, the second person in the Trinity, was made flesh. Only Christ assumed a human nature. So, in this wonderful encounter with the Trinity, only Christ is present sacramentally, that is, under the appearance of bread and wine.”
But then it goes on to say, “The Father and Holy Spirit are not present sacramentally, but each is really and truly present with Christ because of the perfect unity of the Trinity.”
So, I asked my priest…is the Father and HS in the Eucharist or not?
He told me the Father and HS are not in the Eucharist in a physical way (Jesus is in the Eucharist sacramentally) but that the Father and HS accompany Christ in the Eucharist in a purely spiritual way.
What does it mean for the Father and HS to accompany Christ in the Eucharist in a spiritual way?
I think it would be according to the divine nature of Christ. Christ as God is one with the Father and the Holy Spirit for we believe in one God in three persons and the trinity of persons are inseparable in God and Christ in his divine nature is present in the eucharist through the hypostatic union with his human nature. Still, only the second person of the Trinity, the Son of God, assumed the human nature of a man.
I have been a Catholic all my life. Was taught in Catholic schools through college. I’ve read dozens of books on the Eucharist and spiritual life. Heard hundreds of sermons by now …
I have never heard anything like that. I cannot make sense of it.
The Father and the HS do not “accompany Christ”. They are hypostatically united to Christ. “If you see Me, you see the Father”.
Ok, Vinny Flynn and your priest may be completely right, somehow - I don’t know. Let’s put it this way, unless God told them - they don’t know either. The cllassical understanding is that since, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ is present, then the Fullness of the Blessed Trinity is there.
Additionally, Christ is not present “in a physical way”, as your priest said. It is His Body and Blood, in substance, under appearances of Bread and Wine. His Body is resurrected, in perfect, undivided unity with the Father. Jesus does not even have a “physical” body as we understand it. He has a resurrected body.
Maybe this teaching is some new theology? I would find it hard to believe it is traditional Catholic teaching, In any case, that’s my take. No idea what they’re talking about. (I have that book on the 7 Secrets … also, and have heard a talk by the author. I admire him, thankful for his witness and teaching – but I didn’t like it, and I won’t read the book. No offense at all meant against him, you or anyone else - just a random thought, which I hope may help).
If everything that was said is correct, good, totally obvious or I should have known this long ago … I find that great, and thank you (in all sincerity) to anyone who can explain it!
I could put it this way, it may be fully compatible with Catholic teaching, but I also believe it is true to say that the fulness of the Blessed Trinity is present in the Holy Eucharist. That is what I was always taught. In fact, if someone is going to say “No, that’s totally wrong now”, I will need to see some hard evidence to support it.
Theological speculations are fine, within limits, but they should not be proclaimed as if they are Dogma. Especially in something like this, where I do not know how anyone could know that “The Father and Holy Spirit ‘accompany’ Jesus spiritually”.
The term “accompany” is not even a theological term in itself. Again, I could be wrong but I need to see it in the Fathers, Doctors, Encyclicals … Saints.
Hmmm, I would think they mean that because we believe the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are three distinct persons in one God know as the Godhead, that only Jesus is in the Eucharist as it is said it is the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus. However because they are all three in one God, the Father and the Holy Spirit could be present spiritually.
Not sure if that helps or if it is even correct, but that’s what I would say.
In other words, we receive the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus because He had two natures, a human nature and a divine nature. He was both God and man, sometimes referred to as the God-man. Now the Father and the Holy Spirit do not have body nor blood, so we cannot partake of them in the same way. Yet since they are only one God, then they are present, but not in the way of Body and Blood, more in the way of Soul and Divinity.
Again, what I am thinking, not sure if that fits with the theologians and really smart guys.
God is said to be “present” insofar as he acts upon his creation. In a general sense God is “everywhere,” that is, all things are ever open to his gaze, subject to his power, and held in existence by him. But God is said to be present in a special way when he bestows supernatural life, divine aid, or consolations to his rational creatures; when he does a miracle, etc. In this sense God the Trinity is present in the seven sacraments and in the souls of the baptized. And this would properly be called a “spiritual” presence, because God is spirit. But God the Son is also Man, our High Priest, and Victim for our sins; therefore the Second Divine Person is present in a unique way.
It is called perichoresis. There is God and then there are God’s creatures such as a human being. So in the Incarnation the human soul and body are assumed by the person of the Son of God. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are never apart.
Modern Catholic Dictionary:
The penetration and indwelling of the three divine persons reciprocally in one another. In the Greek conception of the Trinity there is an emphasis on the mutual penetration of the three persons, thus bringing out the unity of the divine essence. In the Latin idea called circumincession the stress is more on the internal processions of the three divine persons. In both traditions, however, the fundamental basis of the Trinitarian perichoresis is the one essence of the three persons in God.
The term is also applied to the close union of the two natures in Christ. Although the power that unites the two natures proceeds exclusively from Christ’s divinity, the result is a most intimate coalescence. The Godhead, which itself is impenetrable, penetrates the humanity, which is thereby deified without ceasing to be perfectly human.
The mutual immanence of the three distinct persons of the Holy Trinity. The Father is entirely in the Son, likewise in the Holy Spirit; and so is the Son in the Father and the Holy Spirit; and the Holy Spirit in the Father and the Son.
Circuminsession also identifies the mutual immanence of the two distinct natures in the one Person of Jesus Christ.
That might depend on what you mean by “in”. See posts above.
Christ said “The Father and I are one”. He did not say “I am the Father”.
If Christ is the Son of God, then we are told a mystery.
Christ said “This is my body” - and we speak of the Resurrected Body.
If Christ was both God and man, then, as there is only one God, the Father and Holy Spirit (as they are not distinct from God - we don’t have three Gods) or the other two Persons of God, are present wherever the Son is present as God can only be present in His entirety.
So, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit must all be present if the Son is present; but the Father does not have a body… etc.
However, Christ is substantially present in the Eucharist, body, blood, soul and divinity.
Trying to understand the infinite with a finite mind is only possible in a very limited way.
Not corporeally or physically present as what pertains to the corporeal, material, physical creation. There is a twofold created order as Vatican Council I declared that God “together from the beginning of time brought into being from nothing the twofold created order, that is the spiritual and the bodily, the angelic and the earthly, and thereafter the human which is, in a way, common to both since it is composed of spirit and body.”
That which is spirit such as the human soul, the angels, and God are distinct from the bodily, material and physical. The human soul is spiritually present in the body and animates it. Angels who are pure spirits are spiritually present in the material world such as our guardian angels. God is spiritually present everywhere, he is a spirit without a body made out of matter such as the bodies we have. Spirits are invisible to us, even our own soul, because we only perceive and see the material/physical objects impressed on our five senses.
The divine nature of Christ is spiritually present in the eucharist through the hypostatic union of the divine and human natures of Christ in the one divine person of the eternal Son of God because the divine person of Christ is a pure spirit as God is a spirit and the divine nature is wholly immaterial. The human soul of Jesus is spiritually present in the eucharist because the human soul is a spirit and immaterial. The body and blood of Christ are corporeally and physically present in the eucharist because the body and blood of Christ are material/physical/corporeal realities like our own bodies and blood. However, it is after the manner of a spirit as it were (analogously) that the body and blood of Christ are substantially present in the eucharist as they are invisible to sense perception.
The Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Sacrament of the Eucharist: Basic Questions and Answers
Produced by the Committee on Doctrine of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and approved by the full body of bishops at their June 2001 General Meeting. The text is authorized for publication by the undersigned.
Why does Jesus give himself to us as food and drink?
Jesus gives himself to us in the Eucharist as spiritual nourishment because he loves us. God’s whole plan for our salvation is directed to our participation in the life of the Trinity, the communion of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Our sharing in this life begins with our Baptism, when by the power of the Holy Spirit we are joined to Christ, thus becoming adopted sons and daughters of the Father. It is strengthened and increased in Confirmation. It is nourished and deepened through our participation in the Eucharist. By eating the Body and drinking the Blood of Christ in the Eucharist we become united to the person of Christ through his humanity. “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him” (Jn 6:56). In being united to the humanity of Christ we are at the same time united to his divinity. Our mortal and corruptible natures are transformed by being joined to the source of life. “Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me” (Jn 6:57). By being united to Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, we are drawn up into the eternal relationship of love among the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. As Jesus is the eternal Son of God by nature, so we become sons and daughters of God by adoption through the sacrament of Baptism. Through the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation (Chrismation), we are temples of the Holy Spirit, who dwells in us, and by his indwelling we are made holy by the gift of sanctifying grace. The ultimate promise of the Gospel is that we will share in the life of the Holy Trinity. The Fathers of the Church called this participation in the divine life “divinization” ( theosis). In this we see that God does not merely send us good things from on high; instead, we are brought up into the inner life of God, the communion among the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. In the celebration of the Eucharist (which means “thanksgiving”) we give praise and glory to God for this sublime gift.
You wrote: “He told me the Father and HS are not in the Eucharist in a physical way (Jesus is in the Eucharist sacramentally) but that the Father and HS accompany Christ in the Eucharist in a purely spiritual way.”
Yes, the person of the Son is the person of Jesus Christ (divine person + human body and soul) and is present and received in Communion. One affirms “The Body of Christ” and “The Blood of Christ” not of the Trinity.