Is God propitiated in the Mass?


#1

According to the Council of Trent, the Mass is said to be a propitiatory sacrifice. Does this mean that God is propitiated in the Mass?


#2

Do you mean that God is Sacrificed? I’m not sure if that’s the question.

But, we are brought back to Calvery. We are made present at the Original Sacrifice at the foot of the Cross.

The Priest acts “In Persona Christi” or in the person of Christ.


#3

According to the Council of Trent, the Mass is a propitiatory sacrifice. Is God propitiated in the the Mass?


#4

1 John 2 (New International Version)
1 John 2
1My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.
2He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for[a] the sins of the whole world.

Hebrews 9
15 For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant

Romans 3:25

25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, [a] through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished—
Romans 5
Peace and Hope
1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we [a] have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
Romans 5:10

10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!
Romans 5:11

11 Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
2 Corinthians 5:18

18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:
2 Corinthians 5:19

19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.
Colossians 1:20-22

20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
21 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of [a] your evil behavior. 22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation—


#5

Catholics believe that the sacrifice of Christ is the once-for-all, one-of-a-kind propitiatory sacrifice for our redemption. However, the Mass allows Catholics to participate in that propitiatory sacrifice every time Mass takes place.


#6

There is a distinction to be drawn :o

  1. The Mass is a true propitiatory sacrifice (& much more too)

  2. It does **not **follow, that there is a new propitiatory act at each Mass

  3. because every single Mass is dependent on the single, unrepeatable, perfect, finished, once-for-all sacrifice, propitiation, & expiation of Christ at Calvary - so

    • the totality of what Calvary is & does, is re-presented at all Masses:
  4. but the historical event of Calvary itself is over, done, finished

  5. Which means that the totality of what Calvary is & does, is applied in every Mass - & its application can happen a trillion billion times if need be, without in the slightest “taking away from” the historical event of the Cross & its effects as described in the Bible

  6. Its application can be multiplied, because we always need the infinite effects of Calvary; because we sin not once, but often: it is our unfailing medicine (& much more too) :smiley:

  7. So in that way, the Mass is expiatory: all that Calvary brought about - all the character, results, power, grace, holiness, expiation, everything that Calvary was & did on that first Good Friday, to the Glory of God & for the salvation of man - every Mass applies.

What no Mass is, nor can be, is a new & independent sacrifice: that is impossible, totally; instead Masses are that unique & final sacrifice because Calvary is manifested in them; that is how Calvary is sacramentally “real-ised”.

  1. So, Christ Himself, far from being re-sacrificed :eek: or brought down from Heaven :eek:, is enthroned in Glory at His Father’s right hand: just as the Bible & the Creeds say He is :smiley: - nothing is “done to” Him :eek:; a lot is done to us

Hope that helps


#7

Does not ‘propitiation’ mean a change of attitude? At Calvary, the attitude of God changed from wrath to mercy. Because of Calvary, the offer of salvation is extended to all men. If God is not propitiated in the sacrifice of the Mass, how can that sacrifice be called ‘propitious?’


#8

“Propitiation” is a metaphor for a holy Mystery, just as “the wrath of God” is a metaphor for something far higher than we can comprehend.

Obviously, the eternal God the Father does not have emotions as we have emotions. But there’s really no better way to say it, because the human brain can’t comprehend it and hence language doesn’t have the words. I’m pretty sure this is one of those things that would have made Jesus say, “You cannot bear this now.”

But God, through the inspired humans who wrote the Bible and the inspired traditions of His people, gave us these metaphors; so that’s what we use.


#9

So what does it mean to say that God is propitiated?


#10

Usually, yes, it does :slight_smile:

But here, God is described this way, not because He is changed, but because the way we relate to Him is - & that change in our relation to Him, is “as though” He were changeable. So that word is used, even though it is drawn from relations between men - we have to do our best with the means of talking about God that are available to us.

Does that help ?


#11

Are you talking about Calvary, the Mass, or both?


#12

Do your Scriptures say that God is propitiated in the Mass, or not propitiated in the Mass?


#13

Can Catholics participate in the propitiation of God?


#14

According to Trent, the only difference between the Mass and Calvary is that Calvary was bloody, and the Mass is not. If we use words with their ordinary meanings, then the first meaning of ‘propitiatory’ is ‘intended to propitiate : expiatory’ according to the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary. The term ‘propitiatory sacrifice’ in English literally means ‘a sacrifice which is intended to propitiate.’ Linguistically, how do you avoid the conclusion that God is propitiated in the Mass without bypassing the ordinary meaning of words?


#15

Dictionaries are worthless as a guide to the theological use of words :slight_smile: - they are grossly misleading, because they say what words mean, but very little (& often nothing) about their use in a given discipline. So to rely upon thenm as a guide to questions involving metaphysics or theology, is not a good idea, at all.

Yet thousands do this :eek: - no wonder they don’t understand theological texts. It as intelligent as using the CCC as a guide to Catholic moral theology: again, that is not what it is for.

To answer your question - the Fathers of Trent were well aware that theological language is often used in a sense which is not that of everyday speech; they could not have understood the notion of propitiation, as applied to God, as implying any change in Him; since God is metaphysically simple, infinite in every perfection, & so, unchangeable.

Therefore, the word “propitiated” cannot be applied to God to mean anything that implies that He becomes what he previously was not - that would be to deny that God is eternal in His changelessness; He would be nothing more than a Saint, if even that.

Therefore, the word must have some other sense or use - the more so, as God is ineffable: that is, not able to be described or put into words; for all descriptions of Him are inadequate at best. Which is why He is said to be incompehensible, &, immense. No dictionary definition of propitiation is going to say that all this is part of the traditional mainstream Christian understanstanding of God - but all this needs to be said, so as to explain what sort of notion is entertained about the God Who is propitiated by the Sacrifice of Calvary. ##


#16

I don’t really understand the question. However, here’s a stab at it. Writing to the Galatians, Paul said that Christ was “evidently set forth as crucified among you.” How could this be possible? Christ was only crucified once, right? That is the propitiatory sacrifice. However, in God’s timelessness, that sacrifice is set before us at each Mass and we participate in it by the reception of communion in faith.

My first post, and the first post of Gottle, remain my answer to the OP.


#17

Did Trent state a theological definition of ‘propitiation’ which invalidated the dictionary definition?


#18

Are you referring to Galations 3:1?

Gal. 3:1 O foolish Galatians, who did bewitch you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was openly set forth crucified? (NRSV)

Why is this verse anything more than a historical reminder to a church in danger of apostasy? If the Mass is a ‘propitiatory sacrifice,’ then is some sense the propitiation of God is involved.
The question you said you didn’t really understand was a question which asked whether or not the participant in the Mass participates in the propitiation of God, however propitiation may be understood.


#19

Are you referring to Galations 3:1?

Gal. 3:1 O foolish Galatians, who did bewitch you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was openly set forth crucified? (NRSV)

Why is this verse anything more than a historical reminder to a church in danger of apostasy? If the Mass is a ‘propitiatory sacrifice,’ then in some sense the propitiation of God is involved.
The question you said you didn’t really understand was a question which asked whether or not the participant in the Mass participates in the propitiation of God, however propitiation may be understood.


#20

I don’t think it is a historical reminder simply because the Galatian church did not see Jesus crucified. In their services, He was “openly set forth” before their very eyes as crucified. He is the propitiatory sacrifice; in that He is set forth before the Church, and we participate in that event. Is there a recurring point to this recurring question that I am missing? Evidently the answers given are not satisfactory?


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