Old Teaching, Older slant?

The Lord’s Supper has been the bone of contention between Christians of all denominations for a very long time, no one is arguing with that, but I came across Iranaeus’ ‘Against Heresies’ and Book V had a rather interesting version. I imagine others here have read it, but I’ve never heard this interpretation before.
I’m not sure what to make of it; I’d be very interested in everyones thoughts.
CHAP. XXXIII.–FURTHER PROOFS OF THE SAME PROPOSITION, DRAWN FROM THE PROMISES MADE BY CHRIST, WHEN HE DECLARED THAT HE WOULD DRINK OF THE FRUIT OF THE VINE WITH HIS DISCIPLES IN HIS FATHER’S KINGDOM, WHILE AT THE SAME TIME HE PROMISED TO REWARD THEM AN HUNDRED-FOLD, AND TO MAKE THEM PARTAKE OF BANQUETS. THE BLESSING PRONOUNCED BY JACOB HAD POINTED OUT THIS ALREADY, AS PAPIAS AND THE ELDERS HAVE INTERPRETED IT.

  1. For this reason, when about to undergo His sufferings, that He might declare to Abraham and those with him the glad tidings of the inheritance being thrown open, [Christ], after He had given thanks while holding the cup, and had drunk of it, and given it to the disciples, said to them: “Drink ye all of it: this is My blood of the new covenant, which shall be shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of the fruit of this vine, until that day when I will drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”(2) Thus, then, He will Himself renew the inheritance of the earth, and will re-organize the mystery of the glory of [His] sons; as David says, “He who hath renewed the face of the earth.”(3) He promised to drink of the fruit of the vine with His disciples, thus indicating both these points: the inheritance of the earth in which the new fruit of the vine is drunk, and the resurrection of His disciples in the flesh. For the new flesh which rises again is the same which also received the new cup. And He cannot by any means be understood as drinking of the fruit of the vine when settled down with his [disciples] above in a super-celestial place; nor, again, are they who drink it devoid of flesh, for to drink of that which flows from the vine pertains to flesh, and not spirit.

This section is from this site if anyone wishes to read the whole of Book V
ccel.org/fathers/ANF-01/iren/iren5.html#Section20

Peace to all :slight_smile:

Not being familiar with Iranaeus’ writings nor the subject he is discussing, I could only guess that he means that the people of the OT were included by Christ in the offering of his Body and Blood for our sins. Is that what you are thinking here?

Hi Della, :slight_smile:

Thank you for your reply; I was beginning to think no-one was going to comment on this.
As to my thoughts…I can honestly say, I’m not sure what I think. Part of me says that it probably means as you say, and then another part says it changes the whole eating the body and drinking the blood, philosophy, but how, I’m not sure. (I think it only fair to say, that at the moment I am going through a bit of a crisis of faith in the Catholic Church, which doesn’t help matters, but that is a whole other issue.)
I love reading the Early Church Fathers, but it’s articles like the one pertaining to this thread, which make you realize how hard it is sometimes to fathom their meanings. Irenaeus would have been addressing a certain body of people when writing his books, and they would have been very familiar with the topic at hand, and therefore less in need of clarification on the matter.
Thanks again, Della

Peace be with you :slight_smile:

[quote=Nun_ofthe_Above]Hi Della, :slight_smile:

Thank you for your reply; I was beginning to think no-one was going to comment on this.
As to my thoughts…I can honestly say, I’m not sure what I think. Part of me says that it probably means as you say, and then another part says it changes the whole eating the body and drinking the blood, philosophy, but how, I’m not sure. (I think it only fair to say, that at the moment I am going through a bit of a crisis of faith in the Catholic Church, which doesn’t help matters, but that is a whole other issue.)
I love reading the Early Church Fathers, but it’s articles like the one pertaining to this thread, which make you realize how hard it is sometimes to fathom their meanings. Irenaeus would have been addressing a certain body of people when writing his books, and they would have been very familiar with the topic at hand, and therefore less in need of clarification on the matter.
Thanks again, Della

Peace be with you :slight_smile:
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It is a good thing to read the Church Fathers, but it is better to read them having a certain number of things already established in your mind. This is true of the Bible, too. And the thing that I think we need to keep in mind is that the Church was given authority in matters of faith and morals by Christ himself. This means that the Magisterium has read through all these writings and documents before us and does understand what Iranaeus was discussing and what he meant.

That doesn’t mean that we can’t glean anything from such writings for ourselves, but it does mean that we don’t have to work out what doctrine or dogmas are being supported or discussed in them or if they are true based on such writings. It’s not because we are stupid or that the Church wants to keep everyone thinking and acting all the same but because only it has the charism of infallibility which individuals don’t have.

I love to read through the writings of the Saints and from the Bible and I get a lot of insights from them, but if I get stuck or feel like something seems to contradict Church teaching I know I can turn to the Church for the answer, for the primary interpretation that cannot be refuted. It’s like being held up in a sailboat on the open seas. You can still enjoy guiding the boat and looking out at the sea and the creatures there, but you don’t have to swim all that distance. Does that help?

I will pray for you, dear fellow Catholic. Please pray for me!

It’s like being held up in a sailboat on the open seas. You can still enjoy guiding the boat and looking out at the sea and the creatures there, but you don’t have to swim all that distance. Does that help?

I will pray for you, dear fellow Catholic. Please pray for me!

Thank you Della for your wonderful post; I especially loved your analogy which is quoted above; and ‘yes’, it does help. :blessyou:
Thank you for your prayers, I certainly need them right now; and I will definitely pray for you!:slight_smile:
I should say, I am not Catholic…in fact, I’m not technically Christian, as I have not yet been baptized. My current crisis cost me my baptism this weekend, because I could not in all honesty profess all that I needed to. :banghead: Honestly,as I sit here, I have tears rolling down my cheeks, because I want God so much! I have wanted this for three years! (That is how long I have been studying Catholicism)
Right now, all I want to do is run into the nearest church and say baptize me whilst I am feeling Catholic, but I know in the next few hours / tomorrow/ next week, I might not feel that way, because I need to deal with a few issues still. It has been a rollercoaster ride; one which I did not see coming 4 months ago, but hit so suddenly, it has knocked the wind out of my sails.
(I apologize moderator for this being off topic:o )
Thank you for ‘listening’, Della. I needed to tell someone this. No-one I know understood my wanting to become Catholic in the first place, so telling them of my current crisis would not be very productive, as they would tell me it was a sign it wasn’t the right faith, etc… I’m sure you get my drift.
With the grace of God, I will find my way back home.

Peace be with you:)

Nun, God bless you! Your desire for God and your love for the Church have placed you closer to his heart than half the lukewarm do-it-my-own-way Catholics in the pew, who take it all for granted. Took me 30 years to come in. Don’t stand at the door THAT long!

[quote=mercygate]Nun, God bless you! Your desire for God and your love for the Church have placed you closer to his heart than half the lukewarm do-it-my-own-way Catholics in the pew, who take it all for granted. Took me 30 years to come in. Don’t stand at the door THAT long!
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Mercygate, thank you so very much for your lovely post! I can only pray that it doesn’t take me that long to find my way back to the Church!:gopray2:
I’m going to see my Priest tomorrow, as he wrote, asking me to contact him. Hopefully he can help me sort through my current confusion. Please pray for me, I have said a prayer for you all.

Peace to you:)

I hope this will give you some comfort, but having doubts and being assaulted by the sorts of fears you are experiencing is quite normal for people who want to enter the Church. :wink:

I think because you have not been “immunized” by baptism, it is hitting you harder than most. The enemy wants nothing better than to confuse and hurt you at this critical time in your conversion, for truly, you are literally converting to Christianity as a non-churched, non-religious person.

I’m so glad to hear that you going to talk to your priest today. He may decide to waive any more RCIA for you and receive you anyway, when he thinks you are ready. RCIA is not compulsory.

I remembered you especially in Morning Prayer today, and will continue to keep you in my prayers. May God bless you with the gift of faith and may Mary protect you from the wiles of the devil.

And thank you for your prayers! I deeply appreciate it when you are in the middle of such a crisis. I just know God is going to do good things in your life! :thumbsup:

Thank you Della for you wonderful insight and prayers. I appreciate them so very much! When I talk to my Priest, I will ask whether he can perform the baptism of my children and myself, sooner rather than later. He knows I am quite well versed in the practices of the faith (even if I am having a crisis with a few things at present, I still know what is taught). We don’t have an RCIA programme, because conversions here are practically non existent; which has left me to learn on my own, essentially. Once I have allayed my current concerns, I feel confident my Priest will baptize us at the first available opportunity, if I ask him to. I believe this, because when I first approached him about baptism, he asked how soon I would like it performed. I said, as soon as possible, and he said he could do it for me then and there, if I wanted. I laughed, and said whilst that was a tempting thought, I knew there was usually more to it than that. I think he was testing me to see if I was up to speed on Church teaching. Having said that, because we don’t have RCIA, perhaps he feels less obliged to make people wait, if he feels they know what is expected of them.
Whatever happens, I will keep you posted. Thank you again for your insight and prayers!

I guess the moderator is just about pulling their hair out by now, regarding this thread. I apolgize…again. From now on, back to topic…not that it seems to have garnered much interest…ie…lack of repsonse to initial topic…perhaps it should just be closed. I will leave this up to the moderator.

Peace be with you all. :slight_smile:

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