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  • Catechism of the Catholic Church | Catholic Culture
    to feed the multitude prefigure the superabundance of this unique bread of his Eucharist 158 The sign of water turned into wine at Cana already announces the Hour of Jesus glorification It makes manifest the fulfillment of the wedding feast in the Father s kingdom where the faithful will drink the new wine that has become the Blood of Christ 159 1336 The first announcement of the Eucharist divided the disciples just as the announcement of the Passion scandalized them This is a hard saying who can listen to it 160 The Eucharist and the Cross are stumbling blocks It is the same mystery and it never ceases to be an occasion of division Will you also go away 161 the Lord s question echoes through the ages as a loving invitation to discover that only he has the words of eternal life 162 and that to receive in faith the gift of his Eucharist is to receive the Lord himself The institution of the Eucharist 1337 The Lord having loved those who were his own loved them to the end Knowing that the hour had come to leave this world and return to the Father in the course of a meal he washed their feet and gave them the commandment of love 163 In order to leave them a pledge of this love in order never to depart from his own and to make them sharers in his Passover he instituted the Eucharist as the memorial of his death and Resurrection and commanded his apostles to celebrate it until his return thereby he constituted them priests of the New Testament 164 1338 The three synoptic Gospels and St Paul have handed on to us the account of the institution of the Eucharist St John for his part reports the words of Jesus in the synagogue of Capernaum that prepare for the institution of the Eucharist Christ calls himself the bread of life come down from heaven 165 1339 Jesus chose the time of Passover to fulfill what he had announced at Capernaum giving his disciples his Body and his Blood Then came the day of Unleavened Bread on which the passover lamb had to be sacrificed So Jesus sent Peter and John saying Go and prepare the passover meal for us that we may eat it They went and prepared the passover And when the hour came he sat at table and the apostles with him And he said to them I have earnestly desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer for I tell you I shall not eat it again until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God 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 And likewise the cup after supper saying This cup which is poured out for you is the New Covenant in my blood

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  • Catechism of the Catholic Church | Catholic Culture
    give thanks to the Creator for bread and wine 154 fruit of the work of human hands but above all as fruit of the earth and of the vine gifts of the Creator The Church sees in the gesture of the king priest Melchizedek who brought out bread and wine a prefiguring of her own offering 155 1334 In the Old Covenant bread and wine were offered in sacrifice among the first fruits of the earth as a sign of grateful acknowledgment to the Creator But they also received a new significance in the context of the Exodus the unleavened bread that Israel eats every year at Passover commemorates the haste of the departure that liberated them from Egypt the remembrance of the manna in the desert will always recall to Israel that it lives by the bread of the Word of God 156 their daily bread is the fruit of the promised land the pledge of God s faithfulness to his promises The cup of blessing 157 at the end of the Jewish Passover meal adds to the festive joy of wine an eschatological dimension the messianic expectation of the rebuilding of Jerusalem When Jesus instituted the Eucharist he gave a new and definitive meaning to the blessing of the bread and the cup 1335 The miracles of the multiplication of the loaves when the Lord says the blessing breaks and distributes the loaves through his disciples to feed the multitude prefigure the superabundance of this unique bread of his Eucharist 158 The sign of water turned into wine at Cana already announces the Hour of Jesus glorification It makes manifest the fulfillment of the wedding feast in the Father s kingdom where the faithful will drink the new wine that has become the Blood of Christ 159 1336

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  • Catechism of the Catholic Church | Catholic Culture
    the commandment of love 163 In order to leave them a pledge of this love in order never to depart from his own and to make them sharers in his Passover he instituted the Eucharist as the memorial of his death and Resurrection and commanded his apostles to celebrate it until his return thereby he constituted them priests of the New Testament 164 1338 The three synoptic Gospels and St Paul have handed on to us the account of the institution of the Eucharist St John for his part reports the words of Jesus in the synagogue of Capernaum that prepare for the institution of the Eucharist Christ calls himself the bread of life come down from heaven 165 1339 Jesus chose the time of Passover to fulfill what he had announced at Capernaum giving his disciples his Body and his Blood Then came the day of Unleavened Bread on which the passover lamb had to be sacrificed So Jesus sent Peter and John saying Go and prepare the passover meal for us that we may eat it They went and prepared the passover And when the hour came he sat at table and the apostles with him And he said to them I have earnestly desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer for I tell you I shall not eat it again until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God 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 And likewise the cup after supper saying This cup which is poured out for you is the New Covenant in my blood 166 1340 By celebrating the Last Supper with his

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  • Catechism of the Catholic Church | Catholic Culture
    of the Catholic Church Do this in memory of me 1341 The command of Jesus to repeat his actions and words until he comes does not only ask us to remember Jesus and what he did It is directed at the liturgical celebration by the apostles and their successors of the memorial of Christ of his life of his death of his Resurrection and of his intercession in the presence of the Father 167 1342 From the beginning the Church has been faithful to the Lord s command Of the Church of Jerusalem it is written They devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and fellowship to the breaking of bread and the prayers Day by day attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes they partook of food with glad and generous hearts 168 1343 It was above all on the first day of the week Sunday the day of Jesus resurrection that the Christians met to break bread 169 From that time on down to our own day the celebration of the Eucharist has been continued so that today we encounter it everywhere in the Church with the same fundamental structure It remains the center of the

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  • Catechism of the Catholic Church | Catholic Culture
    not the same movement as the Paschal meal of the risen Jesus with his disciples Walking with them he explained the Scriptures to them sitting with them at table he took bread blessed and broke it and gave it to them 174 The movement of the celebration 1348 All gather together Christians come together in one place for the Eucharistic assembly At its head is Christ himself the principal agent of the Eucharist He is high priest of the New Covenant it is he himself who presides invisibly over every Eucharistic celebration It is in representing him that the bishop or priest acting in the person of Christ the head in persona Christi capitis presides over the assembly speaks after the readings receives the offerings and says the Eucharistic Prayer All have their own active parts to play in the celebration each in his own way readers those who bring up the offerings those who give communion and the whole people whose Amen manifests their participation 1349 The Liturgy of the Word includes the writings of the prophets that is the Old Testament and the memoirs of the apostles their letters and the Gospels After the homily which is an exhortation to accept this Word as what it truly is the Word of God 175 and to put it into practice come the intercessions for all men according to the Apostle s words I urge that supplications prayers intercessions and thanksgivings be made for all men for kings and all who are in high positions 176 1350 The presentation of the offerings the Offertory Then sometimes in procession the bread and wine are brought to the altar they will be offered by the priest in the name of Christ in the Eucharistic sacrifice in which they will become his body and blood It is the very action of Christ at the Last Supper taking the bread and a cup The Church alone offers this pure oblation to the Creator when she offers what comes forth from his creation with thanksgiving 177 The presentation of the offerings at the altar takes up the gesture of Melchizedek and commits the Creator s gifts into the hands of Christ who in his sacrifice brings to perfection all human attempts to offer sacrifices 1351 From the very beginning Christians have brought along with the bread and wine for the Eucharist gifts to share with those in need This custom of the collection ever appropriate is inspired by the example of Christ who became poor to make us rich 178 Those who are well off and who are also willing give as each chooses What is gathered is given to him who presides to assist orphans and widows those whom illness or any other cause has deprived of resources prisoners immigrants and in a word all who are in need 179 1352 The anaphora with the Eucharistic Prayer the prayer of thanksgiving and consecration we come to the heart and summit of the celebration In

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  • Catechism of the Catholic Church | Catholic Culture
    stayed the same until our own day for all the great liturgical families St Justin wrote to the pagan emperor Antoninus Pius 138 161 around the year 155 explaining what Christians did On the day we call the day of the sun all who dwell in the city or country gather in the same place The memoirs of the apostles and the writings of the prophets are read as much as time permits When the reader has finished he who presides over those gathered admonishes and challenges them to imitate these beautiful things Then we all rise together and offer prayers for ourselves and for all others wherever they may be so that we may be found righteous by our life and actions and faithful to the commandments so as to obtain eternal salvation When the prayers are concluded we exchange the kiss Then someone brings bread and a cup of water and wine mixed together to him who presides over the brethren He takes them and offers praise and glory to the Father of the universe through the name of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and for a considerable time he gives thanks in Greek eucharistian that

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  • Catechism of the Catholic Church | Catholic Culture
    the homily which is an exhortation to accept this Word as what it truly is the Word of God 175 and to put it into practice come the intercessions for all men according to the Apostle s words I urge that supplications prayers intercessions and thanksgivings be made for all men for kings and all who are in high positions 176 1350 The presentation of the offerings the Offertory Then sometimes in procession the bread and wine are brought to the altar they will be offered by the priest in the name of Christ in the Eucharistic sacrifice in which they will become his body and blood It is the very action of Christ at the Last Supper taking the bread and a cup The Church alone offers this pure oblation to the Creator when she offers what comes forth from his creation with thanksgiving 177 The presentation of the offerings at the altar takes up the gesture of Melchizedek and commits the Creator s gifts into the hands of Christ who in his sacrifice brings to perfection all human attempts to offer sacrifices 1351 From the very beginning Christians have brought along with the bread and wine for the Eucharist gifts to share with those in need This custom of the collection ever appropriate is inspired by the example of Christ who became poor to make us rich 178 Those who are well off and who are also willing give as each chooses What is gathered is given to him who presides to assist orphans and widows those whom illness or any other cause has deprived of resources prisoners immigrants and in a word all who are in need 179 1352 The anaphora with the Eucharistic Prayer the prayer of thanksgiving and consecration we come to the heart and summit of the celebration In the preface the Church gives thanks to the Father through Christ in the Holy Spirit for all his works creation redemption and sanctification The whole community thus joins in the unending praise that the Church in heaven the angels and all the saints sing to the thrice holy God 1353 In the epiclesis the Church asks the Father to send his Holy Spirit or the power of his blessing 180 on the bread and wine so that by his power they may become the body and blood of Jesus Christ and so that those who take part in the Eucharist may be one body and one spirit some liturgical traditions put the epiclesis after the anamnesis In the institution narrative the power of the words and the action of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit make sacramentally present under the species of bread and wine Christ s body and blood his sacrifice offered on the cross once for all 1354 In the anamnesis that follows the Church calls to mind the Passion resurrection and glorious return of Christ Jesus she presents to the Father the offering of his Son which reconciles us with

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  • Catechism of the Catholic Church | Catholic Culture
    s sacrifice present on the altar makes it possible for all generations of Christians to be united with his offering In the catacombs the Church is often represented as a woman in prayer arms outstretched in the praying position Like Christ who stretched out his arms on the cross through him with him and in him she offers herself and intercedes for all men 1369 The whole Church is united with the offering and intercession of Christ Since he has the ministry of Peter in the Church the Pope is associated with every celebration of the Eucharist wherein he is named as the sign and servant of the unity of the universal Church The bishop of the place is always responsible for the Eucharist even when a priest presides the bishop s name is mentioned to signify his presidency over the particular Church in the midst of his presbyterium and with the assistance of deacons The community intercedes also for all ministers who for it and with it offer the Eucharistic sacrifice Let only that Eucharist be regarded as legitimate which is celebrated under the presidency of the bishop or him to whom he has entrusted it 191 Through the ministry of priests the spiritual sacrifice of the faithful is completed in union with the sacrifice of Christ the only Mediator which in the Eucharist is offered through the priests hands in the name of the whole Church in an unbloody and sacramental manner until the Lord himself comes 192 1370 To the offering of Christ are united not only the members still here on earth but also those already in the glory of heaven In communion with and commemorating the Blessed Virgin Mary and all the saints the Church offers the Eucharistic sacrifice In the Eucharist the Church is as it were at the foot of the cross with Mary united with the offering and intercession of Christ 1371 The Eucharistic sacrifice is also offered for the faithful departed who have died in Christ but are not yet wholly purified 193 so that they may be able to enter into the light and peace of Christ Put this body anywhere Don t trouble yourselves about it I simply ask you to remember me at the Lord s altar wherever you are 194 Then we pray in the anaphora for the holy fathers and bishops who have fallen asleep and in general for all who have fallen asleep before us in the belief that it is a great benefit to the souls on whose behalf the supplication is offered while the holy and tremendous Victim is present By offering to God our supplications for those who have fallen asleep if they have sinned we offer Christ sacrificed for the sins of all and so render favorable for them and for us the God who loves man 195 1372 St Augustine admirably summed up this doctrine that moves us to an ever more complete participation in our Redeemer s sacrifice which we celebrate in the Eucharist This wholly redeemed city the assembly and society of the saints is offered to God as a universal sacrifice by the high priest who in the form of a slave went so far as to offer himself for us in his Passion to make us the Body of so great a head Such is the sacrifice of Christians we who are many are one Body in Christ The Church continues to reproduce this sacrifice in the sacrament of the altar so well known to believers wherein it is evident to them that in what she offers she herself is offered 196 The presence of Christ by the power of his word and the Holy Spirit 1373 Christ Jesus who died yes who was raised from the dead who is at the right hand of God who indeed intercedes for us is present in many ways to his Church 197 in his word in his Church s prayer where two or three are gathered in my name 198 in the poor the sick and the imprisoned 199 in the sacraments of which he is the author in the sacrifice of the Mass and in the person of the minister But he is present most especially in the Eucharistic species 200 1374 The mode of Christ s presence under the Eucharistic species is unique It raises the Eucharist above all the sacraments as the perfection of the spiritual life and the end to which all the sacraments tend 201 In the most blessed sacrament of the Eucharist the body and blood together with the soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ and therefore the whole Christ is truly really and substantially contained 202 This presence is called real by which is not intended to exclude the other types of presence as if they could not be real too but because it is presence in the fullest sense that is to say it is a substantial presence by which Christ God and man makes himself wholly and entirely present 203 1375 It is by the conversion of the bread and wine into Christ s body and blood that Christ becomes present in this sacrament The Church Fathers strongly affirmed the faith of the Church in the efficacy of the Word of Christ and of the action of the Holy Spirit to bring about this conversion Thus St John Chrysostom declares It is not man that causes the things offered to become the Body and Blood of Christ but he who was crucified for us Christ himself The priest in the role of Christ pronounces these words but their power and grace are God s This is my body he says This word transforms the things offered 204 And St Ambrose says about this conversion Be convinced that this is not what nature has formed but what the blessing has consecrated The power of the blessing prevails over that of nature because by the blessing nature itself is

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