Friday, April 16, 2010

St. Thomas Aquinas on the Holy Eucharist (Summa Theologica)

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Eternal Father, I offer you the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity, of Your Dearly Beloved Son, Our Lord, Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.

Lord, I am not worthy to receive You, but only say the word and I shall be healed!

Here's what the great Angelic Doctor and prince of theologians, St. Thomas Aquinas, teaches on the Holy Eucharist in his Summa Theologica:

1. The Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist
The Holy Eucharist, of which the Paschal Lamb is the chief figure [1 Cor 5:7-8],{1} is but one sacrament [1 Cor 10:17],{2} is not necessary for salvation,{3} and is fittingly also "called a 'Sacrifice,'" Communion, Viaticum, and Assumption.{4}

2. The Matter of the Eucharist
Any quantity{5} of wheat bread [Jn 12:24]{6} and wine of the grape [Ps 104:15; Mt 26:29; Jn 15:1]{7} is the requisite matter of this sacrament. It is "more reasonable" to use unleavened bread to celebrate the Eucharist [Ex 12:15-19; Mt 26:17; Mk 14:12; Lk 22:7; 1 Cor 5:7-8], though the Greek custom of using leavened bread is fine.{8} While it is not essential to mix water with the wine,{9} it is good to mix a small quantity{10} of water with the wine [Prov 9:5; Ps 23:2; 1 Cor 10:4].{11}

3. Transubstantiation
The body of Christ is really, not merely figuratively, present in the consecrated host [Mt 24:28; Lk 22:19; Jn 6:56].{12} The substance of bread and wine does not remain in this sacrament;{13} the substance of bread and wine is not annihilated,{14} but changes into the Most Precious Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ,{15} for which reason the holy Doctor Bishop St. Ambrose the Great of Milan says, "When the consecration takes place, the body of Christ is made out of the bread."{16} The accidents of bread and wine remain{17} after this instantaneous change,{18} but the substantial form does not remain there.{19}

4. The Real Presence of Christ in the Sacrament
The entire Christ is present under every part of the species of the bread and wine.{20} All the dimensions of Christ's body are in this sacrament.{21} The body of Christ is not in this sacrament locally{22} or movably.{23} "The body of Christ, as it is in this sacrament" is invisible to even a glorified eye.{24} When Christ is seen under the appearance of a child or of flesh due to "a species miraculously formed either in the eyes of the beholders, or in the sacramental dimensions themselves," the body of Christ is truly there.{25}

5. The Remaining Accidents of Bread & Wine

6. The Form of the Sacrament

7. The Effects of the Eucharist

8. Receiving this Sacrament in General

9. Christ's Institution of the Eucharist

10. The Minister of the Eucharist

11. The Rite of the Eucharist

Jn 3:16



UNDER CONSTRUCTION!

Notes & References
{1} Summa Theologica III, q. 73, art. 6, corp.
{2} III, q. 73, art. 2, corp.
{3} III, q. 73, art. 3, corp.
{4} III, q. 73, art. 4, corp.
{5} III, q. 74, art. 2, corp.
{6} III, q. 74, art. 3, corp.
{7} III, q. 74, art. 5, corp.
{8} III, q. 74, art. 4, corp.
{9} III, q. 74, art. 7, corp.
{10} III, q. 74, art. 8, corp..
{11} III, q. 74, art. 6, corp.; ad 1; ad 2.
{12} III, q. 75, art. 1, corp.
{13} III, q. 75, art. 2, corp.
{14} III, q. 75, art. 3, corp.
{15} III, q. 75, art. 4, corp.
{16} III, q. 75, art. 8, sed contra.
{17} III, q. 75, art. 5, corp.
{18} III, q. 75, art. 7, corp.
{19} III, q. 75, art. 6, corp.
{20} III, q. 76, art. 3, corp.
{21} III, q. 76, art. 4, corp.
{22} III, q. 76, art. 5, corp.
{23} III, q. 76, art. 6, corp.
{24} III, q. 76, art. 7, corp.
{25} III, q. 76, art. 8, ad 2.
{26} III, q. 77, art. 1, corp.
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{28}
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