Daily Archives: June 28, 2009

Minnesota Program encourages people to help, not crit

Great idea.

Corporal = Physical

Since His Holiness Pope Paul VI clarified in Mysterium Fidei that the Eucharist is the “corporal” presence of Christ, I thought I’d look up “corporal” on http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/corporal.  Sure enough, it defines “corporal” as “physical.”

Article: “Revolt begins against Obama’s Fascist Agenda”

That’s what the headline says.  While it starts off by accusing Obama of a eugenicitst agenda in “health care reform”, it goes on to complain that Obama is actually *cutting* federal programs or calling on funding of those programs by putting higher taxes on poor Americans.

In other words, this article claims that Left, at least the traditional Left (e.g., FDR/JFK types) are getting mad at some of Obama’s policies.

This is also supported by Phyllis Schlafly, who reports that the Senate budget committee is unhappy with the terms of the Obama/Kennedy “health care reform” plan, saying that it will a) cost too much, b) leave too many people out and c) hurt those who already have private insurance.

The shoe drops

Speculating regarding the idea of “minimum standard of Catholicism” advocated by the Catholic Left, a month or so ago, I argued that such a minimal standard should include attitudes towards the Eucharist and towards contraception.

Now, a blogger at Vox Nova, who says his research specialty is “ecumenism” (note: clear difference between a specialty of “ecumenism” and a specialty of “apologetics”), has written a piece claiming it’s heresy to say Jesus is physically present in the Eucharist.  He uses the testimony of an unnamed female theology professor and a bunch of Rahnerian doublespeak according to which “substance” is not something physical but something spiritual.

In the process, he claimed that anyone who believes the Eucharist has miraculous properties is actually a materialist(!) or a fideist. He said that those who believe the Eucharist is truly the Body of Christ are guilty of “Caphernism” (is that even a word?), saying that faithful Catholics who think Jesus is physically present in the Host are like the people at Capernaum who turned away at the Bread of Life Discourse.

I mean, that’s the epitome of poor logic: if you think the Eucharist is miraculous and cannot cause disease, you’re a materialist; if you think the Eucharist is the Body of Christ, you’re the equivalent of those who denied it.

All of this twisted logic to avoid giving offense to the Lutheran heretics, whose insults to the Eucharist caused so much sorrow for St. Teresa of Avila.

Philosophy 101: substance is that which makes something what-it-is.  Substance is what remains when a thing has lost all accidental properties.

I offered an immediate rebuttal, but here is one with citations.

First, excerpts from an EWTN article called “Modern Misconceptions of the Eucharist”, by Fr. Regis Scanlon (I think it’s the same one I quoted to “Anonymous” last month):

St. Thomas also gave a very good reason why bread and wine cannot remain after the consecration: “Because it would be opposed to the veneration of this sacrament, if any substance were there, which could not be adored with adoration of “<latria>”.”[9] If bread and wine remained, Catholics would be committing the sin of idolatry by adoring it. So, physical bread and wine do not remain!

Jesus is corporally, that is, physically, present:

Finally, in 196:S, Pope Paul VI taught most clearly that, after the consecration at Mass, “nothing remains of the bread and wine except for the <species> (smell, taste, etc.)” and that Christ is (bodily) present whole and entire in his lt;physical> ‘reality,’ corporeallypresent, although not in the manner in which bodies are in a place.”[11] So, the “<physical” thing> that remains after the consecration is Jesus Christ and not bread and wine.

On Rahner:

In 1966 the late Fr. Karl Rahner stated that “one can no longer maintain today that bread is a substance, as St. Thomas and the Fathers of the Council (of Trent) obviously thought it was”.[12] For Rahner, the “substance” of a thing did not include its <material and physical> reality, but the “meaning and purpose” of the thing. [13] So, according to Karl Rahner, transubstantiation meant that, after the consecration of the Mass, the physical bread remained physical bread but it now had a new “meaning” of spiritual food because it was now a “symbol” of Jesus Christ.[14]

I was speaking with a theologian friend of mine, a former department head at Duquesne, and he said that, in part, Rahner was right: we cannot identify Aristotelian substance with modern ideas of matter, but that does not mean it is not physical, since modern physics knows that the universe is composed of far more than just energy and matter.

But Rahner reduces the Eucharist to symbol by saying its “significance” changes.  The problem is a definitition of physicality which is limited to matter–in other words, materialism.

At what point do we say we’ve had enough?

The US Bishops have revised a document on Jewish relations to say that, while Catholics should not “proselytize” Jews (and that word has a lot of debate as to its exact meaning), we should share our faith in Christ and encourage them to join it.  For this, some Jewish leaders are predictably outraged.

Listen, we believe that Jesus is the savior.  We believe that Jesus is the fulfilment of God’s covenant with Israel.  It is popular to say that the covenant was “never revoked,” but it is a legitimate question whether those who practice Judaism today are, in fact, being true to God’s covenant, both in their rejection of the Messiah and in their actual failure to observe the tenets of the Torah.

In any case, at what point do Christians say “enough!”?  We’re not allowed to pray for their conversions?  We’re not allowed to encourage their conversions?  We’re not even allowed to talk to them about Christ??

Evangelicals talk about Spiritual Warfare, but fall short; Catholics barely talk of it at all

Why do Evangelicals talk about spiritual warfare but not Catholics?

Let’s start with the first of two columns in which a minister explains what spiritual warfare is:

We are in a war that is beyond anything the world has ever seen, and the battle is raging all round us. . . . how many of us run to the battlefield everyday without any means whatsoever of fighting against the enemy? . . .
Why do we need spiritual armor? Because the war we’re fighting is spiritual, and the armor will protect you from what the enemy wants to do to you.

Fascinating that Evangelicals often talk of Ephesians 6 and the “armor of the Lord” then attack us for using sacramentals.

Here’s a crucial point:

Always remember: The fight is not with the person you know; it’s with the power at work against your soul.

Muslims try to tell us that jihad is just “spiritual warfare,” in spite of the example led by Mohammed. The secularists suspect that, when Christians talk of “spiritual warfare,” we are engaging in a similar deception and calling for a literal Crusade. Of course, the activities of some Christian activists would indicate that’s what they think.

But the idea of “spiritual warfare” is to protect ourselves against the undue influence of the demons and to pray for the deliverance of those who are in their control.

The sad thing is that many people today don’t believe in Satan anymore. When I begin to articulate the ways in which Satan is still a powerful force in our world, people look at me funny, with their heads turned sideways and blank looks of disbelief on their faces. People tend to think that those who speak of the devil have been watching too much late night television. . . . I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but no one can be a Bible-believing Christian and not believe in the reality of Satan.

In his follow-up article, Pastor Powell talks about the armies of fallen angels under Satan’s service and the target of his attacks:

And who does he fight the most? The believer! Satan is attacking lives and causes that are most likely to defeat his plan. That is why all of us who are Christians feel so much of the effect of Satan’s presence. In other words, he is not after those who belong to him; he is after those who want to defeat him. We should be mindful, as Paul has warned us in 1 Corinthians, that it is vitally important that “we be not ignorant of Satan’s devices.”

I find among Christians today concerning the devil’s influence on their lives and society at large two components: (1) ignorance – they just don’t know – and (2) indifference – they just don’t care. And so Satan continues to succeed at his agenda because so many people don’t know, or perhaps, even worse, they just don’t care.

Yep. Or, if you try to talk to believers, they’ll say that talking of the Devil is “scary”. They’ll say that they don’t need to worry about that because they’re Christians. They’ll say that talking of the Devil means being preoccupied with it.

We should not be fooled; we cannot stand against the enemy of our soul and persevere unless we are prepared. What shall we do? Paul says to put on the whole armor of God that we may be able to stand against the devil. How? We will learn in the coming weeks.

Interesting, again. On the one hand, Evangelicals talk about sola fide, and insist that all you need to do is “confess that Jesus is the Savior.” When a Catholic counters, “well, I do that, but I do *more*,” the Evangelical replies that such “doing more” is offensive to Jesus and makes His sacrifice inadequate, etc. Then, in a different context, Evangelicals will make a big deal about the “full armor of God”. What is that?

  • The Sacraments.
  • The Sacramentals.
  • Personal Virtue.
  • The Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy.It would be nice if the Evangelical and Holiness Christians who spoke of this stuff would get the point.

It would also be nice if Catholic priests actually preached their homilies on this subject.

Now, here’s a review of an allegorical and apocalyptic novel that deals with spiritual warfare. It’s called Final Quest, by someone named Rick Joyner. The story depicts an allegorical battle where demons and angels tide not on horses but on the backs of the humans who do their work.