Tag Archives: Blessed Sacrament

His-2-Reap — Controversy in Middle Ages over ‘real presence’

CREDIT: REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

Just discovered for the first time over on Alive! the origins of the word ‘transubstantiation’.

Controversy in Middle Ages over ‘real presence’

By Bro. Stephen Brackett

During the Middle Ages a major controversy about the Blessed Eucharist was stirred up by a French priest called Berengarius. Eventually it led to a big development in Eucharistic devotion, including adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.

Born at Tours in 999, Berengarius studied theology in Chartres and in 1029 took charge of the theology school in his home city of Tours.

Soon his reputation for learning was spreading throughout France and attracting some of the best minds of the time to his school. But already his views were causing concern.

In a much earlier controversy, in the 830s, the monk Radbert Paschasius had maintained that at the consecration of the Mass the bread is converted into the real body of Christ and the wine into the real blood of Christ.

Another monk in the same abbey, Ratramnus, denied this, saying that Christ was present in a spiritual way in the Eucharist, but there was no conversion of the bread and wine.

Berengarius sided with Ratramnus,but his views were condemned as false and heretical at a council being held in Rome in 1050.

The condemnation was repeated at several local councils, such as Paris and Tours, in the coming years. In 1059 Berengarius retracted his views at a council in Rome and signed a profession of faith.

On his return home, however, he attacked the formula he had signed. At this point his supporters began to desert him.

It was in this controversy that the word ‘transubstantiation’ was first used to stress the true and full presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.

It was a bid to make sure that the meaning of the Lord’s words when he said, “This is my body, this is my blood,” would not be watered down in any way.

Coined by the theologian Hildebert of Lavardin in 1079, transubstantiation meant that the whole substance of the bread and of the wine were changed into the body and blood of Christ.

The important theologians at the time were united in opposing the views of Berengarius, but the controversy continued for decades. Finally, in 1080, he was reconciled with the Church.

Pope Gregory VII gave instructions that no penalty should be imposed on him nor that he should be called a heretic.

The turmoil and confusion he had caused, however, continued for many years to come and were recalled at the time of the Protestant reformation.

On the other hand, the dispute led to a more explicit presentation of Catholic teaching on the Eucharist and to new devotion.

In time, to protect Catholic faith in the Eucharist, the Church instituted the feast of Corpus Christi.

The custom of raising the host and the chalice after the consecration of the Mass was also introduced, allowing the faithful to profess their faith in the real presence of Christ.

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That the desert of our souls might bloom — Forty Hours: An Appeal – Vultus Christi

“Do this and the delay of mercy will be prolonged, allowing a greater multitude to lift their eyes to the Lamb, and be saved…”

EDITOR NOTE: There will be nothing written, spoken, or viewed over the internet this day that compares in importance to this timely and much needed message…

Forty Hours: An Appeal

 

Unrest and Rumours of War

At the risk of sounding alarmist and apocalyptic, I am compelled to make this appeal. The distressing events in Egypt are but one manifestation of a tension that seems to be growing all over the globe. Many souls have a presentiment of impending horrors: civil unrest, attacks upon the Church, violence, spiritual darkness, natural disasters, and wars spinning out of control.

Our Lord Waits to Show Us Mercy

In the face of such threats, Bishops and Priest charged with the care of souls need to enthrone the Most Blessed Sacrament, open wide the doors of their cathedrals and parish churches, and summon the faithful to adore and make humble supplication in the radiance of Our Lord’s Eucharistic Face. Do this, and the faithful will come. Do this, and the impending tribulations will be mitigated. Do this and the delay of mercy will be prolonged, allowing a greater multitude to lift their eyes to the Lamb, and be saved.

Before the Throne of the Eucharistic King

Are not these few weeks before Lent the most suitable time to organize the Sacred Forty Hours Devotion in cathedrals and churches everywhere? To delay under the pretexts that it is too difficult to plan, or that the faithful will not come, or that it will raise issues of security is to shut one’s ears and eyes to the signs of the times. Invite the faithful to kneel before the throne of the Eucharistic King; His Heart will be touched, and He will show His mercy and His power to the world.

Please continue on to the full article: Forty Hours: An Appeal – Vultus Christi.

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