Archive | June, 2017

Transubstantiation: The real presence as a fact

17 Jun

The Last Vision Of Fatima

Transubstantiation is the conversion of the substance of the Eucharistic elements into the body and blood of Christ at the consecration, only the appearances of bread and wine still remaining. The Catholic Church teaches that the substance, or essence, of the Eucharistic offering, is changed into both the body and blood of Christ.Belief in this doctrine was made obligatory by the Fourth Council of the Lateran in 1215. In the Greek Orthodox Church, the doctrine has been discussed under the term of metousiosis, coined as a direct loan-translation of transsubstantiatio in the 17th century. In Eastern Orthodoxy in general, the Sacred Mystery (Sacrament) of the Eucharist is more commonly discussed using alternative terms such as “trans-elementation”. So is it just a doctrine of Catholic and Orhtodox churches? Let’s look at the accounts of early Christian writers who had direct contact with the apostles of Jesus(For example Ignatius of Antioch)

It is appalling to see many Christians still deny it, in spite of almost all Early Christian writers upholding Transubstantiation in their writings and practices.
“I desire the bread of God, which is the flesh of Jesus Christ.” Saint Ignatius of Antioch to the Romans, written in about AD 106

“..stand aloof from such heretics”, because, among other reasons, “they abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they confess not the Eucharist to be the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ, which suffered for our sins, and which the Father, of His goodness, raised up again.” Saint Ignatius of Antioch to the Christians of Smyrna, written in about AD 106

“Not as common bread and common drink do we receive these; but in like manner as Jesus Christ our Savior, having been made flesh by the Word of God, had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so likewise have we been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word, and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished, is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh.” Justin Martyr, Written in 105 AD

“Now it is evident, that in this prophecy [allusion is made] to the bread which our Christ gave us to eat, in remembrance of His being made flesh for the sake of His believers, for whom also He suffered; and to the cup which He gave us to drink, in remembrance of His own blood, with giving of thanks.” Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho, ch 70

“Let the bishop give the oblation, saying, The body of Christ; and let him that receiveth say, Amen. And let the deacon take the cup; and when he gives it, say, The blood of Christ, the cup of life; and let him that drinketh say, Amen.” The Apostolic Constitutions (compiled c. 380)

Perhaps you will say, “I see something else, how is it that you assert that I receive the Body of Christ?” … Let us prove that this is not what nature made, but what the blessing consecrated, and the power of blessing is greater than that of nature because by blessing nature itself is changed. … For that sacrament which you receive is made what it is by the word of Christ. But if the word of Elijah had such power as to bring down fire from heaven, shall not the word of Christ have the power to change the nature of the elements? … Why do you seek the order of nature in the Body of Christ, seeing that the Lord Jesus Himself was born of a Virgin, not according to nature? It is the true Flesh of Christ which was crucified and buried, this is then truly the Sacrament of His Body. The Lord Jesus Himself proclaims: “This Is My Body.” Before the blessing of the heavenly words another nature is spoken of, after the consecration, the Body is signified. He Himself speaks of His Blood. Before the consecration, it has another name, after it is called Blood. And you say, Amen, that is, It is true. Let the heart within confess what the mouth utters, let the soul feel what the voice speaks.” Saint Ambrose of Milan (d. 397)

“For as Christ says ‘I am the true vine,’ it follows that the blood of Christ is wine, not water; and the cup cannot appear to contain His blood by which we are redeemed and quickened, if the wine be absent; for by the wine is the blood of Christ typified, …” Augustine in 400 AD quoting Cyprian (AD 200)

The Eucharist is “the source and summit of the Christian life.”

The Miracle of the Sun

3 Jun

The Miracle of the Sun still continues to defy science till date. Witnessed by around 30,000 to 40,000 people in Cova Da Iria on October 13, 1917, is the most undisputed of all the miracles confirmed by the Catholic Church. Also this miracle was only a sign about the prophecies made by the apparitions of Mother Mary to the three shepherd children Jacinta, Fransico Marto and Lucia dos Santos. Catholics have regarded Mary as a “miracle worker” for centuries, and this view has continued into the 21st century. So, is it fake or a made up story? Let`s look at the accounts of people who actually were present Catholics & Anit-Catholics alike.

“The sun, at one moment surrounded with scarlet flame, at another aureoled in yellow and deep purple, seemed to be in an exceedingly swift and whirling movement, at times appearing to be loosened from the sky and to be approaching the earth, strongly radiating heat.” Dr Domingos Pinto Coelho, writing for the Catholic newspaper Ordem.

“Engineers that have studied the case reckoned that an incredible amount of energy would have been necessary to dry up those pools of water that had formed on the field in a few minutes as it was reported by witnesses. The prediction of an unspecified “miracle”, the abrupt beginning and end of the event, the varied religious backgrounds of the observers, the sheer numbers of people present, reports of sightings by people up to 18 kilometres (11 mi) away, and the lack of any known scientific causative factor make a mass hallucination or mass hysteria unlikely. Given the indubitable reference to God and the general context of the story, it seems that we must attribute to Him alone the most obvious and colossal miracle of history.” De Marchi

“From the road, where the vehicles were parked and where hundreds of people who had not dared to brave the mud were congregated, one could see the immense multitude turn toward the sun, which appeared free from clouds and in its zenith. It looked like a plaque of dull silver, and it was possible to look at it without the least discomfort. It might have been an eclipse which was taking place. But at that moment a great shout went up, and one could hear the spectators nearest at hand shouting: “A miracle! A miracle!”

Before the astonished eyes of the crowd, whose aspect was biblical as they stood bareheaded, eagerly searching the sky, the sun trembled, made sudden incredible movements outside all cosmic laws—the sun “danced” according to the typical expression of the people.

Standing at the step of an omnibus was an old man. With his face turned to the sun, he recited the Credo in a loud voice. I asked who he was and was told Senhor Joao da Cunha Vasconcelos. I saw him afterwards going up to those around him who still had their hats on, and vehemently imploring them to uncover before such an extraordinary demonstration of the existence of God.

Identical scenes were repeated elsewhere, and in one place a woman cried out: “How terrible! There are even men who do not uncover before such a stupendous miracle!”

People then began to ask each other what they had seen. The great majority admitted to having seen the trembling and the dancing of the sun; others affirmed that they saw the face of the Blessed Virgin; others, again, swore that the sun whirled on itself like a giant Catherine wheel and that it lowered itself to the earth as if to burn it in its rays. Some said they saw it change colours successively….” O Seculo (a pro-government, anti-clerical, Lisbon paper)

“… The silver sun, enveloped in the same gauzy grey light, was seen to whirl and turn in the circle of broken clouds … The light turned a beautiful blue, as if it had come through the stained-glass windows of a cathedral, and spread itself over the people who knelt with outstretched hands … people wept and prayed with uncovered heads, in the presence of a miracle they had awaited. The seconds seemed like hours, so vivid were they.” A reporter for the Lisbon newspaper O Dia.

“We made our arrangements and went in three motor cars on the early morning of the 13th. There was a thick mist, and the car which went in front mistook the way so that we were all lost for a time and only arrived at the Cova da Iria at midday by the sun. It was absolutely full of people, but for my part, I felt devoid of any religious feeling. When Lucia called out: “Look at the sun!” the whole multitude repeated: “Attention to the sun!” It was a day of incessant drizzle but a few moments before the miracle it stopped raining. I can hardly find words to describe what followed. The sun began to move, and at a certain moment appeared to be detached from the sky and about to hurtle upon us like a wheel of flame. My wife—we had been married only a short time — fainted, and I was too upset to attend to her, and my brother-in-law law, Joao Vassalo, supported her on his arm. I fell on my knees, oblivious of everything, and when I got up I don’t know what I said. I think I began to cry out like the others. An old man with a white beard began to attack the atheists aloud and challenged them to say whether or not something supernatural had occurred.” Senhor Alfredo da Silva Santos (Lisbon)

“The sun’s disc did not remain immobile. This was not the sparkling of a heavenly body, for it spun round on itself in a mad whirl when suddenly a clamour was heard from all the people. The sun, whirling, seemed to loosen itself from the firmament and advance threateningly upon the earth as if to crush us with its huge fiery weight. The sensation during those moments was terrible.” —De Marchi attributes this description to Dr. Almeida Garrett, Professor of Natural Sciences at Coimbra University.[29] Theologian Father Stanley L. Jaki wrote that it was actually given by Dr José Almeida Garrett, a young lawyer, and is often mistakenly attributed to his father, a professor of natural sciences at the University of Coimbra,[17] named Dr. Gonçalo de Almeida Garrett.

“As if like a bolt from the blue, the clouds were wrenched apart, and the sun at its zenith appeared in all its splendour. It began to revolve vertiginously on its axis, like the most magnificent Firewheel that could be imagined, taking on all the colours of the rainbow and sending forth multicoloured flashes of light, producing the most astounding effect. This sublime and incomparable spectacle, which was repeated three distinct times, lasted for about ten minutes. The immense multitude, overcome by the evidence of such a tremendous prodigy, threw themselves on their knees.”―Dr. Manuel Formigão, a professor at the seminary at Santarém, and a priest.

“I feel incapable of describing what I saw. I looked fixedly at the sun, which seemed pale and did not hurt my eyes. Looking like a ball of snow, revolving on itself, it suddenly seemed to come down in a zig-zag, menacing the earth. Terrified, I ran and hid myself among the people, who were weeping and expecting the end of the world at any moment.”—Rev. Joaquim Lourenço, describing his boyhood experience in Alburitel, eighteen kilometres from Fátima

“On that day of October 13, 1917, without remembering the predictions of the children, I was enchanted by a remarkable spectacle in the sky of a kind I had never seen before. I saw it from this veranda …”—Portuguese poet Afonso Lopes Vieira

The event was declared of “supernatural character” by the Catholic Church in 1930. The event is seen as the fulfilment of a promise by Mary, mother of Jesus to the shepherd children she appeared to several times before October 13, 1917. According to the children’s accounts, Mary, referred to as the Lady of Fátima, promised them she would perform a miracle to show people they were telling the truth, and so caused the Sun to make violent movements in the sky.

Also as a conclusion, all the prophecies made by Mary in the apparitions to the three shepherd children have come true or ongoing.

“My God, I believe, I adore, I hope, and I love you. I ask pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope and do not love you.”