— Council of Vienne ♰♰♰

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Saint Augustine, Father and Doctor of the Church, teaches that those who commit Eucharistic Sacrilege eat and drink to their own damnation

St Augustine. (Catena Aurea) (de Verb. Dom.) As for those, as indeed there are many, who either eat that flesh and drink that blood hypocritically, or, who having eaten, become apostates, do they dwell in Christ, and Christ in them? Nay, but there is a certain mode of eating that flesh, and drinking that blood, in the which he that eateth and drinketh, dwelleth in Christ, and Christ in him.

Augustinus de Verb. Dom: Multi quidem, qui vel corde ficto carnem illam manducant et sanguinem bibunt, vel cum manducaverint apostatae fiunt, numquid manent in Christo, et Christus in eis? Sed est profecto quidam modus manducandi illam carnem et bibendi illum sanguinem, quo modo qui manducaverit et biberit, in Christo manet, et Christus in eo.

St. AUGUSTINE. (de Civ. Dei, l. xxi. c. 25.) There are some who promise men deliverance from eternal punishment, if they are washed in Baptism and partake of Christ’s Body, whatever lives they live. The Apostle however contradicts them, where he says, The works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like; of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. (Gal. 5:19. et seq.) Let us examine what is meant here. He who is in the unity of His body, (i. e. one of the Christian members,) the Sacrament of which body the faithful receive when they communicate at the Altar; he is truly said to eat the body, and drink the blood of Christ. And heretics and schismatics, who are cut off from the unity of the body, may receive the same Sacrament; but it does not profit them, nay, rather is hurtful, as tending to make their judgment heavier, or their forgiveness later. Nor ought they to feel secure in their abandoned and damnable ways, who, by the iniquity of their lives, desert righteousness, i. e. Christ; either by fornication, or other sins of the like kind. Such are not to be said to eat the body of Christ; forasmuch as they are not to be counted among the members of Christ. For, not to mention other things, men cannot be members of Christ, and at the same time members of an harlot.

ST. AUGUSTINE. (super Joan. c. xxvi. 15) By this meat and drink then, He would have us understand the society of His body, and His members, which is the Church, in the predestined, and called, and justified, and glorified saints and believers. The Sacrament whereof, i. e. of the unity of the body and blood of Christ, is administered, in some places daily, in others on such and such days from the Lord’s Table: and from the Lord’s Table it is received by some to their salvation, by others to their condemnation. But the thing itself of which this is the Sacrament, is for our salvation to every one who partakes of it, for condemnation to none. To prevent us supposing that those who, by virtue of that meat and drink, were promised eternal life, would not die in the body, He adds, And I will, raise him up at the last day; i. e. to that eternal life, a spiritual rest, which the spirits of the Saints enter into. But neither shall the body be defrauded of eternal life, but shall be endowed with it at the resurrection of the dead in the last day.

ST. AUGUSTINE. (Tr. xxvi. 17) Or thus: Whereas men desire meat and drink to satisfy hunger and thirst, this effect is only really produced by that meat and drink, which makes the receivers of it immortal and incorruptible; i. e. the society of Saints, where is peace and unity, full and perfect. On which account our Lord has chosen for the types of His body and blood, things which become one out of many. Bread is a quantity of grains united into one mass, wine a quantity of grapes squeezed together. Then He explains what it is to eat His body and drink His blood: He that eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, dwelleth in Me, and I in him. So then to partake of that meat and that drink, is to dwell in Christ and Christ in thee. He that dwelleth not in Christ, and in whom Christ dwelleth not, neither eateth His flesh, nor drinketh His blood: but rather eateth and drinketh the sacrament of it to his own damnation.

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