May 29, 2005
SUNDAY WITHIN THE OCTAVE OF CORPUS CHRISTI
vol. 16, no. 149
The True Presence
If the sacrament is not confected in the strictest sense as established "in perpetuity" by Pope St. Pius V in codifying the tenets of the Council of Trent, it is not a sacrament; it is not the True Presence of Christ in the Sacred Host and Chalice, but rather still only bread and wine. How many in the Novus Ordo realize they are worshipping a wafer?
"But alas for the poor people of Bari! Benedict XVI uses the Novus Ordo form of consecration devised by Archbishop Bugnini and approved by Paul VI for the whole Church. The Mass, the beautiful, solemn, reverent, traditional appearing Mass is INVALID. No worthy and acceptable Sacrifice is offered to God the Father. The bread does not become the Body of Christ, Corpus Christi. The thousands of participants are worshipping a piece of bread"
Editor's Note: In Father Louis Campbell's sermon for the Sunday Within the Octave of Corpus Christi, he documents the infallible teachings of Trent which assures, when the sacrament is properly confected through the strict, exact words of the formula set down "in perpetuity", the bread and wine become the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ through transubstantiation. This dogmatic Council also declared anathema sit anyone who denies or compromises on this dogma. That brings us to today's present pope Benedict XVI who as the former Joseph Ratzinger pronounced heresy on this very point which Father documents from a book Ratzinger wrote shortly after the close of Vatican II in which the "now-pope" proclaimed: "To go church on the ground that one can visit God Who is present there is a senseless act which the modern man rightfully rejects." Yes, the very man, who Father notes is traveling to Bari today to acknowledge what he does not himself believe from his own words and actions in embracing the Novus Ordo. How sad that there is so much confusion and yet, as Father points out, we have not only Trent but the great saints of the Holy Eucharist, most notably the Angelic Doctor who bequeathed to all the magnificent Panis Angelicus and Tantum Ergo to name a few of his master tributes to The True Presence. [bold and italics below are editor's emphasis.]
"O Sacrament most holy, O Sacrament Divine! All praise and all thanksgiving be every moment Thine!" These beautiful words introduce us to the feast of Corpus Christi, which we repeat today on the Sunday within the Octave of the Feast.
Jesus Christ promised His disciples that they would have Bread from Heaven, and He fulfilled that promise at the Last Supper as He said to His Apostles: "Hoc est enim Corpus Meum" - "For this is my Body"; "Hic est enim Calix Sanguinis Mei, novi et aeterni testamenti: mysterium fidei: qui pro vobis et pro multis effundetur in remissionem peccatorum" - "For this is the Chalice of My Blood of the new and eternal covenant: the mystery of faith: which shall be shed for you and for many unto the forgiveness of sins" (Canon of the Mass).
The Church has ever after taken the Lord at His word, and offers upon her altars a pure and acceptable Sacrifice to God the Father - the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of His beloved Son, Jesus Christ. The Church speaks of the presence of the living Christ in the Sacrament of the Eucharist as the Real Presence. Whether we are receiving Him in Holy Communion or venerating Him in the tabernacle on the altar, we bend the knee before Him, paying Him homage by our reverent silence and our prayerful attention.
Today Benedict XVI, once known as Joseph Ratzinger, is visiting the city of Bari, Italy, to offer Mass at a Eucharistic Congress in observance of the "Year of the Eucharist." From what we have already seen of Benedict, it will probably be well orchestrated, traditional in appearance, and accompanied with dignified chant and polyphony. Perhaps once more he will use the Novus Ordo Canon #1, which closely resembles the Canon of the Traditional Mass. Many will be impressed. Some will have hope that it signals a return to authentic Tradition, and that the long "Babylonian Captivity" of traditional Catholics may be coming to an end.
The Pontiff earlier said that this Eucharistic Congress "is being celebrated in the context of the special Year of the Eucharist, during which Catholics worldwide are invited to renew their awareness of the great gift that Christ left us in the Last Supper" (May 16, 2005, Zenit.org). This puts Benedict XVI in a rather embarrassing position, since he once wrote in his previous life as Joseph Ratzinger, the theologian:
"Eucharistic devotion such as is noted in the silent visit by the devout in church must not be thought of as a conversation with God. This would assume that God was present there locally and in a confined way. To justify such an assertion shows a lack of understanding of the Christological mysteries of the very concept of God. This is repugnant to the serious thinking of the man who knows about the omnipresence of God. To go to church on the ground that one can visit God Who is present there is a senseless act which the modern man rightfully rejects." (Joseph Ratzinger, "Die Sakramentale Begründung Christlicher Existenz," The Sacramental Reason for Christian Existence, 1966, Kyrios Publishing, Freising-Meitingen, Germany). [my emphasis]
Then what about those saints who were intensely devoted to Christ in the Eucharist, like that great theologian, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Clare of Assisi, and St. Paschal Baylon? Were they wasting their time? If it makes no sense for devout Catholics to make a silent visit to the Blessed Sacrament reserved in the tabernacle, thinking that there they are able to converse with God, then it makes no sense for devout Catholics in Bari, Italy, to publicly venerate the same Blessed Sacrament singing devout Eucharistic hymns and bowing their heads in adoration.
Concerning the Real Presence of our Lord in the Eucharist, the Council of Trent teaches
"that after the consecration of bread and wine, our Lord Jesus Christ, true God and true man, is truly, really and substantially contained in the august sacrament of the Holy Eucharist under the appearance of those sensible things (bread and wine)" (Session XIII, Chapter I, The Real Presence of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist).
The Council further states:
"There is, therefore, no room for doubt that all the faithful of Christ may, in accordance with a custom always received in the Catholic Church, give to this most holy sacrament in veneration the worship of latria, which is due to the true God" (Ch. V).
The Council uses the term "transubstantiation" to express the Great Miracle that takes place:
"But since Christ our Redeemer declared that to be truly His own body which He offered under the form of bread, it has, therefore, always been a firm belief in the Church of God, and this holy council now declares it anew, that by the consecration of the bread and wine a change is brought about of the whole substance of the bread into the substance of the body of Christ our Lord, and of the whole substance of the wine into the substance of His blood. This change the holy Catholic Church properly and appropriately calls transubstantiation" (Chapter IV).
The Council excommunicates anyone who denies its teaching on the Eucharist:
"If anyone denies that in the sacrament of the most Holy Eucharist are contained truly, really and substantially the body and blood together with the soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, and consequently the whole Christ, but says that He is in it only as in a sign, or figure or force, LET HIM BE ANATHEMA" (Canons on the Most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist, Canon 1).
But alas for the poor people of Bari! Benedict XVI uses the Novus Ordo form of consecration devised by Archbishop Bugnini and approved by Paul VI for the whole Church. The Mass, the beautiful, solemn, reverent, traditional appearing Mass is INVALID. No worthy and acceptable Sacrifice is offered to God the Father. The bread does not become the Body of Christ, Corpus Christi. The thousands of participants are worshipping a piece of bread.
With deep sadness for them and for all who are deprived of the True Mass, but with profound gratitude for the Real Presence of Christ in the Holy Sacrament we are about to receive, we make our own the words of St. Thomas from the sequence of the Mass of Corpus Christi:
"Lo! Upon the altar lies, Hidden deep from human eyes, Bread of angels from the skies, made the food of mortal man… Thou who feedest us below! Source of all we have and know! Grant that with Thy saints above, Sitting at the feast of love, we may see Thee face to face. Amen. Alleluia" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Sequence of Corpus Christi).
Father Louis J. Campbell