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Eucharist vs. the Word (which is more important in the Catholic Church)
ZNA ^ | November 11, 2008 | Father Edward McNamara

Posted on 11/26/2008 4:35:17 PM PST by NYer

ROME, NOV. 11, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Answered by Legionary of Christ Father Edward McNamara, professor of liturgy at the Regina Apostolorum university.

Q: Could you succinctly state the relationship between the importance of the Eucharist versus the Word of God in the liturgy of the Mass? I was on a Eucharistic retreat with a group of Catholics, when the leader of our group said that we as Catholics believe that the Word of God is as important as the Eucharist. I have always been taught that the Eucharist is the source and summit of our faith, but after she said this I did some research into adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and the Word of God, and it seemed that there was more than a little validity to her statement since the "Word was made flesh and dwelt amongst us" ... and God speaks to us though his inspired Word, etc. Please clarify this. -- N.C., Cleveland, Ohio

A: I would like to begin this answer by recalling a conversation I had during my seminary years with an elderly Catholic layman while on vacation in upstate New York. This wise gentleman, of Lithuanian descent, rented canoes in the Adirondacks and often dealt with evangelical Christians who tried to win him over by saying they had the Good Book. He replied that as a Catholic he not only had the Book but moreover frequently met the Author.

Although one might discuss the theological precision of the anecdote, it does reflect a fundamental truth with respect to the different forms in which Christ is present to us. God certainly speaks to us through his inspired Word, and the Church teaches that he is present when the Scriptures are read. This presence, however, as Pope Paul VI teaches in his encyclical "Mysterium Fidei" is a real but transitory presence enduring while the liturgical reading lasts. It is, therefore, not of the same class as the substantial real presence found in the Eucharist.

From another angle we can also consider how Scripture is fulfilled in Eucharistic worship.

"The Word was made flesh and dwelt amongst us" this is the foundation of our faith. However, the same Word who took flesh in Mary's womb, who died, rose and ascended, is the same one who said, "This is my body … this is my blood," and is thus present body, soul and divinity under the species of bread and wine. In every Eucharistic celebration the entire mystery of Christ from the incarnation to the ascension is truly made present anew, albeit under the veil of sign and symbol.

From this perspective the Eucharist is thus "more important" than Scripture because Scripture's ultimate goal is to lead us to union with Christ through full participation in the Mass. The Mass is a sharing in the worship which the Incarnate Word offers to the Father in the Holy Spirit.

Yet, from a different perspective and precisely in the context of the Mass, the question as to the relative importance of Scripture vis-[-vis the Eucharist is relatively meaningless.

In every Mass we are like the disciples going to Emmaus, except we already know that Christ is present among us. Like them, our hearts should burn as we listen to Moses, the prophets and the New Covenant as they speak about Christ. At the same time we are aware that in the end we will recognize him only in the breaking of bread.

Therefore it is not a question of the superiority of one over the other but of an inseparable interrelationship and ordering of one toward the other. Precisely because Scripture is ordered toward Eucharistic worship, the celebration's external form necessarily follows the road to Emmaus. All the historical evidence available shows us that the celebration of the Word and the Eucharist have always formed a single act of worship. Likewise, Scripture is so intimately intertwined within the fabric of every single prayer that we can say that without Scripture there could be no Catholic liturgy.

Conversely, and from a historical perspective it is also partially true that without liturgy there would be no Scripture, for one of the major criteria for determining which books eventually made it into the biblical canon was whether the book was read in the liturgical assembly.

Therefore the contraposition of Word and Eucharist does not correspond to an authentically Catholic vision of their intimate relationship.

It is true that, historically, Catholics have not been assiduous Bible readers. During the greatest part of the Church's existence books were a luxury few could read and fewer could afford. The lack of direct Bible reading did not mean that there was total biblical illiteracy. Most Christians were imbued with biblical salvation history through church decorations in painting, sculpture and stained glass. The huge reredos enshrining the high altars of many cathedrals harmoniously wove in the stories of Genesis, kings, prophets, Jesus' ancestry and the principal events of the New Testament, while centering everything on the sacrifice of the altar. In this way they provided a visible scriptural background to Catholic worship.

In today's changed circumstances the Church actively encourages all Catholics to possess, read and meditate on the Good Book, while not forgetting to make frequent visits to the Author.

* * *

Follow-up: Missing or Faulty Forms of Absolution

In the wake of our Oct. 28 discussion of a priest not using a valid form of absolution, some readers suggested that I should have also dealt with the case where absolution is denied due to some defect or impediment on the part of the penitent.

Actually, in my earlier reply I deliberately omitted this very complex subject as it would have taken me away from the immediate question. I preferred to limit myself to the question at hand because it was clearly a case of lack of proper sacramental form by the priest and did not concern his being obliged to deny absolution.

It is, however, important to remember that there are times when a priest must necessarily deny absolution. This would be the case, for example, if it is clear that the penitent lacks contrition or is subject to excommunication or some similar censure. In such cases, the priest must, in conscience, inform the penitent why he is unable to grant absolution, and then tell the penitent what he or she needs to do to be absolved.

It would be a grave injustice toward God, the Church and the penitent himself to lead him to believe he has received absolution when in fact it could not be granted. If the priest also simulates the form of absolution while not actually giving it, then he commits a grave fault.

A reader from Singapore asked what the minimal formula for absolution was. St. Thomas Aquinas and the majority of classical theology manuals held that the nucleus of the formula was the expression "I absolve you." A few also sustained that the words "from your sins" were also necessary. All agreed that the Trinitarian invocation and the other prayers were not required for validity but were necessary for the sacrament's licit celebration in non-emergency situations.

Something similar could be said for elderly priests who never learned the new formula of absolution. Any absolution formula that was once officially approved would certainly be valid. They would probably also be licit if never formally abrogated.

* * *


TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; Theology; Worship
KEYWORDS: bible; catholic; communion; eucharist; scripture
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Readers may send questions to liturgy@zenit.org. Please put the word "Liturgy" in the subject field. The text should include your initials, your city and your state, province or country. Father McNamara can only answer a small selection of the great number of questions that arrive
1 posted on 11/26/2008 4:35:21 PM PST by NYer
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To: Salvation; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; Notwithstanding; nickcarraway; Romulus; ...
November 26 - Follow-up: Eucharist vs. the Word

In the wake of our column on the Eucharist and the Word (see Nov. 11), a Singapore reader offered the following comments:

"In this week's topic on 'Eucharist vs. the Word,' I was also thinking about Vatican II's dogmatic constitution on divine Revelation, 'Dei Verbum,' when I read the question posed by N.C. from Cleveland, Ohio.

"In No. 21 of 'Dei Verbum' it states, 'The Church has always venerated the divine Scriptures just as she venerates the body of the Lord, since, especially in the sacred liturgy, she unceasingly receives and offers to the faithful the bread of life from the table both of God's word and of Christ's body.'

"The proclamation of the Scriptures has always been an integral part of the liturgy at Mass. In a sense, [the] relationship between Scriptures and the Eucharist is complementary, as expressed in 'Dei Verbum.' This was also clearly brought out in your reply.

"The 17th General Congregation (12th Synod of Bishops) on Oct. 15, 2008, reported in the third point: 'Eucharist, homily, community' deals with the relationship between Scripture and the Eucharist, with the question, which emerged from the synodal discussion, on how to privilege, among the faithful, a more unitary perception of this relationship; the sacramental dimension of the Word and eschatological dimension; the celebration of the Word; the importance of the homily; art as an analogical form of preaching; finally, the relationship between the Word of God, celebration and community.

"Perhaps this is also the reason why, in the question asked, the reader said he was told that 'Catholics believe that the Word of God is as important as the Eucharist.'"

While "Dei Verbum" is a solemn conciliar text, the text from the Synod represents a work in progress. The latter will become formally magisterial in the degree that the Holy Father might incorporate these suggestions into an apostolic exhortation.

It is quite possible that a misinterpretation of texts such as "Dei Verbum" could have led some Catholics to cast a shadow on the mutually complementary relationship between Eucharist and Word, thus leading to a false opposition between them.

"Dei Verbum" simply recalls that the Church has historically observed a certain parallelism between the liturgical honors offered to sacred Scriptures and that offered to the Eucharist (incense, candles, etc.). The point was not to produce equivalence but rather to emphasize the fact that, contrary to certain accusations, Catholics had always venerated the Word. After all, the same Second Vatican Council had earlier proclaimed the liturgy, and especially the Eucharist, as the summit and source of the Church's life.

The Synod's recommendation of a more unitary perception of the Word in its relationship with the Eucharist should also be seen in continuity with previous doctrine. At the same time, a fuller and deeper vision of the various dimensions of the Word in Catholic life and worship can only lead to a fuller appreciation of the importance of the Eucharist as the fulfillment of Scripture.

2 posted on 11/26/2008 4:37:55 PM PST by NYer ("Run from places of sin as from a plague." - St. John Climacus)
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To: NYer

Let me say this. Jesus is the Word made flesh. The Eucharist is Jesus in the Flesh. They are inseperable. I was taught to think of Scripture, the Eucharist and Tradition as a 3 legged stool. All three have a unified role in our Faith. In this fashion, none would be able to stand without the others. The 3 legs are also representative in the Trinity. You cannot ask who is most important in the Trinity, all are one, yet 3. Same answer goes for the question you pose. Love how God works in 3’s and 7’s :)


3 posted on 11/26/2008 4:51:31 PM PST by wombtotomb (since its "above his paygrade", why can't we err on the side of caution about when life begins?)
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To: NYer

Jesus is the Word. The Bible is not the Word. It is an account of the Word.


4 posted on 11/26/2008 5:04:34 PM PST by ex-snook ("But above all things, truth beareth away the victory.")
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To: NYer

It’s not “either or”, but “both and”.


5 posted on 11/26/2008 5:07:27 PM PST by Unam Sanctam
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To: ex-snook
Jesus is the Word.

We have a winner. You can stop there.

6 posted on 11/26/2008 5:13:34 PM PST by RGPII
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itz amazing that folks dont get this simple truth of the word and the mass....


7 posted on 11/26/2008 5:20:14 PM PST by raygunfan
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To: NYer; All

I wonder why the wine part (blood) is not adored as well? Maybe it is that it can not be put in a Monstrance and that also has a long history with Adoration and Processions.


8 posted on 11/26/2008 5:34:10 PM PST by RGPII
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To: NYer

The Latin Mass was a tissue of Scripture reading, from beginning to end, with its dramatic climax in Communion. It was divided into two parts: the Mass of Catacumens and the Mass of the Faithful, the old OCC. The first part was an instruction in the holy mysteries’ the second participation. The new form has had the unfortunately effect of deemphasizing the mystery simply because formally the separation between the two is so apparent. The integrity of the two parts of the Old mass was especially obvious when said without a homily.
The new mass, unfortunately, seems chopped up into many parts. This is not helped by the usual music which seems to have no relationship to the actions
of the priest and just fills in the gaps when nothing is being said.


9 posted on 11/26/2008 6:05:58 PM PST by RobbyS (ECCE homo)
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To: RobbyS; NYer

“The Latin Mass was a tissue of Scripture reading, from beginning to end, with its dramatic climax in Communion. It was divided into two parts: the Mass of Catacumens and the Mass of the Faithful, the old OCC. The first part was an instruction in the holy mysteries’ the second participation.”

As the Divine Liturgies of Orthodoxy and Oriental Orthodoxy are to this day. The distinctions made in this article ring hollow to Orthodox ears; the question wouldn’t come up in Orthodoxy. Sometimes I think the West, in the past 40 years or so, set aside our shared Ignatian Eucharistic theology and forgot that we are, very findamentally, a liturgical people, gathered together with our bishops at the Liturgy and focused on Christ in the Eucharist.


10 posted on 11/26/2008 6:32:19 PM PST by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated)
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To: Kolokotronis

The mass today, at least as it is sometimes celebrated, reminds me that in Geneva, John Calvin developed a service in two parts, that one devoted to the reading of the Word, to the singing of Psalms and preaching. The second was a service of the Lord’s Supper. He would have preeffred that both be done each Sunday, but his colleagues disagreed, and the first became the normal Sunday service. Luther retained something like the mass, and it seems that the liturgical reformers had something like his service in mind when they composed the New Mass.


11 posted on 11/26/2008 6:43:14 PM PST by RobbyS (ECCE homo)
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To: RobbyS

“The mass today, at least as it is sometimes celebrated, reminds me that in Geneva, John Calvin developed a service in two parts, that one devoted to the reading of the Word, to the singing of Psalms and preaching. The second was a service of the Lord’s Supper. He would have preeffred that both be done each Sunday, but his colleagues disagreed, and the first became the normal Sunday service.”

Now there’s a piece of liturgical history I never knew. Thanks!


12 posted on 11/26/2008 6:45:50 PM PST by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated)
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To: NYer

Equal parts of the Mass.


13 posted on 11/26/2008 8:42:20 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: ex-snook
Jesus is the Word. The Bible is not the Word. It is an account of the Word.

That's what your church teaches you anyway...They have to elevate their man-made traditions to the level of authority as the spoken words of God...

The word of God is NOT just an account of God...There is POWER in the words of God which are the scriptures...Power that your church doesn't have when it goes outside the scriptures...

14 posted on 11/26/2008 9:15:32 PM PST by Iscool
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To: Iscool

I don’t think you have the Traditions to say such!


15 posted on 11/26/2008 9:27:46 PM PST by RGPII
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To: RGPII; Iscool

“I don’t think you have the Traditions to say such!”

Consider the following...

“...Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down...”

Jesus, Mark 7:13


16 posted on 11/26/2008 10:13:12 PM PST by AngieGal
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To: NYer

A priest told me I could not receive communion at any Mass where I did not hear the readings. This seems to substantiate the importance of the scripture.


17 posted on 11/26/2008 10:25:27 PM PST by malkee
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To: All
From this perspective the Eucharist is thus "more important" than Scripture because Scripture's ultimate goal is to lead us to union with Christ through full participation in the Mass.

Ping for reference

Related thread: Synod: Christianity not a 'Religion of the Book'

“In our language, we shouldn’t fall into the ambivalent expression ‘the three religions of the Book,’” Fisichella said, referring to Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Instead, he insisted, Christianity is properly understood as a “religion of the Word.”

18 posted on 11/26/2008 10:50:59 PM PST by Alex Murphy ( "Every country has the government it deserves" - Joseph Marie de Maistre)
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To: AngieGal
Bible Plus Tradition or Bible alone?

1 Cor 11:2 - hold fast to traditions I handed on to you

2 Thess 2:15 - hold fast to traditions, whether oral or by letter

2 Thess 3:6 - shun those acting not according to tradition

Jn 21:25 - And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books that would be written.

Mk 13:31 - heaven & earth shall pass away, but my word won't

Acts 20;35 - Paul records a saying of Jesus not found in gospels

2Tim 1:13 - follow my sound words; guard the truth

2Tim2:2 - what you heard entrust to faithful men

2Pet 1:20 - no prophecy is a matter of private interpretation

2Pet 3:15-16 - Paul's letters can be difficult to grasp & interpret

1Pet 1:25 - God's eternal word = word preached to you

Rom 10:17 - faith come from what is heard

1Cor 15:1-2 - being saved if you hold fast to the word I preached

Mk 16:15 - go to the whole world, proclaim gospel to every creature

Mt 23:2-3 - chair of Moses; observe whatever they tell you

“...Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down...”

Jesus, Mark 7:13

19 posted on 11/27/2008 3:43:49 AM PST by RGPII
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To: AngieGal; RGPII; Iscool; Alex Murphy
“...Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down...”

By virtue of its divinely-appointed authority (Matt. 16:19; 18:18), the Catholic Church determined the canon of Scripture (what books belong in the Bible) at the end of the fourth century. We therefore believe in the Scriptures on the authority of the Catholic Church. After all, nothing in Scripture tells us what Scriptures are inspired, what books belong in the Bible, or that Scripture is the final authority on questions concerning the Christian faith. Instead, the Bible says that the Church, not the Scriptures, is the pinnacle and foundation of the truth (1 Tim. 3:15) and the final arbiter on questions of the Christian faith (Matt. 18:17). It is through the teaching authority and Apostolic Tradition (2 Thess. 2:15; 3:6; 1 Cor. 11:2) of this Church, who is guided by the Holy Spirit (John 14:16,26; 16:13), that we know of the divine inspiration of the Scriptures, and the manifold wisdom of God. (cf. Ephesians 3:10).

Non-Catholic christian churches also follow tradition. During the Reformation, the Protestants accepted the New Testament as defined by the Catholic Church in the late 4th century but excluded 7 OT books. What is that if not a man made tradition? According to the quote from the Book of Mark, you are suggesting that Protestants nullified the word of God. This is a good example of why private interpretation of the Bible is not condoned in the Bible Itself (2 Peter 1:20).

20 posted on 11/27/2008 6:07:38 AM PST by NYer ("Run from places of sin as from a plague." - St. John Climacus)
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To: NYer
Non-Catholic christian churches also follow tradition. During the Reformation, the Protestants accepted the New Testament as defined by the Catholic Church in the late 4th century but excluded 7 OT books.

They certainly did NOT...Marty Luther based his German translation of the Scriptures on an entirely different set of manuscripts than those used by your church...

the Bible says that the Church, not the Scriptures, is the pinnacle and foundation of the truth (1 Tim. 3:15) and the final arbiter on questions of the Christian faith (Matt. 18:17).

There you go with your private interpretation that God warns about...The 'church is not the pillar and ground of the truth...God is...

Your church is permeated with unbelievers as all churches are...God is not foolish enough to trust anyone in your church or mine, with His infallible Truth...The Apostle Paul warned about your bunch in the Scriptures...

2Co 2:17 For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.

The Scriptures that you so demean are the spoken words of God...God SPOKE the creation into existance...Your main weapon against the Devil are the spoken/written words of God...The writing that tells us that your religion is NOT the religion of God is God's spoken/written words in the Scripture...It's no wonder you put your authority above the Scripture, God's spoken/written words...

It is through the teaching authority and Apostolic Tradition (2 Thess. 2:15; 3:6; 1 Cor. 11:2) of this Church, who is guided by the Holy Spirit (John 14:16,26; 16:13), that we know of the divine inspiration of the Scriptures, and the manifold wisdom of God.

What a bunch of phony baloney

Here's one of the verses you cite as proof of that statement...

Joh 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

Jesus never said anything to any of your man appointed popes...They weren't there...

The Holy Sjpirit was to provide perfect memory to the Apostles so when they authored the Scriptures, they were writing exactly what Jesus had said...There is nothing in that verse or the others you cite that refers to your religion...

21 posted on 11/27/2008 6:37:32 AM PST by Iscool
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To: RGPII
Bible Plus Tradition or Bible alone?

2Pet 3:15-16 - Paul's letters can be difficult to grasp & interpret

Is it Tradition that calls for you to misrepresent the verse by not posting all of it??? Or is the verse referring to YOU???

Paul's letters are not difficult to grasp or interpret...Unless you are ingorant in the Scriptures...

2Pe 3:16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other Scriptures, unto their own destruction.

Did your church ever read the next verse to you???

2Pe 3:17 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness.

My, My, My...The Scriptures paint quite a different picture than the one you are trying to paint...

22 posted on 11/27/2008 6:44:32 AM PST by Iscool
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To: NYer
This wise gentleman, of Lithuanian descent, rented canoes in the Adirondacks and often dealt with evangelical Christians who tried to win him over by saying they had the Good Book. He replied that as a Catholic he not only had the Book but moreover frequently met the Author.

******************

Heh. :)

23 posted on 11/27/2008 6:49:11 AM PST by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: trisham
This wise gentleman, of Lithuanian descent, rented canoes in the Adirondacks and often dealt with evangelical Christians who tried to win him over by saying they had the Good Book. He replied that as a Catholic he not only had the Book but moreover frequently met the Author.

Naw...He eats him...Then after 20 minutes, the author is gone...Until the next meal which in many cases appears to be the next week, or maybe not for a full year...

But we on the other hand, are filled with the Author 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year...He hears our prayers and even prays for us when we don't know what to pray...

The 'wise' gentleman may have the 'good' book, but apparently he doesn't spend much time in it...

Rom 8:11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

You may claim that we have only the Holy Spirit while you have Jesus, let's not forget the Holy Spirit is God as well as Jesus being God...

And like I said, we have a third part of the Trinity 24/7 while you say you have a third part of the Trinity for about 20 minutes on Mass day...

24 posted on 11/27/2008 8:14:38 AM PST by Iscool
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To: Iscool
Is it Tradition that calls for you to misrepresent the verse by not posting all of it??? Or is the verse referring to YOU???

Paul's letters are not difficult to grasp or interpret...Unless you are ingorant in the Scriptures...

2Pe 3:16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other Scriptures, unto their own destruction.

Did your church ever read the next verse to you???

2Pe 3:17 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness.

My, My, My...The Scriptures paint quite a different picture than the one you are trying to paint...

Considering I placed about a dozen quotes up and now we see the citations from Peter are used, I am glad to see that you are at least reading the Bible.

I'm not positive what your point is. I'm not resorting to taking a quote out of context. Some points are summarized from the quotes I used as 1 Peter 1:25.

Yes, I fully read Peter 3:15 and 16

Think of your Lord's patience as your opportunity to be saved; our Brother Paul who is so dear to us, told you this when he wrote to you with the wisdom he was given. He makes this point tooin his letters as a whole whenever he touches on these things. In all his letters there are of course some passages which are hard to understand and these are the ones that uneducated and unbalanced people distort, in the same way they distort the rest of scripture-to their own destruction.

Now what does post 16 assert: "2Pet 3:15-16 - Paul's letters can be difficult to grasp & interpret : this is why there are volumes of interpretations of Paul and he is largely quoted by the Reformation in fact and yet, they nor anyone can still get him right.

25 posted on 11/27/2008 8:19:43 AM PST by RGPII
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To: RobbyS
This is not helped by the usual music which seems to have no relationship to the actions of the priest and just fills in the gaps when nothing is being said.

You should put "music" in quotes.

26 posted on 11/27/2008 8:24:30 AM PST by Jeff Chandler (You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body. -C.S. Lewis)
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To: Iscool

2Pe 3:17 is a warning against abandoning the Church founded by Christ in the name of tepid YOPIOS and non-scriptural traditions of men. Beware “the error of the wicked” men like Luther, Cauvin, Zwingli, Smith, Spurgeon, Machen, Hubbard, and all those who abandon the God-given gifts of logic and common sense.


27 posted on 11/27/2008 8:38:48 AM PST by Petronski (For the next few years, Gethsemane will not be marginal. We will know that garden. -- Cdl. Stafford)
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To: Iscool
Naw...He eats him...

Just as He commanded us.

28 posted on 11/27/2008 8:40:09 AM PST by Petronski (For the next few years, Gethsemane will not be marginal. We will know that garden. -- Cdl. Stafford)
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To: Iscool
The word of God is NOT just an account of God...There is POWER in the words of God which are the scriptures...

But actually, this statement is indeed very true in response to post 4: we are talking here and I think the statement in 4 could be made by different peoples of different creeds. The original statement from post 4 is "Jesus is the Word. The Bible is not the Word. It is an account of the Word." I don't find this correct but we all make mistakes or possibly not use the best choice of words and then it comes out not in the way it was meant. I mean maybe your spirit-filled Church has members that perfectly interpret the word and they are to be congratulated if so but I doubt if that is so.

However your original point I quote is accurate without using the rest that seemed to contain criticism. We have a Holy Spirit service at our Church on Tuesday nights. Some people appreciate such charismatic ministries.

Iscool certainly is correct that we should seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

I have apologetic books and there are apologetic websites on the internet. So often when one can be confronted with a known argument, it is relatively easy to search out some data in response. It works both ways.

29 posted on 11/27/2008 8:59:29 AM PST by RGPII
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To: Iscool
The Apostles communicated the Truth orally, without error, long before they wrote any of it down, and the vast majority of Christians do believe that God continues to preserve oral teaching without error as He did the Scriptures ...

But my understanding is that Modern Protestants do not believe God did this ... (does He does not have the power, or for some reason He chooses not to?)

I think it's interesting that you reference the "spoken word of God," but you also seem to think that men have the power corrupt it.
30 posted on 11/27/2008 11:29:38 AM PST by Lilllabettt
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To: Iscool
So, you qoute 1Peter3:16 .... I guess your point is that Protestants qualify as learned, and therefor can understand.

But everybody else (the vast majority of Christians) is unlearned and unstable, and therefore can't read Scripture right ...

Wow.

How about some humble pie for Thanksgiving?
31 posted on 11/27/2008 11:33:34 AM PST by Lilllabettt
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To: Iscool
And like I said, we have a third part of the Trinity 24/7 while you say you have a third part of the Trinity for about 20 minutes on Mass day...

Nope. Indwelling of the Holy Spirit is a Catholic teaching. I guess it's one Martin Luther decided to keep in the grocery cart. Although I have heard some kinds of Protestants criticize the concept as a "new age thing."


From the Catechism:

2781 [...] We give Him thanks for having revealed His name to us, for the gift of believing in it, and for the indwelling of His Presence in us.
32 posted on 11/27/2008 11:45:21 AM PST by Lilllabettt
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To: Petronski
2Pe 3:17 is a warning against abandoning the Church founded by Christ in the name of tepid YOPIOS and non-scriptural traditions of men. Beware “the error of the wicked” men like Luther, Cauvin, Zwingli, Smith, Spurgeon, Machen, Hubbard, and all those who abandon the God-given gifts of logic and common sense.

Sorry Petro, you are wrong again...At least you are consistant...The verse is not about the church...The verse is about the scriptures...So much for common sense, eh???

33 posted on 11/27/2008 2:43:14 PM PST by Iscool
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To: Lilllabettt
2781 [...] We give Him thanks for having revealed His name to us, for the gift of believing in it, and for the indwelling of His Presence in us.

I have read on FR threads where Catholics believe that only the Magisterium and priesthood are filled with the Holy Spirit...

And if a person is filled with the Holy Spirit, which is God, which is a 'real' filling, 24/7, why the emphasis on getting the 'real' presence of Jesus thru the Eucharist if you believe you are already filled with God???

34 posted on 11/27/2008 2:49:53 PM PST by Iscool
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To: Lilllabettt
So, you qoute 1Peter3:16 .... I guess your point is that Protestants qualify as learned, and therefor can understand.

To my knowledge, most former Catholics that left your church left when they started studying the scriptures...So my point is that if a person starts seriously studying the scriptures, without the influence of the Catholic church, that person won't be a Catholic for long...

35 posted on 11/27/2008 2:57:51 PM PST by Iscool
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To: Iscool; trisham

***But we on the other hand, are filled with the Author 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year...He hears our prayers and even prays for us when we don’t know what to pray...***

You are? I assume from the last few posts that you are speaking of the Holy Spirit. Are you claiming that the Holy Spirit prays for you? Who does the Holy Spirit pray to? Would you please quote Scripture for me please?

***And like I said, we have a third part of the Trinity 24/7 ***

Say ‘ahhh’ and we’ll look for Him.


36 posted on 11/27/2008 2:59:45 PM PST by MarkBsnr ( I would not believe in the Gospel if the authority of the Catholic Church did not move me to do so.)
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To: Iscool; Lilllabettt

***I have read on FR threads where Catholics believe that only the Magisterium and priesthood are filled with the Holy Spirit...***

Produce an example please.

***And if a person is filled with the Holy Spirit, which is God, which is a ‘real’ filling, 24/7, why the emphasis on getting the ‘real’ presence of Jesus thru the Eucharist if you believe you are already filled with God???***

Show me Scripturally where other than a few individuals such as Mary and Stephen are filled and presumably cannot sin. Are you unable to sin? If so, then you are not filled with the Holy Spirit and therefore your theory is rendered inoperable.


37 posted on 11/27/2008 3:02:57 PM PST by MarkBsnr ( I would not believe in the Gospel if the authority of the Catholic Church did not move me to do so.)
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To: Iscool

***To my knowledge, most former Catholics that left your church left when they started studying the scriptures***

Where and how have you acquired that knowledge?

***So my point is that if a person starts seriously studying the scriptures, without the influence of the Catholic church, that person won’t be a Catholic for long...***

This is what Scripture itself warns against. Without the Church, enough verse can selected to generate or believe innovative theologies such as the JWs, Christian Science, the Campbell/Stone movement, Lutheranism, Calvinism, Anabaptism or even the Judaizers.


38 posted on 11/27/2008 3:05:50 PM PST by MarkBsnr ( I would not believe in the Gospel if the authority of the Catholic Church did not move me to do so.)
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To: Iscool
.Marty Luther based his German translation of the Scriptures on an entirely different set of manuscripts than those used by your church...

I rest my case. Martin Luther stated in his "Commentary On St. John,":  "We are compelled to concede to the Papists that they have the Word of God, that we have received It from them, and that without them we should have no knowledge of It at all." He, a man without any authority, eliminated 7 books from the texts inspired by the Holy Spirit. That is a man made tradition. All non-Catholic Christian denominations owe the existence of the Bible to the Catholic Church alone.  Why did God choose the Catholic Church to preserve Scripture if It is not His Church?

Your church is permeated with unbelievers as all churches are..

Unbelievers? You mean individuals exercising their God-given gift of free will? The one has nothing to do with the other. The Church, founded by Jesus Christ, has never altered its teachings. There will always be individuals who commit sins, even popes commit sins because in the Church there are both "weeds and wheat" (Matthew 13:30).

The Scriptures that you so demean are the spoken words of God..

Huh? We gave you the Scriptures!

The writing that tells us that your religion is NOT the religion of God is God's spoken/written words in the Scripture...It's no wonder you put your authority above the Scripture, God's spoken/written words...

Well that's a good laugh. The Catholic Church compiled the Scriptures that you venerate over God Himself. Christ stated that the Church, not Scripture should be the final authority:  "And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the Church: but if he neglect to hear the Church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican." (Matthew 18:17 )  Christ did not state to refer to or consult Scripture for disputes and correction.  He said to go to the Church as It is the final authority in Christianity.  In addition, St. Paul states that the Church, not Scripture is "THE pillar and ground of the truth." (1 Timothy 3:15)

Jesus never said anything to any of your man appointed popes...They weren't there...

Peter, John, Mark and Matthew were all there. Peter was the first pope. For it was St. Peter alone that was the "rock" upon which Christ established His Church (Matthew 16:18).  And it was St. Peter alone that was given the task of "feeding" Christ's sheep (John 21:15-17 ).  Scripture clearly points out St. Peter as Christ's representative on earth.  Christ did not ask the other Eleven to feed and tend His sheep.  If you read The Acts Of The Apostles, it is clear that St. Peter leads the Apostles.  Therefore, since the Apostles are to be replaced as they die (Acts 1:20-26), then it follows that whoever succeed(s) St. Peter is leader of the Church.  There is only to be one shepherd of the Church (John 10:16).  For the Apostles did not argue amongst themselves whether there was a "greatest" at all, but who amongst them was the greatest (Mark 9:34; Luke 9:46).

The Holy Sjpirit was to provide perfect memory to the Apostles so when they authored the Scriptures, they were writing exactly what Jesus had said...There is nothing in that verse or the others you cite that refers to your religion..

Oh dear friend, you seem to have a very poor understanding of scripture. Did Jesus Christ write down any part of the New Testament with His own hand?  No, He did not.  If the Bible was to be the sole authority of the Church, shouldn't the Founder have written down His Own teachings?  Shouldn't He have at least stated something similar to the following:  "the written works of My disciples will be the authority upon which My Church is based?"

Didn't Jesus Christ with His own mouth instruct His disciples to "write down" His teachings?  No.  With the possible exception of the Book of Revelation (Apocalypse) by St. John the Apostle, Jesus Christ gives no such instructions to any of His disciples or Apostles.  In fact, only the Apostles Sts. Peter, John, James, Jude and Matthew were inspired by the Holy Spirit to write Scripture.  Why were the other seven not inspired of the Holy Spirit to "write" if the "written" Word of God is the ONLY authority to be followed in the Christian religion?

Does the Bible state It is the sole or final authority of Christianity?  No.  Neither this statement nor anything even close to it appears anywhere in the New Testament.  In fact, Christ said that the Church is to resolve disputes among Christians, not Scripture (Matthew 18:17).

Is the Bible to be taken literally - "word for word?"  No.  The Bible doesn't state anywhere that It should be taken literally.  The Bible was written by different authors with different literary styles at different times in history and in different languages.  Therefore, the writings should be interpreted with these circumstances in mind.  The Bible is a religious book, not a scientific or a history "textbook."

39 posted on 11/27/2008 3:15:53 PM PST by NYer ("Run from places of sin as from a plague." - St. John Climacus)
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To: Lilllabettt
The Apostles communicated the Truth orally, without error, long before they wrote any of it down,

They certainly did; with the leading of the Holy Spirit...

and the vast majority of Christians do believe that God continues to preserve oral teaching without error as He did the Scriptures ...

When you say vast majority, I'm sure you mean the Catholics...But let's consider; Catholics are counted because their name is on a list...And there's a big bunch of them...

As of late, the Catholics on these FR threads are claiming that many, probably half or way more than half are Catholic in name only...So are they counting those as well??? They don't even believe your church dogma, how can you count them as Catholics???

and the vast majority of Christians do believe that God continues to preserve oral teaching without error as He did the Scriptures

It doesn't matter how many people believe what...What matters is what God said...And why do they believe this??? Did they read it in God's spoken word??? No they didn't...They got it from your church...

I think it's interesting that you reference the "spoken word of God," but you also seem to think that men have the power corrupt it.

Paul knew the same thing...When you say it's ok NOT to break the bread at communion, you are corrupting the word of God...When you say you don't have to drink the wine at communion, you are corrupting the word of God...And on and on and on...

God already layed these thing out before the Apostles...Your group has no Godly authority to change any of it...

40 posted on 11/27/2008 3:16:19 PM PST by Iscool
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To: MarkBsnr
Are you unable to sin? If so, then you are not filled with the Holy Spirit and therefore your theory is rendered inoperable.

Before I answer you, I want to be clear on this...Are you saying that no sinner, you and I included, can be filled with the Holy Spirit because we commit sin???

41 posted on 11/27/2008 4:28:29 PM PST by Iscool
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To: Iscool; MarkBsnr

**To my knowledge, most former Catholics that left your church left when they started studying the scriptures...**

This is nonsense. Catholics read Scripture everyday. Our liturgy is based on Scripture. Have you ever looked at the Priest’s book (Sacramentary) with the prayers that he says at Mass? You would be so surprised because most of them come straight from Scripture.

Mark you are right on this. Faith and Scripture work together.


42 posted on 11/27/2008 4:38:31 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation
**To my knowledge, most former Catholics that left your church left when they started studying the scriptures...**

This is nonsense. Catholics read Scripture everyday. Our liturgy is based on Scripture. Have you ever looked at the Priest’s book (Sacramentary) with the prayers that he says at Mass? You would be so surprised because most of them come straight from Scripture.

Mark you are right on this. Faith and Scripture work together.

Yes, this is so, a favorite verse of mine is from Matthew 8:8 which we should all know from what book it is in the Bible or at least the story of it in the Gospel, when we hear (and in fact we say) "Lord I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed" Matthew 8:8 parts of the Mass are just like this if I have this correct. So it is partly ceremony in this way.

43 posted on 11/27/2008 5:39:58 PM PST by RGPII
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To: Iscool

***Are you unable to sin? If so, then you are not filled with the Holy Spirit and therefore your theory is rendered inoperable.

Before I answer you, I want to be clear on this...Are you saying that no sinner, you and I included, can be filled with the Holy Spirit because we commit sin???***

Cause and effect.

If you are filled with the Holy Spirit you cannot sin; if you are not filled with the Holy Spirit your sinful nature will lead you to sin.


44 posted on 11/27/2008 5:58:24 PM PST by MarkBsnr ( I would not believe in the Gospel if the authority of the Catholic Church did not move me to do so.)
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To: Salvation

*****To my knowledge, most former Catholics that left your church left when they started studying the scriptures...**

This is nonsense. Catholics read Scripture everyday. Our liturgy is based on Scripture. Have you ever looked at the Priest’s book (Sacramentary) with the prayers that he says at Mass? You would be so surprised because most of them come straight from Scripture.

Mark you are right on this. Faith and Scripture work together.***

Remember though, the early Christians had no Scripture and yet had faith. The first Gospel wasn’t even written for 30 years after Christ Ascended. Faith can be bolstered through the reading of Scripture, sure.


45 posted on 11/27/2008 6:00:27 PM PST by MarkBsnr ( I would not believe in the Gospel if the authority of the Catholic Church did not move me to do so.)
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To: MarkBsnr
"Remember though, the early Christians had no Scripture and yet had faith."

The early Church did have Scripture and the Word of God. The early Church was Jewish and what we know today as the Old testament was completely available to them, as was their recent exposure to the direct ministry of our Lord and Savior Christ Jesus.

Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.

46 posted on 11/27/2008 6:06:17 PM PST by Cvengr (Adversity in life and death is inevitable. Thru faith in Christ, stress is optional.)
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To: Cvengr

"Remember though, the early Christians had no Scripture and yet had faith."

The early Church did have Scripture and the Word of God. The early Church was Jewish and what we know today as the Old testament was completely available to them, as was their recent exposure to the direct ministry of our Lord and Savior Christ Jesus.

Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.

And is it thought Paul used the (?)Septuagint, which is another interesting sidenote; included in the Septuagint are books like Maccabees, Sirach and Wisdom.

Septuagint in the New Testament and Septuagint site .

47 posted on 11/27/2008 6:17:39 PM PST by RGPII
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To: Cvengr

***”Remember though, the early Christians had no Scripture and yet had faith.”

The early Church did have Scripture and the Word of God. The early Church was Jewish and what we know today as the Old testament was completely available to them, as was their recent exposure to the direct ministry of our Lord and Savior Christ Jesus.***

I accept your correction with the following comments.

The Old Testament incompletely prophsied Jesus - it did not fully or even recognizably give the correct information about Jesus the Christ. The New Testament was unwritten until many years after Christ Ascended. Paul was one of the first to have his Epistles copied out but they were not considered Scripture for a couple of hundred years. Mark, the first Gospel writer, didn’t complete his for more than 30 years.

Very few people, relatively speaking, were exposed to the direct ministry of Jesus, and most of them only saw Him at a far distance, as in the Sermon on the Mount.

***Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.***

Could you rephrase this please?


48 posted on 11/27/2008 6:19:24 PM PST by MarkBsnr ( I would not believe in the Gospel if the authority of the Catholic Church did not move me to do so.)
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To: Iscool
"And if a person is filled with the Holy Spirit, which is God, which is a 'real' filling, 24/7, why the emphasis on getting the 'real' presence of Jesus thru the Eucharist if you believe you are already filled with God???"

Even in Protestant theology, the indwelling of God the Holy Spirit and the Indwelling of Jesus Christ are two different issues.

Immediately upon having faith in Christ a number of things occur by the work of God the Holy Spirit, including these four easily memorized by the acrostic "RIBS". Regeneration, Indwelling, Baptism, and Sealing.

Nowhere in the NT is the believer commanded to be indwelt by the Holy Spirit, because the indwelling is not caused by the believer's volition, rather it is an action performed by God by His Soverignty and Grace.

The indwelling of the Holy Spirit, discernible from the OT age, where believers were endued or covered by the Holy Spirit, is unique to the Church Age. The Holy Spirit provide the temple within the believer for the indwelling of Christ (John 14:17-22)

When we have been forgiven of our sins, He is free to sanctify us. This occurs upon initial saving faith for the unbeliever and upon repentance and confession for the believer. By 1st John 1:9, we are immediately forgiven those sins and at that time we are back in fellowship with God, also known as walking with Him or being filled wih the Spirit.

Many Protestants associate the Communion as associating the Bread with the sacrifice of our Lord and Savior Christ Jesus made by allowing His body to be broken for all mankind on the Cross, and the Wine as the blood of the New Covenant sealing the covenant being made.

Many Catholics associate the Communion as the Eucharist, wherein the Bread is actually transubstantiation into the actual flesh, soul and deity of our Lord and Savior Christ Jesus, and the wine into His actual blood.

Both the Catholics and Protestants have sound counterarguments to the position of the other and many a battle and wars have been fought over the issue for centuries.

I don't know the full meaning of all the connotations implied, but I do recognize close study of Pauline theology identifying between the believer and the old sin nature, and the Johanine theologies recognizing the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ in us give cause to not judge either position too rashly.

Even if the Council of Trent is correct in condemning those who take a Protestant perspective of the Eucharist, I would dare say very few Catholics are Trententine Catholics or even know the issue very well, let alone practice the full meaning of that Council's edicts.

Conversely, very few Protestants taking Communion fully grasp the doctrines of indwelling of the Holy Spirit as distinct from the indwelling of Christ who is one with the Father to fully appreciate some meanings present in the Last Supper.

49 posted on 11/27/2008 6:41:55 PM PST by Cvengr (Adversity in life and death is inevitable. Thru faith in Christ, stress is optional.)
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To: MarkBsnr
***Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.*** Could you rephrase this please?

Sure: Romans 10:17

Here's another one conveniently forgotten by those who attack sola Scriptura in order to appeal to tradition.

Gal 1:9, 2ndCor 9:8, and run some word searches on Sufficiency, and Good Work.

Contrary, tradition is frequently attacked, not merely by the apostles, but very much so by our Lord and Savior Christ Jesus when dealing with the Jewish leadership which repeatedly appealed to tradition instead of God first.

Meanwhile, before one errantly goes off the deep end condemning all religion, Scripture doesn't always cast out religion, rather the mechanisms used to glorify and worship God are of good worth when performed through faith in Him.

50 posted on 11/27/2008 7:08:07 PM PST by Cvengr (Adversity in life and death is inevitable. Thru faith in Christ, stress is optional.)
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