Thursday 23rd March 2017

Home » Our Catholic Faith » Currently Reading:

The Eucharist: Sacramental Sacrifice

March 11, 2017 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

By DON FIER

Part 2

As we began to unpack the teaching of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) on the Holy Eucharist as a sacramental sacrifice last week, we saw an immediate emphasis given to the fact that “we offer to the Father what he has himself given us” (CCC, n. 1357).
The gifts of His creation, bread and wine, which miraculously become the living Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit and the words of Christ, are offered back to God the Father. The Catechism proceeds, then, to examine the critical importance of understanding the Eucharist as a sacrifice by considering three underlying aspects: thanksgiving, memorial, and presence.
Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ, in his typical clear manner, synthesizes the key points we considered last week in explaining how the Eucharist is a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving. “It is a sacrifice of thanksgiving to the Father as an act of gratitude for the blessings of His creation, redemption, and sanctification,” states the Servant of God. “It is a sacrifice of praise by which the Church glorifies the Father through Christ, with Christ, as an acceptable sacrifice in Christ” (The Faith, p. 119).
The liturgical celebration of the Holy Eucharist, the Sacrifice of the Mass, is unmistakably the most perfect means we have for giving thanks to God for all His blessings.
Furthermore, as was also noted last week, the Eucharist is a memorial (anamnesis in Greek) of Christ’s sacrifice on Calvary. It is a memorial, however, not only in that it recalls past events and proclaims the marvels God has done for men, but also “in the sense that it makes present and actual the sacrifice which Christ offered to the Father on the cross, once and for all on behalf of all mankind” (Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 280).
In other words, Christ’s sacrifice on Calvary and the sacrifice that takes place on the altar at each Mass are “one and the same sacrifice. The priest and the victim are the same; only the manner of offering is different: in a bloody manner on the cross, in an unbloody manner in the Eucharist” (ibid.).
Let us now look more closely at the meaning of sacrifice. Interesting to note is that in doing research for this column, several sources (including catechetical works by contemporary Jesuit theologians Fr. Hardon and Fr. Kenneth Baker, SJ) commented on a change in terminology that has become commonplace in recent times: weekly parish bulletins in diocese after diocese no longer refer to the Holy Eucharist as a “sacrifice,” as the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Rather, the Eucharist is referred to as the “liturgy,” the “sacred banquet,” “the Eucharistic Celebration,” or some other combination of similar words.
While there is a true sense that the Eucharist can be spoken of in such terms, Catholics must never forget that the Mass is preeminently a sacrifice.
In volume 3 of his excellent catechetical work entitled Fundamentals of Catholicism (FoC-3), Fr. Baker speaks in clear terms on the critical importance that we realize and comprehend that the Mass is a true sacrifice.
“The Mass cannot possibly be understood by Americans or by anyone else if the essential element of sacrifice is omitted from the explanation of it,” says Fr. Baker. “That the Mass is a true and proper sacrifice should be basic to all teaching on the subject, whether in catechetical instructions or in Sunday sermons” (p. 257).
The word “sacrifice” is derived from two Latin words: sacer (“sacred”) and facere (“to make”). Hence, sacrifice means “to make sacred” or “to make holy.” Although the term has a broader nonreligious meaning in the English language (“a giving up of something especially for the sake of someone else”), its root meaning in religion is “the surrender of something precious to God as a way of acknowledging His dominion over us as Creator, and our total dependence on Him as Our Lord,” as defined by Fr. Hardon.
“The essential elements of every sacrifice are, first of all, the object offered and, secondly, the act of surrender by which the object is offered. The object offered is something precious. This object is offered, or given completely, so that the giver no longer possesses any of it” (Basic Catholic Catechism Course [BCCC], p. 141).
Fr. Baker provides an alternative definition for “sacrifice” as used in an ecclesiological or liturgical sense: “An external religious act in which a material gift is offered to God by an ordained minister for the fourfold purpose of adoration, thanksgiving, petition, and expiation” (FoC-3, p. 258).
He goes on to list the requisite elements of a true sacrifice: (1) a visible gift; (2) a validly ordained priest who is authorized to appear before God as the representative of the community; (3) the intention of fulfilling the aforementioned fourfold purpose of the sacrifice; and (4) an act which visibly represents the invisible, inner sacrificial disposition, for “outward sacrifice, to be genuine, must be the expression of spiritual sacrifice” (CCC, n. 2200).
“The sacrificial character of the Eucharist is manifested in the very words of institution” (CCC, n. 1365). For example, in St. Luke’s narrative we read the words, “This is my body which is given for you” (Luke 22:19), and “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood” (Luke 22:20).
Likewise, in St. Matthew’s narrative we read the words, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” (Matt. 26:28). An Old Testament verse that seems to point to the Sacrifice of the Mass comes from the Book of Malachi: “From the rising of the sun to its setting my name is great among the nations, and in every place incense is offered to my name, and a pure offering” (Mal. 1:11).
What about magisterial pronouncements from the Church? In the mid-16th century, in response to the Protestant Reformation, the Council of Trent very explicitly defined the Mass as a sacrifice: “If any one shall say, that in the Mass a true and proper sacrifice is not offered to God; or, that to be offered is nothing else but that Christ is given unto us to eat; let him be anathema” (Session 22, can. 1).
Pope Pius XII, in his 1947 encyclical Mediator Dei (MD), highlighted the sacrificial nature of the Mass: “The august sacrifice of the altar, then, is no mere empty commemoration of the passion and death of Jesus Christ, but a true and proper act of sacrifice, whereby the High Priest by an unbloody immolation offers Himself a most acceptable victim to the Eternal Father, as He did upon the cross” (n. 68).
The Catechism goes on to state: “The sacrifice of Christ [on Calvary] and the sacrifice of the Eucharist are one single sacrifice” (CCC, n. 1367). How can this be, for “the redemptive sacrifice of Christ is unique, accomplished once for all” (CCC, n. 1545)?
Fr. Hardon explains: “[The sacrifice of the Eucharist] is not an additional sacrifice, nor does it constantly multiply the one Sacrifice of Calvary. It is the ‘commemorative re-presentation’ of Calvary in which Christ, offered under the Eucharistic Species of bread and wine, makes His ‘one, definitive redemptive sacrifice always present in time’ (St. John Paul II, Ecclesia de Eucharistia, n. 12c). In the Holy Eucharist, the Sacrifice of Calvary is made new in an unbloody manner, and the hour of our salvation is made present” (BCCC, p. 141).
In other words, there is one sacrifice of Jesus for all time and all people that is made present on our altars at every Mass. The sacrifice of Christ, the eternal Son of God, is also eternal — His perfect sacrifice on Calvary is perpetuated for all time.

The Saving Reservoir

Let us now take a closer look at the relationship between the Sacrifice of Calvary and the Sacrifice of the Mass. Although substantially the same, they differ in certain ways.
First, as we have seen, the manner of offering is different. Christ died in a bloody manner on the cross whereas His sacrificial offering is in an unbloody manner on the altars of the Catholic Church.
Second, Christ offered Himself alone and directly on the cross; on the altar He likewise offers Himself, but along with the faithful and through the ministry of priests who act in persona Christi.
Third, Christ’s humanity was visible on the cross on Calvary whereas in the Mass, it is hidden under the veil of the Eucharistic Species.
Fourth, on the cross Jesus merited once for all the graces necessary for the redemption of all mankind; in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, these graces are not added to, but communicated or applied (cf. BCCC, p. 142).
The importance of this final point cannot be overemphasized. The Sacrifice of the Mass is the principal sacramental means through which Christ confers the salvific graces He won on Calvary.
In the words of Pope Pius XII, “Christ built on Calvary a purifying and saving reservoir which He filled with the Blood He poured forth, but if people do not immerse themselves in the waves of his Blood and do not, therefore, cleanse themselves of the stains of their sins, they cannot be saved” (MD, n. 77; as cited by Fr. Hardon, The Blessed Sacrament, p. 66).

+ + +

(Don Fier serves on the board of directors for The Catholic Servant, a Minneapolis-based monthly publication. He and his wife are the parents of seven children. Fier is a 2009 graduate of Ave Maria University’s Institute for Pastoral Theology. He is doing research for writing a definitive biography of Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ.)

Share Button

2017 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Raymond Desouza . . . Shield of Faith PART 4

Chris Manion . . . European Union's Demographic Whimper; Vatican Hosts The Enemy; Can Rogue Federal Judiciary Be Controlled?

 

Chaput: Everyone who’s a legal citizen should come pray for immigrants

Philadelphia, Pa., Mar 18, 2017 / 05:32 am (CNA).- As fears of deportation threaten to keep many immigrants home from a prayer service on Sunday, Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia is calling on citizens and legal residents to attend the…Continue Reading

Rabbi says Pope’s homilies could threaten Catholic-Jewish relations

March 13, 2017 An Italian rabbi has raised a protest against the topic of a conference to be held by the Italian Bibilical Association: “Israel, people of a jealous God. Consistencies and ambiguities of an elitist religion.” Rabbi Giuseppe Laras…Continue Reading

This man drives for Uber to spread the pro-life message

TROY, Ohio, March 10, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – As an abortion abolitionist, Bryan Kemper wears many different hats – including sharing the pro-life message while driving for Uber. “I am in an area where I drive a lot of college students…Continue Reading

The secret obsession that will destroy modern feminism

March 8, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – What does it mean to be a woman? Planned Parenthood and the modern-day feminist movement are profoundly confused about this. Today is International Women’s Day. Planned Parenthood and its allies would have people believe that…Continue Reading

Planned Parenthood refuses Trump offer to give up abortions and keep funding

March 7, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Planned Parenthood has declined an offer from President Trump to keep – and possibly increase – its federal funding in exchange for ceasing to commit abortions. The proposal was an “impossibility” for Planned Parenthood officials,…Continue Reading

Pope’s Address to Roman Clergy (Part I)

The Holy Father’s Meditation The Progress of Faith in the Life of a Priest “Lord, increase our faith!” (Luke 17:5). This question arose spontaneously in the disciples when the Lord was speaking to them of mercy and said that we…Continue Reading

Southern MN Catholic diocese files bankruptcy over abuse claims

MINNEAPOLIS — The Catholic Diocese of New Ulm, Minnesota filed for bankruptcy protection on Friday, the 14th U.S.  Catholic diocese nationwide and third in Minnesota to do so in the face of mounting claims of sexual abuse by clergy. The…Continue Reading

Trump hit with ultimatum on global ‘atrocity’

An organization representing the sentiments of more than a quarter-million Americans is asking the nation’s new U.N. ambassador, Nikki Haley, to urge the global body to launch a campaign to protect Christians and other Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2017/03/trump-insider-hit-with-plea-to-stop-genocide-of-christians/#5TeczOEyZqlCUFew.99

Cardinal Cupich: No Immigration Agents In Catholic Churches Without Warrant

CHICAGO — Archbishop Blase Cupich told Chicago’s Catholic priests Tuesday not to allow Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents on to church property without a warrant. In a letter to the archdiocese’s priests, Cupich said the Archdiocese of Chicago “stands in…Continue Reading

Scholas Occurrentes: Another Vatican-Soros Connection?

After our recent report about Pope Francis’ praise of a Soros-funded left-wing organization called PICO — People Improving Communities through Organizing — we have been informed by some Spanish-speaking sources about a connection between Pope Francis’ papal foundation Scholas Occurrentes…Continue Reading

Ohio bishops support bill protecting clergy’s religious liberty in same-sex ‘marriage’

COLUMBUS, Ohio, February 28, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — In a rare move of legislative activism, all of Ohio’s Roman Catholic bishops officially expressed support for the state’s proposed Pastor Protection Act (HB-36). The Catholic Conference of Ohio (CCO) testified last week…Continue Reading

Leaders call for Catholic sanctuary movement to blunt deportation crackdown

MODESTO, Calif. (CNS) — The push for sanctuary was on a lot of minds at the U.S. Regional World Meeting of Popular Movements. Concerns about President Donald Trump’s intention to deport millions of unauthorized immigrants rose throughout the Feb. 16-19…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Enter Comments Below

This Weeks Comments And Letters . . .

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “An Introduction To The Problem Of Euthanasia”

By BRIAN CLOWES Part 2 (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For an electronic copy of chapter 23 of The Facts of Life, a 150-page treatise on all of the aspects of euthanasia, e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.) + + + We have covered the definitions of the varieties of…Continue Reading

Today . . .

Cardinal Cupich tells national TV audience: Church ‘stands with’ immigrants

Town Hall meetings are out of fashion for certain Republican congressmen who have spent the start of 2017 dodging Democratic Party activists. But Cardinal Blase Cupich got an altogether warmer reception when he used a nationally broadcast town hall this weekend to tell recent immigrants, “the church stands with you.”

Gorsuch defends Hobby Lobby, religious freedom at confirmation hearing

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 21, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Sen. Orin Hatch, R-UT, gave Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch the chance to explain how an important religious freedom law is applied today in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Regarding whether the Obama administration’s birth control mandate violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), Gorsuch ruled it “failed to meet RFRA’s standard,” Hatch recalled. While on the Tenth Circuit, Gorsuch sided with the majority in Hobby Lobby Stores v. Sebelius. The…Continue Reading

House bill’s ‘life protections’ said laudable, other aspects ‘troubling’

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The inclusion of “critical life protections” in the House health care bill is laudable, but other provisions, including those related to Medicaid and tax credits, are “troubling” and “must be addressed” before the measure is passed, said the chairman of the U.S. bishops’ domestic policy committee. Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, who is chairman of the bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, sent a letter March 17 to…Continue Reading

Canon lawyers and theologians to hold conference on ‘deposing the pope’

PARIS, March 17, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Canon lawyers, theologians, and scholars will be meeting in Paris in two weeks to discuss a topic that has never been the focus of a Catholic conference before: How to depose a heretical pope. Titled Deposing the Pope: Theological Premises, Canonical Models, Constitutional Challenge, the conference seeks to explore the mechanisms that are built into the Catholic Church for dealing with a pope who openly teaches falsehood and even…Continue Reading

‘To hell with accompaniment’: Catholic prof points to damage Pope Francis is causing the Church

March 17, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — American Catholic writer Flannery O’Connor is famous for answering a pronouncement by leftist author Mary McCarthy that the Eucharist is a “symbol” by exclaiming, albeit in a shaky voice: “Well, if it’s a symbol, to hell with it!” Relating this encounter in a letter, O’Connor added: “That was all the defense I was capable of but I realize now that this is all I will ever be able to say…Continue Reading

Culture Of Life 101… The Early History Of The Eugenics Movement

By BRIAN CLOWES (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For an electronic copy of more than a thousand pro-eugenics quotes, including those by Margaret Sanger, e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.) + + + “The eugenic movement, therefore, cannot be a short campaign like many political…Continue Reading

Restoring The Sacred The High Drama Of Palm Sunday

By JAMES MONTI As we advance through the later days of Lent, it is certainly not too soon to begin turning our attention to the days for which we are preparing, beginning with Palm Sunday, the great portal to Holy Week. Palm Sunday is one of the solemnities of highest drama in the liturgical year.…Continue Reading

The Pelosi Principle

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY (Editor’s Note: This column was released March 15, one day before the House Budget Committee narrowly approved the Republican health-care bill.) + + + Suppose the federal government confiscated 90 percent of the income of every private sector worker who earned more than the poverty level. Then suppose the government used…Continue Reading

Jacques Maritain . . . On The Person Of The Church And Her Personnel

By JUDE DOUGHERTY At a time of when strong ecclesiastical leadership is warranted as the West drifts further from its historical anchorage, the voice of Church seems to be muted or confused. With reason, Pope Francis has been accused of deliberate ambiguity, given that he has not responded to repeated calls for clarification of his…Continue Reading

Should Some People In Irregular Unions Receive Communion?

By JOHN YOUNG A Catholic couple living in an adulterous relationship are not necessarily subjectively in a state of mortal sin. Objectively their state of life is mortally sinful, but there is such great ignorance today about marriage and sexual relationships that we can’t presume that these people are subjectively guilty of mortal sin, and…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Die To Sin And Live In Righteousness

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Fifth Sunday Of Lent (YR A) Readings: Ezek. 37:12-14 Romans 8:8-11 John 11:1-45 As we draw near to the end of Lent, there is more that is removed from our senses when we come to Mass. The statues are covered, the music is supposed to be more solemn, the Mass itself is more simplified; everything is…Continue Reading

Sermon XXXIX: On Lent I

By POPE ST. LEO I (AD 390-461) (Editor’s Note: This sermon was delivered during the Lenten fast by Pope Leo the Great, whose date of birth is cited as AD 400 as well as AD 390. This is a translation of a sermon from Nicene and Post Nicene Fathers, Second Series: volume XII, in the public domain. We have generally…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… Contraception Dooms Secularism While Religion Grows

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Is the Trump victory, with the accompanying new wave of sexual morality and respect for life, the first hint of a societal sea change born, ironically, of contraception? It turns out that religious people have more babies and thus pass on the faith while secularists are self-obsolescing. It’s “news” that seculars are dying out because…Continue Reading

What Is Faith?… Original Sin And Answering More Objections

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 29 In this article we continue providing replies to objections against the Bible narrative about the fall of our first parents. Fourth objection: If the serpent that tempted Eve was not a real serpent but an evil spirit disguised as a serpent, why did God punish the whole serpent tribe by cursing them from…Continue Reading

The Eucharist: Sacramental Sacrifice

By DON FIER Part 3 The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, as we saw last week, is a true sacrifice in the fullest sense of the word “because it re-presents (makes present) the sacrifice of the cross” (Catechism of the Catholic Church [CCC], n. 1366). The perfect sacrifice of Christ on Calvary becomes present and actual each time the Holy…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Toribio Alfonso De Mogrovejo

By CAROLE BRESLIN Those who wish to attack the Catholic Church usually bring up two “weapons”: the Crusades and the Inquisition, which started in the Middle Ages. The Spanish Inquisition had the most just procedures and did not exile the Jewish people the way England (in 1290) and France (in 1306) did. In the late 16th century, King Philip II…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. José Gabriel Del Rosario Brochero

By CAROLE BRESLIN At the tip of the South American continent lies one of the most beautiful countries in the world, with its towering Andes Mountains, lush valleys, beautiful plateaus, and colorful glaciers. (Los Glaciares National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Andes Mountains.) Argentina, the eighth largest country in the world, established its nationhood in the…Continue Reading