Thursday, February 4, 2010

St. Augustine - Christ is the Eucharist

St. Augustine believed not merely that the Eucharist represents Christ, but that it actually is He.

For He judges and approves what He finds right, but disapproves what He finds amiss, whether in the celebration of those sacraments by which are initiated those whom Your mercy searches out in many waters; or in that in which the Fish Itself is exhibited, which, being raised from the deep, the devout earth feeds upon… [Confessions, XIII.23; emphasis added]

Note that the “Fish” is a symbolic term for the Lord Jesus Christ, based upon the ΙχΘυς anagram, which represents the first letters of the Greek words for Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior. “The Fish Itself,” then, can be none other than Jesus Christ Himself: it is He who is exhibited in the Eucharist; it is Him upon whom the faithful feed.


Nick said...

He seems to be saying the same thing in chapter 24:

"although it feeds on the fish which was taken out of the deep, upon that table which You have prepared in the presence of those that believe"

What else can "upon that table" mean but the altar and Eucharist?

Reginald de Piperno said...

I certainly agree. It’s pretty hard to miss the Eucharistic allusion there. But I think that you meant chapter 21 (paragraph 29)?

Reading St. Augustine has been educational, not least because doing so shines a light on the shameful way that his writings must be handled in order to make him look like anything other than a Catholic.


Nick said...

oops, I saw the term "verse 24" in the title of Chapter 21 and put 24 instead.