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cies of bread and wine are meet matter to be offered, and in them did the oblation of Melchisedec consist; and since that which is contained in the Eucharist is the most precious of all things, and the most worthy to be offered to God? Thus, by this most beautiful provision has the Divine mercy enabled our poverty to present an offering which God may not disdain ; whereas He himself is infinite, and nothing would otherwise proceed from us bearing any proportion to His infinite perfection, no libation could be found capable of propitiating God, but one which itself should be of infinite perfection. For, by a mysterious disposition, it occurs that, as often as the consecration takes place, Christ, always giving Himself to us anew, may always again be offered to God, and thus represents and seals the perpetual efficacy of His first oblation on the Cross. For no new efficacy is superadded to the efficacy of the Passion, from this propitiatory Sacrifice, repeated for the remission of sins ; but its entire efficacy consists in the representation and application of that first bloody Sacrifice, the fruit of which is the Divine Grace bestowed on all those who, being present at this tremendous Sacrifice, worthily celebrate the oblation in unison with the Priest. And since, in addition to the remission of eternal punishment and the gift of the merits of Christ for the hope of eternal life, we further ask of God, for ourselves and others, both living and dead, many other salutary gifts (and among those, the chief is the mitigation of that paternal chastisement which is due to every sin, even though the penitent be restored to favor); it is therefore clearly manifest, that there is nothing in our entire worship more precious than the Sacrifice of this Divine Sacrament, in which the Body of our Lord itself is present. GOTTFRIED WILHELM VON LEIBNITZ,

Systema Theologicum.

THE ADORATION OF THE BLESSED

SACRAMENT.

It is difficult to supply to a Christian a greater occasion than is presented in this Divine Sacrament, wherein God himself renders present to us the Body which He has assumed. For although He is equally present at all times, and in all places, as well by His substance as by His aid, yet, as it is impossible for us, at all times, and in all places, to direct our mind expressly to Him, and to render Him perpetual signs of honor, prudence will point out the propriety, in ordering the details of divine worship, of making of certain times, places, causes, and occasions. And God himself, in assuming a human body into the unity of His Person, has given us a peculiar and most signal occasion of adoring Him; for no one will doubt the justice and congruity of adoring God while He appears in the visible form of Christ; and the same must be admitted wherever it is certain that Christ is corporeally present (for the Divinity is present in all places and times), even though it be after an invisible manner; now it is perfectly certain that this condition is fulfilled in the most holy Sacrament. Hence, if there be any case in which the practice of adoring may congruously be introduced, it is in the case of this Sacrament. And thus it has been justly ordained that the highest solemnity of external Christian worship should be devoted to the Sacrament of the Eucharist; because the object proposed by our Saviour in its institution, was to enkindle the love of God, which is the highest act of external Christian worship, and to testify and nourish charity. For when our Lord, at the Last Supper, delivered the supreme commands of His last will, He wished that we should remember Him (like all who love and are beloved in turn), and that we should love one another as members of His one Body, whereof He has made us all partakers. And hence the Church has always employed the Eucharist as the test of unity, and has been careful not to admit to its mysteries, which may be regarded as the inmost recesses of Christianity, any except the proven and purified. To no others, indeed, was it permitted to be even present at the mysteries. It is certain, moreover, that the ancients also adored the Eucharist; and indeed Ambrose and Augustine expressly apply to the adoration of Christ's Body in the mysteries the words of the Psalm, “ Adore ye His footstool.

And in the end, since the necessity has ceased for deferring to Pagan prejudices, either by concealing the mysteries, or by abstaining from certain external signs, which might offend the weak, or wear the semblance of Paganism, it has gradually come to pass that the most exquisite rites of our external worship have been devoted to this venerable Sacrament; especially in the West, where there has not been any necessity to consult for the prejudices of the Saracens. Hence it has been ordained, not only that the people prostrate themselves at the elevation of the Sacrament after consecration ; but also, that when borne to the sick, or

; otherwise carried in procession, it shall be attended with every demonstration of honor; that from time to time, whether on occasions of public necessity, or from some other cause, it shall be exposed for adoration; and that as the pledge of God's presence on earth, it shall be celebrated yearly by a special festival, with the utmost joy, and, as it were, triumph of the Church. GOTTFRIED WILHELM VON LEIBNITZ,

Systema Theologicum.

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