Guarding the Most Precious and Mysterious Treasure

In the preceding article we proved from the law of the Passover in the Old Testament that the Roman Catholic wafer is not the body of Christ, and that the Roman Catholic cup is not His blood. In the present article we are going to prove the same truth from the law of Easter in the New Testament.

Christ called the mystery of the Eucharist Easter; and this Easter is celebrated through the blessing and action of the Holy Spirit. The transubstantiation of the bread into the body, and of the wine into the blood of Christ took place through the prayer and blessing of Christ. After the transubstantiation Christ said: “Take, eat. This is my body which is broken for you. Drink ye of it all. For this is my blood of the New Testament which is shed for you and for many others for the remission of sins.” Holding the tradition of the Apostles and keeping the law of the celebration of the mystery which Christ laid down, our Orthodox Church celebrates the sacrament by blessing it and by invoking the Holy Spirit, and believes that the transubstantiation of the divine gifts occurs at the moment when the priest blessing them invokes the grace of the Holy Spirit for this purpose. The Roman Catholic Church, on the other hand, subverting the order of things and disregarding the law of Christ, thinks that the transubstantiation takes place when the priest recites the words, “take, eat,” and has abolished the blessing and the law by which the mystery is celebrated. When Christ said, “Take, eat,” the mystery had already been consummated through His blessing, and the words, “Take, eat,” were spoken as a direction to distribute and partake of the body of Christ, and not as a request to effect the transubstantiation, which had already taken place through the efficacy of the blessing. Since the Catholics think the words, “Take, eat”, consummate the mystery, and are ignorant of the blessing which actually consummates the mystery, it is concluded that no transubstantiation takes place in the offerings of the Roman Catholics, and that they are committing a grave error by eating Jewish wafers and drinking mere wine, but thinking that they are eating the body of Christ and drinking His blood. Even on the supposition that the Catholics were to us bread instead of wafers, their celebration of mystery would be of no effect simply because they have subverted the order of things and have made the words pertaining to distribution and communion the law of transubstantiation, thus ignoring the blessing necessary for the transubstantiation. The pseudo-Christ could not be a guardian of the true body and blood of Christ, and those who follow him must needs be going altogether astray in worshiping falsehood for truth and following the way to destruction, though they think that they are following one who holds the keys to Paradise and can easily permit them to enter. The true body and the true blood of Christ is possessed only by the true Church of Christ, and through her alone is salvation possible.

We have called the mystery of the Eucharist a most precious treasure which the goodness of God has entrusted to us, that we might know that the Lord is good, because His mercy endureth for ever. One of our duties to God is the duty of guarding and keeping this treasure until the coming of the Lord. In order to guard the treasure, we must know and frustrate the evil designs of the enemy, and the duty of guarding the treasure, imposes the duty of also contending and fighting for the treasure. By the grace of God, so far we have been able to guard the treasure entrusted to us, and have frustrated all the evil designs of Satan by means of the divine words. The other so-called Christian nations , belonging to the Roman Catholic or the Protestant heresies have been unable to guard the treasure; on the contrary, they have been deceived by the Devil, and have lost the treasure and together with it life everlasting. The cunning of the Devil conquered the other nations of Europe, but met with defeat in our case, because it failed to snatch or adulterate the bread of eternal life and the cup of salvation. So we have set up one trophy against the Devil in this manner, but we also have to set up the following one. The treasure we have been speaking of was not given to us merely to guard; it was given to us also to use. Just as it is our duty to keep the treasure, so it is our duty to make good use of it, and multiply the diverse good results obtainable from it. But we transgress this duty, and fail to perform it aright. When we learn also the right use of the treasure and how to multiply the good results obtainable from it, we will then set up the second and more glorious trophy against the Devil. In what follows, therefore, we shall speak about the use and benefit of the treasure well kept an guarded by us.

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