Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Not a Spiritual presence only, but a Christological one as well

"the Lord was not satisfied with sending the Holy Spirit to abide with us; he has himself promised to be with us, even unto the end of the world.  The Paraclete is present unseen because he has not taken human form, but by means of the great and holy mysteries [[1a] we offer] [1b] the Lord submits himself to our sight and touch and through the dread and holy mysteries, because he has taken our nature upon him and bears it eternally.
     "Such is the power of the priesthood, such is the Priest.  For after [2] once offering himself, and being made a sacrifice he did not end his priesthood, but [3] is continually offering the sacrifice for us (leitourgei tēn leitourgian hēmin), by virtue of which he is our advocate before God for ever."

     Nicholas Cabasilas, A commentary on the divine liturgy 28.3-4, as trans. Hussey & McNulty (Crestwood, NY:  St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1977), 71, as reproduced in David Bentley Hart, The hidden and the manifest:  essays in theology and metaphysics (Grand Rapids, MI:  Eerdmans, 2017), 195.  Greek:  Explication de la divine liturgie, trans. Salaville, ed. Bornert, Gouillard, and Périchon (Paris:  Cerf, 1967), 178.  The numbers I've inserted draw attention to the "threefold sense" in which the Eucharist is, for the Orthodox (and of course Catholic) tradition, a sacrifice (193- ).  "[we offer]" has been inserted into the words of Nicholas to bring them into line with the schema as presented on p. 193, where the stress is on [1a] our "offering of bread and wine and so of ourselves (our substance)," though there is no question of [1b] the Lord's not "submitting himself to our sight and touch" and taste in the form of the Real Presence (that being indeed the burden of the entire essay, despite the purely obligatory excursus on the Orthodox hesitancy with respect to unleavened bread and transubstantiation (200.1-203.1).

No comments: