Body/Bread and Blood/Wine

The other day, I noticed my friend Fran was upbraided for mentioning the appearances of the sacrament instead of referring to the Body and Blood.

In my own parish, the homemade software generates a schedule that refers to “bread” and “cup.” I think the context is clear. I don’t think the language criticized is evidence of any weakness in theology or devotion. Apparently, the Holy Father agrees. From the USCCB’s novena for the new Roman Missal:

“The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation in the Blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the Body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread” (1 Cor 10:16-17).

In these words the personal and social character of the Sacrament of the Eucharist likewise appears. Christ personally unites himself with each one of us, but Christ himself is also united with the man and the woman who are next to me. And the bread is for me but it is also for the other. Thus Christ unites all of us with himself and all of us with one another. In communion we receive Christ. But Christ is likewise united with my neighbor: Christ and my neighbor are inseparable in the Eucharist. And thus we are all one bread and one body. A Eucharist without solidarity with others is a Eucharist abused. And here we come to the root and, at the same time, the kernel of the doctrine on the Church as the Body of Christ, of the Risen Christ. (Pope Benedict XVI, General Audience, December 10, 2008)

Shall we agree that uniformity of lingo is unnecessary? Or does someone want to take on Saint Paul and Pope Benedict XVI?

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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2 Responses to Body/Bread and Blood/Wine

  1. Liam says:

    It is often said that God permits Satan to send evil in pairs, to test how readily we flee from one evil to embrace the other. I think the more substantive issue is avoiding both a kind of casualness on the one hand and a priggish scrupulosity on the other: both poles ending reflecting back more on our own less than worthy needs than on the Sacrament.

  2. FWIW I was trying to avoid the scrupulosity end of the pole. Without offending anyone or disrespecting the Sacrament, I probably did both, but so be it. Thank you for this post Todd.

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