THE THESIS of this article is that the prevailing official Catholic eucharistic theology that has its roots in the synthesis that began to take on characteristic traits in the 12th and 13th centuries no longer does justice to this central Christian mystery. Part 1 describes the key historical stages of the development of this synthesis from the 12th to the 20th century. Part 2 identifies the characteristic traits of the resulting eucharistic theology along with the more significant weaknesses imposed by these traits. Part 3 consists of a brief assessment, in which our demonstration of the insufficiencies of this prevailing Catholic synthesis makes it clear that it is incapable of providing the starting point for a truly comprehensive theology of the Eucharist.
Part 4 will take up the question: What path opens the way to the formulation of a genuine systematic eucharistic theology? Our response outlines the salient features of a systematic theology of eucharistic sacrifice which would be more consistent with the Church's liturgical life of prayer, more consistent with the various aspects and elements of the eucharistic mystery itself, and more consistent with the way Catholics understand that in the Eucharist they are present to Christ's salvific acts and participate in the mystery of God in Christ.
HISTORY OF THE PREVAILING SYNTHESIS
The average modern Catholic synthesis of eucharistic theology, the one that receives support in the official teaching of the Roman magisterium, is a product of the Thomistic tradition but certainly not equated with the eucharistic theology of St. Thomas Aquinas. Elements of the eucharistic theology of John Duns Scotus are included in this average synthesis to the extent that they could be harmonized with the so-called Thomistic approach.
From Scotus-Biel to the Thomistic Synthesis
The Western scholastic synthesis, inaugurated in the 12th and 13th centuries, is a splinter tradition related especially to the first-millennium eucharistic theologies of the Western churches, but clearly distinguished from them in virtue of the process of reception in a new historical and cultural context. Furthermore this new synthesis never existed in a pure state. From the outset it gave birth to several distinctive theological approaches. Especially noteworthy is the eucharistic theology of the 13th- century John Duns Scotus which was renewed by Gabriel Biel at the end of the 15th century. This synthesis dominated the field well into the 16th century. Since that time it has been discarded in favor of a 16th- and 17th-century Thomistic elaboration.
The basic difference between the Scotus-Biel synthesis and the Thomistic variation derives from the different ways in which the Christological and ecclesiological dimensions are integrated with one another. In the Scotus-Biel version the consecration of the elements of bread and wine is attributed to the action of Christ which is mediated by the presiding priest when he recites the ipsissima verba Christi contained in the liturgical narrative of the institution of the Eucharist. On the other hand the offering of the eucharistic sacrifice is attributed to the presiding priest insofar as he represents the Church, the principal offerer (offerens principalis). Thus the presiding priest is said to represent Christ exclusively when he consecrates the bread and wine, and to represent the Church, the "principal offerer," when he offers the body and blood of Christ in the anamnesis-offering prayer.(1) On the contrary the later Thomistic synthesis explains that the moment of consecration of the eucharistic elements by the priest acting as representative of Christ is also the moment in which the priest offers the eucharistic sacrifice under the same formality, that is, in persona Christi.
Thomas's Synthesis and the Later Thomistic Synthesis
The position of the later Thomistic school, which is explained at length below, should not be confused with the original teaching of Thomas Aquinas. The intimate organic unity between the worship of Christ, the High Priest of the Church's worship, and the worship of the Church, as explained by Aquinas, is conditioned by the special role of the presiding priest who proclaims the Eucharistic Prayer in the name of the Church and consecrates the bread and wine, acting in the person of Christ (in persona Christi). But it is not certain that Aquinas considered this moment of consecration of the eucharistic elements by the priest acting as representative of Christ as also the moment in which the priest offers the eucharistic sacrifice under the same formality, that is, in persona Christi.
It is at least questionable whether the later Thomistic understanding of this relationship of the ecclesiological to the Christological dimension of the eucharistic sacrifice was taught by the Angelic Doctor himself. Aquinas held that the consecrated elements of bread and wine, described as the body given and the blood shed, represent symbolically what happened on Calvary when the sacrificed body was marked with the blood of the cross once and for all. Hence the Angelic Doctor describes the twofold consecration as the image of the passion of Christ, and the result of the consecration as the real presence of the Christus passus under the forms of bread and wine.
An organic link is affirmed between the historical sacrifice of the cross and the eucharistic sacrifice. It is understood to consist in the identity of the victim of the cross; the presence of Christ under the signs of the passion; the identity of the principal priest: Christ the high priest of the worship of the Church; the application of the fruits of the cross in and through the eucharistic sacrifice.(2)
This explanation of the connection between the historical sacrifice of the cross and the eucharistic sacrifice was commonly taught among contemporary theologians. Whether Aquinas strayed from this teaching of the day which affirmed the effective presence of the past historical sacrifice of the cross in the Mass in virtue of the application of its salutary effects is a matter of debate.
Vonier and Casel
Dom Odo Casel maintained that Aquinas held for a mystery presence of the historical sacrifice of the cross objectively realized in a sacramental mode of existence on the altar. His dependence on Dom Ansgar Vonier's systematic exposition of Aquinas's teaching on this issue is well known.(3)
Vonier's point of departure for his interpretation of Aquinas is the assertion of Aquinas that "this sacrament is called sacrifice." But how is the sacrament understood to be a sacrifice? Vonier interprets Aquinas's thought in the following way. First there is the general principle applicable to all sacraments: What is contained in the sacrament is known through the signs that constitute the sacrament. As applied to the Eucharist the sign signifies sacrifice, and the word of consecration works sacramentally according to the power of signification.(4) But the eucharistic sacrament contains a representation of the broken Christ on Calvary. Since the phase of Christ dead on the cross is represented realistically, we have a memorial in the sense of the representation of the real death of Christ which took place in historical time. This does not mean that Christ is immolated anew. Rather the historical immolation on Calvary is rendered present through the eucharistic body and blood. There is one sacrifice of Christ of which the sacrament is the representation of the natural sacrifice. The act is new, not the sacrifice. There is the repetition of the thing in the sacramental sphere--the thing that is immutable in itself.
Among those who agree with Vonier's interpretation of Aquinas on this issue is Dom Burkhard Neunheuser, a modern representative of the School of Maria Laach. Especially on the basis of ST 3, q. 79, a. 1 and q. 83, a. 1, Neunheuser summarizes Aquinas's teaching on the Eucharist as sacrifice in this way: "The Eucharist is image (imago repraesentativa) of the passion of Christ, but image full of effective power."(5) What this means is more clearly expressed by him as follows: "The Eucharist is a sacrifice as sacrament of the body and blood of Christ ... for the accomplishment of the sacrament, i.e., the conversion, the placing of the twofold form of the body and blood of Christ, is simultaneously the sacrifice, celebrated by the consecrating priest, who here, as instrument of the Lord offering himself historically on the cross, represents the one sacrifice of Christ."(6)
Among those who question Casel's interpretation of Aquinas we can mention Ferdinand Pratzner. Pratzner holds that Aquinas did not stray from the contemporary view that the consecration of bread and wine has the value of a commemorative sign which elicits the subjective recall of the historical passion.(7)
Going beyond the Evidence
There are three reasons which can be adduced to show that the interpretation of the teaching of Aquinas by Casel and Vonier goes beyond the evidence: the ambiguity of the textual evidence introduced by Vonier; Aquinas's metaphysical explanation of the abiding presence of the historical salvific acts of Christ; and the formal reason assigned by the Angelic Doctor in the Commentary on the Sentences for the ecclesiological role of the presiding priest in the offering of the eucharistic sacrifice.
Ambiguity of the Textual Evidence. In ST 3, q. 83, a. 1, Aquinas asks whether Christ is immolated in the sacrament. Two reasons are given. First, the Augustinian saying that "the image of a thing bears the name of the thing." On this point Aquinas has already stated that the separation of the species is a "certain image representative of the passion of Christ, which is his true immolation."(8) Second, Aquinas refers to the fact that through the sacrament we are made participants of the fruits of the passion.
As for the first mode, Aquinas recalls that Christ is also immolated in the figures of the Old Covenant. As for the second mode, however, "it is proper to this sacrament that in its celebration Christ is immolated." Here Aquinas makes immolation coterminous with representation and application. But he distinguishes between representation and application because, while both of these belong to the New Covenant, only representation belongs to the Old Covenant. Also in ST 3, q. 83, ad 2, Aquinas says that the celebration of this sacrament is the "representative image of the passion ... just as the altar represents the cross on which Christ was immolated in his own nature." And in the same article, ad 3, the priest is said to be the image of Christ, in whose place and by whose power he pronounces the words that make the consecration, and so in a certain way the priest and victim are the same.
Now none of these and similar texts introduced by Vonier prove his thesis which corresponds to that of Casel, and which exercised a decisive influence on Casel's systematic thinking. Rather such texts seem to support Pratzner's conclusion. These texts witness more easily to the common opinion of the day which maintained that the separate consecration of the bread and wine has the value of a commemorative sign which elicits the subjective recall of the historical passion. Consequently it follows that the ecclesiological aspect of the eucharistic sacrifice is not explainable as a corollary of the priest's role of representing Christ the head of the Church in the sacramental renewal of his once-for-all self-offering on the cross at the moment of consecration of the eucharistic gifts of bread and wine.
Aquinas's Metaphysical Explanation. However if Pratzner correctly judges that Aquinas did not affirm the objective real presence of the historical salvific acts of Christ on the altar at the moment of consecration, this does not exclude, in another sense, what is axiomatic for Aquinas. He maintained that the historical life and activity of Christ is really present in all sacramental celebrations of the Church: a presence in which one or other event of Christ's life is highlighted and to which corresponds the offer of the proper dispositions to respond to the saving event which is represented. However this mystery presence of the historical redemptive work of Christ is not conceived as grounded on a timeless trait. The notion that the saving acts of Christ become "eternalized," and therefore accessible to become sacramentally present in an objective way in and through the sacramental liturgies of the Church appears to be foreign to Aquinas's thought, or at least marginal to his typical approach to the subject.
Aquinas explicitly teaches that because the humanity of Christ is the instrument of the divinity in the economy of salvation (instrumentum conjunctum), ex consequente, all actions and passions of Christ instrumentally work for human salvation in virtute divinitatis (ST 3, q. 48, a. 6). Ultimately he bases the real presence of the historical salvific acts of Jesus on the divine plan of salvation that the single transitus of Jesus from suffering to glory is the way of salvation for all humanity. Consequently, from the divine perspective, removes of space and time are not relevant to the ultimate intelligibility of the human life and activity of Jesus. The timeless God, before whom all events are present,(9) acts on a time-conditioned world. The time-conditioned occurrences are the consequent terms of God's eternally willing.(10) Insofar as they are divine instruments of salvation the actual earthly life and activity of the incarnate Son do not participate in the "eternity" of the divine knowing, willing, and acting. But this does not mean that a real presence through contact of the life and activity of Jesus is excluded in the event of the sanctification of willing subjects.
Thomas explains that the actions and passions of Christ work for the salvation of humanity in virtute divinitatis. He agrees that the passion of Christ as corporeal cannot effectively cause the salvation of all humanity at all times. The notion of instrumental cause operating the effect at a distance, as actio in distans, is excluded. But he does not agree that the passion of Jesus cannot act as instrumental cause of salvation in virtue of the spiritual power of the divinity united to it. Hence the passion of Christ is considered to be efficacious "according to the divine disposition" through spiritual contact, namely through faith and the sacraments of faith. In other words the instrumental cause is "applied" (applicatur) spiritually by faith and the sacraments of faith.(11)
The effect follows from the instrumental cause according to the condition of the principal cause. Since God is the principal cause, and the resurrection of Christ the instrumental cause of our resurrection, our resurrection follows (sequitur) the resurrection of Christ "according to the divine disposition at a certain time."(12)
This means that the principal cause, God, employs the instrumental cause, the historical life and activity of Jesus, to produce the effect in the beneficiary, and this effect is realized in and through the necessary response of faith. According to Aquinas, the presence of the event of the historical life and activity of Jesus signified by the particular sacrament is a presence in the participant of the sacramental celebration in the sense of instrumental cause modifying the effect of the action of the principal divine cause of sanctification; the peculiar effect being the transmission of the attitudes of Christ conformed to the particular historical event of Christ's life signified by the sacramental rite. Moreover in the perspective of realist metaphysics the principal cause, the instrument of the agent and the effect are coexistent. Therefore it follows that there is a real presence of the historical salvific acts of Christ in the participant of the sacramental celebration, that is, a presence metaphysically affirmed.
Aquinas ultimately grounds the notion of the efficacious presence of the historical salvific acts of Jesus in the economy of salvation on the revelation of the divine plan of salvation. He sheds further light on the question by explaining the role of this presence in effecting the conformity to Christ from the standpoint of realistic metaphysics. In this realistic perspective the agent, the instrument, and the effect are simultaneously present. The "power" of the mysteries is identified with the agent as agent,(13) and with the action of the principal agent,(14) and is found in the effect. In short, the salvific acts of Jesus, as instrumental efficient causes employed by the principal efficient cause, namely the action of God, co-exist with the principal cause; for in the perspective of a realist metaphysics, cause, instrument, and effect are coexistent.(15)
This understanding of the mode of presence of the historical salvific acts of Christ exists in a certain tension with the later notion of the objective sacramental presence of these salvific acts at the moment of consecration of the eucharistic gifts. According to the Thomistic theory the structure is linear: prototype-image- effect. On the contrary, according to the earlier thesis of Aquinas, we do not, as it were, come upon the sacramental presence of the historical saving acts and then insert ourselves into them somehow by faith. No, the image of the prototype exists in and with the sacramental reality which is the effect through imitation, or conformity, but so that this imitation is the shaping power in the effect.
Ecelesiological Role of the Presiding Priest. Regarding Aquinas's view of the ecclesiological dimension of the eucharistic sacrifice, an additional clue is supplied in his Commentary on the Sentences of Peter Lombard. Here Thomas does not suggest that the formal reason why the priest is able to act as representative of the whole Church in the offering of the eucharistic sacrifice is based on the fact that the priest represents Christ the head of the Church. In other words, it is not precisely because the priest offers the eucharistic sacrifice in the person of Christ the head of the Church that he represents the Church of which Christ is the head in the offering of the eucharistic sacrifice. Rather Aquinas states that the priest represents the whole Church in the eucharistic offering because of the nature of the eucharistic sacrament. It is because the Eucharist is accomplished for the whole Church, because the Eucharist is the "sacrament of the universal Church."(16) Therefore it is by reason of the ecclesiological nature of the Eucharist that the priest offers for the whole Church, not immediately because he offers in the person of Christ, the head of the Church (in persona Christi, capitis ecclesiae).
Since Aquinas offers no other solution to the question of how the priest represents the Church, and since the solution he offers is at home in the contemporary theology, we conclude to the probability that he maintained this explanation unchanged throughout his life.
Later on in the Thomistic school the consecration of the eucharistic gifts is understood not only to be a commemorative representation of the once-for-all self-offering on the cross but also to include a sacramental renewal of the self-offering of Christ through the ministry of the priest. The idea that Christ offers himself to the Father as head of the Church through the priest, acting in the person of Christ at the moment of consecration of the eucharistic bread and wine, led to the conclusion that the priest, in his sacramental role, also represents the Church of which Christ is the head. In short the ecclesiological dimension of the sacrifice is conceived as included in the Christological. One could formulate this outlook as follows: The Church offers the eucharistic sacrifice "through the hands of the priest," insofar as he acts in the person of Christ, the head of the Church.
Ecclesiology and Christology of the Eucharistic Sacrifice
The ecclesiological dimension of the eucharistic sacrifice was only gradually absorbed into the Christological dimension over the period from the 13th to the 16th century. This fact supplies an insight into the more general outlook at the outset of the second millennium in which the ecclesiological aspect of the eucharistic sacrifice was distinguished more sharply from the Christological in theory and practice.(17)
From Berengar to Trent
Even as late as the first part of the 12th century the degree of membership in the Church enjoyed by a validly ordained presbyter or bishop was considered relevant to his capacity to consecrate the bread and wine and offer the eucharistic sacrifice in the name of the Church.(18) A sharp distinction was commonly made between the power of the priest to consecrate the bread and wine whereby they become sacraments of the body and blood of Christ, and the ability of the priest to preside at the eucharistic sacrifice in the name of the Church. The latter theological problem was still not settled during the next two centuries. Various solutions were given to such questions as: How can an excommunicated priest offer the eucharistic sacrifice as representative of the Church?
Ultimately the medieval development of the scholastic theory confining the moment of consecration of the eucharistic gifts to the period of recitation of the liturgical ipsissima verba Christi constituted the most important cause of the absorption of the ecclesiological into the Christological aspect of the eucharistic sacrifice. It is noteworthy that this development was influenced significantly by the eleventh-century controversy over the contents of the sacraments of the body and blood of Christ initiated by Berengar of Tours (d. 1088).
The oath required of Berengar at the Council in Rome in 1059 distinguishes between two effects which obtain "after the consecration": "namely the bread and wine which are placed on the altar after the consecration [are] not only the sacrament (sacramentum), but also the true body and blood of Jesus Christ our Lord."(19) At the Council of Rome in 1079, under Pope Gregory VII, Berengarius was required to confess an alternative oath which identifies the source of the conversion of the bread and wine as "the mystery of the holy prayer and the words of our Redeemer (per mysterium sacrae orationis et verba nostri Redemptoris)."(20) The register of the Council of Rome of 1079 sheds some light on this latter confession. It is recorded that "the majority affirmed that the bread and wine, through the words of the sacred prayer (sacra oratio) and the consecration of the priest, the Holy Spirit working invisibly, are converted . . ."(21) Here the "words of the sacred prayer and the consecration of the priest" are identified as the instrumental means by which the Holy Spirit converts the bread and wine.
In short, the first oath uses "consecration" to describe the action by which the bread and wine become sacraments and also the "body and blood of Christ." The second oath attributes the conversion of the bread and wine to the "mystery of the holy prayer and the words of the Redeemer." The Register of the council of 1079 supplies another formulation which unpacks the meaning intended by this concise expression. Putting the two formulations together, the following result obtains: "The bread and wine . . . are converted . . . through the mystery (that is, through "the Holy Spirit working invisibly") of the holy prayer and the words of the Redeemer" (that is, through the [instrumentality] of the holy prayer [of the Church] and "through the consecration of the priest," or through the "words of consecration of the Redeemer" spoken by the priest).
The foregoing example of the teaching that awards consecratory efficacy to the Eucharistic Prayer is not unique. In that regard it suffices to recall the commentary of a representative contemporary theologian, Odo of Cambrai (ca. 1050-d. 1113). In his Expositio in Canonem Misssae,(22) Odo comments on the sanctificas of the Per quem haec omnia of the Roman Canon. Here he says that "daily he (Dominus) sanctifies by the prayer (oratio) of the priest and the cooperation of the Holy Spirit."(23) The prayer of the priest is the section of the eucharistic prayer from the Quam oblationem through the Supplices. This prayer is said to be spoken by the priest as representative of the universal Church in the case of the private Mass. Otherwise Odo recognizes that the gathered community is first and foremost the celebrating Church. Hence Odo understands that the prayer of the priest is the prayer of the Church. This prayer can only be carried out fruitfully "with the cooperation of the Holy Spirit."(24) Since the Holy Spirit cooperates in this activity only within the Church, Odo concludes that the Eucharist can only be celebrated in the Church. "For outside the communion there is no place for offering to God true sacrifice."(25) And by this he means also that heretics cannot celebrate the Eucharist: The "for us" of the Quam oblationem "excludes pagans, it excludes Jews, it excludes heretics. . . . For there is no place of true sacrifice outside the Catholic Church."(26)
The attribution of the efficacy of the Eucharistic Prayer to the cooperation of the Holy Spirit working in and through the believing Church is an example of "appropriation" of an activity of the whole Trinity to one of the divine persons because it fits the peculiar trait of that person. This also holds for the attribution of the conversion of the bread and wine to the Holy Spirit which is frequently found in the writings of early scholastics. However Rupert of Deutz (1075-1129) probably provides one exception to this rule.(27)
The important place given to the efficacy of the Eucharistic Prayer alongside the recitation of the eucharistic words of Christ at the Councils of Rome of 1059 and 1079 is probably due, at least in part, to a broader concept of consecratio which remained fairly popular up to the middle of the twelfth century, and which allowed for the notion of "consecration of the body and blood."
This phrase has a long history, inherited from the Latin theological tradition of the first millennium. Its usage can be dated from the period when the process of consecration, derived from the same theological tradition, was understood to include the following elements: the making of the sacrament, or the mystical designation of the bread and wine as the body and blood of Christ as signified by the eucharistic words of Christ; the transfer of the sacraments of the body and blood to the heavenly altar to be united to the glorified body of the risen Lord, expressed liturgically through the Supplices prayer; and the transitus of the liturgical assembly to union with the Lord and the heavenly Church.
It is not possible at present to demonstrate whether the phrase was originally meant to embrace the process of the concept of consecration described above. In any case it is certain that in early scholasticism "consecratio of the body and blood" had a field of meaning that embraced (1) the transitus of the elements into the eucharistic flesh and blood, (2) the transitus of the consecrated flesh and blood into the heavenly body of Christ, and (3) the purpose of the twofold transitus, namely, the integration of the liturgical community into this single transitus of Christ from suffering to glory in virtue of its self-offering made in union with Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit.
From the eleventh to the middle of the twelfth century, the phrase "consecration of the body and blood" continued to be used without difficulty alongside the notion of "consecration of the bread and wine." However from the middle of the twelfth century, as the focus of attention turned to the problem of working out an explanation of the mystery of the somatic real presence of Christ under forms of bread and wine, the difficulty created by the distinction between the two bodies of Christ, the historical body and blood and the eucharistic spiritualized body and blood,(28) faded into the background. Now the question of the formulation of a doctrine about the somatic presence of the whole Christ became acute. At the same time, and understandably, a narrowing of the concept of consecration began to take hold.
Gradually the term "consecration" came to be employed exclusively to express the idea of the conversion of the bread and wine. By the latter part of the twelfth century it was no longer correct to speak of the "consecration of the body and blood of Christ" in systematic theological discourse. The transition from the older usage to the newer one is illustrated in the Summa Bambergensis. The older point of view is handed on in the commentary on the presence of angels at the liturgy: "For we believe that the angels assist the priest when he consecrates. Whence it is read in the Sententiae: 'In an instant the body of Christ is consecrated and taken up into heaven by the ministry of angels in order to be united with the (heavenly) body of Christ.'" But now the author quickly adds a correction for the contemporary period when consecration simply refers to the conversion of bread and wine: "However there are three verbs here, which are to be referred to three things. For consecrari is turned to the bread, rapi to the form, consociari indeed to the body of the Lord."(29)
The Summa quaestionum of Codex Harley 1762 in the British Museum objects to the saying that the body and blood of Christ are consecrated. For the body and blood need no consecration. Rather it is theologically correct to affirm that the bread and wine are consecrated, that is, they are converted into the body and blood.(30) It should come as no surprise, then, that by this time the essential form of the Eucharist was limited to the recitation of the eucharistic words of Christ which identify the eucharistic gifts as Christ's body and blood. Shortly after the resolution of the Berengar affair, however, the beginnings of the general tendency to restrict the essential form of the Eucharist in this way are discernible everywhere.(31)
Moreover, as is well known, in the debate over the somatic real presence of the body and blood of Christ the belief in the efficacy of the word of Christ grounded on the witness of the New Testament played a central role. This resulted in the "reception" of the theology of eucharistic consecration of Ambrose of Milan which was thought to attribute the consecration of the bread and wine to the recitation of the liturgical ipsissima verba Christi contained in the Eucharistic Prayer.(32) We will return to this topic later on. But for now it suffices to emphasize the fact that from now on it was the scripturally grounded lex credendi that determined the function of the liturgical narrative of the institution of the Eucharist. No longer did the lex orandi (the role played by the liturgical narrative of institution within the structure of the Eucharistic Prayer) exercise, as it generally had throughout the first millennium, this determinative function.
This identification of the essential form of the Eucharist with the eucharistic words of Christ eventually led to the conclusion, drawn by Thomistic theologians of the 16th and 17th century, that the ecclesiological aspect of the eucharistic sacrifice must be explained exclusively from the Christological dimension. In other words the formal reason why the Eucharist can be called the sacrifice of the Church is traced to the fact that Christ himself offers his once-for-all sacrifice as head of the Church through the priest who acts in the name of Christ the head of the Church. The ecclesiological dimension is considered to be included in the presupposition of the Christological dimension.
In the latter part of the 20th century this later Thomistic teaching has an important role to play within the average Catholic synthesis. Here the essence of the eucharistic sacrifice is understood to include the ecclesiological aspect within the concept of "sacramental representation of the historical sacrifice of the cross."
The term "sacramental sacrifice" is employed here to convey the idea that the past historical sacrifice of Christ on the cross is represented to the liturgical assembly in the action by which the "sacrificial sacrament" of Christ's somatic real presence is constituted. It conveys the notion that the eucharistic celebration is first and foremost "a visible representation" of this unique historical sacrifice of the cross. In this connection an appeal is made to the Council of Trent's teaching that describes the institution of the Eucharist as follows: ". . . he, God and our Lord . . . at the Last Supper . . . in order that he might leave to the church a visible . . . sacrifice, by which that bloody one once for all accomplished on the cross might be represented . . ."(33)
The foregoing interpretation of the passage from Trent's doctrine on the sacrifice of the Mass favored by the Thomistic synthesis actually goes beyond the meaning intended by the text. To be sure the once-for-all historical sacrifice of Christ was confessed by Trent to be the reality, source, and presupposition of the eucharistic celebration which grounds the cultic sacrifice of the Church. But the council did not intend to choose between theories championed by different Catholic theological schools concerning the relation of the historical event of the sacrifice of the cross to the Mass. Much less had the theory been formulated concerning the possibility of the historical salvific work obtaining a new ubi et nunc in the sacramental world which transcends the laws of space and time.
The Encyclical Mediator Dei
The more recent official teaching of the Roman Catholic magisterium in this 20th century favors this idea of sacramental sacrifice. This theological approach has gradually taken hold since the time of Pius XII's encyclical letter Mediator Dei, November 20, 1947.34 Where this letter takes up the question of the relation of the mysteries of Christ's historical life to the liturgical year, the pope reacts somewhat negatively to the theory of Odo Casel concerning the presence of the historical mysteries of Christ's life in the liturgy. While the very notion of the presence of the historical mysteries is not explicitly rejected, a preference is clearly expressed for the traditional scholastic explanation, namely, a presence of the effects of the historical salvific acts of Jesus' historical life and activity, or the application of graces merited by them.
Pius XII does make use of Casel's insight concerning the active presence of Christ in all liturgical action. Nevertheless he distances himself from Casel's thesis concerning the presence of the historical saving acts in the liturgy of the Church. This is best exemplified in the pope's remarks on the subject of the presence of the mysteries of Christ's life in the liturgical year. Pius XII states:
These mysteries (mysteria) are constantly present and operate, not in the way that some recent writers talk (effutiunt = chatter),(35) but in the way the Catholic doctrine teaches us. For according to the doctors of the Church they are shining examples of Christian perfection, and sources of divine grace because of the merits and earnest intercessions of Christ; and by their effect in us they endure since each one of them exists according to its nature in its way as cause of salvation.(36)
The encyclical affirms the actuality of the mysteries of Christ's life. Christ continues "that journey ... which he. . . began in his mortal life ... with the intention of bringing men to know his mysteries, and in a way to live by them." These mysteries are "examples of Christian perfection, as well as sources of divine grace, due to the merits and prayers of Christ." They are present in virtue of the actual presence of Christ and his power: "Christ himself who is ever living in his Church." Hence the liturgical year is not a mere external representation of the past, nor a pure remembrance.(37)
The encyclical does not seem to envision the mode of presence of the mysteries of Christ's life in any other way than that of a presence in us by the effects of the mysteries which, although located in the past, exercise exemplary and efficient instrumental causality. The mysteries are present in the symbolic power of the liturgical rites, which both refer the Church to the mysteries of Christ, and bestow the grace of the mysteries.(38)
The objective character of the sanctification given through the liturgy is affirmed. The efficacy of the sacraments and eucharistic sacrifice derive "first of all and principally" from the act itself (ex opere operato).(39) On the other hand the ritual activity instituted by the Church is efficacious ex opere operantis, since the Church is holy and acts in union with Christ.
On the subject of the sacramental sacrifice of the Mass, formulas close to that of Casel are employed. But the real death of Christ is not said to be renewed, or even rendered present, in the Mass: "The sacrifice of our Redeemer is shown forth ... by external signs which are the symbols of his death." When it is said that Christ "does what he already did on the cross,"(40) the reference is only to the sacrificial oblation (unbloody oblation, as opposed to bloody oblation).
It is also noteworthy that the Holy Office complained to the Archbishop of Salzburg that the German translation of Mediator Dei gave the impression that Pius XII favored Casel's theory by employing "Mysteria" in place of "mysteria."(40a) The translation seemed to suggest that the pope agrees with those "who teach that the Mysteries are present in liturgical worship, not historically but mystically and sacramentally, but nevertheless really."(41) However Casel's theology of mysteries was not explicitly, or implicitly, declared untenable by Mediator Dei. Rather the encyclical wanted a more precise statement at the level of dogmatic theology. The letter of the Holy Office does not go beyond the judgement of the encyclical. It merely states that the pope does not favor Casel's view.(42)
Since the middle of the 1950s it became quite clear that while many aspects of Casel's theology of mysteries needed to be corrected, his basic insight deserved serious attention. A number of monographs began to appear in the area of biblical and patristic studies which tended to support the idea of the representation of the historical saving work of Christ in the sacramental celebrations of the Church, especially in baptism and Eucharist. While no consensus emerged in this matter from the standpoint of systematic speculative theology, this conclusion of scriptural and patristic scholars seems to have had the effect of rendering the Roman magisterium more sympathetic to the basic insight of Casel.
The presentation of the theology of eucharistic sacrifice in Mediator Dei is, above all, significant for the influence it has had on subsequent official Roman teaching. It has become the normative presentation, and is based on the reception of one of the post-tridentine scholastic theologies of eucharistic sacrifice. Pius XII employs the eucharistic theology of Thomas Aquinas as mediated through post-Tridentine Thomistic theologians. He adopts the formulation of the Jesuit theologian St. Robert Bellarmine, without subscribing to Bellarmine's peculiar explication of the essence of the eucharistic sacrifice which embraces the aspect of destruction of the sacraments of the body and blood through eating and drinking.(43)
On the subject of the consecration of the eucharistic species, which he understands to pertain to the essence of the eucharistic sacrifice, Bellarmine states: "Because the sacrifice of the Mass is offered in the person of Christ (in persona Christi), there is nothing that the priest does so clearly in the person of Christ as the consecration in which he says: 'This is my body.'"(44) Again Bellarmine states: "The sacrifice is offered principally in the person of Christ. Thus the oblation following the consecration is a certain attestation that the whole Church consents in the oblation made by Christ, and at the same time offers with him."(45) This latter text is cited by Pius XII in Mediator Dei.(46)
Finally Bellarmine links the offering of Christ, Church, and minister in this way: "The sacrifice of the Mass is offered by three: by Christ, by the Church, by the minister; but not in the same way. For Christ offers as primary priest, and offers through the priest a man, as his proper minister. The Church does not offer as priest through the minister, but as people through the priest. Thus Christ offers through the inferior, the Church through the superior."(47) In Mediator Dei we read this paraphrase: "The priest acts for the people only because he represents Jesus Christ, who is head of all his members and offers himself for them. Thus he goes to the altar as the minister of Christ, inferior to Christ, but superior to the people."(48)
This theological interpretation, which excludes the approach of Scotus-Biel, is developed at length in Mediator Dei.(49) On the subject of the nature of the eucharistic sacrifice Pius XII goes beyond the doctrinal instruction of the Council of Trent when he teaches: "The august sacrifice of the altar ... is ... a true and proper act of sacrifice (sacrificatio), whereby the High Priest by an unbloody immolation offers himself a most acceptable victim to the eternal Father, as he did on the cross."(50) This assertion is intended to be an interpretation of the statement of chapter 2 of the Council of Trent's doctrine concerning the sacrifice of the Mass: "It is one and the same victim; the same now offering by the ministry of priests, who offered himself then on the cross, the manner of offering alone being different."(51)
After recalling that the priest of the eucharistic sacrifice is Jesus Christ, represented by the minister who "possesses the power of performing actions in virtue of Christ's very person," Pius XII adds this observation regarding the identity of victim:
Likewise the victim is the same.... The manner, however, in which Christ is offered is different. On the cross he completely offered himself ... and the immolation of the victim was brought about by the bloody death. . . . But on the altar ... the sacrifice is shown forth in an admirable manner by external signs which are symbols of his death.... the eucharistic species under which he is present symbolize the actual separation of his body and blood. Thus the commemorative representation of his death, which actually took place on Calvary, is repeated in every sacrifice of the altar, seeing that Jesus Christ is symbolically shown forth by separate symbols to be in the state of death.(52)
With these observations Pius XII distinguishes between two essential moments of the sacrifice of the Mass: the internal oblation of Christ (oblatio) and the external manifestation of the internal act (immolatio incruenta). Thus he differs from Trent, where oblation and immolation are used as synonyms. Also the pope seems to favor a theory of actual oblation (internal offering) of Christ in every Mass, where he says that Christ "does what he did then on the cross." It was a common opinion in the 1940s that an actual oblation of Christ is related to the eucharistic sacrifice; not formally a new act, but the same act which Christ elicited on the cross and which somehow remains in the glorified Christ.
In fact, the pope explicitly distinguishes between internal oblation and immolation in the following passage: "The sacrifice ... is shown forth by external signs (signa externa) which are symbols of his death."(53) Nevertheless the pope does not explicitly identify the content of the essential immolatio incruenta. Some contemporary theologians held that it consists in the separate consecrations; others that it consists in the sacramental mode of presence in that Christ's body is present under the species of bread and his blood under the species of wine in virtue of the words of consecration. Of course all Catholic theologians hold that the whole Christ is present under each species in virtue of the hypostatic union and the mystery of the resurrection and glorification, as defined by Trent.(54) However the letter ascribes only the value of sign or symbol to the separation of the species. The unbloody immolation is said to be "signified," or "indicated,"(55) "made manifest in a mystical manner by the separation of the species."(56)
In brief, Pius XII avoids theories which postulate a virtual destruction of Christ, such as those of Bellarmine, De Lugo, and Franzelin, which dominated the entire Catholic theological field during the pontificates of Pius IX and Leo XIII. He retains formulas dating from the end of the reign of Leo XIII, revived and propagated by Cardinal Billot, while making no reference to Billot's system. But the pope appears to tend in the direction of those theologians who had been making the idea of sacramental sacrifice the object of their studies.
Prescinding from the various nuances of particular authors, the essentials of the theory of sacramental sacrifice may be summarized thus: The immolation of the Mass differs from the oblation. Christ offers himself in the Mass and is sacramentally immolated at the consecration of the bread and wine. The qualification "sacramental" means that it is a matter of a symbolic ritual that contains what it signifies. In virtue of the divine institution the Eucharist renders the historical sacrifice of the cross sacramentally present.
This explanation of the term "sacramental" is based on an understanding of the peculiar mode of sacramental being, whereby the reality signified has its proper mode of existence elsewhere, but is truly contained in its symbolic representation. It is with this concept of "sacramental presence" that the explication of the eucharistic sacrifice begins, that is, the explication of how the sacramental sacrifice is a true sacrifice differing only in the manner of offering from that of the historical sacrifice of the cross. However authors who hold for the sacramental theory are not in agreement concerning the nature of the presence of the sacrifice of the cross in the Mass. Is it to be attributed to a perpetual state of victimhood of the glorified Christ? Here an appeal is made to an interior offering of Christ accomplished on the cross which has become "eternal" and is externalized through the words of consecration. Others demand more in virtue of the fact that we are redeemed by the historical redemptive work. In one way or another they postulate the presence of the historical salvific acts themselves--a metahistorical presence.
Since the publication of Mediator Dei the official teaching of the Roman magisterium has often repeated the perspective of that encyclical on the relation of the presiding priest to Christ and the Church in the Eucharist. The Constitution on the Church of Vatican II states that "the priest ... confects the eucharistic sacrifice in the person of Christ and offers it in the name of the people to God."(57)
The "Declaration of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on the Question of Admission of Women to the Ministerial Priesthood," October 15, 1976, employs this Thomistic theology of eucharistic sacrifice in support of its teaching that only men can represent Christ in the act of eucharistic consecration: "It is true that the priest represents the church which is the body of Christ. But if he does so it is primarily because, first, he represents Christ himself who is head and paster of the church."(58) Hence the conclusion is drawn that since the priest represents Christ in strict sacramental identity at the moment of consecration the role must be taken by a man.
The "Letter of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on the subject of the Role of the Ordained Ministry of the Episcopate and Presbyterate in the Celebration of the Eucharist," dated August 6, 1983,(59) provides a useful summary of all the major statements of recent official teaching of the Roman magisterium on this topic. This letter of the CDF was occasioned by the prevalence of erroneous opinions concerning the question of those who qualify to preside at the Eucharist. On this subject the traditional teaching is stated: For although the whole faithful participate in one and the same priesthood of Christ and concur in the oblation of the Eucharist, nevertheless only the ministerial priesthood, in virtue of the sacrament of orders, enjoys the power of confecting the eucharistic sacrifice in the person of Christ and of offering it in the name of the whole Christian people.(60)
The topic of the representative function of the presiding minister is taken up in detail later on:
However those whom Christ calls to the episcopate and presbyterate, in order that they can fulfill the office ... of confecting the eucharistic mystery, he signs them spiritually with the special seal through the sacrament of orders ... and so configures them to himself that they proclaim the words of consecration not by mandate of the community, but they act "in persona Christi," which certainly means more than "in the name of Christ" or even "in place of Christ" . . . since the one celebrating by a peculiar and sacramental way is completely the same as the "high and eternal Priest," who is author and principal actor of this his own sacrifice, in which no one indeed can take his place.(61)
On the question of the relationship between the sacrifice of the Mass and that of the cross, the most noteworthy document of Pope John Paul II is his 1980 Holy Thursday letter, Dominicae cenae, where he treats the sacred and sacrificial character of the Eucharist.(62) The sacredness of the Eucharist is ascribed to the fact that Christ is the author and principal priest. This ritual memorial of the death of the Lord is performed by priests who repeat the words and actions of Christ, who thus offer the holy sacrifice "in persona Christi ... in specific sacramental identification with the High and Eternal Priest, who is the author and principal actor of this sacrifice of his."(63)
Here as elsewhere in this letter John Paul Il limits himself to the typical scholastic approach to the theology of the Eucharist, passing over the trinitarian grounding of the holiness of the Eucharist. In modern Catholic theology the sacred character of the Eucharist is grounded on more than the Christological basis. Its sacredness is not merely based on the fact of originating in a historical act of institution by Christ. Rather what grounds the holiness of the Eucharist is the initiative of the Father: the self-offering by the Father of his only Son for the salvation of the world.
Here we touch on the unique New Testament understanding of the "true sacrifice" as that which is based on the movement of God to us. The death of Jesus is ultimately the expression of the turning of God to us. The love of the Father is the origin of the self- offering of Jesus.(64) The classical Eucharistic Prayers were constructed with this background in mind, and represent the response of the sacrifice of praise to the Father for what the Father has done in Jesus Christ for the salvation of the world. Also in this perspective there is the matter of the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit who is the divine agent of the self- offering of Jesus on the cross (Hebrews 9:14) and of the presence of this unique sacrifice in the eucharistic celebration.(65) The sending of the Spirit at Pentecost enables the celebration of the Eucharist in which the triumph of the death of Christ is represented and the Father is given thanks for the great gift. According to Vatican II's Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, "All this ... happens ... in the power of the Holy Spirit."(66) However there is a notable absence of the pneumatological aspect of the Eucharist in Dominicae cenae.
The Eucharist is said to be "above all a sacrifice."(67) As support for this the doctrine of Trent's Decree on the Sacrifice of the Mass, chapters 1 and 2, is cited. Also the Respice prayer of Eucharistic Prayer III is quoted, where the self-offering of the community is linked to the historical self-offering of Christ. But on the subject of the response character of the Eucharistic Prayer the following is said: "Since the Eucharist is a true sacrifice it brings about the restoration to God. Consequently the celebrant . . . is an authentic priest, performing ... a true sacrificial act, that brings men back to God."(68) Also in the same pericope we find the expression, "this sacrifice, which is renewed (renovatur) in a sacramental form." Here the traditional Thomistic fixing of the sacrificial act in the consecration of the eucharistic gifts by the priest comes again to the fore. The sacrifice is conceived as accomplished liturgically at the moment of consecration, while the meal aspect is treated almost as a dispensable appendix.
The final document to be considered is "Vatican Responds to ARCIC I Final Report."(69) The Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission published the results of meetings held from 1970-1981 in 1982.(70) The report contains documents on the subject of Eucharist, ordained ministry and authority in the Church. The theme of eucharistic sacrifice is contained in "Eucharistic Doctrine" (Windsor 1971) II, 5: "The Eucharistic and the Sacrifice of Christ,"(71) and in "Eucharistic Doctrine: Elucidation" (Salisbury 1979) 5: "Anamnesis and Sacrifice."(72)
In Windsor 1971 the notion of memorial is employed to shed light on the relation of the Eucharist to the cross. It is alleged that in the biblical sense memorial was used at the time of Christ for the passover celebration to convey the idea of a ritual activity that makes "effective in the present ... an event in the past." Applied to the Eucharist, it is stated that the Eucharist is the
Church's effectual proclamation of God's mighty acts. Christ instituted the eucharist as a memorial (anamnesis) of the totality of God's reconciling action in him. In the Eucharistic Prayer the Church continues to make a perpetual memorial of Christ's death, and his members, united with God and with one another, give thanks for his mercies, entreat the benefits of his passion on behalf of the whole Church, participate in these benefits and enter into the movement of his self-offering.
Elucidation 5 of Salisbury 1979 defends the use of anamnesis to express the "traditional understanding of sacramental reality, in which the once-for-all event of salvation becomes effective in the present through the action of the Holy Spirit." It goes on to argue for the use of sacrifice as a synonym for anamnesis in the case of the Eucharist. This means that "the Eucharist is a sacrifice in the sacramental sense, provided it is clear that this is not a repetition of the historical sacrifice." The Elucidation concludes on this subject: "In the celebration of the memorial, Christ in the Holy Spirit unites his people with himself in a sacramental way so that the Church enters into the movement of his self-offering."
The Vatican's response recognizes that the "most notable progress toward a consensus" on the subjects dealt with in this international ecumenical dialogue is found in the documents on the Eucharist. It cites the statement: "The Eucharist is a sacrifice in the sacramental sense, provided it is made clear that there is no repetition of the historical sacrifice" (Elucidation 5). However later on a fuller exposition of Catholic doctrine regarding the Eucharist and ordained ministry is recommended to the commission. With regard to the Eucharist, the faith of the Catholic Church would be even more clearly reflected in the Final Report if the following points were to be explicitly affirmed: that in the Eucharist the Church, doing what Christ commanded his apostles to do at the Last Supper, makes present the sacrifice of Calvary. This would complete, without contradicting it, the statement made in the Final Report affirming that the Eucharist does not repeat the sacrifice of Christ nor add to it. That the sacrifice of Christ is made present with its effects, thus affirming the propitiatory nature of the eucharistic sacrifice, which can be applied also to the deceased ... including a particular dead person, is part of the Catholic faith.(73)
The relevant material in the statement "Ministry and Ordination" Canterbury 1973) and "Ministry and Ordination: Elucidation" (Salisbury 1979) can be briefly summarized. "Ministry and Ordination" 2 states: "It is only the ordained minister who presides at the Eucharist, in which, in the name of Christ and on behalf of his Church, he recites the narrative of the institution of the Last Supper and invokes the Holy Spirit upon the gifts."(74) The Vatican response notes that from the Catholic side this needs to be expanded in the following way: "That only a validly ordained priest can be the minister who, in the person of Christ, brings into being the sacrament of the Eucharist. He not only recites the narrative of the institution of the Last Supper, pronouncing the words of consecration and imploring the Father to send the Holy Spirit to effect through them the transformation of the gifts, but in so doing offers sacramentally the redemptive sacrifice of Christ."(75) Again the Vatican response refers to "Ministry and Ordination" 13, where it is said that in the Eucharist the ordained minister "is seen to stand in a sacramental relation to what Christ himself did in offering his own sacrifice."(76) The response suggests that this statement be completed by adding that it was Christ himself who instituted the sacrament of orders as the rite which confers the priesthood of the new covenant.... This clarification would seem all the more important in view of the fact that the ARCIC document does not refer to the character of priestly ordination which implies a configuration to the priesthood of Christ ... central to the Catholic understanding of the distinction between the ministerial priesthood and the common priesthood of the baptized.(77)
CHARACTERISTIC TRAITS OF THE PREVAILING SYNTHESIS
What are some of the more important traits of the modern average Catholic eucharistic theology? Part of the response to this question is given below in a list of seven traits that derive from the scholastic theory of the moment of consecration as formulated within the Thomistic synthesis. But before that, we discuss two traits that originate from different sources. They are included here for the sake of completeness and, at the same time, to call attention to the development in the theology of the Holy Spirit within modern Catholic theology and its relevance for a systematic eucharistic theology.
These two traits, which are unrelated to the scholastic theory of the moment of consecration, are transubstantiation and pneumatology.
1. Transubstantiation. The modern average Catholic theology of the Eucharist is concerned with the reevaluation of the traditional scholastic explication of the nature of the conversion of the eucharistic elements whereby they become sacraments of the body and blood of Christ. No longer do theologians of this tradition insist on awarding pride of place to the classical scholastic theory of transubstantiation.(78) To a certain extent the modern situation resembles that of the end of the twelfth century when the doctrine of transubstantiation was one of several explanations being proposed.(79) It is especially significant that the official Vatican response to the Faith and Order report, Baptism, Eucharist, and Ministry, where it treats the sacramental presence of Christ under forms of bread and wine, is open to "possible new theological explanations as to the 'how' of the intrinsic change."(80)
Moreover this same Vatican response seems inclined to approve the early point of view that takes as its starting point the notion that Christ is simultaneously the host of the meal and the gift, where it states: "The risen Lord relates himself to this activity [i.e. the Church's recall of the institution of the Eucharist]. He places the elements of bread and wine in the relation between himself and the community. These elements are made signs which realize his saving presence, namely 'sacrament of his body and blood.'"(81) The bread and wine are said to become sacramental signs because of the "intrinsic change which takes place, whereby unity of being is realized between the signifying reality and the reality signified."(82)
The first statement quoted above evokes the idea that all being is relational and attains its full meaning and being when fully related to God and humanity. The second statement emphasizes the "intrinsic change" without insisting on the scholastic explanation of the nature of the change. Hence the concept of change is open to the interpretation of the fourth-century Antiochene eucharistic theology which became the common tradition of Eastern Orthodox churches.
According to this Eastern church outlook the Holy Spirit exercises a personal and proper mission in the economy of salvation which corresponds to the personal and proper mission of the Word of God. As one aspect of this mission the Spirit sanctifies the elements of bread and wine by elevating them to their ultimate relational possibility. In light of this consideration it may also be said that the Vatican response is open to the Eastern pneumatology which affirms that the Holy Spirit exercises a personal and proper mission of sanctification in all aspects of the economy of salvation in general, and all aspects of the celebration of the Eucharist in particular.
2. Pneumatology. The traditional Latin scholastic version of trinitarian theology plays down the concept of the personal and proper mission of the Holy Spirit. Western sources of the first millennium distinguish between the economic roles of the second and third persons of the Trinity and typically, as in the East, the role of sanctifier is assigned to the Holy Spirit. However, with minor exceptions,(83) this description of the role of the Holy Spirit is determined by a trinitarian theology which conceives the work of creation and redemption as operations performed by the Godhead as such. In other words the work of sanctification is "appropriated" to the Holy Spirit. It is not understood as a work proper to the personal mission of the Spirit in the economy of salvation. Rather, attribution of the work of sanctification to the power of the Holy Spirit" serves as a synonym for "divine power."
However the modern renewal of interest in the theology of the Holy Spirit has led Catholic theologians to a new appreciation of the peculiar role of the Holy Spirit in the economy of salvation.
Modern studies in the field of pneumatology have resulted in a better understanding that saving grace, as participation in the divine life of the Holy Trinity, consists in personal relations with each of the divine persons. The distinction between the work of the Trinity in creation, which does not imply special relations of the individual divine persons to creatures, and the work of the Trinity in redemption, which implies personal relations to individual divine persons, has already influenced the teaching of the modern Roman magisterium.(84)
At the end of the 19th century Pope Leo XIII, in his encyclical letter Divinum illud munus, May 9, 1897, taught that apart from the Incarnation of the Word, the action of the divine persons ad extra is one and the same, but attributed to one or other person "by appropriation."(85) Less than fifty years later Pius XII'S encyclical letter Mystici corporis, June 29, 1943, featured the distinction between the action of the Trinity in creation and the inhabitation of the divine persons in those who are in the state of grace.(86) Pope Paul VI repeated this teaching in a series of allocutions which began in 1966. Here he worked out his own synthesis, developing the idea that holiness unfolds "from the mysterious inhabitation of the Holy Spirit in each soul."(87)
In his recent encyclical letter on the subject of the Holy Spirit, Pope John Paul II explicitly stated that he did not intend to resolve questions about the Holy Spirit that are presently under discussion.(88) Nevertheless, he seems to favor as his personal opinion the Eastern doctrine concerning the personal and proper mission of the Holy Spirit where he treats the Spirit's role in the Eucharist. Here he asserts that in the Mass "his (Christ's) advent and salvific presence is sacramentally renewed (renovatur); namely in the sacrifice and communion.... However it is effected by the power of the Holy Spirit in interiore eius propria missione."(89) This Latin phrase should be translated: "in his interior proper mission." In a footnote the pope states that this idea is expressed in the eucharistic epiclesis of the new Roman Missal of Paul VI, and he refers explicitly to the second Eucharistic Prayer.(90)
What consequences follow for the theology of the Eucharist from the attribution to the Spirit of a personal and proper mission in the economy of salvation? It must be said what holds for systematic theology in general holds also for eucharistic theology. Insofar as this Eastern theology of the Holy Spirit is accepted, the systematic theologian must endeavor to integrate it fully into all aspects of Christian theology in general, and the Eucharist in particular.
There is the matter of the pneumatological aspect of the Incarnation of the Word and the work of the incarnate Word by which the new covenant is established between the Father and humanity, and of the role of the Holy Spirit in the work of establishing and maintaining the Church and in the process of sanctification of ordinary human persons. In the case of the Eucharist, attention must be paid to the role of the Holy Spirit in the event of the transformation of the eucharistic elements into the sacraments of the Body and Blood of Christ; to the nature of the action of the Holy Spirit by which the eucharistic community is sanctified and thus enabled to offer acceptable worship to the Father in union with the crucified and risen Lord; to the nature of the sanctifying action of the Holy Spirit which sheds light both on the question of the manner of presence of the death-resurrection of Christ in the eucharistic celebration and on the question of the participation of the worshippers in this mystery of God in Christ.
In none of these instances is the Holy Spirit described as "mediator"; the role of the Spirit is more precisely defined as "mediation." The Eastern tradition is especially sensitive to this function of the Holy Spirit in the economy of salvation, namely, that of bringing the Church to Christ and Christ to the Church. This insight underlies the epiclesis of the liturgies of the various sacraments. The Spirit is invoked both to bring Christ to the Church and over the assembled Church in order to bring it to Christ. Both movements are essential. If Christ is not brought to the assembly there is a purely human ceremony; if the Church is not brought to Christ the liturgy is meaningless.
Here we touch on the fundamental question of the relationship between Christ and the Church. The unity between Christ and the Church is a unity in plurality of persons. Christ is the head, the Church is the body; Christ is the bridegroom, the Church is the bride; Christ is master, members of the Church are disciples. The bond of unity is the Holy Spirit. In this optic three false understandings of the Church are to be avoided: a monophysitic, or overdrawn identification of Church with Christ; the Nestorian tendency, or overdrawn separation of Church from Christ; and an overdrawn identification of Church with the Holy Spirit. This danger is avoided by introducing the concept of "mediated immediacy."
The unity between Christ and the Church is personal and immediate because it is mediated by the one Spirit. The Holy Spirit is not "mediator" between Christ and us, but rather mediation of the mediator, because the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Christ whom he shares with us. Therefore the Holy Spirit is the personal principle of unity and differentiation. This understanding of this role of the Spirit in the economy of salvation enables us to speak of the interplay between Christ and the Church without neglecting the difference; to distinguish the activity of the two without neglecting the greater mystery of their unity.
According to the teaching of the Constitution on the Church of the Second Vatican Council the Holy Spirit is the principle of unity between Christ and Church. The Spirit is the principle of life, constitution and fruitfulness of the Church, which is made by the Spirit the "sacrament of salvation."(91) In this regard the council refers to the analogy between the Incarnation and Church. Here the distinction between the mission of the Son and the mission of the Spirit is basic for the nexus and distinction between Christ and Church, and for the ordering of Christ and Church. (92)
The pneumatological dimension of the mystery of the Church--the identity of the one Spirit in Christ and in the believers-- furnishes the theological basis for avoiding the danger of constructing a monophysitic ecclesiology, i.e. the overdrawn identification of the Church with Christ. Consequently it supplies the basic theological argument against the narrow Thomistic explanation of the relationship of the ecclesiological dimension of the eucharistic sacrifice to the Christological dimension. For it shows that the ecclesiological dimension of the eucharistic sacrifice is grounded on the divine activity of the Holy Spirit through whom Christ offered himself on the cross and through whom the faithful offer themselves in union with Christ.
Up to this point we have discussed two important characteristic traits of the prevailing Catholic synthesis of eucharistic theology which are not related to the scholastic theology of the moment of consecration. There are a number of other characteristic traits in this prevailing Catholic synthesis which do derive from the scholastic theology of the moment of consecration formulated within the Thomistic synthesis. Our listing continues with seven of these traits.
1. The Twofold Aspect of the Moment of Consecration. The theological postulate that the moment of consecration is both the moment of the sacramental self-offering of Christ and the moment of conversion of the eucharistic elements into the body and blood of Christ implies that this is likewise the ideal moment for the faithful to unite themselves to the self-offering of Christ by faith. Hence the Eucharistic Prayer as a whole appears to belong to the integrity of the rite, certainly not to the integrity of the sacrament. What then is the function of the Eucharistic Prayer as a whole? The notion of ideal moment emphasizes the individual believer's relation to Christ; the "moment" of the Eucharistic Prayer as a whole appears to supply the context which fosters the prayerful relation of the corporate assembly of believers to Christ the head of the Church.
2. The Rite of Holy Communion as Integrating Rite. The scholastic moment-of-consecration theology effectively excludes the rite of participation of the body and blood of Christ from the aspect of eucharistic sacrifice. In the relationship to the eucharist sacrifice of Christ the rite of Holy Communion is described as an "integrating part" rather than "essential part.(93) However, biblically speaking, sacrifice and meal cannot be separated. Insofar as Jesus can be said to have instituted the memorial of his self-offering within the symbolic actions of the Last Supper, the sacrificial and meal aspects are inseparable.
The process of the meal is that by which (the modus quo) the ritual sacrificial act (the id quod) is realized. In other words, although the meal aspect belongs to the shape of the celebration, it is bound to the sacrificial aspect of the Eucharist. The shape of meaning is that of a sacrificial event constituted in the form of a ritual meal process. Insofar as the meal contains formal elements of meaning they are already given in the essential traits of sacrifice and communion: namely, the aspect of the self-offering of Christ for the salvation of the world, the acceptance of the giver by the communicants, and the response of self-offering by the communicants in order to achieve the meaning of their lives.(94)
3. The Objective Sacramental Presence of the Sacrifice of the Cross. This moment-of-consecration theology reflects a particular understanding of the Eucharist under the aspect of "sacrament of the sacrifice of Christ." It implies that the once-for-all "sacrifice of Christ," the transitus of Jesus Christ from suffering to glory, or the mystery of the death-resurrection-glorification of Jesus Christ, is rendered present in the context of the eucharistic celebration. Moreover it implies that the objective presence of the past historical redemptive acts of Christ is located "on the altar." However there is no consensus as to what this means.
Various explanations are offered concerning the possibility of the past historical redemptive acts of Christ becoming "eternalized," and so available to be presented sacramentally in the Eucharist of the Church. In order to support the fact of the objective presence an appeal is made frequently to the biblical notion of anamnesis. However it is highly questionable whether the concept of anamnesis, as applied to the celebration of memorial feasts which were instituted by the God of Israel, generally included the idea of liturgical objective representation of past historical saving actions of God. Rather the commemorative feasts seem to have been understood more commonly as the media by which the participants of the feasts are effectively represented to the foundation event in the sense of being offered a share in blessings analogous to those imparted in the historical event itself.
At any rate the application of the biblical notion of anamnesis supports the idea that the eucharistic assembly is, in some sense, represented to the foundation event of Jesus' death-resurrection and, as a consequence, enabled by faith to participate in its salutary effects. Moreover the witness of the liturgy, the classical eucharistic prayers, does not furnish support for any other understanding of the biblical anamnesis. These prayers point in the direction of the representation, or repeated presentation, of the liturgical assembly to the foundation event of the new covenant by faith.
But in what sense is the worshipping community represented to the Christ-event through the eucharistic liturgy? The average Catholic synthesis, which assumes the objective presence on the altar, asks how the historical redemptive work which took place in space and time could have become "eternalized." But this question jumps the gun by assuming the fact of the sacramental objective presence of the historical sacrifice of the cross.
There are good grounds for the assumption that the concept of objective anamnesis is compatible with the teaching of certain Eastern Fathers of the Church such as Theodore of Mopsuestia and St. John Chrysostom. However this teaching is not so clearly and widely endorsed that it warrants being classified as the authentic tradition of the Eastern churches; much less can the claim be made for Western sources. Hence one is not constrained on the grounds of an authentic whole tradition of the East and West to seek a credible explanation of this concept of objective anamnesis. In addition none of the numerous attempts to explain how past historical saving events can be conceived as surviving the flow of historical space and time and so becoming accessible for liturgical presence have been successful. All of these theories appear to have one thing in common: They do not represent solutions to problems, but rather formulate problems in need of solutions.
4. The Relationship between Faith and the Sacramental Sacrifice. The question of the relation of the act of faith of the liturgical assembly to the sacramental presence of the sacrifice of Christ is resolved implicitly by the notion of the objective presence of the mystery on the altar. The sacramental presence of the unique self- offering of Christ is conceived as prior in time and not simply prior in nature to the response of faith by which the assembled believers unite themselves to this mystery. Hence the average Catholic synthesis views the relationship as analogous to the reception of a dogmatic statement proposed for the assent of faith.
But is not the act of saving faith so bound up with the mystery of God in Christ that the one is not only related to the other as object of belief, but is already here in the other? In the liturgical celebration, is the act of faith something that stands before the mystery as a first step, or is it rather the indispensable and abiding way of sharing in the mystery?
5. The Eucharist as the Sacrifice of the Church. The Eucharist is identified as the sacrifice of the Church because at the moment of the consecration of the bread and wine Christ is actively present offering himself as high priest and head of the Church. In other words, the potential exists for the "assisting faithful" to participate in the sacramental self-offering of Christ who is acting as the high priest and head of the Church.
According to this understanding the Eucharist appears to be a sacrament celebrated in the Church for the sake of the Church, but not precisely the sacrament of the Church. Hence it can be said that the "Eucharist makes the Church," as the source of the Church's unity. On the other hand the traditional notion that the "Church makes the Eucharist," or that "the Church manifests itself and realizes itself through the Eucharist," is less apparent.
This explanation of the ecclesiological dimension of the Eucharist provides the grounds for the theory that the sacramental sacrifice of the head affords the opportunity for members of the Church throughout the world to participate personally by their intention and devotion in the "Masses of the world," as though physically assisting and engaged. Moreover a part of the scholastic tradition, favored by the Roman magisterium in the past and never explicitly rejected, holds that the faithful throughout the world by thus uniting their devotion to the Masses of the world account for the measure of graces that derive from each Mass. This conclusion appears to follow logically from the theory that situates the ecclesiological dimension of the eucharistic sacrifice within the Christological dimension. Nevertheless it is unintelligible from the standpoint of a theology of prayer.(95)
6. Roles of the Presiding Priest. The priest who presides at the Eucharist is conceived as representing the Church of which Christ is the head because he represents Christ the head of the Church exclusively when he pronounces the eucharistic words of Christ contained in the Eucharistic Prayer. Thus the novel linear order is introduced: Christ--"Ministerial Priest"--Priestly People- Eucharist. It replaces the basic traditional order of: Christ-Church-Eucharist.
In the latter ordering the so-called "ministerial priesthood" is conceived as a substructure of the Church, embedded in the relation: Christ-Church. Therefore its role is explainable systematically only in terms of a reciprocal relation to Christ and Church.(96) This means that the ministerial priest, missioned by Christ, and commissioned by the Church through ordination, exercises a leadership role in the ecclesial body of Christ. Therefore as leader of the community that merits the title "Church of Christ," he acts as representative of Christ, the head of the Church, in the eucharistic liturgy. On the other hand, he proclaims the Eucharistic Prayer in the name of the Church and therefore represents the Church of which Christ is the head. All this is made intelligible if the Eucharistic Prayer itself is conceived as equivalent to the "essential form" of the Eucharist, but not if the essential form is confined to the eucharistic words of Christ spoken by the priest acting in persona Christi, that is, in specific sacramental identity with Christ. In this latter case it would hold true that the priest represents the Church at the moment of consecration only because here he acts exclusively as instrument of Christ, the head of the Church.
More recent Catholic theological reflection on the eucharistic sacrifice has shown a tendency to depart from this modern average Catholic position, and to be more sympathetic to what is described as the modern Byzantine Orthodox point of view, but which in reality represents also the Western tradition of the first millennium.(97) According to the traditional Eastern theology, the leader of the Eucharist is best described as one who has been called by Christ and ordained in the power of the Holy Spirit to act as representative of the liturgical assembly and, at the same time, to act as the representative of Christ the head of the Church. In this theological tradition the priest who presides at the Eucharist proclaims the Eucharistic Prayer in the name of the Church, that is, as the official representative of the Church of which Jesus Christ is the head. Therefore he also acts in the name of Jesus Christ, the head of the Church. In this sense he can be described as typos or eikon of Christ when he acts in the name of Christ as leader of the eucharistic celebration. This point of view was included in the Anglican-Orthodox Doctrinal Commission's statement at the close of the 1976 Moscow conference: "In the Eucharist the eternal priesthood of Christ is continually manifested in time. The celebrant in his liturgical action has a twofold ministry: as icon of Christ, acting in the name of Christ for the community, and also as representative of the community, expressing the priesthood of the faithful."(98)
7. The Efficacy of the Mass "ex opere operato." When the moment of consecration of the eucharistic elements is understood according to the later Thomistic synthesis to be the moment of the sacramental "renewal" of the sacrifice of the cross through Christ's presence as priest and victim, the way is opened to predicate an effect that is independent of the devotion of the priest and others who are somehow construed as actively participating in the Mass. This means that the Mass might be conceived as efficacious in a fashion analogous to the efficacy of the sacraments in general, in virtue of the sacramental renewal of the once-for-all oblation of Christ.
This theory was held in the past, and seems to remain as part of the traditional popular eucharistic theology. Still Catholic theologians at present appear to be in more general agreement that there is no new oblation on the part of Christ which could account for the new fruits that flow from the Mass. Therefore in modern scholastic theology the notion of a twofold efficacy is discarded in favor of the singular efficacy that is measured by the devotion of the participants.(99)
ASSESSMENT OF THE PREVAILING SYNTHESIS
The average modern Catholic eucharistic theology displays only a weak integration of the elements that go into the construction of a systematic theology of the Eucharist. But how is the theologian to proceed to develop a truly systematic approach that avoids the objectionable consequences of the scholastic moment-of-consecration theology and the accompanying Christological point of departure?
As noted above, the identification of the eucharistic words of Christ as the essential form of the sacrament resulted from the application of the article of faith concerning the efficacy of the word of God, as it was applied in the 11th-century debate over the content of the sacraments of the body and blood of Christ. Consequently it originated from the law of belief and not from the precise function that the narrative of institution plays in the Eucharistic Prayer.
Without doubt this development of the theology of the essential form of the Eucharist in which the Christological dimension became the starting point for a theological synthesis shattered the fragile equilibrium that the early scholastic theological synthesis was able to maintain well into the 12th century. In our day this official theology of the Eucharist is being subjected to strong negative criticism by some Catholic scholars, especially in Europe. In general it is recognized that the average Catholic synthesis is unable to satisfy the demands of a balanced approach to the shape of meaning and the shape of celebration of the Eucharist.
Angelus Haussling has called attention to an undesirable result of the exaggerated esteem for the so-called words of consecration vis-a-vis the whole Eucharistic Prayer: "It leads to the elevation of the priest, because he speaks the words of Christ in the account of instutition according to 1 Cor 11 and the Synoptic Gospels, to the role of the one acting "in persona Christi," and finally representing the person of Christ himself . . . in such a way that he no longer, as the rite shows, is receiver with and in the celebrating assembly (which is Church) and so remains and must remain. Otherwise, as the logical consequence, a sacramentalistic clericalism results that works destructively."(100)
Also Bishop Karl Lehmann's observation on this aspect of the scholastic theology of the Eucharist is not exaggerated when he says: "The concentration on the concept of consecration has abridged the Eucharistic Prayer liturgically and ecclesiologically in a disastrous way. In this narrowing is grounded a part of the thematic of the sacrificial character of the Mass which to this day has not been sufficiently worked out."(101)
Above all, mention must be made of Cesare Giraudo who has contributed an extensive literary-theological analysis of the Eastern and Western traditions of the classical Eucharistic Prayers.(102) Against this background he supplies a convincing argument for the conclusion that while the idea that the priest represents Christ, or acts "in the person of Christ," must be maintained, there is a more balanced key to the understanding of the role of the priest, namely, that the priest acts "in the person of the Church."(103)
We may conclude our reflections up to this point, therefore, with the observation that the prevailing synthesis, the average modern Catholic theology of the Eucharist which we have been describing, is without a future. In the second millennium, the law of belief, instead of the law of prayer, has enjoyed pride of place. The analysis of the theological treatises on the subject of the Eucharist produced during the formative period of the Western scholastic synthesis shows that theologians and liturgists had no grasp of the literary structure and theological dynamic of the Eucharistic Prayer and accompanying symbolic action. They reduced the whole problematic to an imaginary "central space" within the Eucharistic Prayer, with the result that the eucharistic words of Christ were poised in the air without access to the other elements of the structure.(104)
The re-integration of the law of belief into the law of prayer after the manner of the first millennium remains the task of the future; it furnishes the point of departure for the construction of a systematic eucharistic theology and will be the achievement of the third theological millennium. At this juncture it is not possible to predict the way in which a normative systematic theology of the Eucharist might be structured. However a brief description of how the sacrificial aspect of a new approach might be formulated is offered here. It can serve as a conclusion to this article.
TOWARDS A COMPREHENSIVE THEOLOGY OF THE EUCHARIST
The best access to the more authentic traditional theology of the eucharistic sacrifice is the classical Eucharistic Prayers and accompanying symbolic activity.(105) Without exception they mirror a theology of salvation history which is conformed to the witness of the New Testament. These Eucharistic Prayers of the Eastern and Western traditions have the same basic structure: anamnesis (remembrance) and epiclesis (petition). The liturgical narrative of institution of the Eucharist can be found in either section. It represents the theological center of these prayers, for it supplies the reason for anamnetic-offering prayer through which the liturgical community consciously makes its own self-offering. It also gives the grounds for the epiclesis of the Holy Spirit, asking for the sanctification of the eucharistic gifts and the communicants. Moreover, introduced into the context of prayful discourse, the liturgical account of institution takes on the role of prayer of petition. This epicletic function is, in fact, highlighted both in virtue of the intimate connection that is made between the liturgical narrative and anamnetic-offering prayer, and in virtue of the intimate link between this group and the epiclesis for the sanctification of the gifts and of the participants who share in the sacraments of the body and blood.
The literary structure of the classical Eucharistic Prayers shows that it is a unified prayer directed to the Father as the source of all.(106) It mirrors the dynamic relation of the partners of the new covenant in the history of salvation realized fully through the redemptive work of Christ in the power of the Spirit. The thankful recognition of the Father's action in Christ (anamnesis) is followed by the petition (epiclesis) that the continuing fidelity of the Father to his people be expressed and realized through the sanctifying action of the Holy Spirit by which the communicants are brought to Christ (epiclesis for sanctification of communicants) and by which Christ is brought to the communicants (epiclesis for sanctification of the bread and wine). The extension of the epiclesis in the intercessions is the expression of the Church's desire that all humanity be brought within the sphere of the new- covenant people. The commitment of the Church to the new covenant is expressed explicitly in the anamnetic-offering prayer.
The transitus of the assembled community to the Father is expressed liturgically through the Eucharistic Prayer. The transitus of Christ himself is recalled and affirmed as the single transitus in which the believing assembly participates through the medium of the eucharistic celebration. At the same time the Holy Spirit is identified as the mediation of the presence of Christ to the Church and the Church to Christ.
The response to the prayer of the Church is represented sacramentally in the sacraments of the body and blood of Christ. The reception of the sacraments enables sacramental communion with Christ as the one who offered himself once and for all to the Father in order to receive from the Father the meaning of his life, who offered himself as the man for others to draw believers into personal communion with himself and so into communion with the Father.
The crucified and risen Lord accomplishes this movement on behalf of humanity under the title of mediator and in virtue of the theandric act by which he sends the Holy Spirit from the Father to enable the communicants to share in his own sentiments of self- offering. Consequently in the power of the Holy Spirit the sacramental communion of believing communicants with Christ becomes the sacramental source of their spiritual, personal communion with the risen Lord which, by participation in his uniquely acceptable self-offering, culminates in communion with the Father of all blessings.
The Eucharistic Prayer and the Jewish Meal Ritual
At the outset of the Jewish religious meal, the leader, elevating bread a little above the table at which he is seated, pronounces the blessing. Then he breaks the bread, consumes a particle, and distributes the rest to those around the table. Normally the distribution and consumption of the bread take place in silence, but exceptions are recorded for special circumstances. At the end of the meal, the same procedure is carried out with the cup(s).(107)
The initial and closing rituals are parts of the meal itself. They are intended to express the religious sentiment that should permeate the whole meal: praise and thanksgiving for the gift of life and of spiritual and corporeal nourishment. This religious sentiment is expressed ritually by utilizing the gifts of God the creator and sustainer of fully human existence in order to praise and thank him.
The Prayer of Praise and Thanksgiving
The prayer of praise and thanksgiving is called berakha. This Hebrew term refers, in the first place, to gifts received from Yahweh. The English word "blessing" supplies a suitable translation. The things that Yahweh gives, that make human existence possible (life and corporeal nourishment) and fully human existence attainable (the spiritual nourishment of the Torah, the communal life of the chosen people, and the promised land) are called "blessings."
All blessings that human beings need come from Yahweh. Yahweh himself needs no blessings in the sense that he profits by mankind's beneficence. Nevertheless there is an analogous sense in which human beings can bless Yahweh. They do this by speaking well of Yahweh, by praising him as the source of all blessings, and by thanking him for concrete benefits which he has already given to Israel and continues to bestow on his faithful people.
Forms of Jewish prayer have this common structure: praise of God; recall of God's mighty acts in favor of his people, as motive of the praise; and a final doxology that repeats the theme of praise. Frequently a petition for God's continued blessings is inserted after the recall of God's mighty acts. Thus the recall serves as a clasp that unites the whole prayer. It furnishes the motive for praise of God, and the motive for the expectation that the faithful God will hear the petitions of his people now. Moreover this recall, which places before God what God has already done, was thought by ancient Israel to serve as a motive for God himself to recall this faithfulness and to come to the aid of his people in the present.
The Gifts of Bread and Wine
The act of holding the bread and cup above the table is the gestural complement of what is expressed verbally by the blessing. It is an act of offering the elements to Yahweh: a symbolic act by which the elements are given a new meaning. In brief, the offering of bread and wine with thanksgiving is, in the first place, an act of adoration. The bread and wine become signs that represent a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving. Taken together, the verbal blessing and the gesture of offering the elements constitute a ritual sacrifice: the explicit acknowledgement that all things belong to Yahweh and that human beings are dependent on Yahweh for their continued existence and human development.
The way of expressing ritually the confession that the gifts by which corporeal life is sustained (food and drink) derive from Yahweh is the gesture of offering types of food and drink back to Yahweh. This gesture does not signify that the offerer has no need of the gifts or that they are useful to Yahweh. Rather it signifies that the created elements always belong to Yahweh and are properly used by human beings when they accept these as gifts, namely with the attitude of gratitude.
However the meaning of the offering of gifts does not end with the idea of thanksgiving for elements that sustain corporeal life. The gesture is also meant to be the expression of gratitude for the spiritual gifts of Yahweh that sustain fully human life (e.g. the Torah and the corporate life of the people of God). Finally this symbolism extends to human life itself Hence the field of symbolism includes the acknowledgement that the offerers themselves belong to Yahweh. At this level the offerers give themselves back to God in order to receive the meaning of their life that God alone can bestow.
The idea that self-offering to Yahweh, or complete openness to receive from God the fulfillment that he alone can give, is the acceptable sacrifice is not foreign to biblical faith. The notion is found in the Psalms, most of which were probably composed to accompany acts of worship in the temple.(108)
In the second century of the Christian era, Irenaeus of Lyons interprets the offering of bread and wine of the Eucharist in continuity with this deepest meaning of the Jewish meal ritual. Irenaeus underscores the fact that God has no need of the offerings of human beings. Rather human beings need to make offerings to show gratitude, and thus reap the blessings of God: "The oblation of the Church . . . is accounted with God a pure sacrifice, and is acceptable to him; not that he stands in need of a sacrifice from us, but that he who offers is himself glorified in what he offers, if his gift is accepted."(109)
The Consumption of the Bread and Wine
After the ritual act of blessing and offering of the bread and wine at the Jewish meal, the elements are considered to be signs in which the offerer places his interior dispositions of praise and thanksgiving. The bread and wine have become blessed, offerings made to God. The table companions appropriate to themselves the ritual acts of the leader by the verbal assent, "Amen." Thereby they make the offered bread and wine signs of their personal sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving. Furthermore this ritual consent is confirmed by the act of consumption of the consecrated bread and wine. In short, the eating and drinking is a positive act of adhesion to the blessing and ritual offering of the elements. It is a religious act that denotes the grateful acceptance of the blessings of God and at the same time connotes the commitment to be a living sacrifice offered to God.
The two ritual acts that surround the meal represent the attitude that the participants should have during the course of the whole substantial meal. Everything that is eaten and drunk should be taken as a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving.
From the foregoing analysis we are in a position to identify the shape of meaning and the shape of celebration of the Jewish festive meal which, in turn, is applicable to the eucharistic celebration of the Church. The phrase "shape of meaning" signifies the form of accomplishment which gives to the celebration its meaning and through which its individual aspects obtain their theological significance, are linked to one another, and are integrated into the whole. The phrase "shape of the celebration" refers to the material expression of the formal "shape of meaning. To this belongs everything which is constitutive for the symbolic actions of the celebration: words, gestures, elements and actions, personal and social factors, the ordering of the whole celebration.
The shape of "meaning" of the Jewish festive meal is that of a ritual representation of the covenant relation between God and his people, which corresponds to what Hans B. Meyer describes as the formal liturgical-theological shape of meaning of the eucharistic celebration. He defines the shape of meaning under the concept of "blessing-commemoration." In the New Testament "blessing" (eulogia) stands for a benevolent action by which God bestows his grace on humankind or by which humankind acknowledges the goodness of God.(110)
Meyer summarizes his thought on this subject as follows:
Blessing can refer to the holy Self-mediation of God or the praise of God. The blessing-activity is actualized verbally and/or gesturally, as well as by bestowal of a gift, or by any combination of the three. The use of this concept is especially fitting for the Eucharist because the element of gift contained in the concept eulogia is open to a specific eucharistic interpretation. The mutual giving and receiving of the gift of the bread and wine expresses the self-offering of God in Jesus Christ to humanity, effected through the Holy Spirit, sanctifying individuals and establishing fellowship of the believers in the Lord, and also the self-offering of individuals to God, as well as that of the liturgical community united to Christ through the Holy Spirit.(111)
The individual aspects of the shape of meaning are ordered to one goal: communion in the Holy Spirit with Christ and through him with the Father, but also communion with the Body of Christ in the unity of the Holy Spirit (that is, in and with the Church). Consequently the eucharistic celebration, as the performative form of the faith of the Church, articulates a theology of covenant.
The Eucharistic Prayer and Salvation History
The salvation-history theology which is found to be reflected in the classical Eucharistic Prayers and the complementary symbolic action has the following characteristics. This theology (1) features the idea of the believer's participation in the mystery of God in Christ on the side of the humanity of Christ; (2) it implies that this consists in a "participation in the faith of Christ" by which he responded to his Father for what the Father had done in him for the salvation of the world; (3) it identifies the divine source of this participation as "the Spirit of the faith of Christ," namely, the Holy Spirit, who was the source of the life of faith of the incarnate Lord; (4) it identifies the Holy Spirit as the mediation of the personal immediacy of the believers to Christ and of the divinely transmitted conformity to the spiritual attitudes of Christ whereby the believers are enabled to offer acceptable worship to God "in, with, and through" Christ; (5) it identifies the effect of participation in the new covenant as the integration of the believer into the single transitus of Jesus to the Father from suffering to glory; and (6) it implies the representation of the eucharistic assembly to the historical salvific acts of Jesus.
Salvation-Historical and Liturgical Theology of the Eucharist
Among the numerous modern contributions to the understanding of the salvation-history theology reflected in the classical Eucharistic Prayers a few supply key insights which constitute central themes of a systematic theology of eucharistic sacrifice. These insights are described here and systematically ordered to one another.
Being Present to Christ's Salvific Acts
Dom Odo Casel favored the idea that in a first step the liturgical activity represents, or renders present Christ and his saving work to the liturgical assembly. This way of thinking has characterized much of the discussion concerning the relationship of the historical salvific acts of Christ to the eucharistic sacrifice. However, here and there over the last three decades some voices have been raised in favor of another way of thinking which takes into account the theology of the Holy Spirit.
In a survey article published in this journal in 1971, this writer called attention to a series of contributions which featured the idea that "at the time of the Eucharist, the Spirit gives to the Church the grace to recall, to render herself present to the Christ of history, passing from the world to the Father."(112) In other words, "Our memory, in the Spirit, allows us to bring the sacrifice of Christ to the center of history and our lives. The movement is not from the historical event of the cross to us; the event is not withdrawn from its historical context and made to come to us. Rather, we go to the event, are made present to it. The movement by which we meet a "passed" event is called memory. It is by remembrance that we meet the sacrifice of the cross.(113)
This explanation of the existential presence of the participants of the Eucharist to the sacrifice of Christ through recalling in the Spirit corresponds partially to the theory of Cesare Giraudo. He favors the concept of representation of the eucharistic community to the historical salvific acts of Jesus. This representation misterica is attributed to God: "It is God who represents us to the 'salutaris virtus' of the 'sacrificio ephapax' in the mediation of the sacramental sign. The subject passively considered, that is represented, is the assembled Church which celebrates by the "ministry of priests."(114)
The more commonly accepted viewpoint, still maintained in many circles, is exemplified in the writings of Johannes Betz,(115) and developed by Lothar Lies(116) among others. Nevertheless Giraudo's painstaking literary-theological analysis of the classical Eucharistic Prayers has begun to receive serious attention. Among those who have reacted favorably to the viewpoint of Giraudo can be mentioned Hans B. Meyer of the University of Innsbruck.(117) He raises the question whether one might be better advised to discard the traditional way of thinking, and whether it would be more accurate to say that the liturgical activity does not "render present Christ and his saving work. It is rather that we ought to enter newly into the presence of his person and saving work in the medium of the ritual cultic activity."(118)
Giraudo's understanding of the notion of representation differs from Casel's, but the difference is only superficial. Both hold that the historical salvific acts of Jesus participate in the "eternity" of God; both maintain that for this reason these saving acts are always potentially present to human beings; both maintain that these saving acts become effectively present in the measure that believers are represented to them by the divine action in faith. However, Casel attributes to the liturgical activity itself the power to render present Christ and his redemptive work, while Giraudo holds that the believing community repeatedly enters into the presence of the person of Christ and his saving work in the medium of the ritual cultic activity. Giraudo speaks of the historical salvific act of Jesus, "which at the level of space-time is 'passed'--but which now rises to presenzialita eterna--and projects us eschatologically toward the fulfillment of the future kingdom." But his argument in favor of the supratemporal trait of the historical salvific acts of Jesus is no more convincing than the others which have been adduced. He employs a distinction between "profane history" and "salvation history" in which the concepts of "physical" and "metaphysical" are operative. He contends that in the latter case the categories of "profane history," where past is not present and the present is not the future, are literally transcended. To explain why this should be so, he appeals to Ansgar Vonier's interpretation of the mind of Thomas Aquinas, as formulated by Casel: "On this subject Dom Vonier, in direct dependence on Saint Thomas Aquinas, has reason to say that the laws of space and time do not hold for the sacramental world."(119)
Metaphysical Presence of the Consequent Terms of the Divine Plan of Salvation
Opposition to the basic thesis of Casel and Giraudo is based on two arguments: denial of the possibility of historical salvific acts becoming "eternalized," and proof that the historical salvific acts of Jesus need not be repeated in order to be effectively present in the liturgical celebration.
On this subject the late Irish theologian Brian McNamara contributed a clear, concise, and convincing explanation of the mode of presence of the historical salvific acts of Jesus to the eucharistic celebration, which is based on the implications of the scriptural witness to the divine plan of salvation and supported by the realist metaphysics of Thomas Aquinas.(120)
According to the witness of the New Testament, the transitus of the Incarnate Word to the Father is the ultimate meaning of the world. Historically completed on the experiential level with the glorification of Jesus, it is still to be completed at the further level of the fulfilment of the divine plan for all humanity. Temporal succession and spatial duration are relevant to humanity's involvement in this transitus of the world to the Father, which reached its climactic expression in the Christ-event and is continued in the age of the Church. However, such succession and duration are not relevant to the ultimate intelligibility involved; for removes of space and time are not relevant to the ultimate intelligibility of the divine plan.
When the question of the mode of presence of the historical salvific acts of Jesus in the eucharistic liturgy is raised in the experiential perspective, the only possible solution is that of scholastic theology which refers to the subjective appropriation of the effect of the redemption that objectively happened in the past. However, McNamara shows that from the divine perspective another solution is possible.
According to the divine plan of salvation for the world the effect of participation in the new covenant is tantamount to the integration of the believer into the single transitus of Jesus to the Father from suffering to glory. But how is this to be made intelligible? Since the divine knowing is eternal, without succession, all historical events, as consequent terms of this divine knowing, are equally present to it. Moreover divine causative knowledge has determined the existence of a real relation of dependence of the effect of participation of ordinary human beings in the transitus of Jesus on the presence of the historical saving acts of Jesus.
The divine action of the Spirit, the agency of the human living of Jesus, and the effect of divine adoption, together with the psychological aspect of conformity to the meritorious attitudes of Christ, are coexistent in the properly disposed person. Therefore, insofar as the human life and activity of Jesus modifies the sanctifying action of the Holy Spirit, it may be said that there is a real presence of the saving acts of Jesus in the beneficiary of this divine action. However, it is not to be understood as a localizing of the presence of the historical salvific acts of Jesus which have taken on a supratemporal character. All such postulates fail to make the distinction between the eternity of God and the consequent terms that flow from the divine eternal knowing, willing, and acting.
The ultimate intelligibility of the historical salvific acts of Jesus does not depend on the coordinates of space and time in which they occur in history. The divine plan excludes this idea. Rather the intelligibility is determined by the divine plan of salvation, in which the single transitus of Jesus from suffering to glorification is made the only way of salvation for the world. Concretely this means that in virtue of the divine causative knowledge there exists a real relation of dependence: the effect of the participation of ordinary human beings in the mystery of God in Christ is dependent on the presence of the historical saving acts of Jesus--of Jesus as agent of modification of the sanctifying action of the Holy Spirit.
This eternal activity of the Spirit is found as a consequent term in the believer. But this divine action, which effects the divinization of the willing subject, is modified by the historical salvific acts of Jesus so as to bring about the transmission of the spiritual attitudes of Jesus by which the believer is enabled to respond properly to the offer of divinization and thereby participate proleptically in the single transitus of Jesus from the world to the Father.
The continued presence of the historical transitus of Jesus from suffering to glory in this economy of salvation is not to be conceived as a localized presence but rather as a metaphysical presence. It consists in the modification of the sanctifying action of the Holy Spirit by which the meritorious attitudes of Christ are communicated to willing subjects to the end that they are enabled to join in the acceptable response of Jesus to the Father. Therefore it follows that the historical salvific acts of Jesus need not be repeated in the liturgical celebration.
McNamara sheds further light on the possibility of the efficacious presence of the historical salvific acts of Jesus in the economy of salvation by recalling the teaching of St. Thomas Aquinas concerning the role of this presence in effecting the conformity to Christ. The Angelic Doctor, as was noted above, describes the salvific acts of Jesus as the instrumental efficient cause employed by the principal efficient cause, namely the action of God, and which co-exist with the principal cause; for in the perspective of a realist metaphysics the cause, instrument, and effect are coexistent.
Participating in the Mystery of God in Christ by Sharing in the Faith of Christ
Participation in the mystery of God in Christ takes place, on the side of the creature being sanctified, by a response of faith to the offer of grace, the gift of the Holy Spirit. But how is this act of faith related to participation in the mystery of God in Christ? As the response to the offer of grace, the act of faith is the way by which the event of God's self-communication is actualized. By its very nature the act of faith is not simply a necessary condition for participation in the mystery of God in Christ. It is, rather, the way of participation in the mystery of salvation, the divine life of the triune God. Moreover this manner of participation in the mystery of God in Christ has a peculiar Christological dimension.
Viewed Christologically, the analysis of the essence of faith leads to the conclusion that believers participate in the mystery of God in Christ by a "participation in the faith of Christ."(121) Hans Urs von Balthasar explains that the faith of Christ himself belongs to the mystery of God in Christ, for it is the embodiment of the covenant of humanity with the Father--the sealing of the covenant of humanity with the Father on the side of humanity. Balthasar speaks of an "ontic" participation of believers in the faith of Christ which makes possible their conformity to the meritorious response of Christ in view of what the Father has done in him for the salvation of the world.
This Christologically qualified faith is not a first step, something that stands before the mystery, but the first and indispensable way of sharing in the mystery. Through it the faithful are enabled to express and realize their participation in the response of Christ's self-offering to the Father. This enablement results from the divine action effecting the transmission of the sacrificial attitude of Christ.
The idea that believers participate in the faith of Christ is suggestive. However this notion needs to be qualified more exactly since no one participates in the personal faith of Christ which, by definition, is incommunicable. Rather we should speak of a "participation in the Spirit of the faith of Christ," namely, in the Holy Spirit who was the source of the life of faith of the incarnate Lord.(122) The Holy Spirit is identifiable as the mediation of the personal immediacy of the believers to Christ and of the divinely transmitted conformity to the spiritual attitudes of Christ, whereby believers are enabled to offer acceptable worship to God in union with that of Jesus Christ.
Bringing the foregoing insights together and ordering them to one another, the following formula results: The liturgical assembly is represented, or presented continually, to the historical salvific acts of Jesus by the divine activity in the medium of the ecclesial ritual prayer and accompanying symbolic action. Correspondingly, the historical salvific acts are rendered present to the liturgical assembly as instrumental cause modifying the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit. The efficacy of the divine action includes both the participation in the Spirit of the faith of the incarnate Word, by whose inspiration Jesus responded to the Father's covenantal initiative, and the proleptic participation in the single transitus of Jesus from suffering to glory. The former effect derives from the psychological aspect of the action of the Holy Spirit which consists in the transmission of the meritorious attitudes of Christ. By this activity of the Spirit the recipient is rendered capable of uniting freely with Christ in his acceptable response of faith and thereby receives a share in the blessing of the new covenant from the Father of all blessings through grace, the gift of the Holy Spirit.
The foregoing description favors the scholastic concept of sacrament insofar as it situates the presence of the salvific acts of Jesus in the overall effect of the action of the Holy Spirit on the participant of the liturgical activity. It is opposed to Casel's theology of mysteries insofar as he conceives a sacramental symbol as holy in itself in virtue of the sacramental presence of the historical salvific acts of Jesus "under the veil of the symbol." On the contrary, from the viewpoint of key aspects of the systematic salvation-history, liturgical theology of eucharistic sacrifice outlined above, the sacramental symbol is considered holy insofar as the grace signified by it is present therein by extrinsic denomination. In other words, the grace of the sacrament is in the recipient and not in the sacramental symbol. Nevertheless there exists a real relation of dependence between the conferral of the grace and the sacramental symbol. The conferral of the grace which is signified by the sacrament is dependent on the accomplishment of the sacramental symbolical action. This real relation is grounded on divine institution.(123)
The foregoing theology of the eucharistic sacrifice derived from the analysis of the Eucharistic Prayer and accompanying symbolic action displays characteristic traits that clash with the average modern Catholic synthesis. However this should not cause problems for the theologian; for different starting points can and do produce different results. Above all it is fruitless to attempt to refute the findings of the one theological approach by the other. Rather, the basic problem concerns the relative value of the different theologies.
It should be constantly recalled that the Western scholastic approach to sacramental theology in general, and the Eucharist in particular, concentrates on the intensive study of specific themes by reducing the perspective fields. This type of concentration has, at times, resulted in important gains. However it has also led to loss of contact with the place of the subject under consideration within the whole of the economy of salvation.(124)
The most recent Catholic theological reflection on the Eucharist, which we have contrasted with the modern average Catholic synthesis, is attempting a new type of concentration, one that explicates a particular aspect of Christian life of faith by taking into account the basic structure of all aspects of the economy of salvation.
In the case of the Eucharist this new approach necessarily requires that attention be paid to the law of prayer as the preferred matrix into which the law of belief must be integrated. The first theological millennium awarded to the lex orandi a certain normative value with respect to the lex credendi. In the second millennium the lex credendi took pride of place. The reintegration of the lex credendi into the lex orandi, already begun at the end of this millennium, signals the contours of eucharistic theology that will characterize the third theological millennium. This task of renewal of eucharistic theology will require the restoring of the account of institution into the literary-theological movement of the whole Eucharistic Prayer, and the reversal of the ecclesiological and Christological dimensions in the systematic theology of the Eucharist.
(1) John Duns Scotus, Quaestiones quodlibetales, Quaestio 20. Opera omnia 26 (Paris: L. Vives, 1895) 298-331; Gabriellis Biel Canonis Missae Espositio, pars prima, lectiones 26-27, ed. Heiko A. Oberinan and W. T. Courtenay (Wiesbaden: Steiner, 1963) 240-73. See Edward J. Kilmartin, "The One Fruit and the Many Fruits of the Mass," Proceedings of the Catholic Theological Society of America 21 (1966) 37-69, at 50-51.
(2) The younger Aquinas taught that limited blessings are offered through the Mass ex opere operato; the older Aquinas is alleged to have attributed the Mass fruits only to the measure of the devotion of those who offer or for whom the Mass is offered. As regards the offering for the dead, the fruits measured by the devotion of the offerers are understood to be applied according to divine justice (Karl Rahner and Angelus Haussling, The Celebration of the Eucharist [New York: Herder & Herder, 1968] 47, 79, 81-82.
(3) Ansgar Vonier, A Key to the Doctrine of the Eucharist (Westminster, Md.: Newman, 1948) passim. Dom Odo Casel himself claimed support from Aquinas on the ground of Ansgar Vonier's systematic study. On the subject of the relation of Casel's theory to the teaching of Thomas Aquinas, cf. B. Paschmann, "'Mysteriengegenwart'im Licht des hl. Thomas," Theologische Quartalschrift 116 (1935) 53-115; J. Betz, Eucharistie in der Zeit der griechischen Vater I/l (Freiburg im Br.: Herder, 1955) 248.
(4) Thomas Aquinas, Summa theologiae (ST) 3, q. 78, a. 4 ad 3; a 2 ad 2.
(5) Burkhard Neunheuser, Eucharistie in Mittelalter und Neuzeit. Handbuch der Dogmengeschichte IV 4b (Freiburg im Br.: Herder, 1963) 41. See Polycarp Wegenaer, Heilsgegenwart: Das Heilswerk Christi und die virtus divina in den Sakramenten unter besonderer Berucksichtigung von Eucharistie und Taufe. Liturgiegeschichtliche Quellen und Forschungen 33 (Munster i. W., 1958) 63. Both Neunheuser and Wegenaer follow the lead of D. Winzen who concluded that Aquinas maintained the sacramental presence of the historical sacrifice of the cross on the basis that "the sacramental reality is strictly determined by the sacramental form" (Anmerkungen und Kommentar zu Band 30 der deutschen Thomas-Ausgabe: Die Geheimnis der Eucharistie [Salzburg: Pustet, 19381 566).
(6) B. Neunheuser, Eucharistie in Mittelalter und Neuzeit 40.
(7) Ferdinand Pratzner, Messe und Kreuzesopfer: Die Krise der sakramentalen Idee bei Luther und in der mittelalterlichen Scholastik. Wiener Beitrage zur Theologie 29 (Wien: Herder, 1970) 70-75. Alexander Gerken agrees with Pratzner, but he attributes Aquinas's position to the lack of a relational ontology of the person. According to Gerken such an ontology implies the presence of the historical passion wherever the risen Lord is present. Christ who became the man for others through the actualization of his relational nature is present sacramentally as the one who offered himself to the Father for us. Person and act are inseparable ("Kann sich die Eucharistielehre andern?" Zeitschrift fur katholische Theologie 97 [19751 427 n. 17).
(8) ST 3, q. 79, a. 1.
(9) Summa contra gentiles 1.65-67; ST 1, q. 14, a. 13.
(10) Summa contra gentiles 2.35.
(11) De veritate 27.4.
(12) In 1 Cor 15, lect. 2.
(13) ST 3, q. 56, a. 1 ad 3.
(14) ST 1-2, q. 112, a. 1 ad 1.
(15) The metaphysical analysis of efficient causality yields the following conclusions. The agent and effect are simultaneously present to one another. The agent is not present before the effect of the action is realized. The action is identical with the effect, and not in the agent, nor between the agent and effect. "Power" is not really different from the action, and so not from the effect. The instrument used by the agent is itself an agent acting, insofar as it is used by the principal agent. Therefore the intelligibility of the action is not to be sought in the instrument, but in the agent. From these considerations it is concluded that efficient causality is the relation of effect to cause, and its reality is found in the effect as proceeding from the cause. The change is the effect; the agent is not changed by acting.
(16) Scriptum super libros Sententiarum 4, d. 24, q. 2, a. 2 ad 2.
(17) Mary M. Schaefer, Twelfth Century Latin Commentaries on the Mass: Christological and Ecclesiological Implications (Ann Arbor, Michigan: University Microfilms, 1983) cites, among others, the following early-twelfth-century authors who hold that there is no place for eucharistic sacrifice outside the Church: Odo of Cambrai (d. 1113), Expositio in canonem missae (PL 160.1061D) 71 n. 200; Rupert of Deutz (1075-1129) 114-15 n. 349; Honorius Augustodiensis (fl. ca. 1098-1130), Eucharisticon chap. 5 (PL 172.1252D) and chap. 6 (PL 172.1253B-C) 164; Stephen of Autun (bishop: 1112-1135, d. 1139/40), Tractatus de sacramento altaris (PL 172.1273-1308) 361.
(18) Gerhoh of Reichersberg argued that the sacraments of heretical and schismatical priests are invalid (Epistola ad Innocentium Papam [A.D. 1131], in Lites imperatorum et pontificum, ed. E. Sackur, Monumenta Germaniae historica 3 [18971 221-22). He was opposed by Bernard of Clairvaux and called to Rome (1133) since the question was disputed. The Summa sententiarum (Otto of Lucca, d. 1146) holds Masses celebrated by excommunicated and manifest heretical priests to be invalid because the priest says, "we offer"; one offers ex persona totius ecclesiae (Schaefer 332). Lothar of Segni (1160/61-1216) understands that the priest sacrifices "in totius ecclesiae persona" (Schaefer 456) "as long as the priest remains with the others in the Ark" and uses the form handed on by the tradition (Schaefer 456). The Epistola de sacramentis hereticorum (ed. E. Sackur, MGH 3.12-20) teaches that the heretical priest has the sacrament of the priesthood intus, but loses the potestas et virtus of the priesthood foris. Hugo of St. Victor and Alger of Lidge maintain that priests outside the Church celebrate valid but not fruitful eucharistic sacrifices (Josef Finkenzeller, Die Lehre von den Sakramenten im Allgemeinen. Handbuch der Dogmengeschichte IV/1 [Freiburg im Br.: Herder, 1988] 104-5).
(19) DS 690 = Henricus Denzinger and Adolfus Schonmetzer, eds., Enchiridion Symbolorum, 36th ed. (Barcelona/Rome: Herder, 1965) no. 690.
(20) DS 700.
(21) PL 0148.811 (= Concilium Romanum VI).
(24) The phrase cooperante Spiritu sancto is found in the second communion prayer of the priest in the Roman liturgy (Domine Iesu Christi), where it refers to the cooperation of the Holy Spirit in the redemptive death of Jesus. It remains an optional prayer in the Missal of Paul VI. This prayer first appeared in private prayer books of the late ninth century: the Prayer Book of Charles the Bald and the mixed Gallican Sacramentary of Amiens. In the eleventh century it is found in a version of communion devotions of Monte Cassino as a prayer for communicants; see n. 65 below.
(27) In his De Trinitate 1.5, Rupert of Deutz (1075-1129) holds the Western version of the procession of the Spirit from the Father filioque (PL 167.1574D-E), but seems to maintain the Eastern understanding of the personal and proper mission of the Holy Spirit in the Incarnation. The Word is said to bestow the imago dei on his humanity, while to the Spirit is attributed the effect similitudo dei, the likeness of the common love of Father and Son (1.10; PL 167.1579C-D). Rupert's commentary on the Fourth Gospel attributes the eucharistic conversion to the assumption of the bread and wine by the Word: "And thus the Word . . . is made visible bread by assimilating and transferring bread into the unity of his person" (Ruperti Tuitiensis Commentaria in evangelium sancti Iohannis, Corpus Christianorum Continuatio Mediaevalis 9 (1959) 2212-17, p. 357). But in his commentary on Exodus, Rupert explicitly attributes the virginal conception, the self-offering of Jesus on the cross, and the conversion of the bread and wine to the proper operation of the Spirit: "The Virgin conceived him by the Holy Spirit and through the same Spirit . . . this one offered himself a living victim to the living God" (In Exod. 2.10 [ibid. 443-451) . . . "by the operation of the Holy Spirit, the bread is made the body and the wine the blood of Christ" (In Exod. 2. 11 [ibid. 446-471).
(28) Between these two extremes of the Latin tradition regarding the nature of the sacraments of the body and blood, exemplified by St. Ambrose of Milan and St. Augustine of Hippo respectively, eventually an important speculative consideration had to be introduced. It is the matter of the distinction between the historical body and the eucharistic body of the incarnate Word, and the relation of the one to the other. St. Jerome (d. 419), in his commentary on Eph 1:7, makes the following observation: "Indeed the blood of Christ and the body are understood in a twofold sense, either that spiritual and divine, about which he himself said, "My flesh is truly food" (John 6:54) and "Unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood" (John 6:54), or the flesh and blood which was crucified and shed by the lance of the soldier (John 19:30 [Comm. in Eph 1.1.7; PL 26:451A-B]). Jerome does not explain more precisely the relationship between the two. But he appears to acknowledge a level of being of the historical body of Christ in the sacrament. This theological problem remained alive throughout the first millennium. It was inherited by early scholasticism and became a primary subject of theological reflection in the wake of the controversy over the somatic real presence of Christ under forms of bread and wine, occasioned by theological speculation of the eleventh-century Berengar of Tours.
(29) Credimus enim angelos assistere sacerdoti quando consecrat. Unde legitur super Sententias: 'In momento consecratur corpus Christi et in coelum rapitur ministerio angelorum consociandum corpori Christi.' Sint autem hic tria verba quae ad tria sint referenda, nam consecrari ad panem, rapi ad formam, consociari vero ad corpus Domini retorquetur (Cod. Misc. Patr. 136, Statl. Bibliothek, Bamberg, fol. 67vb). The Summa Bambergensis witnesses to the old terminology and the effort to attribute to it the current theological understanding of consecration as applied to the Eucharist (Ludwig Hodl, "Die Transsubstantiationsbegriff in der scholastischen Theologie des 12. Jahrhunderts," Recherches de theologie ancienne et medievale 31  232).
(30) "Consecrantur autem panis et vinum, non corpus et sanguis, sed illa in corpus Christi et sanguinem" (fol. 101ra).
(31) Among the early witnesses to the scholastic theology of the essential form of consecration of the eucharistic bread and wine are Ivo of Chartres (1040-1115), who says that the priest imitates the person of Christ when he recites the words of institution of the Eucharist (Schaefer 235), and Hildebert of Le Main (ca. 1053 -1133), who depicts the priest as "vices Christi" (Schaefer 276), or one who "acts in place of Christ" by reciting the words of institution (Schaefer 269).
(32) Among modern commentators on the subject of Ambrose's view of the liturgical time of the transformation of the eucharistic elements, Raymond Johanny provides a survey of the various opinions (L'Eucharistie centre de l'histoire de salut chez saint Ambrose de Milan, Theologie historique 9 [Paris: Beauchesne, 1968] 104-124). Johanny himself prefers the theory that the Fac nobis section of the fourth-century Milanese eucharistic prayer "accomplishes the mystery" (ibid. 124). He argues that an epiclesis of sanctification of the eucharistic gifts was lacking in the Eucharistic Prayer of Milan (ibid. 125-34). In a still more recent discussion of this subject contained in his study of the ancient liturgy of Milan, Josef Schmitz concurs with Johanny that the canon of Ambrose does not have an epiclesis of consecration (Gottesdienst im altchristlichen Mailand: Eine liturgiewissenschaftliche Untersuchung uber Initiation und Messfeier wahrend des Jahres der Zeit des Bishofs Ambrosius (d. 397), Theophaneia 25 [Bonn, 1975] 7). He bases this conclusion on the fact that Ambrose explicitly attributes the consecration to the words of Jesus (ibid. 403). He refers to De sacramentis 4.4.14; 4.5.23 (Corpus scriptorum ecclesiasticorum Latinorum 73.52, 56). See also Schmitz's bibliographical notes on the literature about the teaching of Ambrose on this unresolved debate (ibid. 408-10).
(33) Council of Trent, Doctrina de ss. missae sacrificio, Cap. 1: ". . . Deus et Dominus noster . . . in Coena novissima . . . ut Ecclesiae visibile . . . relinqueret sacrificium, quo cruentum illud semel in cruce peragendum repraesentaretur . . ." (DS 1740). AAS 39 (1947) 521-95; excerpts in DS 3840-55.
(35) Perhaps a better way of rendering this somewhat unusual phrase would be: "not in that uncertain and vague way in which certain recent writers express it."
(36) AAS 39 (1947) 580; DS 3855.
(39) Ibid. 532; DS 3844.
(40) Ibid. 548; DS 3847-48.
(40a) Ibid. 580.
(41) "...qui docent 'Mysteria' in cultu liturgico praesentia esse, non historice sed mystice ac sacramentaliter, sed tamen realiter" (AAS 46 [19541 669; and see the footnote to DS 3855).
(42) Hild, "L'encyclique 'Mediator Dei'et le mouvement liturgique de Maria-Laach," La Maison Dieu 14  15-29.
(43) Bellarmine included the idea that the consumption of the body and blood is an essential part and not merely an integral part required for the integrity of the eucharistic sacrifice. This insight stems from the biblical notion that sacrifice and meal are inseparable. However the connection was based on the theory that sacrifice requires real or virtual destruction.
(44) Robertus Bellarminus, Controversiarum de sacramento Eucharistiae, lib. 2 (=De sacrificio Missae lib. 2.4; ed. J. Fbvre, Opera Omnia 4 [Paris: Vivbs, 1873] 373a).
(45) Bellarmine, De sacrificio Missae 1.27; ed. Fevre, 4.366a; DS 3851.
(46) AAS 39 (1947) 554; DS 3851.
(47) De sacriftcio Missae 2.4; ed. J. Fevre, 4.373-74.
(48) AAS 39 (1947) 553; DS 3850.
(49) Ibid. 555-56; DS 3852.
(50) Ibid. 548; DS 3847.
(51) DS 1743.
(52) AAS 39 (1947) 548-49; DS 1348-49.
(53) Ibid. 548; DS 3848.
(54) DS 1651, 1653.
(55) AAS 39 (1947) 548-49; DS 1348.
(56) Ibid. 563; DS 3854.
(57) Lumen gentium 10 (AAS 57  14).
(58) Inter Insignores (AAS 69  108 - 13, at par. 32 = Declaration on the Question of the Admission of Women to the Ministerial Priesthood [Washington: U. S. Catholic Conference, 1976] art. 5, p. 14).
(59) AAS 75 (1983) 1001-09.
(60) Ibid. 1000.
(61) Ibid. 1006; quotations are from Pope John Paul II's Lenten letter Dominicae cenae no. 8 (AAS 72  128-29).
(62) De ss. Eucharistiae Mysterio et Cultu, Dominicae cenae nos. 8-9 (AAS 72  113-148, at 127-34).
(63) Ibid. 128-29.
(64) Rom 8:32; John 3:16, etc.
(65) On the cross Jesus offered himself in the Spirit, source of his habitual, personal, individual, and incommunicable grace. Hebrews 9:14 refers to the active role of the "eternal Spirit in the event of self-offering of Jesus on the cross ... who offered himself without blemish to God through the eternal Spirit." After the development of the theology of the Spirit, patristic exegetes frequently identify the "eternal Spirit" with the Holy Spirit (John McGrath, "Through the Eternal Spirit: A Historical Study of the Exegesis of Hebrews 9:13-14" (Dissertation, Rome: Gregorian University, 19611). Examples of the rare use of the verse in liturgical sources are listed in E. J. Kilmartin, Culture and the Praying Church. Canadian Studies in Liturgy 5 (Ottawa: Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, 1990) 86-87, n. 7. The meaning of Hebrews 9:14 is disputed among exegetes. Heribert Muhlen reaches the dogmatic conclusion that the cooperation of the Holy Spirit in the event of the cross is the prophetic, pneumatic inclusion of all the just ones who will later be drawn into Jesus' self-offering through the same Spirit. This furnishes him with the theological explanation of how the sacrifice of the cross is made present in the liturgy of the Church (Una Mystica Persona, 2d rev. ed [Munich: Schoningh, 1967] nos. 8.90-8.97).
(66) Lumen gentium no. 6.
(67) Dominicae cenae no. 9.
(69) Origins 21, no. 28 (19 December 1991) 441-47.
(70) ARCIC I Final Report (London: SPCK, 1982. .
(71) Ibid. 13-14.
(72) Ibid. 18-20.
(73) "Vatican Responds" 445.
(74) Ibid. 41.
(75) Ibid. 445.
(76) Ibid. 35.
(77) Ibid. 445.
(78) For a brief history of the crucial developments on this theme which took place in Catholic theology from 1945 down to 1970, see Edward J. Kilmartin, Sacramental Theology: The Eucharist in Recent Literature," TS 32 (1971) 233-77, at 232-45). During the last two decades the situation has remained stable.
(79) On this subject we have the witness of Peter of Capua who, after reviewing the various contemporary theories, concluded in his Summa quaestionum (A.D 1201-2): "It is not an article of faith to believe that conversion is made thus or so, but only to believe that the body of Christ is on the altar at the pronouncement of the words." See E. J. Kilmartin, "Sacramental Theology" 244.
(80) E. J. Kilmartin, "The Official Vatican Response to BEM: Eucharist," Ecumenical Trends 17 (1988) 37-40, at 39.
(81) Ibid. 40.
(83) Cf. n. 27 above.
(84) Only a distinction of reason exists between the works of the divine persons in creation because there are no grounds for a real distinction of relations of individual divine persons to created works as such. But aspects of creation are appropriated (= strict sense) to a person because it suits the peculiarity of that person. The use of appropriation" in the strict sense is motivated by the desire to affirm that creation is a unified work of the triune God: identity of operation; differentiated work of persons (distinction of reason). On the other hand, there exists a real distinction between the works of divine persons in the sanctification of human realities because there exist real relations between individual divine persons and human persons. In this case "appropriation" in the wide sense is applicable, namely, the work proper to one divine person includes the work of the other two: differentiated work of one person includes the work of the other two: differentiated work of persons (real distinction); real unity of differentiated operations (perichoresis).
(85) DS 3326.
(86) DS 3814-15.
(87) Audience of Nov. 12, 1969 (Documentation catholique 66  1053-55). On the subject of Pope Paul VI's interest in the theology of the Holy Spirit, see E. J. Kilmartin, "Paul VI's References to the Holy Spirit in Discourses and Writings on the Second Vatican Council, 1963 - 1965," in Paolo VI e i problemi ecclesiologici al concilio, Colloquio internazionale di studio: Brescia, 19-21, settembre 1986 (Brescia: Pubblicazioni dell'Istituto Paolo VI, 1989) 399-406.
(88) De Spiritu Sancto in vita ecclesiae et mundi, May 18, 1986 (Vatican City, 1986) Introduction, no. 2, p. 6.
(89) Part 3, nos. 62, 88.
(90) Here the pope appears to follow the lead of the Second Vatican Council's Decree on Ecumenism which refers to the importance of recovering the pneumatological aspect of Christian worship by calling attention to the riches of Eastern liturgy, and noting ". with what love the Eastern Christians celebrate the sacred liturgy, especially the eucharistic mystery ... enter into communion with the most holy Trinity" (15a). The same council's Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy has the obligatory reference to the Holy Spirit where it speaks of the thanksgiving offered to God "through the power of the Holy Spirit" (no. 6). But in the section especially dedicated to the Eucharist the role of the Holy Spirit is not mentioned (nos. 47-58).
(91) Lumen gentium 48.
(92) Ibid. 8.
(93) Pius XII, encyclical letter Mediatordei, 20 November 1947, AAS 39 (1947) 562-63; DS 3854.
(94) Johannes Betz, among others, objects to Pius XII's description of the rite of Holy Communion as a "merely integrating part" in Mediator Dei: "The somatic real presence of Jesus makes possible the deepest encounter of Christ with the Christians and the Communion, the final end in any case of the symbolic meal, the indispensable act at least of the priest, completes it as an essential, not merely an integrating part (so Pius XII, DS 3854) of the sacrifice of the Eucharist" (J. Betz, "Eucharist, I. Theological, E. Theological Explanations," in Karl Pahner, ed., Encyclopedia of Theology: The Concise Sacramentum Mundi [New York: Seabury, 19751 458).
(95)E. J. Kilmartin, "The One Fruit and the Many Fruits" 61-63.
(96)Only a few early scholastic theologians refer to the reciprocal relation of the priest to Christ and the Church. But there is no development of this notion. The idea that the priest represents both Christ and Church is brought out by Bernold of Constance (1050-1100) who depicts the priest as "ambassador of Christ and embassy of the people to the Lord" (Schaefer 134). Honorius of Autun also views the priest as "ambassador of the Church to Christ; ambassador of Christ to us (embassy of Christ to us)" (Schaefer 158).
(97) Relevant publications on this subject by E. J. Kilmartin include "Apostolic Office, Sacrament of Christ," TS 36 (1975) 243-64; "Christ's Presence in the Liturgy," Emmanuel 82 (1976) 237-43 (a brief presentation based on the explanation given in "Apostolic Office, Sacrament of Christ" 105-112); "Pastoral Office and the Eucharist," Emmanuel 82 (1976) 312-18 (the witness of liturgical sources); Letter to America on the Declaration on the Ordination of Women, America 136 no. 9 (5 March 1977) 177-78; "Bishops and Presbyters as Representatives of Christ and the Church," in Leonard and Arlene Swidler, eds., Women Priests: A Catholic Commentary on the Vatican Document (N. Y.: Paulist, 1977) 295-301.
(98) E. J. Kilmartin, "The Active Role of Christ and the Holy Spirit in the Sanctification of the Eucharistic Elements," TS 45 (1984) 225-53, at 236-37.
(99) The One Fruit and the Many Fruits" 63-64.
(100) Angelus Haussling, "Odo Casel--Noch von Aktualitat," Archiv fur Liturgiewissenschaft 28 (1986) 377.
(101) Karl Lehmann, "Gottesdienst als Ausdruck des Glaubens," Liturgisches Jahrbuch 30 (1980) 197-214, at 211; Cesare Giraudo, Eucaristia per la chiesa. Prospettive teologiche sull'eucaristia apartire dalla "lex orandi" (Rome: Gregorian University, 1989) 210.
(102) C. Giraudo, La struttura letteraria della preghiera eucaristica. Saggio sulla genesi letteraria di'una forma. Toda veterotestamentaria, beraka guidaica, anafora cristiana. Analecta Biblica 92 (Rome: Biblical Institute, 1981).
(103) Regarding the preference for the employment of the concept in persona ecclesiae as the starting point for the analysis of the twofold representative role of the priest who presides at the Eucharist, see Giraudo, Eucaristia 336-45.
(104) Ibid. 520-56.
(105) The analysis which follows is dependent on that of C. Giraudo who offers an extended treatment of the subject in La struttura letteraria della preghiera eucaristica and to a lesser extent in Eucaristia per la chiesa. Cf. also E. J. Kilmartin, "Sacrificium Laudis: Content and Function of Early Eucharistic Prayers," TS 35 (1974) 268-87.
(106) The earliest legislation concerning the Eucharistic Prayer is found in canon 21 of the Breviarium Hipponense, which summarizes the acts of the Council of Hippo Regius of October 8, 393: "No one shall name the Father for the Son or the Son for the Father in prayers; and when one assists at the altar the oration shall be directed always to the Father." An explanation of this canon, its background, and later influence is given in E. J. Kilmartin, "Early African Legislation concerning Liturgical Prayer," Ephemerides liturgicae 99 (1985) 105-27. There is evidence for the practice of naming the Son in eucharistic prayers as the addressee in early Gallican and Spanish sources; a practice that probably originated as a reaction to the Arian heresy ("Early African Legislation" 108).
(107) On the evidence for the number of cups, see E. J. Kilmartin, "The Eucharistic Cup in the Primitive Liturgy," Catholic Biblical Quarterly 24 (1962) 32-43.
(108) "The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit" (Ps 51:17-19). The prayer of Azariah, inserted into Daniel between 3:23-3:24, and probably composed in Hebrew in the second or first century B.C., provides a good example of this concept: "And at this time there is . . . no burnt offering, or sacrifice, or oblation, or incense, no place to make an offering before thee. . . . Yet with a contrite heart and a humble spirit may we be accepted, as though it were with burnt offerings of rams and bulls . . . such may our sacrifice be in thy sight this day" (vv. 15-17. The same idea is found in Rom 12:1).
(109) Adversus haereses 4.17.4-18.6, at 18.1; see also 4.31.1 and 5. For a detailed presentation of this theme in Irenaeus, see Robert J. Daly, Christian Sacrifice: The Judaeo-Christian Background before Origen, Studies in Christian Antiquity 18 (Washington: Catholic University, 1978) 339-60.
(110) The Greek term eucharistia also embraces this twofold meaning, for it is related to eulogia, the latter being a translation of the Hebrew berakah which corresponds to "blessing." The root charis can refer to a gift bestowed or to a thankful response made to the giver of the gift. Correspondingly eucharistia, used to identify the substantive gift as gift, can also be used to describe the grateful response itself: the intentional giving back of the gift to the giver as a way of maintaining consciousness that the gift is a gift. In the old Church, theologians as well as texts of the divine liturgy emphasized the objective side. But the subjective side of Eucharist, the idea of the turning of the liturgical assembly to the divine Giver, was not neglected. In this act the community intentionally gives back itself, but also the gift, to the giver, not because it has no need of the gift but to acknowledge that the gift remains the gift of God, of which the community stands in constant need (J. Betz, "Die Eucharistie als--auch ethische-- Umsetzung von Glaubenseinsicht," in Berhard Fraling and Rudolf Hasenstab, eds., Die Wahrheit tun: Zur Umsetzung ethischer Einsicht: Festschrift zum 70. Geburtstag von Georg Teichtweier [Wurzburg: Echter, 1983] 93-107).
(111) Hans Bernard Meyer, Eucharistie: Geschichte, Theologie, Pastoral. Gottesdienst der Kirche, Handbuch der Liturgiewissenschaft, Teil 4 (Regensburg: Pustet, 1989) 455.
(112) E. J. Kilmartin, "Sacramental Theology," TS 32 (1971) 246.
(114) C. Giraudo, Eucaristia 620 n. 68.
(115) Betz explains that the eternal person of the Logos, acting through his humanity, is the active subject of the historical salvific acts. Because of this, the past saving deeds of Jesus "have a perennial quality" and are taken up into the glorified humanity which remains an efficacious instrument joined to the exalted Lord. As such the past saving acts can now assume a new spatio-temporal presence through and in a symbolic reality. "For the symbolic reality is an entity in which another being enters and reveals itself, is, and acts. The essence of a symbol is not its own physical reality, but the manifestation and presentation of the primary reality which is symbolized in it" (J. Betz, Eucharistie 458-59). See also J. Betz, "Die Gegenwart der Heilstat Christi," in Leo Scheffczyk et al., eds., Wahrheit und Verkundigung, Festschrift Michael Schmaus (Munich: Schoningh, 1967) 2.1807-26.
(116) Lothar Lies, "Verbalprasenz--Aktualprasenz--Realprasenz: Versuch einer systematischen Begriffsbestimmung," in L. Lies, ed., Praesentia Christi: Festschrift Johannes Betz zum 70. Geburtstag dargebracht von Kollegen, Freunden. Schulern (Dusseldorf: Patmos, 1984) 79-100.
(117) Hans Meyer, Eucharistie 448-49; also "Casels Idee der Mysteriengegenwart in neuer Sicht," ALW 28 (1986) 388-95.
(118) Concerning this point of view, confer Adolf Darlap, "Anamnesis: Marginalien zum Verstandnis eines theologischen Begriffs," ZKT 97 (1975) 80-86. Darlap treats the theme of anamnesis as repetition in the sense of the new appropriation of the past.
(119) Eucaristia 615 n. 53.
(120) Brian McNamara, "Christus Patiens in the Mass and Sacraments: Higher Perspectives," Irish Theological Quarterly 42 (1975) 17-35. E. J. Kilmartin, Christian Liturgy: Theology and Practice, vol. 1: Systematic Theology of Liturgy (Kansas City: Sheed Ward, 1988) favors the position of McNamara. H. B. Meyer's review article on Kilmartin's book finds promising the solution to the Mysteriengegenwart problem which is suggested there (ZKT 113 (1991) 24-38).
(121) Hans Urs von Balthasar, "Fides Christi," in Sponsa Verbi, Skizzen zur Theologie 2 (Einsiedeln: Johannes, 1961) 45-79, at 78-79; cf. Angelus Haussling, "Odo Casel--noch von Actualitat," ALW 28 (1986) 383-84.
(122) E. J. Kilmartin, "Sacraments as Liturgy of the Church," TS 50 (1989) 527-47, at 540-44.
(123) The outlook furnished by the insights of the modern authors cited in this section corresponds in great part to the original proposal of Gottlieb Sohngen (1892 -- 1971), Der Wesensautbau des Mysteriums, Grenzfragen zwischen Theologie und Philosophie 6 (Bonn, 1938). In a later work, Das sakramentale Wesen des MeBopfers (Essen: Augustin Wibbelt, 1946), Sohngen modified his original theory, developing the idea of the active and relative presence of sacrificial acts of Christ grounded on the sacramental action which is a sacrifice. This latter explanation was clarified further in his article "Christi Gegenwart in uns durch den Glauben," in Franz Xaver Arnold and Balthasar Fischer, eds., 2d ed., Die Messe in der Glaubensverkundigung (Freiburg: Herder, 1953) 14-28.
(124) One example is the concentration on the category of sacrament as a basic structure of all aspects of the economy of salvation; see E. J. Kilmartin, "Sacraments as Liturgy of the Church" 547.…