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Sunday, February 10, 2008

St. Ignatius on the Eucharist

Today I was doing my reading for one of my classes which delves into the Church Fathers, and I found the following quote from St. Ignatius Martyr (ie St. Ignatius of Antioch):

My Love has been crucified and there burns in me no passion for material things. I take no delight in corruptible food or in the dainties of this life. What I want is God's bread, which is the flesh of Christ, who came from David's line; and for drink I want his blood: and immortal love feast indeed!

St. Ignatius Martyr gave us many writings from the time he walked the earth, immediately following the time of the Apostles. He was a direct disciple of St. John the Apostle, and bishop of Antioch after St. Peter.

In another quote, he instructs us on unity in the Church under the hierarchy which was clearly already established:

Be careful, then, to observe a single Eucharist. For there is one flesh of our Lord, Jesus Christ, and one cup of His Blood that makes us one, and one altar, just as thee is one bishop along with the presbytery and the deacons, my fellow slaves.

St. Ignatius was fed to the lions on behalf of Jesus Christ. After his arrest, as he journeyed to Rome, he begged the people to allow him to go to his death, for he noted that to allow this gave greater glory to God; for, "Our God Jesus Christ, indeed, has revealed himself more clearly by returning to the Father." So he also desired to go to the Father, so that he could allow his death to be his final statement as to the truth of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ and His presence in the Eucharist.

1 comment:

Wayne said...

I heard something similar to this on our Catholic Radio station just the other day. I am no scholar in the Early Church Fathers, but when something so important in our faith is proven to have been established even as early as this (as I previously believed to be true without facts to prove it), I can't help but to be extremely proud to be in the One True Church!