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One Flesh Union - Christ and the Church

De Maria's picture

What is the One Flesh Union concerning Christ and the Church?

I have posted a version of this question in the Biblical Studies because I believe it is a beautiful question to ponder. And another version in the interdenominational Discussions to see how we view this mystery as expressed in the Sacrament of Matrimony differently.

But I have really been waiting patiently and anxiously for quite a long time to post this particular question on this forum because in another discussion here, the Catholic view of the One Flesh Union between Christ and the Church was called blasphemous. Specifically this teaching from the Catechism.

795 Christ and his Church thus together make up the "whole Christ" (Christus totus). The Church is one with Christ. The saints are acutely aware of this unity:

Let us rejoice then and give thanks that we have become not only Christians, but Christ himself. Do you understand and grasp, brethren, God's grace toward us? Marvel and rejoice: we have become Christ. For if he is the head, we are the members; he and we together are the whole man. . . . The fullness of Christ then is the head and the members. But what does "head and members" mean? Christ and the Church.

Our redeemer has shown himself to be one person with the holy Church whom he has taken to himself.

Head and members form as it were one and the same mystical person.

A reply of St. Joan of Arc to her judges sums up the faith of the holy doctors and the good sense of the believer: "About Jesus Christ and the Church, I simply know they're just one thing, and we shouldn't complicate the matter."

Our understanding of the One Flesh Union between Christ and the Church is based upon this verse.
Ephesians 5:
30For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
31For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. 32This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

Now, it seems to me that our understanding lines up pretty well with Scripture.

And so, I posted this particular thread to see how your views contrast with the Catholic view of this greatest and most wonderful of mysteries.

Sincerely,

De Maria

JeffLogan's picture

jq cited excerpts from: AD

jq cited excerpts from:

AD PETRI CATHEDRAM (On Truth, Unity and Peace)
Pope John XXIII
Encyclical of Pope John XXIII On Truth, Unity and Peace, In A Spirit of Charity, promulgated on 29 June 1959

    Catholic tradition

    In this Eucharistic sacrifice Christ Himself, our Salvation and our Redeemer, immolates [to kill as a sacrifice] Himself each day... (ibid.)

DM replied, but he did not cite his source:

    What you have defined is the Protestant understanding of the word. But it is not thus understood by Catholics:

    IMMOLATION

    The actual or equivalent destruction of some material object as an act of sacrifice. When the destruction is done actually, the object is radically changed, as when an animal is killed or wine is poured out. When the destruction is not done but is equivalent, it is called mystical or symbolic, as occurs in the sacrifice of the Mass, where the separate consecration of the bread and wine symbolizes the separation of Christ's body and blood on Calvary. Christ does not actually die in the Mass, but he manifests his willingness to die symbolically by the double consecration. (Etym. Latin immolatio, sacrifice.)

    There you go.

jq replies;

If this is a catholic source please cite it. The confusion is now whether the mass is symbolic, as this definition states, or real, as Pope John XXIII stated. If it is merely symbolic then it does align better with Protestant teachings. But I don't think it is since then the bread and wine would only symbolize the body and blood of Christ rather than actually becoming the body and blood.

Let's substitute your definition rather than that of the dictionary and see what it says now.

"In this Eucharistic sacrifice Christ Himself, our Salvation and our Redeemer, [symbolizes the separation of His body and blood on Calvary] each day... [Christ does not actually die in the Mass, but he manifests his willingness to die symbolically by the double consecration.]"

There you go! It is now a Protestant teaching and that which Christ established with these words, "This do in remembrance of [my death]." It is not a real sacrifice but rather symbolic, representative, to serve as a reminder, of His death.

According to your definition the bread and wine does not become the actual body and blood of Christ else the immolation would be actual. With a mystical or symbolic destruction the immolation is not actual but is only equivalent, or symbolic--as would be the case where the body and blood are only representative of the body and blood of Christ. If the bread and wine actually become the body and blood of Christ then the immolation is actual. If the bread and wine are representative of the body and blood of Christ then the immolation is symbolic.

"When the destruction is done actually, the object is radically changed, as when an animal is killed or wine is poured out. When the destruction is not done but is equivalent, it is called mystical or symbolic, as occurs in the sacrifice of the Mass" --source unknown, quoted by DM.

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“The path of true piety is so plain as to require
but little political direction.” --George Washington,
re: absence of "Jesus Christ" in U.S. Constit

Fools find no pleasure in understanding but delight in airing their own opinions. -Proverbs 18:2 NIV



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