The Mystery of Communion

Fr. Benedict posted a wonderful post about the mystical nature of communion – truly the body and blood of Christ. Many people ask, “If this is really the body and blood of Christ, why does it still look like bread? How do you know it’s not just bread and wine? It’s nothing more than a symbol.”

Our father Abba Arsenius told us of an inhabitant of Scetis, of
notable life and of simple faith; through his naivete he was deceived
and said, “The bread which we receive is not really the body of Christ,
but a symbol.” 

Two old men having learnt that he had uttered this saying, knowing
that he was outstanding in his way of life, knew that he had not spoken
through malice, but through simplicity. So they came to find him and
said, “Father, we heard a proposition contrary to the faith on the part
of someone who says that the bread which we receive is not really the
body of Christ, but a symbol.” 

The old man said, “It is I who have said that.” 

Then the old men exhorted him, saying, “Do not hold this position,
Father, but hold one in conformity with that which the catholic Church
has given us. We believe, for our part, that the bread itself is the
body of Christ, and that the cup itself is his blood, and this in all
truth and not a symbol. But as in the beginning, God formed man in his
image, taking the
 dust of the earth, without anyone being able to say that it  is not the image of God, even though it is not seen to be so [in other words, God took dust and endowed it with His own divine image in very reality, even though this image is invisible]; thus it is with the bread of which he said that it is his body; and so we believe that it is really the body of Christ.” 

The old man said to them, “As long as I have not been persuaded by the thing itself, I shall not be fully convinced.” 

So they said, “Let us pray God about this mystery throughout the
whole of the week, and we believe that God will reveal it to us.”

Read the rest

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