Holy Eucharist by Fr. Ripperger: Transcription

This content is taken from a lecture given by Fr. Chad Ripperger and it is transcribed here by Tony Capobianco.

Apparition of the Host to Saint Thomas Aquinas by Francesco de Mura. 1735. Google Art Project. This work is in the public domain. {{PD}}

Apparition of the Host to Saint Thomas Aquinas by Francesco de Mura. 1735. Google Art Project. This work is in the public domain. {{PD}}

Permission to transcribe Father’s lecture was sought and permission was granted. The copyright remains that of Sensus Traditionis.

© 2019, Fr. Chad Ripperger - All Rights Reserved. © Sensus Traditionis 

In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Amen.

Hail Mary, full of grace Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Queen of martyrs, pray for us.

In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Amen. 

Fr. Ripperger  0:18

 We come to the talk on the Holy Eucharist. The Eucharist is the Sacrament in which Christ under the forms of bread and wine is truly present with His body and blood in order to offer Himself in an unbloody manner to the Heavenly Father to give Himself to the faithful as nourishment for their souls. This definition contains all the essential elements of this Sacrament. The Eucharist is the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ; that is the whole of Christ who is really, truly, and substantially present. While the Eucharist is God, that is Christ, the accidents, that is the appearance of the bread and wine remain. This Sacrament is also called the Sanctissimum, which means the Most Holy and the Blessed Sacrament and the Sacred Host. The term Eucharist in Greek means to thank or Thanksgiving. In modern theological circles, the term Eucharist is almost exclusively used, so as to detract from the sacrificial aspects of the Sacrament. However the historical use of the term does not exclude but contains the sacrificial understanding, and in many cases is the predominant understanding of the term. It is by the light of Faith informed by the teaching of the Church which has passed on the teachings of Christ on the Sacrament that gives one the assurance of the presence of Christ. The form of the Sacrament is by nature sacrificial insofar as the form indicates the sacrificing of His Body and Blood in the expiation for sins. The Eucharist is sacrificial insofar as it is by the Eucharist that the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, is in fact a true sacrifice.

Fr. Ripperger  2:02

There are two levels of sacrifice in the Mass. The first is what we call the Sacramental Sacrifice and the second is what we call the Ritualistic Sacrifice. The Sacramental Sacrifice occurs when the priest consecrates the Body of Christ and then the Blood as poured out at Calvary is split Sacramentally by the consecration of the wine into the Blood of Christ. So that in point and fact Sacramentally we we say that Christ’s Body and Blood are split, just as they were on Calvary. So Sacramentally then the sacrifice occurs. But in the ritual, Ritualistic Sacrifice always includes three things: 1.) That is an offertory. You have to offer the victim to God. 2.) The second, you have to slay the victim. This occurs at the consecration. 3.) And then the third is you have to consume the victim. This is the pattern which God set up in the Old Testament and so something isn't a Ritualistic Sacrifice unless it contains all three elements. It's for this reason, for example, if the priest consecrates the Body and Blood and then keels over then another priest has to come in to finish up and to consume the victim in order for it to be a Ritualistic Sacrifice and this stems back all the way to the Old Testament.

Fr. Ripperger  3:24

Since the Eucharist is God, worship is due to Christ as present in the Eucharist. This Sacrament is very important since it teaches man that things of the senses are there for us to come to knowledge of spiritual realities. When we see the accidents of the bread by the supernatural virtue of Faith, we know that God is present. This helps man to direct his life of the senses to God by looking beyond the life of the senses to something deeper. On another level God knows that man has a natural desire for physical closeness to things which he loves and this is due to the nature of his body/soul composite. This is why it is not enough for someone to merely hear the beloved’s voice, but he actually wants to see and to touch the beloved. One can physically go to the local presence of the species of bread and wine. Now, what does this mean? If I take the Host and I move it from one location to another, have I moved Christ’s Body? and they say, “yes”. The answer is No, I haven't moved Christ’s Body. What I've done is I've moved the accidents of the bread. Christ’s Body is in heaven. He is present substantially, not locally. So that means that I can point to It and say, “That’s God”, but you don't say that He’s present locally. So when I move Him, I'm actually moving the species of bread and wine.

Fr. Ripperger  4:42

And so we can go to where the species of bread and wine are and experience a kind of closeness with Christ because of the fact that we know He’s substantially present and we know that which is contained in the appearance of bread and wine is God. As a result there's a certain fulfillment in man, in knowing that God is physically present. In this respect it is easier for man to direct his faculties towards worshiping God Whom He knows is substantially present to him.

Fr. Ripperger  5:10

God's presence is of four kinds and this is quite important that people get this straight, because there's always some theological moron who comes along and says, “Christ is just as present in the Eucharist as He is in the Word.” Well it’s just silly.

Fr. Ripperger  5:25

1.) The first is what we call causal presence since there is a principle called causal presence, which states that the cause is always present to the effect; that is anytime in the process of beginning a thing it's always present to the effect when it's causing it. In this respect, God is everywhere as cause present to the effect. However, God is not in a place. Rather the effects, that is creation, that come from God are in a place, and He is present causally there, not locally. In this respect, God has no accidents, by accidents we mean, part of it is being in a place. We having physical bodies are in a place. You don't say that God is in a place, because that implies that He’s circumspect or that He’s finite. However He is infinite, so He’s never in a place, but the affects that He causes unfold in certain places.

Fr. Ripperger  6:21

2.) The second is that God is present spiritually, as when we say, “where two or more gathered in His name, He is there in their midst” as we read in Matthew 8:20. By spiritually present it is meant God listens to our prayers and is operative in the order of grace. So in other words, He’s there helping us out, listening to us.

Fr. Ripperger  6:37

3.) The third is that God is present by means of sanctifying grace. This is His presence by analogy and by participation in His divine nature. So anytime somebody is in the state of sanctifying grace, God is present by participation in them because the sanctifying grace of course is the indwelling of the Holy Trinity in the soul and so the Trinity is there by participation. Incidentally if it’s all mystifying don't worry about it, the theologians are still working on it. Alright.

Fr. Ripperger  7:08

4.)The last is substantial presence in the Eucharist. These are the forms in which God is present in some way as opposed to God being present in mind only. For example when we say that God is present in the Scriptures, this is merely an implicit or mental presence as we read the words even though He is causally the origin of the writings by means of inspiration. In the modern context, due to a lack of metaphysics, these various modes of presence have been blurred and often equated. They say that they’re the same. However such a blur is neither Catholic nor helpful, but actually harmful to people's Faith and proper intellectual understanding. I have always asked some guys, “Do you believe that Christ is as present in the Word as He is in the Eucharist?” They reply, “Yea”. Then I say, “Go and eat the book.” In effect, modern blurring of these presences is psychologically harmful to people because it leaves them in confusion. The substantial presence of Christ in the Eucharist can bring great consolation to the soul. Frequently adoring Our Lord, either exposed in Adoration or merely present in the tabernacle can greatly aid us spiritually. His presence in the Eucharist is a sign that God is providing for man both because the Blessed Sacrament comes into presence at the Mass during the consecration since the Mass participates in the Calvary sacrifice from which all grace and blessings flow, but it is also a form of providence in the form of Holy Communion. Holy Communion of course, is the reception of the Sacrament and the chief fruit of the Eucharist is an intrinsic union of the recipient with Christ. In other words we become one with Him in some way. Christ, that is God Himself becomes food for the soul, preserves, and increases our spiritual, our supernatural life.

Fr. Ripperger  8:59

Therefore, this Sacrament provides for us spiritually so man can be assured that God's Providence for him is not wanting, just by gazing upon the sacred species; that is the Sacred Host which we receive in Holy Communion. It  provides principally by means of an increase in sanctifying grace, which increases  the infused virtues and the gifts of Holy Ghost as well as actual graces. So every time we receive the Holy Eucharist, there's an increase of sanctifying grace and as a result, God infuses in the soul, more of the theological virtues and the other infused virtues. And He also increases the gifts of the Holy Ghost, that we are  more easily moved by Him. This Sacrament therefore has its own sacramental graces that it begets, so it's like Confession. Well in one sense it is the reception of substantial grace, that’s the term which we call God Himself. Grace is something that makes you pleasing. Well, God just looks at Himself, “I'm just pleased with myself”, He says. Us on the other hand, we can't do that too much, because there's not much to be pleased with. So we have to look at God and say, “That’s pleasing.” So God is substantial grace. It also begets accidental grace in the soul. So He is grace itself. In His essence, He’s  grace itself and then we participate in His nature and then we participate accidentally, we have accidental grace in the soul. Hence there is an increase in sanctifying grace, which makes later acts that we perform more meritorious. So when we receive Holy Communion, you know people say, “Well, my prayers aren’t very efficacious. My prayers aren’t very efficacious.”  And I always tell them, “Then go to Communion.” If you go to Communion, you increase the amount of grace you have and as a result your actions merit more. That’s one of the reasons why the saints prayers are more efficacious. Why Is it that some say the Hail Mary and all of the sudden, “boom!” it comes about and I labor, labor, and labor? Well, it's probably the state of your soul.

Fr. Ripperger  10:56

We're encouraged to receive Holy Communion daily if possible to increase the amount of sanctifying grace in our souls so that all of the works which we do are more efficacious and more likely to be granted. By the frequent attendance at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the frequent reception of Holy Communion, one can grow in holiness and the infused virtues and gifts of The Holy Spirit will ever more dominate his life. So if you're trying to overcome imperfections and things of this sort, then you ought to receive Communion more frequently and the more often you receive it, the more grace that you get for it and therefore the more God infuses the virtues and so the easier the moral life becomes. This also means that by reception Holy Communion we can offer the merit of the reception for others, and therefore merit the grace that they need and this is of course very consoling for parents, whose children very often are mongrels.

Fr. Ripperger  11:47

Christ also pledged another effect of Holy Communion, and that is heavenly bliss and the future resurrection of the body. Since man is ordered towards perfect beatitude, this Sacrament becomes the means to that beatitude in two ways. 1.) One, it is the reception of the Sacrament in Holy Communion. So in that sense, you're receiving the very thing that causes one to be happy. 2.) The second is by virtue of the fact that only God saves. The Sacrament is God, therefore only this Sacrament can save. Of course I'm sure you've heard that, you know the Protestants who don't have valid holy orders... we always say that they have the real absence. Not the real presence. Alright. This also reveals itself by virtue of the fact that this Sacrament is at once God who alone can bring man to perfect beatitude, since it is beyond man's capacities, but that this Sacrament is the sacrifice by which the means to eternal beatitude, namely grace, are restored. So when Christ hung upon the cross in which the Mass is the re-presentation of that, the sacramental species are split, and so we re-present the sacrifice upon the cross in which the ability for us to reach heaven has been restored by means of that. Since grace is the means to eternal beatitude, this Sacrament alone is that which can provide eternal life. Since God entrusted to the Catholic Church alone the protection and administration of the Sacraments and since this Sacrament is the means of salvation, being a Catholic provides one with the greatest means of salvation. Being Catholic therefore also provides one with the greatest means of grace, since by being a Catholic one may receive Holy Communion according to the intention of God, which provides the greatest means to increase grace upon which the supernatural curing of our problems or spiritual difficulties is brought about. And So as a result, being a Catholic is very efficacious for us because God intended that all people have the normal means of sanctification. One of the normal means of sanctification is Holy Communion.

Fr. Ripperger  14:06

People who receive Holy Communion outside the Church, knowing that it is contrary to the will of God, sin gravely by doing so. Even if they don't know it, God isn’t pleased with it because objectively He doesn't want the Sacraments outside of the Church. St. Thomas Aquinas asks the question and this is something which I always leave people with, although I’m still going to go on here..... He (St. Thomas) asks the question, “If I do something objectively sinful but I think it's good, do I receive grace for it?” In other words, do I merit anything? And he says, “No.” He says You have to actually be doing something that's truly good to actually merit something in the eyes of God. It’s not just that you think it is, it has to truly be good. And if the Protestants are in fact offending God by receiving Communion outside of the communion the Church, it means that when every time that they receive Communion, even if there's no sin on their part, they merit nothing in the process.

Fr. Ripperger  15:07

In order to receive Holy Communion worthily, one must be baptized, in the state of grace, and Catholic. And of course, you have to meet the fasting requirements of the Church. If one cannot receive Holy Communion, either because he is in a state of mortal sin or because he is physically or morally unable, he should try and make spiritual communions and this is particularly important for guys who work, who can't get to Mass every day, they should try and make a spiritual communion sometime during the day. Now, you don't receive the same amount of grace for spiritual communions, but you do receive graces, you do receive an increase in grace by spiritual communion, which helps your prayers to be more efficacious. Reception in the  state of mortal sin is considered the worst kind of sacrilege. Priests and others who have encouraged the faithful to receive Holy Communion in the state of mortal sin, aside from their spiritual reality of offending God, have seriously affected the spiritual well being of the faithful by telling them to do so. It's one of those strange things. I always tell people, “Look it, there are two kinds of effects of sin. 1.) Those which flow from the subjective element in sin. 2.) And those which flow from the objective element.” Well what’s that mean? It means this: You know, if someone's going to commit fornication, and you tell them, “Look, don't tell them and that way they won't suffer the effects of the sin.” Well she could still get pregnant. She could still have bad habits. There's different things that happen to people when they do these (sins) and these are the natural effects of sin. So you suffer them whether you like it or not. So this is one of the reasons why you don't leave people in their sin, even if subjectively they haven't committed any sin, which has its own set of disorders, they still become disordered because its own objective effects. Well, it's the same thing here. When people receive Holy Communion in the state of mortal sin, they themselves might not suffer the subjective effects, but they do objectively offend God and therefore when they realize that, then somebody's got to as I said before, clean up the mess. Which means because they are the one involved, it’s really incumbent upon them to clean up the mess. It's also one of those things, that one time, I found this rather interesting. I was at Ave Maria law school for a series of lectures, listening to a series of lectures, and one of the guys from the Heritage Foundation got up and he said, “Well, the very problem in the Church is the Mass.” And I said to myself that, “I wasn’t the one who said it. Don’t everybody look at me.” So fortunately, most people didn't know who I was so I could remain covert. He (the lecturer) says, “No it’s the Mass.” He says, “People  are coming to Communion, repeatedly and in large numbers receiving it in the state of mortal sin. It is becoming offensive to God.” And everyone just stood there, stunned in silence and that's the whole point. Even If there is no subjective effects to the sin, objectively, God eventually gets tired of it and so they start suffering the objective effects of these things. So it's very important for people to realize that being in the state of grace is absolutely necessary.

Fr. Ripperger  18:21

The Sacred Heart in the Eucharist. Now, this is something that's very important, because Christ gives us His Sacred Heart in the Eucharist because the whole Christ is there. Now, the Sacred Heart is actually in fact, Christ's human will and that is what is rendered to us in there. Now it is the human will by which our salvation was brought about, because it was through His sacrificing of His will to God. That's why He says, you know, “I of My own accord, lay down My life or take it up.” It's His voluntarily laying down of His life in fact that by which we are saved. And so in every time we that receive the Eucharist, we're receiving His voluntary ablation upon the cross, but we're also receiving the very Heart which brought this about. It's kind of interesting, I don't know if you've heard this but the Eucharistic miracles usually have heart matter as the substance when they check it. Now, one of the things I usually tell people and of course this always blows people's minds but I just tell them, I always ask people, “Is that the Body of Christ when they're talking about when they see the Eucharistic miracles, when they turn into flesh?” People answer, “Yes.” To which I respond, “No. It’s not.” And the reason is this: it is that Christ’s Body is glorified in heaven. The matter that sitting in that is not glorified. So The theologians say, basically, that it's not actually the flesh of Christ in the sense that it is part of His body that’s in heaven. Rather, what we say is that it has some type of probably DNA genetic identity to that, so that when it's changed that way, it now becomes something which is analogous to like, if skin falls off your hand or something. It’s kind of in that sense. So It is His in the sense that it's genetically His, but it's not in the sense that it's part of His body because His Body is glorified in heaven.

Fr. Ripperger  18:27

The fact that Christ gives us His heart in the Eucharist is a sign of the close connection between Christ’s love in His human will and His desire for union with us. St. Thomas says that love desires union. He says that's one of the principal effects of love, that it desires union. Christ when He loves us, you know that line in the Litany of the Sacred Heart, “Burning furnace of charity”; that is His heart just burns for us, He desires union and that's one of the reasons why He gave us the Holy Eucharist. It is also a sign of His Providence for us in His sacrificing of His human nature for us, which this Sacrament represents. The heart of Christ was pierced during the sacrifice. It is that very heart that one receives when one receives the whole Christ, accidents and all. In other words you receive the whole Christ, not just you know, His divinity, or part of His body or whatever. It’s everything. The point being is that we receive all of His accidents. All of His accidents. That means the color of His eyes, everything is received. Now, it's not received, according to the same mode as if you committed cannibalism of course, because what happens is, as soon as the accidents of the bread corrupt interiorly in you, that it reverts back to the matter that corresponds to that.

Fr. Ripperger  21:50

The Apostles when they received Christ at the Last Supper, were the only ones in history to ever receive Christ in His non-resurrected body. Everyone else received it only in His resurrected body. There's what they call the Holy Saturday theology, which always makes me nervous when people start talking about it, because it was always the modernist heretics that got involved in that discussion, even though it's a legitimate discussion. And they asked the question, “If I received the Precious Blood or the Body of Christ on Holy Saturday, would I have received the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity in all of it?” And The answer is actually, Yes, you would have. Some say, “Well, no, you don't receive the Body.” That's not true because as St. Thomas says, when Christ died, the Divinity still remained in Union to the body. What happened was that the body and the soul just simply split, but the Divinity stayed in union with the soul and in union with the body, and then when He resurrected the two were put back together. So if I received His body on Holy Saturday, I would have received all of Christ, still. But it's interesting to think about how the Apostles were the only ones to ever receive His body in a non-resurrected form. We receive Christ's Body which is resurrected. This is again why it is a pledge of future glory because as we say, you become what you eat, in a certain sense. In this case it's analogical of course, but it means that if Christ is giving us His resurrected body, it means He wants us to have a resurrected body one day so that we can glorify Him for all eternity.

Fr. Ripperger  23:31

Therefore, I would encourage you to meditate on the whole relationship that the Sacred Heart actually has to the Eucharist, which I think is quite profound. So every time that you say the Litany of the Sacred Heart, each line you can think about that that's what you're receiving when you receive Holy Communion; you know, the burning fires of charity, the abyss of all the virtues. You can go down the whole Litany. That’s what you're receiving. So meditate on it frequently and if you're having a hard time meditating upon the Eucharist, just take a look at the Litany and that will provide ample material. 

© 2019, Fr. Chad Ripperger - All Rights Reserved. 

© Sensus Traditionis 

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The above transcript of Fr. Ripperger’s teaching on the Holy Eucharist comes from the following Sensus Fidelium YouTube video:

Father gives an explanation of the great Sacrament of the Catholic Church, the Real Presence of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament.