From Weedy@21:1/5 to All on Sun Apr 25 23:42:00 2021
One thing is certain, if Jesus had not risen from the dead and
appeared to his disciples, we would never have heard of him. Nothing
else could have changed sad and despairing men and women into people
radiant with joy and courage. The reality of the resurrection is the
central fact of the Christian faith. Through the gift of the Holy
Spirit, the Lord gives us "eyes of faith" to know him and the power of
his resurrection. The greatest joy we can have is to encounter the
living Lord and to know him personally. Do you celebrate the feast of
Easter with joy and thanksgiving for the victory which Jesus has won
for you over sin and death?
26 April – Saint Paschasius Radbertus
Monk, Abbot, Theologian: born 785 at Soissons, France and died in 865
of natural causes. St Paschasius was a Carolingian theologian and the
abbot of Corbie, a monastery in Picardy founded in 657 or 660 by the
queen regent Bathilde with a founding community of monks from Luxeuil
Abbey. His most well-known and influential work is an exposition on
the nature of the Eucharist written around 831, entitled De Corpore et
Paschasius was an orphan left on the steps of the convent of
Notre-Dame de Soissons. He was raised by the nuns there and became
very fond of the abbess, Theodrara. Theodrara was sister of St Adalard
of Corbie (C 751-827) and St Wala of Corbie (c 755–836), two monks
(and both abbots prior to Paschasius) whom he admired greatly. At a
fairly young age, Paschasius left the convent to serve as a monk under
Abbot Adalard, at Corbie.
Through the abbotship of both Adalard and Wala, Paschasius focused on
the monastic life, spending his time studying and teaching. When
Adalard died in 826, Paschasius helped ensure Wala would become Abbot
in his place. Wala’s death in 836 brought yet another abbot to Corbie, Ratramnus, who held opposing views to Paschasius on a number of
ecclesiastical issues. Ratramnus wrote a refutation of Paschasius’
treatise on the Eucharist, De Corpore et Sanguine Domini, using the
By 844, Paschasius himself became abbot, however he resigned his title
ten years later to return to his studies. He left Corbie for the
nearby monastery of St Riquier, where he lived in voluntary exile for
some years. Why he resigned is unknown, however, it is likely that his
actions were motivated by factional disputes within his monastic
community, misunderstandings between himself and the younger monks
were likely factors in his decision. He returned to Corbie late in
life and resided in his old monastery until his death in 865.
St Paschasius’ body was first buried at the Church of St John in
Corbie. After numerous reported miracles, the Pope ordered his remains
to be removed and interred in the Church of St Peter, Corbie. He was
Canonised in 1073 by Pope Gregory VII.
St Paschasius has an extensive collection of works, including the
“Vitae” or Lives of St Adalbert and St Wala and many exegeses on
various books of the Bible. He wrote commentaries on the Gospel of
Matthew, Lamentations, a commentary on Revelations and an exposition
of Psalm 45, which he dedicated to the nuns at St Mary at Soissons. De
Partu Virginis, written for his friend Emma, Abbess of St Mary at
Soissons and daughter of Theodrara, describes the lifestyle of nuns.
He also wrote a treatise, titled De Nativitae Sanctae Mariae,
regarding the nature of the Virgin Mary and the birth of Jesus Christ. Paschasius probably wrote much more but none of it has survived
through the centuries.
The most well-known and influential work of St Paschasius, ‘De Corpore
et Sanguine Domini’ The Body and Blood of Christ (written between 831
and 833), is an exposition on the nature of the Eucharist. It was
originally written as an instructional manual for the monks under his
care at Corbie and is the first lengthy treatise on the Sacrament of
the Eucharist in the Western world. In it, Paschasius agrees with St
Ambrose (340-397) in affirming that the Eucharist contains the true,
historical body of Jesus Christ.
According to Paschasius, God is truth itself and, therefore, His words
and actions must be true. Christ’s proclamation at the Last Supper
that the bread and wine were His body and blood must be taken
literally, since God is truth. He believes that the transubstantiation
of the bread and wine to be used at the Eucharist occurs literally.
Only if the Eucharist is the actual body and blood of Christ can a
Christian know it is salvific.
Paschasius believed that the presence of the historical blood and body
of Christ allows the partaker a real union with Jesus in a direct,
personal and physical union by joining a person’s flesh with Christ’s
and Christ’s flesh with his. To Paschasius, the Eucharist’s
transformation into the flesh and blood of Christ is possible because
of the principle that God is truth, God is able to manipulate nature,
as He created it.
The book was given to Charles the Bald, the Frankish king, as a
present in 844, with the inclusion of a special introduction. The view Paschasius expressed in this work was met with some hostility.
Ratramnus, who preceded Paschasius as Abbot of Corbie, wrote a
rebuttal by the same name, by order of Charles the Bald, who did not
agree with some of the views Paschasius held. Ratramnus believed that
the Eucharist was strictly metaphorical, he focused more on the
relationship between faith and the newly emerging science, while
Paschasius believed in the miraculous.
Shortly thereafter, a third monk joined the debate, St Rabanus Maurus
(c 780–856), which initiated the Carolingian Eucharist Controversy. Ultimately, however, the king accepted Paschasius’ assertion and the
physical presence of Christ in the Eucharist, which had already been
believed for centuries, was cemented by St Paschasius' book and
cleared the way for a precise understanding of Transubstantiation.
“…only the Cross of Christ
sheds light on the path of this life….
God is in the detached heart,
in the silence of prayer,
in the voluntary sacrifice to pain,
in the emptiness of the world and its creatures.
God is in the Cross and,
as long as we do not love the Cross,
we will not see Him, or feel Him….
If the world and men knew….
But they will not know,
they are very busy in their interests,
their hearts are very full of things
that are not God.”
“How good God is, I thought!
There is peace everywhere
except in the human heart.
…God is so good to me that,
in the silence,
He speaks to my heart
and teaches me,
little by little,
sometimes in tears,
always with the cross,
to detach myself from creatures,
not to look for perfection
except in Him …”
--St Rafael Arnáiz Barón (1911-1938)
The chalice of benediction which we bless, is it not the communion of
the blood of Christ? And the bread which we break, is it not the
partaking of the body of the Lord? [1Cor 10:16] DRB
Reflection on Fasting
"And the Saviour also, when He manifested Himself to the world in the
Jordan, began at this point. For after His baptism the Spirit led Him into
the wilderness and He fasted for forty days and forty nights. Likewise all
who set out to follow in His footsteps make the beginning of their struggle upon this foundation. For this is a weapon forged by God, and who shall
escape blame if he neglects it? And if the Lawgiver Himself fasts, who
among those who keep the law has no need of fasting? This is why the human
race knew no victory before fasting, and the devil had never experienced
defeat from our nature; but this weapon has made him powerless from the outset."
--St. Isaac the Syrian.