16 April 2011

New Lutheran Quote of the Day

If one asks for the secret of the vitality of the Catholic Church even in our time, one would have to admit that it is not is hierarchical organization, not its cult of saints and relics, not even, as many suppose, its traditional political astuteness that gives it its inner strength and predominance, but the fact that it celebrates the Sacrament of the Altar uninterruptedly throughout the world.  This determines its whole life, even its whole theology. -- Hermann Sasse, *We Confess:  The Sacraments* p. 99.


Anonymous said...

Well, it still begs the question for me -- to what end? Yes, the Roman church requires her priests to offer mass daily, even if not one communicant is present and that brings about a whole different objective than the mass as understood among Lutherans, wherein God comes to serve us with His divine gifts.

Without the primacy of the Word that leads to the holy table and the catechesis that Luther found so woefully lacking and exists even to this day, Lutherans are not lacking on this point -- nor are the Orthodox, for that matter.
"More" is not necesarily "better".

Speaking as one who formerly participated in the Roman system.


Past Elder said...

Exactly so.

The secret of the vitality of the Catholic Church is no secret at all, having the force of the state, and a force of culture resulting from that, to ensure its uninterruption.

With a catechesis indeed woefully lacking, both in priests who offer it be it a gift to anyone other than himself or not, and in the faithful whose faith is so ill formed that though the Sacrament is offered daily to counter the misplaced piety of an ill-formed faith the "church" had to invent an "Easter Duty" as one of the "Precepts of the Church" on a par with the Commandments and the Creed, to ensure one actually takes and eats once a year!

William Weedon said...

Sasse's point is that despite the other, um, well, garbage, keeping the Eucharist at the heart is the secret. How much more cause have we who understand that this is no offering of us to God, but God's sacred gift of forgiveness and life to us!

Past Elder said...

That's what I thought when I was a Catholic! And if I were still a Catholic, I would say it is only because of great misunderstandings that Catholic teaching on the Eucharist is anything but or other than that it is God's sacred gift of forgiveness and life to us, or construed as a work of ours and not Christ's.

Hell, if Der Schuetzmeister is lurking about, he might just up and say it himself! Or perhaps Herr Prof Dr Tighe. Or even myself if I still believed such nonsense re the RCC.

The predominance of the RCC derives from nothing but politics and culture, though the catholic church may --may -- be found within it, which has nothing to do with the frequency of its masses, nor is its sorry example and history in this regard a model for us.