Without seeking to extract any implications from this as to modern discipline, I share this for interest’ sake.
St. Basil writes:
“It is good and beneficial to communicate every day, and to partake of the holy body and blood of Christ. For He distinctly says, He that eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life. And who doubts that to share frequently in life, is the same thing as to have manifold life. I, indeed, communicate four times a week, on the Lord’s day, on Wednesday, on Friday, and on the Sabbath, and on the other days if there is a commemoration of any Saint. It is needless to point out that for anyone in times of persecution to be compelled to take the communion in his own hand without the presence of a priest or minister is not a serious offense, as long custom sanctions this practice from the facts themselves. All the solitaries in the desert, where there is no priest, take the communion themselves, keeping communion at home. And at Alexandria and in Egypt, each one of the laity, for the most part, keeps the communion, at his own house, and participates in it when he likes. For when once the priest has completed the offering, and given it, the recipient, participating in it each time as entire, is bound to believe that he properly takes and receives it from the giver. And even in the church, when the priest gives the portion, the recipient takes it with complete power over it, and so lifts it to his lips with his own hand. It has the same validity whether one portion or several portions are received from the priest at the same time.” (Letter 93)
“I grant that there are ‘bishops against bishops in Church history, Fathers against Fathers, Fathers against themselves’, for such differences in individual writers are consistent with, or rather are involve in the very idea of doctrinal development, and consequently are no real objection to it; the one essential question is whether the recognized organ of teaching, the Church herself, acting through Pope or Council as the oracle of Heaven, has ever contradicted her own enunciations. If so, the hypothesis which I am advocating is at once shattered; but till I have positive and distinct evidence of the fact, I am slow to give credence to the existence of so great an improbability” (An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine, pg. 134)
“The Harvest of the Earth and the Vintage of the Wrath of God ” – source
A friend was sharing his diagnosis of the current fallout (to add to the previous) in the Church, and I added something to it which I think equally obtains, and could be applicable to American/European Christianity in general. Continue reading