3 November 2018

DIX ON SACRIFICE (1)

Traddies ... rightly ... complain that 'mainstrtream' Catholics have usually never been taught about Transsubstantiation.

The poor things are even less likely to have been told about the Mass as a ... er ... the Sacrifice. Once a well-meaning proof-reader corrected, in a ms of mine, "Sacrifice" to "Sacrament", convinced that I had simply made a typo!

Here is Dom Gregory Dix.

"For the primitive Church the doctrine of the Sacrifice of the Mass was of primary importance. Today Church-people make the Sacrifice to depend on the Sacrament. The Primitive Church made the Sacrament to depend on the Sacrifice. I am speaking of something which is the essence of all religion - the attempt of the creature to achieve union with the creator, to leap the chasm between God and man; to ascend above its derived creaturely being to the self-existent being of God Himself. It must contain two things: (1) the attempt to leave behind the status of being a creature; and (2) the attempt to ascend from its own natural being and rise to God.

"Here we meet with tragedy. Man, being a sinner, cannot make that leap. That supreme act of religion is for him impossible. Death is the penalty which God has imposed on sinners. The acceptance of death is the supremely moral act of human existence. We have sinned but accepted the consequence of our sin. That is one half - the negative side of the act of religion. But obviously, if there is to be sacrifice, it cannot be done by sinful people as an act of suicide.

" It is here that we have the New Testament doctrine of our Saviour as the Second Adam. He is very Man - He accepted death, sinless though he was, as the penalty of sin. His death is the representative act of death of all mankind, as Head of the human race. As S Paul said, 'To recapitulate in Christ all things'. His death is His entrance into the glory of God. So that His death has the full character of Sacrifice; and it is a representative act on behalf of all mankind. It is the Sacrifice, par excellence."

Delivered to the CBS June 3 1947 and summarised in the CBS Newsletter.To be continued.

3 comments:

Fr. Gregory Lockwood said...

Dix uses the 20th century language of sacrifice in the word, “representative.” There is, however, also an element of substitution, in the place of, as referring to his sacrifice, pro nobis. I taught Christology at a major American seminary for several years, and the textbooks would routinely eschew substitution in favor of representative. It is one small step from there to example of love and so on.

Calvin Engime said...

"May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands for the praise and glory of His name." Mumbled by every Catholic every week, and yet when you tell seminarians the Mass is a sacrifice, they ask where you got this mind-blowing doctrine.

It is as if people do not know that the active participation made possible for the first time by the renewal of the Church has helped them to enter more deeply into the Eucharistic mystery!

Donna Bethell (formerly known as Rose Marie) said...

@Calvin Engime: "It is as if people do not know that the active participation made possible for the first time by the renewal of the Church has helped them to enter more deeply into the Eucharistic mystery!"

So until 1969 it was not possible for the people to participate actively in the Holy Sacrifice? That is news to me at least, as I was already 21 years old when the Novus Ordo was introduced. It would also be news to the people, especially the saints, who must have been muddling through with a defective liturgy and understanding for +1900 years.

This is one of the paramount lies that have been fed to us since the 60s. These lies have poisoned the minds of clergy and laity against the Vetus Ordo and are still being propagated, even by the Pope. I think the real reason is that the Vetus Ordo stands as a reproach against the Novus Ordo and its endless options, closed circle of priest and people, and lack of reverence and attention to the Lord (just for starters). It is addictive for the me generation. My sister recently suggested to a priest that he might try celebrating ad orientem. He recoiled: "But that would be so boring!" Exactly.