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Mysterium Fidei

{ Tags: , , , \ Jun25 }

the eucharistic Lord

The feast of Corpus Christi is just around the corner. So what are we going to preach about? Last year, I used materials from “Transiturus” for a homily on the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. This year, I’d be using Paul VI’s “Mysterium Fidei” which I came upon quite accidentally really while I was using Google to make a search on the word “mystery”. I am preparing a glossary of terms for a course I am teaching on the Sacraments, you see. So when the Google search results came out, I saw this document that Paul VI published on 3 September 1965. It turned out to be a document that sought to clarify some confusions arising out of Vatican II. This one was about the Eucharist. And so the Pope, in dispelling some of the confusions arising from opinions that tended to cloud people’s minds regarding the proper understanding of the Mass and the doctrine of transubstantiation, the Pope laid out the traditional doctrine regarding Christ’s Real Presence and the way we should talk about it.

Below is an outline of the document that can be found at the Vatican website.


  • The Mystery of Faith is the Eucharist (1)
  • The Eucharistic Mystery is at the Heart of the Liturgy (2)
  • Vatican II Reaffirms the Doctrines of Trent
    • the Lord instituted the Eucharistic Sacrifice in order to perpetuate the Sacrifice of the Cross; the Mass is both Sacrifice and Sacrament (3-5)
    • the restoration of the sacred liturgy is hoped to produce “abundant fruits in the form of Eucharistic devotion” (6-8)
  • Why this Encyclical? Due to Pastoral anxieties (9) raised by…
    • False and Disturbing Opinions (10-12) about
      • private Masses vs. Community Mass
      • a jargon that detracts from our traditional usage (e.g. transfinalization, transhistoricity, transignification)
    • Purpose of the Encyclical: “to bring about a new wave of Eucharistic devotion” (13-14)
  • Main Points of the Encyclical
    • The Holy Eucharist: A Mystery of Faith
      • The Eucharist, A “Mystery” (15-16) and the teachings of…
        • St. John Crysostom (17)
        • Scholastic Doctors, Thomas of Aquinas, Cyril and Bonaventure (18-20)
        • the Apostles (21)
      • … and the guidance of the Magisterium (22) especially in
        • the use of the proper language (St. Augustine) (23-24)
        • words may change but the truth of faith do not (25)
    • The Eucharistic Mystery in the Sacrifice of the Mass (26)
      • Re-enactment of the Sacrifice of the Cross (27-28)
      • It is the New Oblation of the New Testament(29)
      • Offered for the Dead (30)
      • the Whole Church is both Priest and Victim (31)
      • Even when said by a priest alone, no Mass is private (32-33)
    • The Sacramental Presence of Christ in the Sacrifice of the Mass
      • Various Ways of Christ’s Presence (34-37)
      • Present in the Sacraments (38)
      • The Real Presence (39)
      • “Symbolism”? (41-43)
      • Symbolism is Inadequate to Express the Real Presence(44-45)
    • The Presence of Christ through Transubstantiation
      • the Doctrine (46)
      • …in the writing of the Fathers and the Councils (47-55)
    • Worship (Latria) of the Blessed Sacrament
      • Latria of the Blessed Sacrament in history (56-62)
      • the Feast of Corpus christi (63)
    • Exhortation to Fostering Eucharistic Devotion (64-65)
      • Daily Mass and Holy Communion (66)
      • Dignity bestowed by the Eucharist(67-69)
      • A Sign and Cause of Unity (70-74)
  • Final Prayer (75-76)

It is a good read. For materials on John 6:51-58 — the gospel reading for the Feast day — check out the following podcast from “Bibliya Tagala”



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