Ratramnus on the Eucharist (V)

Concluding my translation series of Ratramnus of Corbie’s book on the Eucharist.  Outline here, introduction here, part one here, part two here.

Where will I go next?  Backward in time to Radbertus or forward to Berengar?  First a break for Lent while I work on other pieces, I think.

Without further ado:

Conclusion

97. Animadvertat, clarissime princeps, sapientia vestra quod positis sanctarum Scripturarum testimoniis et sanctorum Patrum dictis evidentissime monstratum est, quod panis qui corpus Christi, et calix qui sanguis Christi appellatur, figura sit, quia mysterium: et quod non parva differentia sit inter corpus quod per mysterium existit, et corpus quod passum est, et sepultum, et resurrexit.  Quoniam hoc proprium Salvatoris corpus existit, nec in eo vel aliqua figura, vel aliqua significatio, sed ipsa rei manifestatio cognoscitur, et ipsius visionem credentes desiderant; quoniam ipsum est caput nostrum, et ipso viso satiabitur desiderium nostrum; quo ipse et Pater unum sunt, non secundum quod corpus habet Salvator, sed secundum plenitudinem divinitatis quae habitat in homine Christo.

Let thy wisdom, brightest prince, notice that, the testimonies of Sacred Scripture put forth and of the holy Fathers spoken, most plainly has it been shown that the bread which is called the body of Christ and the chalice which is called the blood of Christ is a figure, since [it is] a mystery; and that there is no small difference between the body which exists through mystery and the body which suffered and was buried and rose.  For this proper body of the Savior exists, nor in it is either any figure nor any other signification recognized, but rather manifestation of the thing itself, and its vision do believers desire; for it is our Head, and by that vision our desire will be satiated; in which He and the Father are one, not according to the body which the Savior has, but according to the fullness of divinity which dwells in the man Christ.

98. At in isto quod per mysterium geritur figura est non solum proprii corporis Christi, verum etiam credentis in Christum populi (vide num. 116): utriusque namque corporis, id est et Christi, quod passum est et resurrexit; et populi in Christo renati atque de mortuis vivificati, figuram gestat.

Yet in that thing which is done through mystery there is a figure not only of the proper body of Christ, but also of the people believing in Christ; for of each body, that is both Christ’s which suffered and rose and the people’s reborn in Christ and brought back from the dead, it bears the figure.

99.  Addamus etiam quod iste panis et calix (vide num. 96), qui corpus et sanguis Christi nominatur et existit, memoriam repraesentat Dominicae passionis sive mortis, quemadmodum ipse in Evangelio dixit: Hoc facite in mei commemorationem (Luc. xxii, 19).  Quod exponens apostolus Paulus ait: Quotiescunque manducabitis panem hunc, et calicem bibetis, mortem Domini annuntiabitis donec veniat (I Cor 11:26).

Let us add also that this bread and chalice, which is and is called the body and blood of Christ, represents the memory of the Lord’s passion or death, just as He said in the Gospel: Do this in commemoration of Me (Luke 22:19).  Explaining which the Apostle Paul says: ‘Whensoever ye shall eat this bread and drink this cup, ye shall proclaim the death of the Lord until He come’ (I Cor 11:26).”

100. Docemur a Salvatore, necnon a sancto Paulo apostolo, quod iste panis et iste sanguis qui super altare ponuntur, in figuram sive memoriam Dominicae mortis ponantur, ut quod gestum est in praeterito, praesenti revocet memoriae; ut illius passionis memores effecti, per eam efficiamur divini muneris consortes, per quam sumus a morte liberati: cognoscentes quod ubi pervenerimus ad visionem Christi, talibus non opus habebimus instrumentis, quibus admoneamur quid pro nobis immensa benignitas sustinuerit; quoniam ipsum facie ad faciem contemplantes, non per exteriorem temporalium rerum admonitionem commovebimur, sed per ipsius contemplationem veritatis aspiciemus quemadmodum nostrae salutis auctori gratias agere debeamus.

We learn from the Savior, as well as from holy Paul the apostle, that this bread and this blood which are placed upon the altar are placed as a figure or memory of the Lord’s death, so that what was done in the past it may recall to present memory; so that made mindful of that passion through it we may be made partakers of divine reward, through which we are freed from death–knowing that when we arrive to the vision of Christ we will have no need for such instruments by which we be given warning what [His] immense benignity provides for us; for seeing Him face to face, not through outward admonition of temporal things shall we be moved, but through contemplation of that truth we shall look upon what sort of thanks for the author of our salvation we ought to give.

101. Nec ideo quoniam ista dicimus, putetur in mysterio sacramenti corpus Domini vel sanguinem ipsius non a fidelibus sumi (vide num. 96), quando fides non quod oculus videt, sed quod credit, accipit: quoniam spiritualis est esca, et spiritualis potus, spiritualiter animam pascens, et aeternae satietatis vitam tribuens; sicut ipse Salvator mysterium hoc commendans loquitur: Spiritus est qui vivificat; nam caro nihil prodeat (Joan. vi, 64).

Not then because we say these things, is it thought that in the mystery of the sacrament the body of the Lord or the blood of the same are not consumed by the faithful, when faith accepts not what the eye sees but what it believes; for it is spiritual food and spiritual drink, spiritually feeding the soul and furnishing life of eternal satiety; just as the Savior Himself says when commending this mystery: “It is the Spirit who makes alive; for flesh profits nothing” (John 6:64).

[weird intro construction is disavowing his own authority and placing it on Scripture–contrast with intro to C]

102. Imperio vestrae magnitudinis parere cupientes, praesumpsi parvus rebus de non minimis disputare, non sequentes aestimationis nostrae praesumptionem, sed maiorum intuentes auctoritatem.  Quae si probaveritis catholicae dicta, vestrae meritis fidei deputate, quae, deposita regalis magnificentiae gloria, non erubuit ab humili quaerere responsum veritatis.  Sin autem minus placuerint, id nostrae deputetur insipientiae, quae quod optavit, minus efficaciter valuit explicare.

Desiring to obey the command of your greatness, I though small have presumed to dispute upon matters least trivial, not following the presumption of our own estimation but regarding the authority of our elders.  Which words, if they shall prove Catholic, depute to the merits of our faith, which the set-aside glory of your regal magnificence does not blush to seek humbly the response of truth.  But if it shall please less, it should be deputed to our folly, which was less effectively able to explicate what it wanted.

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