Sunday, May 10, 2015

St. Ignatius of Antioch: Linking the Eucharist to Social Justice

Painting of Ignatius of Antioch from the Menologion of Basil II (c. 1000 AD)
"Consider those who hold heretical opinions with regard to the grace of Jesus Christ which hath come unto us, how opposite they are to the mind of God. They have no care for love, nor concerning the widow, nor concerning the orphan, nor concerning the afflicted, nor concerning him who is bound or loosed, nor concerning him who is hungry or thirsty. They refrain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they do not confess that the Eucharist is the flesh of our Saviour Jesus Christ, which suffered for our sins, and which the Father of his goodness raised up."

- St. Ignatius of Antiouch, Epistle to the Smyrneans, CE 107

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We can see in this a holistic, organic view of salvation expressed very succinctly and sublimely by St. Ignatius of Antioch. A disciple of St. John the Apostle, and consecrated the Third Bishop of the See of Antioch by St. Peter himself, he is an important witness to Apostolic doctrine. The quote above is from St. Ignatius' letter to the Smyrneans. Notice how it links social concern for the bodily needs of others with the Real Presence of the Sacrament. Christianity in this sense is a materialistic religion. This passage should be foundational for Anglican Catholics, who uphold both Orthodoxy and Orthopraxis. Christianity is an Incarnational Faith.



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