Our last issue examined the biblically based reasons the Church insists upon wheat bread for the Eucharist. In the same way, eucharistic wine can only be made with fermented grapes. A "Lord’s Supper" commemoration may offer grape juice, but a Catholic Mass never will. Here’s why.
The Christians in the first centuries after Christ, secretly practicing their faith in catacombs, left their descendants a rich spiritual legacy. And they left us something more: a vast symbolic lexicon—a faith concealed in images whose meanings transcend time, culture, and place. When we gaze upon the fish, the vine, and the Shepherd at our local parish, we acknowledge the same truths as those who came before us.
The concept seems peculiar to the modern mind: a religious order whose members fight in battle, often to the death. But at a time when all Christians held the places Christ lived, taught, and died to be part of their spiritual heritage, hundreds of these soldier-monks protected the Holy Land and its pilgrims. One such order was the Knights Templar, which came to a tragic—and perhaps unjust—end.
It’s said, often ad nauseum, that nobody is pro-abortion. Even so, the arguments for choice are flimsy at best, and proponents of the "right to choose" position frequently ignore their own logical lapses. Why? The egoism of the pro-choice position dismisses the simple truth behind its (faulty) rhetoric: the willed, voluntary death of a person.
"Do as you wish; for we are Christians, and we do not sacrifice to idols."
~ Six companions of Justin Martyr, martyrs all; speaking to the Prefect Rusticus after he threatened them with "torture without mercy" unless they sacrificed to the Roman "gods;" from the trial transcript by Tatian (A.D. 165).