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Cyril of Alexandria: "Ingesting the Godhead"

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#1 Mina Soliman

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Posted 14 April 2013 - 05:14 PM

I was doing a quick search on St. Cyril of Alexandria and quotes of his on the Eucharist, and I came across this website:

 

http://www.acfp2000....Alexandria.html

 

which states as one of his quotes:

 

When we ingest the Eucharist in reality we are ingesting the Godhead

.....because His Body and Blood are diffused through our members we become

partakers of the divine nature.

 

I did a google search over and over and over and over again to find the exact source of this quote, and nothing.  No where to be found.  In fact, this quote contradicts what St. Cyril says elsewhere:

 

Cyril of Alexandria, Tome IV.5[/url]"]But out of overmuch reverence, he blushes (it appears) at the measures of emptiness and endures not to see the Son Co-Eternal with God the Father, Him who is in the Form and Equality in everything with Him Who begat Him, come down unto lowliness: he finds fault with the economy and haply leaves not unblamed the Divine Counsel and Plan. For he pretends to investigate the force of the things said by Christ, and as it were taking in the depth of the ideas; then bringing round (as he thinks) my words to a seeming absurdity and ignorance; "Let us see, he says, who it is that mis-interprets. As the Living Father sent Me, for I live (according to him) God the "Word, because of the Father, and he that eateth Me he too shall live: which do we eat, the Godhead or the flesh?" Perceivest thou not therefore at length how thy mind is gone? for the Word of God saying that He is sent, says, he also that eateth Me, he too shall live. But WE eat, not consuming the Godhead (away with the folly) but the Very Flesh of the Word Which has been made Lifergiving, because it has been made His Who liveth because of the Father. And we do not say that by a participation from without and adventitious is the Word quickened by the Father, but rather we maintain that He is Life by Nature, for He has been begotten out of the Father who is Life. For as the sun's brightness which is sent forth, though it be said (for example) to be bright because of the sender, or of that out of which it comes, yet not of participation hath it the being bright, but as of natural nobility it weareth the Excellence of him who sent it or flashed it forth: in the same way and manner, I deem, even though the Son say that He lives because of the Father, will He bear witness to Himself His own Noble Birth from forth the Father, and not with the rest of the creation promiscuously, confess that He has Life imparted and from without.

 

I'm asking anyone here if they know the source of this quote to provide it.  Thank you.



#2 Kusanagi

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Posted 14 April 2013 - 06:04 PM

I would put it down to a misunderstanding from the Roman Catholic's point of view of St Cyril when they tried to summarise the text you quoted.



#3 Lakis Papas

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Posted 14 April 2013 - 08:14 PM

PG 74, page 584 Β
 
Commentary on John 4
 
I think this is an incorrect restatement from "ON THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO JOHN. BOOK IV" (PG 74, page 584 Β). The correct statement is the following:
 
"For as if one should join wax with other wax, he will surely see (I suppose) the one in the other; in like manner (I deem) he who receiveth the Flesh of our Saviour Christ and drinketh His Precious Blood, as He saith, is found one with Him, commingled as it were and immingled with Him through the participation, so that he is found in Christ, Christ again in him."
 

56 He that eateth My Flesh and drinketh My Blood dwelleth in Me and I in him.
 
Manifoldly does Christ initiate us by these words, and since His Discourse is hard of attainment by the more unlearned, asking for itself rather the understanding of faith than investigation, He revolving again and again over the same ground makes it easy in divers ways, and from all parts illumines what is useful therein, fixing as a kind of foundation and groundwork the most excellent desire for it. For he that eateth My Flesh (saith He) and drinketh My Blood abideth in Me and I in him. For as if one should join wax with other wax, he will surely see (I suppose) the one in the other; in like manner (I deem) he who receiveth the Flesh of our Saviour Christ and drinketh His Precious Blood, as He saith, is found one with Him, commingled as it were and immingled with Him through the participation, so that he is found in Christ, Christ again in him. Thus was Christ teaching us in the Gospel too according to Matthew, saying, The Kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened. Who then the woman is, what the three measures of meal, or what the measure at all, shall be spoken of in its proper place: for the present we will speak only of the leaven. As then Paul saith that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump, so the least portion |423 of the Blessing blendeth our whole body with itself, and filleth it with its own mighty working, and so Christ cometh to be in us, and we again in Him. For one may truly say that the leaven is in the whole lump, and the lump by like reasoning is in the whole leaven: you have in brief the sense of the words. And if we long for eternal life, if we pray to have the Giver of immortality in ourselves, let us not like some of the more heedless refuse to be blessed nor let the Devil deep in wickedness, lay for us a trap and snare a perilous reverence.

 



#4 Mina Soliman

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Posted 14 April 2013 - 10:16 PM

I was doing some digging, and I found that there's a book written by Richard Foley called "Mary and the Eucharist", and tweaking with google books in the search features a bit, I found that the author quotes the passage as such:
 

When we ingest the Eucharist, in reality we are ingesting the Godhead.  This makes of us a kind of tabernacle, and we are transformed.  For thus we become Christ-bearers, because his body and blood are diffused through our members … and we become partakers of the divine nature. (from "Mary and the Eucharist", Richard Foley, p. 46…subscript 8 on p. 54 gives the source "Cyril of Alexandria: Catechetical Lectures 4, 6)

from:
http://books.google....g#search_anchor
http://books.google....n#search_anchor

I bolded these parts because it seems clear they are confusing St. Cyril of Alexandria with St. Cyril of Jerusalem, who wrote the Catechetical Lectures.  Here is what he wrote from CCEL:

 

Wherefore with full assurance let us partake as of the Body and Blood of Christ:  for in the figure2452 of Bread is given to thee His Body, and in the figure of Wine His Blood; that thou by partaking of the Body and Blood of Christ, mayest be made of the same body and the same blood with Him.  For thus we come to bear Christ2453 in us, because His Body and Blood are distributed2454 through our members; thus it is that, according to the blessed Peter, we become partakers of the divine nature2455.

 

And this is from the Catechetical Lectures, On the Holy Mysteries, 4:3, not 4:6 as Richard Foley has it.  Notice how pretty much exact this part of the quote is with the previous one.  Unfortunately, I have yet to find where this comes from: "When we ingest the Eucharist, in reality we are ingesting the Godhead.  This makes of us a kind of tabernacle, and we are transformed."  I assume so far, all evidence may seem to point this quote as Pseudo-Cyrillian, whether it be of Alexandria or Jerusalem.

 

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.  Also, if anyone has this book "Mary and the Eucharist" to confirm my quoting on this, I would greatly appreciate it.


Edited by Mina Soliman, 14 April 2013 - 10:18 PM.


#5 Kosta

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Posted 16 April 2013 - 03:31 AM

Mina,

 

Thats a good call on pointing out this misquote. As others have said, it seems the author is putting his own interpretation into Cyril's commentary on the Gospel of John bk 4. It seems his statement is a synthess of ideas found in commentary on John. How the author conflated Cyril of Jerusalem into his statements is perplexing.

 

Cyril of Alexandria, Commentary on John, LFC 43, 48 (1874/1885). Book 4. pp. 382-510.

 

 

A google search seems to show that quite a few roman catholic website have picked up Foley's statement as an accurate quotation of St Cyril of Alexandria (without a source of course).  The first website i clicked onto was of an RC parish located in my area of NY, where they provide a number of quotes from RC saints concerning the Eucharist. The quote supposedly of Cyril was listed along with modern RC saints. I noticed ths parish promotes Medjugorie as they have a section on this on their website: Welcome to Cure of Ars Website

 

 A bio of  Richard Foley says he is a priest from London where a book he wrote on Medjugorie is very popular. From the limited evidence i've seen so far, I have to conclude that this false quote does originate from Richard Foley himself and is influetia in certan RC circles.


Edited by Kosta, 16 April 2013 - 03:35 AM.


#6 Mina Soliman

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 07:20 PM

Indeed! Is there a teaching in the Roman Catholic Church where they can "ingest the Godhead"?





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