IV Sententiae, d. 8, q. 1
Concerning the Eucharist

Hic est duplex quaestio. Prima de ipso Eucharistiae sacramento. Secunda de forma ipsius. Circa primum quaeruntur quatuor: 1 utrum Eucharistia sit sacramentum; 2 de significatione ejus; 3 de institutione; 4 de ordine sumendi hunc cibum respectu aliorum ciborum.At present there is a twofold question. First, on the very sacrament of the Eucharist. Second, on its form. Concerning the first, four things are sought: first, whether the Eucharist is a sacrament; second, of its signification; third, of its institution; fourth, of the order of partaking of this food with respect to other foods.
[QUESTION 1: The sacrament of the Eucharist as such.]
[ARTICLE 1: The sacramentality, unicity, and names of the Eucharist.]
SUBQUESTION 1: Whether the Eucharist is a sacrament.
Ad primum sic proceditur. Videtur quod Eucharistia non sit sacramentum. Proceeding to the first, it seems that the Eucharist is not a sacrament.
Ad idem enim non debent diversa ordinari. Sed confirmatio est ad perficiendum, secundum Dionysium. Cum ergo secundum ipsum Eucharistia etiam sit perfectio, videtur quod superfluat hoc sacramentum.1. For different things ought not to be ordered to the same thing. But confirmation is [ordered] to perfecting, according to Dionysius. Since therefore according to the same author the Eucharist, too, is perfection, it seems that this sacrament is superfluous.
Praeterea, in omni sacramento novae legis idem quod figuratur, efficitur per signum figurans. Sed species panis et vini, quae figurant corpus Christi verum et mysticum, non efficiunt illud. Ergo Eucharistia non est sacramentum novae legis.2. Further, in every sacrament of the new law, that which is represented is effected by that which represents it.1 But the species of bread and wine, which represent the true and mystical body of Christ, do not cause that body to come to be [since it already exists].2 Therefore the Eucharist is not a sacrament of the new law.
Praeterea, sacramentum est elementum materiale, secundum Hugonem exterius oculis suppositum. Sed corpus Christi verum quod dicitur hic sacramentum et res similiter, non est oculis videntium suppositum. Ergo non est sacramentum.3. Further, according to Hugh, a sacrament is a material element placed outwardly under the eyes. But the true body of Christ, which here is called both the reality and the sacrament, is not placed under the eye of the onlooker. Therefore it is not a sacrament.
Praeterea, omne sacramentum in ipsa sui susceptione consecratur et perficitur, sicut patet de Baptismo, quod perficitur in ipsa ablutione. Sed Eucharistia consecratur ante sumptionem. Ergo non est sacramentum.4. Further, every sacrament is consecrated and perfected in its very reception, as is evident with baptism, which is perfected in the very act of washing. But the Eucharist is consecrated before being received. Therefore it is not a sacrament.
Praeterea, in omni alio sacramento illud quod est res et sacramentum, est aliquid effectum in suscipiente, sicut character in Baptismo. Sed corpus Christi verum, quod ponitur hic res et sacramentum, non est aliquid in recipiente effectum. Ergo non est sacramentum ejusdem rationis cum aliis.5. Further, in every other sacrament that which is reality and sacramental sign 3 is something effected in the received, as the character is in baptism. But the true body of Christ, which is set down here as the reality and sacramental sign, is not anything effected in the recipient. Therefore it is not a sacrament in the same sense in which the others are sacraments.4
Sed contraOn the contrary:
est quod in collecta dicitur: praesta ut hoc tuum sacramentum non sit nobis reatus ad poenam.1. It is stated in the Collect: "Grant that this, your sacrament, may not be for us [a cause of] guilt unto punishment."
Praeterea, omnis actio per ministros Ecclesiae dispensata, in qua ex ipso opere operato gratia confertur, est sacramentum. Sed Eucharistia est hujusmodi. Ergo est sacramentum.2. Further, every action dispensed through the ministers of the Church, in which action grace is conferred by the very work wrought,5 is a sacrament. But the Eucharist fits this description. Therefore it is a sacrament.
RespondeoResponse:
dicendum ad primam quaestionem, quod Eucharistia sacramentum quoddam est, alio tamen modo ab omnibus aliis sacramentis. Sacramentum enim secundum sui nominis proprietatem sanctitatem active importat; unde secundum hoc aliquid habet sacramenti rationem secundum quod habet rationem sanctificationis, qua sanctum aliquid fit. Dicitur autem aliquid sanctum dupliciter. Uno modo simpliciter et per se, sicut quod est subjectum sanctitatis, sicut dicitur homo sanctus. Alio modo secundario et secundum quid, ex eo quod habet ordinem ad hanc sanctitatem, vel sicut habens virtutem sanctificandi, sicut chrisma dicitur sanctum; vel quocumque alio modo ad aliquid sanctum deputetur, sicut altare sanctum. Et ideo ea quibus aliquid fit sanctum primo modo, dicuntur sacramenta simpliciter; illa autem quibus fit aliquid sanctum secundo modo, non dicuntur sacramenta, sed sacramentalia magis. In aliis ergo sacramentis fit aliquid sanctum primo modo, sicut homo suscipiens sacramentum; non autem elementum corporale sanctificans hominem, quia hoc est sacrum secundo modo; et ideo hoc quod pertinet ad sanctificationem materiae in omnibus sacramentis non est sacramentum, sed sacramentale; sed hoc quod pertinet ad usum materiae qua homo sanctificatur, est sacramentum.It should be said that the Eucharist is a sacrament, yet in a way different from that of all the other sacraments. For a sacrament in the proper sense implies holiness in the manner of an agent; hence something has the ratio of a sacrament insofar as it has the ratio of sanctification, by which something is made holy.6 Now, something is called "holy" in two ways. In one way, simply and per se, such as that which is the subject of holiness, as a man is called holy. In another way, secondarily and in a certain respect, because it is ordered to this holiness, whether as having the power of sanctifying (as chrism is called holy), or being in any other way deputed to something holy (as an altar is holy). And so, those things by which something is made holy in the first way are called "sacraments" simply, whereas those by which something is made holy in the second way are not called sacraments, but rather "sacramentals." In the other sacraments, therefore, something is made holy in the first way, such as the man who is receiving the sacrament, but not the bodily element sanctifying the man, because this is holy in the second way; and so, that which pertains to the sanctification of the matter in all sacraments is not a sacrament but a sacramental; but that which pertains to the use of the matter by which man is sanctified is the sacrament.
In hoc autem sacramento illud quod est sanctificans hominem, est sanctum primo modo, quasi subjectum sanctitatis, quia est ipse Christus; et ideo ista sanctificatio materiae est hoc sacramentum; sed sanctificatio hominis est effectus sacramenti. Et ideo hoc sacramentum in se consideratum, est dignius omnibus sacramentis, quia habet absolutam sanctitatem etiam praeter suscipientem; alia autem non habent nisi in ordine ad aliud; et ideo hoc sacramentum est perfectio aliorum sacramentorum; quia omne quod est per aliud, reducitur ad id quod est per se, sicut patet de accidente et substantia.However, in this sacrament, that which is sanctifying man is holy in the first way, as the subject of holiness, because it is Christ himself; and so that sanctification of matter is this sacrament, while the sanctification of man is an effect of the sacrament. And thus, considered in itself, this sacrament is worthier than all the sacraments, because it has absolute holiness even apart from its being received, whereas the others have [holiness] only insofar as they are ordered to something else [that possesses holiness]; and so, this sacrament is the perfection of the other sacraments, because everything that is through another is led back to that which is per se, as is evident concerning accidents and substance.
Replies to objections:
Ad primum ergo dicendum, quod perfectum unumquodque est, cum attingit propriam virtutem, ut dicitur in 7 Phys. Virtus autem est ultimum in re, ut dicitur in 1 Cael. et Mund.; et ideo perfectio rei consistit in hoc quod res ad sui ultimum perducatur. Est autem dupliciter ultimum rei; unum quod est in re, et aliud quod est extra rem; sicut in corporibus ultimum in corpore est superficies corporis contenti; ultimum extra est locus, qui est superficies corporis continentis. Ultimum autem cujuslibet rei in seipsa est ipsa rei operatio, propter quam res est: forma enim est finis generationis, non ipsius generati, ut dicit Commentator in 2 Phys. Unde res quae habet formam substantialem per quam est, esse non dicitur perfecta simpliciter, sed perfecta in esse, vel perfecta perfectione prima; et talem perfectionem quantum ad esse spirituale acquirit homo in Baptismo, in quo est regeneratio spiritualis; et ideo Dionysius non ponit Baptismum habentem vim perfectivam simpliciter, sed magis purgativam et illuminativam. Sed simpliciter perfectum dicitur quod habet operationem convenientem suae formae. In hoc enim consistit virtus rei, secundum philosophum in 2 Ethic., per cujus consecutionem aliquid dicitur perfectum, ut dictum est. 1. To the first, therefore, it should be said that each thing is perfect when it attains its proper virtus, as is said in Physics VII. Now, virtus is the ultimate that a thing can do,7 as is said in On the Heavens I; and so a thing's perfection consists in being brought through to its ultimate.8 But a thing's ultimate is twofold: one that is within a thing, and another that is outside a thing, as in bodies the ultimate in a body is the surface of the contained body, and the ultimate outside of it is its place, which is the surface of the containing body. Now, the ultimate of whatsoever thing in itself is a thing's very activity, for the sake of which a thing is; for form is the end of generation, not of the generated itself, as the Commentator says in Physics II. Hence, a thing that has a substantial form through which it exists is not said to be perfect simply, but perfect in being,9 or perfect with its first perfection; and a man acquires such perfection, as regards spiritual being,10 in baptism, in which there is spiritual regeneration. And so Dionysius does not set down baptism as having a perfective force simply, but more a cleansing and enlightening [force]. But that which has an activity suited to its form is called perfect, simply. For in this the virtus of a thing consists, according to the Philosopher in Ethics II, through the obtaining of which something is called perfect, as was said.
Hominis autem operatio spiritualis est duplex. Una ipsius inquantum est persona privata; et quantum ad hoc perficit confirmatio, quae facit hominem non impeditum aliquo mundano timore in confessione fidei, et aliis quae ad Christianam religionem spectant. Alia, inquantum est persona publica, quasi membrum principale, et influens aliis membris; et quantum ad hoc perficit sacramentum ordinis. Ultimum autem cujuslibet rei extra seipsam, est principium a quo res habet esse: quia per conjunctionem ad ipsum res complentur et firmantur, et propter distantiam ab ipso deficiunt, sicut corruptibilia propter longe distare a primo, ut dicitur in 2 de Generat.; et ideo primum agens habet etiam rationem ultimi finis perficientis. Fons autem Christianae vitae est Christus; et ideo hoc modo Eucharistia perficit, Christo conjungens; et ideo hoc sacramentum est perfectio omnium perfectionum, ut Dionysius dicit; unde et omnes qui sacramenta alia accipiunt, hoc sacramento in fine confirmantur, ut ipse dicit.Now, the spiritual activity of a man is twofold. One is his insofar as he is a private person; and what brings about perfection with regard to this is confirmation, which makes a man unimpeded by any worldly fear in the confession of the faith, and in other matters bound up with the Christian religion.11 The other is his insofar as he is a public person, as if a chief member, and a source of influence upon other members; and what brings about perfection with regard to this is the sacrament of order. But of whatsoever thing, the ultimate outside itself is the principle from which a thing has being, since through union with this principle, things are completed and strengthened, and owing to distance from it they falter and fail, as corruptibles do when they are far away from the first [mover], as is said in On Generation and Corruption II; and so, the first agent has also the ratio of ultimate and perfecting end.12 The font of Christian life, however, is Christ; and so the way the Eucharist brings about perfection is by joining one to Christ [himself]; and thus, this sacrament is the perfection of all perfections, as Dionysius says. And hence, all who receive other sacraments are strengthened in the end by this one, as the same author says.
Ad secundum dicendum, quod sicut ad species sensibiles aliorum sacramentorum se habet virtus quae interius inest, quae sanctificationem acquirit, ex qua sacramentum efficit, secundum Hugonem, ita in hoc sacramento se habet ipsum corpus Christi, quod per consecrationem sub speciebus illis fit. Unde sicut in aliis sacramentis materiale elementum non est causa virtutis quae in ipso est, neque alicujus spiritualis effectus in homine, nisi mediante virtute, secundum quod ex elemento et virtute quasi unum efficitur; ita in hoc sacramento species non sunt causa corporis Christi, neque alicujus effectus in anima spiritualis, nisi mediante corpore Christi vero, secundum quod ex speciebus et corpore Christi fit unum sacramentum. Utrum autem species illae secundum se habeant aliquem effectum corporalem, sicut aqua corporaliter abluit in Baptismo, etiam non mediante spirituali virtute, infra dicetur.2. To the second, it should be said that as the power that is present within the other sacraments, which acquires sanctification, by which the sacrament brings about its effect, stands to the sensible species of those sacraments, so in this sacrament the body of Christ, which comes to be under the species [of bread and wine] through the consecration, stands to those species. Hence, as in the other sacraments the material element is not the cause of the power that is in it, nor is it the cause of any spiritual effect in man except by means of this power, inasmuch as some one thing is formed from the element and the power [together]; so in this sacrament the species are not the cause of the body of Christ, nor are they the cause of any effect in the spiritual soul except by means of the true body of Christ, inasmuch as one sacrament is formed from the species and the body of Christ. But whether those species, in and of themselves, have some bodily effect, as water washes in a bodily manner in baptism even without the mediation of a spiritual power, will be spoken of below.
Ad tertium dicendum, quod omne sacramentum est visibile; non tamen oportet quod quidquid est in sacramento, sit visibile. Videtur enim species visibilis aquae in Baptismo, sed non videtur virtus spiritualis, quae secretius operatur salutem; et similiter hic videntur species, sed non videtur verum corpus Christi. Vel dicendum, quod est visibile non in se, sed in speciebus quae ipsum tegunt; sicut et substantia aliorum corporum videtur mediante colore.3. To the third, it should be said that every sacrament is visible, but it is not necessary that whatever is in a sacrament be visible. For the visible species of water is seen in baptism, but the spiritual power is unseen, which more secretly works salvation; and likewise here the species are seen, but the true body of Christ is unseen. Or it should be said that it is visible not in itself, but in the species that cover it, as the substance of other bodies is seen by means of color.
Ad quartum dicendum, quod sanctitas quae est in materiis aliorum sacramentorum, non est forma sanctitatis absolute, sed secundum ordinem ad aliud, ut in 1 dist. dictum est; et ideo non est simile de aliis sacramentis et de hoc, ut ex dictis patet.4. To the fourth, it should be said that the holiness that is in the matter of the other sacraments is not the form of holiness absolutely, but as ordered to something else, as was said above in Distinction 1; and so there is no parallel between the other sacraments and this one, as is evident from what has been said.
Ad quintum dicendum, quod ex hoc ipso quod alia sacramenta perficiuntur in acceptione vel collatione, contingit quod illud quod est in eis sacramentum et res, est aliquid acquisitum in suscipiente; in hoc autem sacramento aliter est, ut ex dictis patet.5. To the fifth, it should be said that by the very fact that the other sacraments are completed in their reception or dispensing, it happens that that which is the sacramental sign and reality in them is something acquired by the recipient. In this sacrament, however, it is otherwise, as is evident from what has been said.
SUBQUESTION 2: Whether the Eucharist is a single sacrament.
Ulterius. Videtur quod non sit unum sacramentum, sed multa.Moreover, it seems that it is not a single sacrament, but several.
Primo per hoc quod in collecta dicitur: purificent nos, domine, haec sacramenta quae sumpsimus.1. First, owing to what is said in the Collect: "May these sacraments that we have received cleanse us, O Lord."
Praeterea, sacramentum est in genere signi. Sed ea quae sunt in genere signi, sicut nomina, plurificantur ad pluralitatem signantium, quamvis sit idem signatum; sicut Marcus et Tullius sunt duo nomina, quamvis sit eadem res significata. Ergo cum in Eucharistia sint plura signantia, sicut species panis et vini, videtur quod sint plura sacramenta.2. Further, sacrament is in the genus of sign. But things that are in the genus of sign, such as names, are many when the things that signify are many, even if there be the same thing signified, as Marcus and Tullius are two names, although there is the same thing signified by them. Therefore, since in the Eucharist there are several things that signify,13 such as the species of bread and wine, it seems that there are several sacraments.
Praeterea, unitas rei est ex forma sua. Sed in Eucharistia sunt duae formae, una ad consecrationem panis, alia ad consecrationem sanguinis. Ergo sunt duo sacramenta.3. Further, a thing's unity comes from its form. But in the Eucharist there are two forms - one for the consecration of the bread, the other for the consecration of the blood. Therefore there are two sacraments.
Praeterea, ea quae nec in genere nec in specie conveniunt, sunt plura simpliciter. Sed corpus Christi verum cum speciebus panis et vini sunt differentia et specie et genere. Ergo sunt plura simpliciter. Cum ergo utrumque dicatur sacramentum in Eucharistia, videtur quod non sit unum sacramentum.4. Further, things that come together neither in genus nor in species are simply many. But the true body of Christ differs from the appearances of bread and wine by a difference in both species and genus. Therefore they are simply many. Since, therefore, each of these things is called "sacrament" in the case of the Eucharist, it seems that there is not just one sacrament.
Praeterea, ex duobus perfectis non fit aliquid unum. Sed Christus perfecte est sub utraque specie, scilicet panis et vini. Ergo ex his duobus non fit unum sacramentum.5. Further, from two perfect items something one cannot come to be. But Christ is perfectly present under either species, namely bread and wine. Therefore, from these two, a single sacrament cannot come to be.
Sed contra est, quiaOn the contrary:
si essent duo, tunc sacramenta novae legis non essent tantum septem.1. If they were two, then the sacraments of the new law would not be exactly seven in number.
Praeterea, quaecumque ordinantur ad idem efficiendum et significandum, pertinent ad unum sacramentum. Sed omnia quae in Eucharistia sunt, pertinent ad idem repraesentandum, scilicet mortem domini, et idem efficiendum, scilicet gratiam, per quam homo incorporatur corpori mystico. Ergo est unum tantum sacramentum.2. Further, whatever things are ordered to bringing about and signifying the same, pertain to a single sacrament. But all items that are in the Eucharist pertain to representing the same thing, namely the death of the Lord, and to bringing about the same thing, namely the grace by which a man is incorporated into the mystical body [of Christ]. Therefore it is but a single sacrament.
Response:
Ad secundam quaestionem dicendum, quod per se unum simpliciter, et quod est numero unum, tribus modis dicitur. Uno modo sicut indivisibile est unum, ut punctum et unitas, quod neque est multa actu neque potentia. Alio modo quod est unum ex continuitate, quod tamen est multa potentia, sicut linea. Tertio modo quod est unum perfectione, sicut dicitur calceamentum unum, quia habet omnes partes quae requiruntur ad calceamentum; et haec unitas dicitur in omnibus illis ad quorum integritatem aliqua exiguntur, sicut unus homo, una domus. Et quia ad esse sacramenti multa concurrunt, sicut forma et materia, et hujusmodi; ideo ab hac unitate perfectionis dicitur sacramentum unum esse. Illa enim sunt de integritate alicujus instrumenti quae requiruntur ad operationem illam ad quam instrumentum deputatum est. Hoc autem sacramentum deputatum est ex divina institutione ad cibationem spiritualem, quae per cibationem corporalem significatur. Et quia cibatio corporalis duo requirit, scilicet aliquid per modum cibi, et aliquid per modum potus; ideo ad integritatem hujus sacramenti ex divina institutione est aliquid per modum cibi, scilicet corpus Christi; et aliquid per modum potus, scilicet sanguis.It should be said that what is per se one simply, and what is one in number, is said in three ways. In one way, as an indivisible is one, such as a point and one [the principle of number], which is many neither in act nor in potency. In another way, that which is one by continuity, which is yet many in potency, such as a line. In a third way, that which is one in perfection, as a shoe is said to be one when it has all the parts that are required for a shoe; and this unity is spoken of in all things for whose integrity several items are required, as "one man" or "one house." And since many things concur in the being of a sacrament, such as form and matter and suchlike, therefore it is from this unity of perfection that a sacrament is said to be one. For to the integrity of any instrument belong those things that are required for the activity to which it is assigned as an instrument. Now, this sacrament is assigned by divine institution to serve as spiritual feeding, which is signified through bodily feeding.14 And since bodily feeding requires two things, namely something in the manner of food, and something in the manner of drink, hence for the integrity of this sacrament there is, by divine institution, something in the manner of food, namely Christ's body, and something in the manner of drink, namely [his] blood.
Replies to objections:
Ad primum ergo dicendum, quod dicitur pluraliter sacramenta propter materialem diversitatem signorum.1. To the first, therefore, it should be said that the Collect says "sacraments" in the plural on account of a material diversity of signs.
Ad secundum dicendum, quod ratio illa procedit quando utrumque signum habet integram significationem; sic autem non est hic: quia cibatio spiritualis non significatur perfecte neque per panis tantum neque per vini tantum sumptionem, sed per utrumque simul, sicut est in significatione nominum compositorum.2. To the second, it should be said that this argument holds when either sign has a complete signification; but that is not the case here, for spiritual feeding is perfectly signified neither by the consumption of bread alone nor of wine alone, but through the consumption of both at once - as is the case, too, in the signification of compound names.15
Ad tertium dicendum, quod ratio illa procederet, si utraque forma responderet toti sacramento; sed hoc falsum est: quia una forma respondet uni, et alia alii eorum quae ad sacramentum exiguntur.3. To the third, it should be said that this argument would hold, if either form corresponded to the whole sacrament, but this is false, since one form responds to one and the other to the other of those [components] that are required for the sacrament.
Ad quartum dicendum, quod quamvis non sint unum in genere vel specie naturae, possunt tamen esse unum per relationem ad unam operationem, ex qua unitate sumitur unitas sacramenti.4. To the fourth, it should be said that although they [viz., bread and wine, and the body of Christ] are not one in genus or in natural species, nevertheless they can be one by way of relation to a single activity,16 by which unity the unity of the sacrament is obtained.
Ad quintum dicendum, quod quamvis Christus perfectus sit sub utraque specie, non tamen quantum ad integrum usum sacramenti est sub utroque, sed quantum ad diversos usus.5. To the fifth, it should be said that although the complete Christ is present under either species, he is not under each as regards the integral use of the sacrament, but as regards different uses.17
SUBQUESTION 3: Whether the Eucharist is named by suitable names.
Ulterius. Videtur quod non convenientibus nominibus nominetur. Moreover, it seems that it is not named by suitable names.
Nomen enim proprium alicui debet imponi ex eo quod sit sibi proprium. Sed bonitas gratiae est communis omnibus sacramentis. Ergo ex hoc non debet imponi nomen proprium uni sacramento, ut dicatur Eucharistia.1. For a name proper to something ought to be given to it on the basis of that which is proper to it. But "goodness of grace"18 is common to all the sacraments. For this reason, therefore, it ought not to be given as a proper name to a single sacrament, when it is called "Eucharist."
Praeterea, sicut in littera dicitur, hoc sacramentum ideo viaticum appellatur, quia in via nos reficiens, usque ad patriam deducit. Sed hoc est commune omnibus sacramentis, quae non nisi viatoribus dantur ad perveniendum ad gloriam patriae, quae est res non contenta, et significata in omnibus sacramentis. Ergo non convenienter viaticum appellatur.2. Further, as is said in the text, this sacrament is named "viaticum" because, refreshing us along the way, it leads us even to the fatherland. But this is common to all the sacraments, which are only given to wayfarers for the purpose of arriving at the glory of the fatherland, which is the reality uncontained, and signified in all the sacraments. Therefore it [i.e., this sacrament alone] is not suitably called "viaticum."
Praeterea, causae per effectus denominari solent. Sed adducere ad communionem fidelium est effectus Baptismi, secundum Dionysium, ut ex praedictis patet. Ergo Baptismus magis debet dici communio vel synaxis, quam hoc sacramentum.3. Further, causes are customarily named through their effects. But to lead one into the communion of the faithful is the effect of baptism, according to Dionysius, as is evident from things said before. Therefore baptism ought rather to be called "communion" or "synaxis" than this sacrament.
Praeterea, in quolibet sacramento fit aliquid sacrum. Sed hoc importat sacrificii nomen. Ergo sacrificium etiam non est nomen proprium hujus sacramenti.4. Further, in any sacrament something is made sacred. But this is implied in the name "sacrifice." Therefore sacrifice, too, is not a name proper to this sacrament.
Praeterea, hostia videtur idem quod sacrificium. Sed Dionysius confirmationem nominat chrismatis hostiam. Ergo neque hostia neque sacrificium est nomen proprium huic sacramento.5. Further, "host" [i.e., victim] seems the same as sacrifice. But Dionysius names the confirmation of chrism a "host." Therefore neither host nor sacrifice is a name proper to this sacrament.
Response:
Ad tertiam quaestionem dicendum, quod in quolibet sacramento est tria considerare; scilicet originem, perfectionem, et finem ad quem est. Origo autem omnium sacramentorum est passio Christi, de cujus latere in cruce pendentis sacramenta profluxerunt, ut sancti dicunt; perfectio autem sacramenti est in hoc quod continet gratiam; finis autem sacramenti est duplex; proximus, scilicet sanctificatio recipientis, et ultimus, scilicet vita aeterna.It should be said that in any sacrament there are three things to consider: its origin, its perfection, and the end toward which it is [ordered]. Now the origin of all sacraments is the Passion of Christ, from whose side, when he was hanging on the cross, there flowed forth the sacraments, as the saints say; and the perfection of a sacrament is in its containing grace; while the end of a sacrament is twofold: the proximate end, namely the sanctification of the recipient, and the ultimate end, namely eternal life.
Haec autem per quamdam excellentiam in Eucharistia inveniuntur. Quia hoc sacramentum est specialiter in memoriam dominicae passionis; unde Matthaei 26: quotiescumque feceritis, in mei memoriam facietis; et ideo quantum ad originem vocatur sacrificium vel hostia. Similiter etiam gratiam non per modum intentionis continet sicut alia sacramenta, sed plenitudinem gratiae in suo fonte; et ideo antonomastice Eucharistia dicitur. Similiter etiam quia ipsa est consummatio omnium sanctificationum, ut Dionysius dicit, id quod est omnium, scilicet congregari ad unum, huic sacramento attribuitur; et dicitur communio vel synaxis, quod idem est, inquantum scilicet homo congregatur ad unum et ad seipsum et ad alios, ei quod est maxime unum conjunctus. Similiter etiam quantum ad ultimum finem consequendum maximam efficaciam habet, inquantum realiter continet hoc quo janua caeli nobis aperta est, scilicet sanguinem Christi; et ideo specialiter viaticum appellatur.Now all these are found with a certain excellence in the Eucharist. For this sacrament is especially in memory of the Lord's Passion; hence the words in Matthew 26: "Whensoever you shall do this, do it in memory of me." And so, as regards its origin, it is called sacrifice or host. Likewise, too, it does not contain grace in the same intentional manner 19 as the other sacraments, but the fullness of grace in its very font; and so it is called eucharist antonomastically. Likewise, too, because it is the consummation of all sanctifications, as Dionysius says, that which is common to all sanctifications, namely to gather together into one, is attributed [especially] to this sacrament, and it is called communion or synaxis, which come to the same, insofar namely as a man is gathered together into unity both with regard to himself and with regard to others, joined to him who is maximally one. Likewise, too, since it has maximum efficacy in winning through to the ultimate end insofar as it really contains that by which the gates of heaven are opened to us, namely the blood of Christ, thus it is specially called viaticum.
Replies to objections:
Et per haec patet solutio ad objecta: quia ab eo quod est commune, aliquid antonomastice denominari potest.And through this response the solution to all objections is evident; since something can be antonomastically denominated from what is common [to many].


Endnotes

1. idem quod figuratur, efficitur per signum figurans (return to text)

2. non efficiunt illud (return to text)

3. res et sacramentum (return to text)

4. Or: "it is not a sacrament having the same account as the others have," non est sacramentum ejusdem rationis cum aliis. (return to text)

5. ex ipso opere operato (return to text)

6. Note throughout that the Latin terms are closely related: sanctitas, sanctificatio, sanctus. (return to text)

7. Virtus autem est ultimum in re (return to text)

8. perfectio rei consistit in hoc quod res ad sui ultimum perducatur (return to text)

9. perfecta in esse (return to text)

10. esse spirituale (return to text)

11. aliis quae ad christianam religionem spectant (return to text)

12. ultimi finis perficientis (return to text)

13. plura signantia (return to text)

14. "feeding": cibatio; "food": cibus. (return to text)

15. E.g., "mailman," "swimming pool," are each one name, and not two. (return to text)

16. Namely, the activity both of sanctification and of eating and being sanctified by the eating. The bread and wine are taken as food and drink, but what is received by those who receive worthily is Christ's body and blood. Hence though the signs and the substance do not belong to the same genus or species, they come together in exactly the same action. The single activity is at once the signifying of sanctification (which is done by eating) and the sanctification itself (since the sanctification is accomplished via the signification, these two actions are parts of one complete action). (return to text)

17. In other words, though the whole Christ is present under the appearances of bread, the eating of the bread is part of the integral use of the sacrament, which represents spiritual feeding (from both food and drink). So, eating the species of bread is one use, drinking the species of wine is another use, but taking both together is the sacramental use as such. It is for this reason that St. Thomas always defends the fittingness of reception of the Eucharist under both species, although he often approves of the custom of withholding the chalice for reasons of caution against spillage. (return to text)

18. bonitas gratiae - a defensible Latin translation of eucharistia. (return to text)

19. per modum intentionis (return to text)


© Peter Kwasniewski
(pak@wyomingcatholiccollege.com)

My thanks to Joseph Bolin for his careful review of an earlier draft of this translation


The Aquinas Translation Project
(http://www4.desales.edu/~philtheo/loughlin/ATP/index.html)