Tuesday, August 26, 2008

St. Augustine on the Sacrifice of the Mass

From City of God 10.20:
And hence that true Mediator, in so far as, by assuming the form of a servant, He became the Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, though in the form of God He received sacrifice together with the Father, with whom He is one God, yet in the form of a servant He chose rather to be than to receive a sacrifice, that not even by this instance any one might have occasion to suppose that sacrifice should be rendered to any creature. Thus He is both the Priest who offers and the Sacrifice offered. And He designed that there should be a daily sign of this in the sacrifice of the Church, which, being His body, learns to offer herself through Him. Of this true Sacrifice the ancient sacrifices of the saints were the various and numerous signs; and it was thus variously figured, just as one thing is signified by a variety of words, that there may be less weariness when we speak of it much. To this supreme and true sacrifice all false sacrifices have given place.
According to St. Augustine, Christ, and not man, designed that there should be this daily sign "in the sacrifice of the Church". When sacrifice is removed from Christian worship, right worship is removed from Christianity.

As is clearly understood by St. Augustine and the early Church, Catholics do not offer new sacrifices. We offer ourselves up as a sacrifice. The priest acts in persona Christi offering to God the one perfect sacrifice of His Son.


Joseph said...

Hold on, I thought St. Augustine was the first Calvinist!

George Weis said...

More on this please. I have never read city of God, which I would love to read!!! It is on my wish list.

Anyway, is there a super clear indicator of the Mass here?

An interesting point Tim, I would welcome further discussion on this topic.


Rob said...


If you want to read City of God it is on the web site New Advent in its entirety.


George Weis said...

Oh yeah, that is true...

Like one of those DUH moments.


Tim A. Troutman said...

Or even better: download the mp3s for free.

George Weis said...

Oooh! Cooooool! I will :D