quod pro nobis traditum est

Friday, December 07, 2007

Saint Ambrose

Saint Ambrose (c.340-397 A.D.), Bishop and Doctor of the Church; Ordained on December 7

"We see, then, that grace has a wider scope than nature, and even so we place a limit on the grace of the prophetic blessing. If a human blessing was so powerful that it could alter nature, what shall we say of that divine consecration in which the very words of the Lord, the Savior, are at work? For the sacrament that you receive is brought about by the word of Christ. If the word of Elijah was so powerful that it could bring down fire from heaven (1 Kgs 18:38), will the word of Christ not be able to alter the appearance of the elements? You have read of the whole world's works that He spoke and they were made, He commanded and they were created. (Ps. 33:9). Since the word of Christ, then, was able to make out of nothing what had not existed, can it not change what already existed into what it had not been? For it is not a lesser matter to give new natures to things than to change nature.

"But why do we make use of arguments? let us use {Christ's} own examples and establish the truth of this mystery by the mysteries of His incarnation. Had nature prepared the way when the Lord Jesus was born of Mary? In the normal course of events, generation occurs after a woman has had relations with a man. It is obvious, then, that the Virgin conceived outside the normal course of nature. And this body that we bring into being is from the Virgin. Why do you look for the normal course of nature in the case of Christ's body when the Lord Jesus Himself was born of a virgin and apart from nature? Most certainly, therefore, the true flesh of Christ which was crucified and which was buried, is truly the sacrament of His flesh."

(Source: This quote was found on a Roman Catholic website -, although the exact source of the quote is not provided.)

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