The writing of this book was inspired by a two-fold correspondence
with a priest friend. The two issues that he raised were: first, the decision
by the Vatican to recognize as both valid and licit the use of that version
of the Anaphora of Addai and Mari which has no obvious “words of consecration”;
and second, my description of the term “Transubstantiation” as contentious.
This book covers the theology, philosophy and spirituality of the Eucharist. I believe that it is impossible to separate these from another without doing violence to one’s appreciation of and participation in the Eucharist.
The structure of the book is as follows. I begin with a review of the Scriptural texts pertinent to the Eucharist and propose a novel theory regarding its institution. I then consider a variety of Patristic texts which are advanced by Roman Catholic, Byzantine Orthodox and Protestant disputants as favouring their particular Eucharistic theologies. Next, I present a theological analysis of the Eucharist as the three-fold rational sacrifice which fulfils the Aaronic worship ritual. I then discuss the controversy over the “form of the Eucharist” before discussing Eucharistic Ontology from a Platonist perspective. Finally, I discuss Eucharistic spirituality and critique the revolutionary changes made to the Roman Liturgy in the name of pope Paul VI.
When referring to the Catholic faith, Church or theology I do not intend to distinguish these from or set them up against the Orthodox faith, Church or theology.
|A review of my book by James
I have a very strong devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. When I am in deep contemplation, I frequently find comfort and wisdom in the Presence of Our Lord in the Tabernacle. In Dr. Lovatt's book, you will find not only a Scriptural and Patristic analysis of the Holy Eucharist, but also a discussion into the very meaning of the word 'Sacrifice'.
The author's Platonism is obvious, though his commentary isn't restricted to that school of thought. The writing style, as in his other works, is direct and simple, yet eloquent.
I would recommend Stephen's book to anyone seeking to understand better what St. Thomas calls 'the consummation of the spiritual life.'