Chapter 114

How we should Approach Christ's Sacrament Humbly, Submitting Reason to Holy Faith

CHRIST. Beware of curious and unprofitable inquiry into the Miseries of this most holy Sacrament, if you would avoid being plunged into the depths of doubt; for those who attempt to search into the majesty of God will be overwhelmed with its glory. (Prov. 25:27) God can do more than man is able to comprehend; yet we may humbly and reverently search for truth, so long as the seeker is always willing to be taught, and to follow the sound teachings of the Fathers.

Blessed is that simplicity which rejects obscure inquiry and advances along the sure and open road of God's Commandments. (Ps. 119:35) Many have lost their devotion by attempting to pry into matters too high for them. It is faith and a holy life that are required of you, not a lofty intellect or knowledge of the profound mysteries of God. For if you cannot understand or grasp things that are beneath you, how will you comprehend those that are above you? Therefore submit yourself to God, and humble your reason to faith, and the light of knowledge shall be granted you in so far as it be profitable and necessary.

Some are sorely tempted about faith and the Sacraments, but this is due to the Devil rather than to themselves. Do not be anxious ; do not fight your thoughts, or attempt to answer any doubts that the Devil suggests; trust in God's word, believe His Saints and Prophets, and the wicked enemy will flee from you. (James 4:7) Often it is very profitable that the servant of God should experience such doubts, since the Devil does not tempt unbelievers and sinners who are already his own; but he tempts and vexes the faithful and devout in every way he can.

Go forward, then, with simple, undoubting faith, and come to this Sacrament with humble reverence, confidently committing to almighty God whatever you are not able to understand. God never deceives ; but man is deceived whenever he puts too much trust in himself. God walks with the simple, (Ps. 119:130) reveals Himself to the humble, gives understanding to little ones, discloses His secrets to pure minds, and conceals His grace from the curious and conceited . (Matt. 11:25)

All reason and natural research must follow faith, but not precede or encroach on it. For in this most holy and excellent Sacrament faith and love precede all else, working in ways unknowable to man. The eternal God, transcendent and infinite in power, works mightily and unsearchably ( Job 5:9) both in heaven and earth (Ps 135:6) nor can there be any searching out of His wonders. (Isa.40:28) For were the works of God readily understandable by human reason, they would be neither wonderful nor unspeakable.

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