I am writing this in response to an article by "Ken" at Beggars All (linked below)...
Tuesday, April 12, 2011 Roman Catholic wrong use of AugustineAugustine is invoked a lot by Roman Catholics in his comments on on Psalm 99
http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1801099.htm Augustine's Expositions on Psalm 98 (Actually, Psalm 99) see here also at the ccel site
Actually, it IS Psalm 98 - in Catholic editions of the Scriptures!
Otherwise known asAgain, it's Psalm 98 in English too - Catholic editions, like the Douay-Rheims.
"Ennarations (Expositions) on Psalm 98"
There are 2 big problems with this.
= לַ"L" = "at"; הֲדֹם = "hadom" = footstool. Psalm 99:5 and 9 - both have the "L" preposition. "at the footstool of His feet" and "at His holy hill". לְהַר
"L" = "at"; הַר = "har" = hill
Augustine's sermon on Psalm 98 is Psalm 99 in English.
He didn't know Hebrew (as even Augustine admitted in his disputes with Jerome; and He didn't like Greek, as he also admitted, and he did not know Greek very well either. He and Tertullian before him contributed a lot of good things, but the reliance upon Latin rather than the original languages of the God-breathed Scriptures was a devastating mistake for the Church in history.); it is obvious - God does not say "Worship His footstool for His feet"; rather it says "worship [the Lord] at His footstool for His feet." Worship the Lord at His holy hill. ie "at the temple" or "at or in the earth, on the hill, the temple", etc.
Actually, it says: "Exalt ye the Lord our God, and adore his footstool, for it is holy." A better argument would be that David (the psalmist) is referring to the Ark of the Covenant, which indeed was holy and worthy of our worship.
If St. Augustine has made a mistake here, it would appear that "Ken" has made a similar one.
Anyway,Now IF St. Augustine is "wrong" about this footstool commentary, how is THAT indicative of the need of a reformation? Methinks "Ken" has slipped into a bit of misdirected hyperbole here.
1. Augustine was wrong on Psalm 99 - the Hebrew is clearer than his commentary. Hence, again; the great need for the Reformation and the clarity it brought in separating the good of Augustine from his mistakes and extra biblical traditions.
Now, switching gears a bit from the "footstool" discussion, "Ken" moves to the discussion of Transubstantiation and the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. St. Augustine, indeed, does discuss the Real Presence in this treatise, but "Ken's" point on the "footstool" seems off target.
2. Augustine did not mean any transubstantiation type of doctrine or literally bowing before bread and wine as if they had become Christ - nowhere does he say this kind of thing. He just says that since Christ is both God and man (His human nature is "of the earth"), then it is appropriate to worship Him - which Protestants do without the transubstantiation idolatry and genuflecting, etc. - He is in heaven sitting at the right hand of God the Father; He is not in the bread or wine. The bread and wine are symbols/representations of His once for all sacrifice for sin.
Let us examine what St. Augustine actually DID say regarding this (emphasis mine):
I ask, what is His footstool? And the Scripture tells me,The point "Ken" misses here, as do most Protestants who attempt to address this point, is that something which is "spiritually understood" is still REAL! Christians do not question the REALITY of God the Father or God the Holy Spirit - and yet they are purely SPIRIT. Just because something is "spiritually understood" that does not equate to "symbols" or "representations!" The REALITY of the matter is that Jesus Himself DECLARES the bread IS His body and the wine IS His blood! What we physically perceive, spiritually we KNOW the TRUTH is that it IS His body and blood. The REALITY is that it these hosts are no longer bread and wine but ARE His body and blood. St. Augustine explains those disciples who walked with Him no more were seeing things only carnally - they lacked a spiritual perspective, but mostly what they lacked was FAITH - and I posit the case is the same for Protestants who do not see the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, they haven't the FAITH to accept what Jesus plainly declares. These Protestants are no different than those who walk no more with Jesus except that they CLAIM they are still walking with Him while at the same time REJECTING what He so clearly taught and His True Church continues to teach.the earth is My footstool.In hesitation I turn unto Christ, since I am herein seeking Himself: and I discover how the earth may be worshipped without impiety, how His footstool may be worshipped without impiety. For He took upon Him earth from earth; because flesh is from earth, and He received flesh from the flesh of Mary. And because He walked here in very flesh, and gave that very flesh to us to eat for our salvation; and no one eats that flesh, unless he has first worshipped: we have found out in what sense such a footstool of our Lord's may be worshipped, and not only that we sin not in worshipping it, but that we sin in not worshipping. But does the flesh give life? Our Lord Himself, when He was speaking in praise of this same earth, said,It is the Spirit that quickens, the flesh profits nothing....But when our Lord praised it, He was speaking of His own flesh, and He had said,Except a man eat My flesh, he shall have no life in him.(John 6:54) Some disciples of His, about seventy, were offended, and said,This is an hard saying, who can hear it?And they went back, and walked no more with Him. It seemed unto them hard that He said,Except you eat the flesh of the Son of Man, you have no life in you:they received it foolishly, they thought of it carnally, and imagined that the Lord would cut off parts from His body, and give unto them; and they said,This is a hard saying.It was they who were hard, not the saying; for unless they had been hard, and not meek, they would have said unto themselves, He says not this without reason, but there must be some latent mystery herein. They would have remained with Him, softened, not hard: and would have learned that from Him which they who remained, when the others departed, learned. For when twelve disciples had remained with Him, on their departure, these remaining followers suggested to Him, as if in grief for the death of the former, that they were offended by His words, and turned back. But He instructed them, and says unto them,It is the Spirit that quickens, but the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.(John 6:63) Understand spiritually what I have said; you are not to eat this body which you see; nor to drink that blood which they who will crucify Me shall pour forth. I have commended unto you a certain mystery; spiritually understood, it will quicken. Although it is needful that this be visibly celebrated, yet it must be spiritually understood.