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CHAPTER LXIVAn Answer to Difficulties raised in respect of Place

IN this Sacrament something is present by force of conversion, and something by natural concomitance. By force of conversion there is present that which is the immediate term into which conversion is made. Such under the species of bread is the Body of Christ, into which the substance of bread is converted by the words, This is my body. Such again under the species of wine is the Blood of Christ, when it is said, This is the chalice of my blood. By natural concomitance all other things are there, which, though conversion is not made into them, nevertheless are really united with the term into which conversion is made. Clearly, the term into which conversion of the bread is made is not the Divinity of Christ, nor His Soul: nevertheless the Soul and the Divinity of Christ are under the species of bread, because of the real union of them both with the Body of Christ. If during the three days that Christ lay dead this Sacrament had been celebrated, the Soul of Christ would not have been under the species of bread, because it was not really united 389with His Body: nor would His Blood have been under the species of bread, nor His Body under the species of wine, because of the separation of the two in death. But now, because the Body of Christ in its nature is not without His Blood, the Body and Blood are contained under both species; the Body under the species of bread by force of conversion, and the Blood by natural concomitance; and conversely under the species of wine.

Hereby we have an answer to the difficulty of the incommensurateness of the Body of Christ with the space taken up by the bread. The substance of the bread is converted directly into the substance of the Body of Christ: but the dimensions of the Body of Christ are in the Sacrament by natural concomitance, not by force of conversion, since the dimensions of the bread remain.980980How this distinction meets the difficulty, is explained in Chap. LXVII, etsi difficile videatur, as St Thomas there avows. Thus then the Body of Christ is not referred to this particular place by means of its own dimensions, as though commensurate room had to be found for them, but by means of the dimensions of the bread, which remain, and for which commensurate room is found.

And so of the plurality of places. By its own proper dimensions the Body of Christ is in one place only; but by means of the dimensions of the bread that passes into it, the Body of Christ is in as many places as there are places in which the mystery of this conversion is celebrated, — not divided into parts, but whole in each: for every consecrated bread is converted into the whole Body of Christ.


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