Tuesday, September 01, 2020

Book Recommendation - The Eucharist: Mystery of Presence, Sacrifice, and Communion, by Lawrence Feingold

This book should be recommended, in my opinion, to all catechumens, and to all Catholics who didn’t study it when they were catechumens!

The Eucharist: Mystery of Presence, Sacrifice, and Communion by Lawrence Feingold. Steubenville: Emmaus Academic, 2018. 675 pp. ISBN: 978-1945125720

It was written as a textbook for seminarians, but its appeal is wider than that. It is a trustworthy text that explains what is at the core of our faith in terms that non-specialists likes me can understand. Furthermore, even though it comes in at 674 heavily foot-noted pages, it is written so engagingly that Dr. Feingold has succeeded in making what might be the driest of subjects to study (for all that everything in life hinges upon it) a relatively light read.
The book is rooted in Scripture, and explaining the prefigurement of the Eucharist in the Old Testament and its fulfillment in the New, through the eyes of Church Fathers, St Thomas, and magisterial teaching from the past right through to today. The strongest emphasis is placed upon St Thomas as an authority.

It is the best sort of book, in that it assumes high intelligence on the part of the reader, but relatively little prior knowledge. Dr. Feingold takes the trouble to establish and explain the axiomatic truths, and Thomistic terminology for those who are not conversant with them , thus also opening up to its readers the possibility of more fruitful future exploration of St Thomas. He then leads us through to the logical conclusions outlined step by step.
The book is structured in accordance with these principles in four sections: Foundations, the Real Presence and Transubstantiation, Sacrifice, and Communion. As well as his explanations of what is true, Dr. Feingold also takes us through the main errors that we might see today and their roots, in many cases, in the errors of the protestant reformers, and in some cases, of recent Catholic theologians.

Here are three detailed reviews by specialists in the field: by David Fagerberg, for the Antiphon journalby Fr Thomas Acklin for the St Paul Center; and by Roland Millare at Adoremus.org

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