156 Chapter 12
METHOD AND SYSTEM
The Eucharist is over here,
< - - - and here we are, standing
some place else, in the 'normal
universe,' looking at it, and trying to
Another way of saying the same thing is, when Man seriously asks,
"An sit verum?" he is automatically assuming that thought precedes the
Eucharist. He is assuming that thought already exists in some time-less
realm that is "higher" than and prior to the Eucharist's bluntly physical
presence in time.
Fr. Keefe says, the nature of reality itself is Eucharistic: this is the
faith of the Church. Therefore, reality is historical, not time-less: it is
meaningful solely because the Eucharist is a sacrament -- Christ's
actual, physical presence and his One Sacrifice, re-presented and
poured out to us in sacramental sign now.
Therefore, the substrate for our very thoughts is no time-less place,
but only the Eucharist. Its bluntly physical, unswervingly 'time-full,'
sacramental, covenantal, historical presence as an Event, not as a
'framework' or a 'structure' or a 'theory,' is the literal creation of the
whole world, and its redemption from the Fall wreaked by Adam and
The Catholic can not ask, "An sit verum?" (but, on the other hand,
is it true?) not because he is not 'allowed' to ask it -- not because
Oppressive Church Authorities refuse to permit such impertinence. He
can't ask this question, because he understands that he has to stand in a
time-less place in order to ask it. The question immediately dribbles
away into absurdity, into the "vanity" of 'flesh,' as soon as it is
Nor can the Catholic answer the question, "An sit verum?" when it
is asked by another. The question itself, by assuming that Man can
stand to understand in some 'place' outside the Eucharist, already
asserts the contrary of what the Church proclaims. So, partly, "An sit
verum?" can not be 'answered' because the question itself is not a real
question, but a conclusion: that the Eucharistic Event is not prior to the
questioner or the 'place' where he stands. The question implicitly
assumes the existence of a 'place' prior to the Eucharist, by which it
will be 'evaluated' and 'understood.' The only 'answer' a Catholic can
give to "An sit verum?", a 'question' that assumes its own answer a
priori, is some very, very gentle and polite way of saying, "That's not a
question -- it's a conclusion."
So, the fundamental reason that the Catholic can not answer "An sit
verum?" is because Catholics don't have answers. Catholics have a
Person, who acts, in our time, in and through sacramental sign, freely
given in and through the free liturgical mediation of the Church's
bodily, physical, 'time-full,' historical, covenantal faith in her Head.
N.B. This is an html-ized copy of a page from the pdf file, The Knucklehead's Guide to Covenantal Theology.