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The Spiritual Life: You Give Life to All Things and Make Them Holy
The Book of Wisdom (18:6, 9) speaks to us about “the night of the Passover,” saying that the Israelites in Egypt were “putting into effect with one accord the divine institution.” Something divine was being instituted—established—when the Jews performed that first Passover meal according to the instructions they had received from God through Moses. Something “divine” because something of God. However, the Passover meal of the New Covenant is divine in a far more profound way because in it there is not merely something of God, but God himself. The Body and Blood, the Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, true God and true man, is really present in the Eucharist. One evening, as I was offering Mass in the parish, I was joined at the altar by . . . a gnat. He showed up during the Opening Prayer; so when the time came for me to prepare the wine in the chalice, I was ready for him. He behaved just as I expected: he tried to get to the wine. Throughout the Eucharistic Prayer, I had to cover the chalices, uncover them for the essential parts—the invoking of the Holy Spirit and the Consecration of the Precious Blood—and then rapidly cover them again. Each time, as soon as the covering was removed and the fragrance of wine began to emanate from the chalices, here he came; and at times I had to brush him away as I continued with the prayers.