The Mass ends, I give the blessing, and I go down the steps for the “Leonine Prayers,” done in English. I gaze up into the blue windows, which ride above our shining marble altar, adorned with gorgeous flower arrangements. Today flushed pink and French vanilla roses glowed among pale green gladiolas. God has surrounded his throne with beauty, I thought, and placed us all among that loveliness. His beneficence toward us is everlasting.
God chose wine to become his Blood. Wine, in all its sublime properties, sacramentally represents for us Christ’s life outpoured. Wine, which brings joy to gods and men, is the sacramental substance that Christ chose to represent Himself in the Mass, along with bread. The priest cannot perceive the infinite mystical graces Christ’s Blood obtains for him at early Mass. The natural cheer wine brings to the heart, however, signifies, in the smallest way, those same graces. God begins the priest’s day, not with coffee or sugar, but with wine, become His Blood. How sweet it is, and how much more infinitely sweeter must be the redemption wrought by Christ’s Blood itself. If we only knew the measure of the Gift to which the Mass hints by the gifts of bread and wine!