There seems to be a new genre of post developing, in which I confess to negligences and sins of which I often accuse others. May I be at work on removing the beams from my eyes!
It was a very quiet 8:30 Mass this morning, because of the terrible weather. I was enjoying it, and thought I preached well, if a little too long. At the fraction, though, something went wrong. I don't know if I forgot to do the bend-before-break, or failed to hold the top end, or was holding the Host too far above the paten, but as I fractioned the Host I thought I saw a small particle fly off the left. I looked, and I found what I thought was probably a particle on the corporal, but I wasn't sure if it was the one I had lost. Maybe it was from some other Mass. In any case, I rescued the particle I found, and even if it wasn't the one I had lost, the relative sacrilege in this world remained as it was under my watch.
Of course the comfort in such situations is that the Body of Christ comes to us under the appearance of the bread. Where there is no longer any recognizable appearance, or where particles have become practically invisible, there is no fear the Blessed Sacrament is being lost.
On the other hand, it makes me mourn all of the particles that must get lost every day. I used to worry about this--to myself--when I was a novice, as we celebrated Mass with our sweet, muffiny altar breads made by one of the old friars (who was a renowned baker, truth be told, and a dear and deeply fraternal soul, God be good to him.) They were so yummy that friars would eat them right out of the freezer instead of saving them for the Masses for which they were destined. When I was in studies at the theological school we attended, I wondered about the large amounts of crumby pita bread that was used for Mass, and what recognizable particles must have inevitably been lost.
There are those who say that the treatment of the Sacred Species in the older form of Mass was overly protective and fussy. Perhaps there is something too that. But it can also be said that in the course of the reception of the reformed liturgy, something of reverence, care, and salutary fear has been lost in many places. Perhaps the treatment of the Sacred Species is one of those areas in which we should take up the Holy Father's advice in the cover letter to Summorum pontificum and seek a "mutual enrichment" of what are now called the Ordinary and Extraordinary forms of the Roman rite.
May God forgive me all of the sacrileges I commit against Him and his creatures each day. Amen.