Monday, June 28, 2010

Reflections on the Precious Blood

Hi all.
No Church pictures in this post.  My social network has again agreed to blog on a common topic, this time the Precious Blood which is what July has been traditionally dedicated.

This is a hard topic for me.  I suppose the first thing I think about is why parishes use red wine that tastes terrible.  I mean really, doesn't Jesus deserve to be tasty?  I'm also rather surprised that parishes always use red.  Never blush or white.  Is it red to help us remember what it is?  But wouldn't it be easier to see a Eucharistic Miracle if the wine suddenly went from white to a blood red?

Speaking of Eucharistic Miracles, in a homily for Corpus Christi, one priest mentioned that scientists did a blood type test of a Eucharistic Miracle somewhere in Europe.  Jesus apparently has blood type AB+.  I'm rather shocked it isn't O-, the universal donor.  Wouldn't Jesus want everyone able to get His Blood? I did notice that when I went to the Eucharistic Miracle Exhibit there seemed to be a lack of Eucharistic Miracles in the United States and in the last 50 or so years.  I wonder why.  It seems like we need them more today and in the United States more than ever.

When I think of the Precious Blood, I think about the terror of actually receiving and of being tapped to be a Eucharistic Minister.  Terror not because I'm not worthy and God will strike me down in the middle of the Church, but more terror that I will drop or spill it.  I can't decide if it is because it is like sacrilege or I'd be humiliated.

I do recall learning in grade school that it was a privilege to receive the Precious Blood, that before Vatican II, the laity were not allowed to receive the Precious Blood for the most part.  I know in the Eastern churches, they receive by intinction, which is dipping the host into the wine.  I am grateful and appreciative that I have the option to receive the Precious Blood, even if I rarely do.

When I think about the Precious Blood, I think about how the St. Louis Archdiocese doesn't have a parish named after the Precious Blood anymore.  I also think about the religious order, the Sisters of the Most Precious Blood, that ran the high school I attended.

It's hard to talk about the Precious Blood, I think, because it doesn't seem as if we as Catholics think it is all that important.  It's almost an after thought it seems at times.  When you go to Eucharistic Adoration, it is always the Precious Body, not the Blood.  Saints who only eat the Most Blessed Sacrament seem to only take the Body and not the Blood.  Some of my more traditionally minded friends seem to believe that having the option to receive the Precious Blood at every Mass is unnecessary.  I think that is a little extreme.  Perhaps a happy medium of intinction would be best.


  1. The notion that the Precious Blood becomes a type-able human body fluid is revolting, and reflects a misguided understanding of transsubstantiation. That priest should read the catechism.

  2. The Church teaches that Christ is present, body, blood, soul and divinity, in each of the species. So, in receiving only the host, one still receives all of Christ. See CCC 1377 and 1390. To Anonymous, typing was done on hosts that had turned to flesh during Eucharistic Miracles; these hosts were not consumed. I recall also reading that the tissue was heart tissue. Fitting.