I heard a discussion on the radio about whether or not homemade hosts, with
eggs and sugar and so on, were acceptable. There was a priest who said that
such hosts made the Mass invalid. Well, what about all the people that day?
What happened to them? Did Christ deny them His presence? It doesnt
e humans are smart enough to send
a spacecraft to another planet from where it sends back photographs and
everything, but compared to Gods wisdom we really dont
know much about anything at all. So instead
of arguing about a theological answer to your question, lets look at
the issue psychologically.
Given the fact that God is always
pouring down His graces upon us and never ceases to draw us to Him, what,
then, would prevent us from receiving those graces? Well, we ourselves push
away those graces through our own psychology. Through
pride and spiritual
blindnesswith arrogance, with
disobediencewe essentially separate
ourselves from Gods saving grace.
soul also beheld a certain ray of love issuing from that divine fountain,
and darting towards man with a force as if to annihilate him; and she saw
that when it found impediments, then, if it were possible for God to feel
pain, He would suffer the greatest of all grief. This ray aimed only to penetrate
the soul, and it was her own fault if she were not penetrated by it, for
the ray surrounded her on all sides, seeking entrance; but the soul, blinded
by self-love, did not perceive it.
Saint Catherine of Genoa
Spiritual Dialogue, First Part,
of the Eucharist
Now, in regard to the Eucharist,
we know from the Gospels precisely what basic elements are needed for a proper
celebration: bread and wine. All the accounts of the Last Supper agree about
this. So bread and wine are the sine qua non of the
Mass. Thats why we cant celebrate the
Mass with coffee and donuts. Coffee isnt wine, and donuts are not
Hmm . . . wait
a minute here. Arent donuts a sort of bread? Hmm . . .
What, then, is bread, really? Well, isnt it flour and water mixed together
and baked? Yes. And what is wine? Well, isnt it fermented juice?
So can elderberry wine, for example,
be used for Mass? Can donutswhich are flour and water, among other
thingsbe used at Mass? Thus we have to ask, When is wine not
wine and when is bread not bread?
The Example of
At this point, there can be only
one sane recourse. We simply need to look at what Christ Himself used for
the first Eucharist: He took bread and wine from the Last Supper, a Passover
meal. He used, therefore, grape wine and unleavened wheat bread with no
Knowing this, we come to the
psychological point of this discussion. Instead of arguing about whether
bread made with leaven and eggs, for example, is bread metaphysically
acceptable to God for our celebration of the Eucharist, we simply have to
realize that we cant go wrong if we follow the example of Christ.
Moreover, if we try to do something different from Christs own example,
then we are guilty of presumption and
pride. And what better a way to push away divine
grace than with presumption and pride!
So regardless of whether or not
bread other than unleavened wheat bread constitutes a metaphysical
invalidation of the Mass, we can still say for certain that presumption
and pride psychologically invalidate the
Mass for anyone falling into those
And what about those people you
asked about? Well, we can assume that those persons who rejected the example
of Christ and took up presumptuous innovations psychologically invalidated
the Mass for themselves by their own arrogance. Yet we can also assume
that all the graces God intended for anyone would have been fully available,
in one way or another, for those persons who participated faithfully in that
Mass without presumption, pride, or