March 10, 2019

Conversation with a Priest

Yesterday, in speaking to a priest I know, he revealed that there have been several times during his career when he has been a witness to something extraordinary, although he treated it with almost a certain air of nonchalance. The word “nonchalance” is one to which I am sure he would not agree, but that is how I might best characterize his tone of voice as he related the events described below. It comes from a firm faith that the special is not extraordinary with the Eucharist, because the Eucharist itself is indeed special.

At every Mass, those responsible for seeing to it a sufficient number of hosts are available for Communion, by necessity, make an estimate of that amount. Invariably, over time, some estimates fall short. The priest said that in many such instances, Hosts are broken in half or even other fractions in order to overcome the difficulty. But there have been a few times, not just once, when, this priest said, although he should have run out, he did not. He was not aware how it occurred, he did not see any multiplication actually happen, but there just seemed to be more Hosts in the ciborium. More would simply be there, again and again.

He carefully pointed out that, in each of these cases, he had been fervently praying as the episode was transpiring.

Then, he told me something that surprised still further. He said that he had known other priests that had similar experiences. They had exchanged their stories with each other like other people do at work. While these instances are by no means commonplace in any possible sense of the word, they are out there, and more often than we know.


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