The following reflection is one that came from a moment when certain words of the Mass suddenly stood our for me in a different way:
The priest says these beautiful words of the prayer over the offerings at Mass: “Make holy these gifts, we pray, by sending down your Spirit upon them like the dewfall….” Hearing these words, I feel my heart joining the gifts on the altar, to be made holy by the same Spirit, the same “dewfall.”
And my mind sets off in reflection. The dew doesn’t really fall, after all. It forms, and it forms only in certain conditions. The amount of moisture in the air, the time of day, the temperature of the air, a receptive surface, the temperature of the surface – the science books tell us each of these things must be just so, and must be in a proper relationship each to the others, in order for dew to form.
Just before I think to bring myself up short and end this distracting line of thought, I realize that if my heart is there with the gifts the priest is offering, the science has its spiritual application to this lovely prayer.
My mind begins to draw the parallels between my scientific reflection and the conditions surrounding me here. Some are created by God in the gathering of His people for this holy sacrifice of the Mass and by the priest through whom God’s grace comes to us in this celebration. The air is filled with God’s grace. The time is right, for any time that we offer ourselves in His presence is the right time. The warmth of God’s love surrounds us here.
Is my heart receptive? By the grace of God, we can be open to the workings of His Spirit. He does not force this grace on us, but when we seek it, it is always ours. Our open hearts and souls seek His grace, and it makes us receptive to His Spirit.
In science, the dewpoint is the temperature where the air, meeting the surface of a blade of grass or even a stone in the pathway, will yield its moisture to form itself and appear on that surface – provided that the temperature of that surface is itself just right.
The Spirit is always at exactly this point, always ready to be ours, and now – just now! – grace lights and warms my heart and soul, opened to His workings, so that the Spirit can yield Himself and be visible there.
On the altar, Jesus will soon be present through the consecration of bread and wine as His Body and Blood. In us, Jesus will soon be present as we receive His Body and Blood in the Blessed Sacrament.
And from here, we will go out as the visible evidence of His grace – all because He has made us holy by sending down His Spirit “like the dewfall.”
Holy Spirit, make of me a gift on this altar, receptive to Your grace and always ready to be made holy by Your dewfall. Make me a blessing to everyone I meet when I go from here this day.
Leave a Reply