What would happen if wine was poured into the Precious Blood; let’s say a drop of wine? Would that wine turn into the Precious Blood? Or if an equal amount of wine to the amount of Precious Blood was poured in; what would happen to the wine, or the Precious Blood?
St. Thomas Aquinas addresses this question in the Summa, Part III, Q. 77, Art. 8. Here I give a key excerpt:
… if the liquid of any kind whatsoever added be so much in quantity as to permeate the whole of the consecrated wine, and be mixed with it throughout, the result would be something numerically distinct, and the blood of Christ will remain there no longer. But if the quantity of the liquid added be so slight as not to permeate throughout, but to reach only a part of the species, Christ’s blood will cease to be under that part of the consecrated wine, yet will remain under the rest.
So according to him, if you added a drop of wine, it would neither change into the Precious Blood, nor change the Precious Blood itself, but would simply be present within it. But if you added, say, an equal amount, the Real Presence would likely cease, and you would be left with ordinary wine.
This happens at every purification. There are still drops of the Holy Blood in the chalice, but it becomes mixed with water, thus ceasing to be the Holy Blood.
everything makes sense all of a sudden
You just changed my life
Curious – could you say more?
Yeah, how come? And I hope is for the better.
Because I have ALWAYS wondered what they do with the last few drops of Precious Blood in the chalice and how they deal with it in a respectful manner.
In my church, if there is any left over, the priest usually finishes it off, but normally there is not much left over.
I was always curious if someone tested the wine before and after the blessing, when it turns into the blood of Christ, it would be interesting to see at what point, the actual ‘change’ takes place, does anyone know if this has ever been attempted or done?
This comes down to the philosophical understanding of the word ‘substance’.
It’s what we realise we are seeing when we see it and how transubstantiation works on the accidents,
If we see flour and water separately, they’re just flour and water. Mix them together in the right quantities and, despite there being flour and water, we see - realise, have transubstantiated by our actions - is dough. Add in vastly more more water, and it stops being dough and becomes, well, basically a bit of a mess. Bake the dough, and it becomes bread. But it’s still just flour and water - but after having had some action taken upon it, it is realised by us as something else: its substance has changed (i.e. substance being ‘that which lies beneath’ - the essential quality or nature of what we had originally has changed).
So dilute wine to the point where it isn’t wine any more, and you’ve not got wine. Dilute the Precious Blood and the same thing occurs. Otherwise the few molecules of wine that are left in the chalice would permanently and forever be Precious Blood - even under evaporation, condensation, breathing out after having taken a sip of it, etc - and we could all be committing sacrilege just by walking over the ground near a church (a molecule or two may well have gone astray).
Basically, if it’s no longer recognisable as what it was, it no longer is.
On one occasion my parish priest, in the course of a conversation in the sacristy, handed me a spare large host from its store box (I think it may have been broken or otherwise unsuitable for use, and had obviously not been consecrated). I consumed it (without ceremony) and it tasted exactly the same. As you should expect.