Skip to comments.Devotion to the Precious Blood
Posted on 11/26/2006 2:57:48 PM PST by stfassisi
Devotion to the Precious Blood Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.
St. Peter gives us the revealed foundation for our devotion to the Precious Blood. You were redeemed, says the Apostle, not with perishable things like silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ as the Lamb without blemish or stain (1 Peter 1:18-19).
The Meaning of the Precious Blood Given this foundation of faith, we ask ourselves what exactly do we mean when we say we were redeemed by the Blood of Christ? We mean that unless Christ had shed his blood for us, we would not be redeemed.
In his infinite mercy, God chose to become man and die for our sins. But Christ, as the Incarnate Son of God, could not have died of any mortal sickness or disease. As the sinless Lamb of God, His death had to be inflicted outside of Himself. Moreover, having no sin on His soul which deserved bodily death, He had to want to be mortal. He therefore chose to bleed to death on the Cross.
Consequently the Blood of Christ is precious three times over.
It is precious because it is literally the blood of the Son of God Who, out of love for us, assumed a human nature, with a human body that had human blood coursing through its veins.
It is precious again literally, except this blood shed on Calvary, the human race would not be redeemed.
Christ's Willing Sacrifice on the Cross It is precious because it was shed by Christ of His own free will. We speak of Christ sacrificing Himself on the Cross. So He did. But the heart of this sacrifice was His willingness to die by allowing His Body to be drained of its life-sustaining blood.
Providentially, the Mother of Jesus was standing under the Cross on Calvary as her Son was bleeding to death for the redemption of a sinful world. The Fathers of the Church tell us that Mary was splattered with the Blood of Christ, the blood he had received from her during the nine months she carried Him in her womb.
Devotion to the Blood of Christ goes back to the early Church. Understandably, it is at the center of Christianity. Unlike the bloody sacrifices of animals in the Old Testament, the New Testament is new because Christians believe God Himself became man to shed His blood on the Cross for our salvation.
Moreover, and most importantly, we believe that Christ continues to offer His blood for us in every Sacrifice of the Mass.
As the glorified Redeemer, He can no longer shed His blood physically, as He did on Calvary. But in every Mass He sheds His blood mystically. That is why when He instituted the Eucharist, He separately consecrated first the bread, This is my body, and then the wine, This is my blood. Until the end of time, every Mass signifies the separation of Christs body and blood, symbolizing His readiness to die every time Mass is offered.
On Calvary, Christ merited the graces of our salvation through the Mass. He now communicates the graces won for us by the shedding of His blood on the Cross.
Certainly one of the least known litanies approved by the Church is the Litany of the Precious Blood.
Implied in this litany is the fact that Christs whole Passion, from Gethsemani to Calvary, was a shedding of His blood. Thus we are told to pray:
Blood of Christ, falling upon the earth in the agony, save us.
Blood of Christ, shed profusely in the scourging, save us.
Blood of Christ, flowing forth in the crowning with thorns, save us.
Blood of Christ, poured out on the Cross, save us. We are further told to remember why the blood of Christ is so precious:
Blood of Christ, the price of our salvation, save us.
Blood of Christ, without which there is no forgiveness, save us.
The Precious Blood as a Source of Grace But most satisfying is the realization of the efficacy of the Precious Blood. It gives us the graces we need as we struggle through life on our way to eternity. No wonder St. Thomas Aquinas could say in the hymn Adoro Te, Lord Jesus, loving Pelican of Heaven, cleanse me a sinner with Your blood, for a single drop can save the whole world from all its sin.
So the Litany goes on in fervent invocation:
Blood of Christ, stream of mercy, save us.
Blood of Christ, victor over demons, save us.
Blood of Christ, courage of martyrs, save us.
Blood of Christ, help of those in peril, save us.
Blood of Christ, pledge of eternal life, save us.
The Apostolate of the Precious Blood Our century is the most bloody century in human history. We are living in the Age of Martyrs. Christ in His Mystical Body is undergoing what may justly be called a cosmic Passion.
Devotion to the Precious Blood is a divine imperative in our day. As we join our trials with those of the bleeding People of God, we cooperate with the Savior in His redemption of the modern world.
How red the blood,
offered up drop by drop
to the soldier's whip,
to the thorn's bite,
to the executioner's nail,
to the long wait on the cross.
Trickling down his arms,
across his feet,
down his forehead,
mark of death,
fluid of life,
blood of sacrifice,
O Sacrifice of Love,
O Victim Conqueror,
O Lamb of God
who takes away the sins of the world,
thank you for your mercy.
This is a beautiful thread. Thank you for posting it.
Here is a slightly different perspective.
Many of that pastor's doctrine includes rigorous devotion to past works from the RCC, but primary devotion to remaining in fellowship with God through faith in Christ and allowing the Holy Spirit to work.
Of special note is the significance of our Lord and Savior Christ Jesus as the second Adam, perfect in body, soul, and spirit. Also the historical record of His actual death on the Cross, his ability to speak on the Cross after the Final Judgment of all sin, the surrender of the spirit, and the active effort involving thinking and muscular control to leave his head in a forward position, documented by the piercing of his side releasing what is reported to be blood and water. So much of the Greek in the epistles emphasizes our thinking without emotion to intake Bible doctrine in the process of renewing our thinking (our soul) and then continually sancitfying the spirit by the Holy Spirit.
Thanks for the post.
If you want on (or off) this Catholic and Pro-Life ping list, let me know!
Absolutely wondrous. Thanks for the post.
Thanks for this thread. Welcome to FR.
Powerful writing. Yours? In any case, thank you for sharing it.
Yes...one of mine. I have s strong devotion to meditations on the death of Christ, and have written a lot of poems on it.
Thank you for commenting.
The Litany of the Precious Blood is recited every day outside of abortion clinics across the world by the Helpers of God's Precious Infants. Devotion is at the heart of our Church and it's making a come back!
Tomorrow — July 17th will probably be a special votive Mass for the Most Precious Blood of Jesus Christ.