July 18, 2016

July is Dedicated to the Precious Blood of Christ

The Precious Blood of Christ

July is dedicated to the Precious Blood of Christ. Devotion to the Precious Blood is as old as Christianity. The veneration of Our Lord's Precious Blood is a spiritual obligation for every follower of Christ, not just priests and religious. In 96 AD, Pope St. Clement I said: "Let us fix our gaze on the Blood of Christ and realize how truly precious it is, seeing that it was poured out for our salvation and brought the grace of conversion to the whole world."

Devotion to the Precious Blood of Christ, the Lamb of God who was slain, is first of all to be veneration on our part — a combination of knowledge, love and adoration. Through study and reflection we can achieve a deeper understanding of what the words, Precious Blood, really mean. In so doing, we come to fully appreciate the depth of God's love and the indispensable nature of Christ's redeeming sacrifice. To that end, Father John Hardon's observation is profound:
To understand the meaning of the Precious Blood we must get some comprehension of the gravity of sin, of the awfulness of offending God, because it required the Blood of the Son of God to forgive that sin. We are living in an age in which to sin has become fashionable. 
Christ's Blood was shed for the salvation of sinful humanity. In pondering this truth, we recall the prayer Jesus taught St. Faustina, the Apostle of His Mercy:

"You expired, O Jesus, but the Source of Life gushed forth for souls and the Ocean of Mercy opened up for the whole world. O Fount of Life, unfathomable Divine Mercy, envelop the whole world and empty Yourself out upon us. O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fount of mercy for us, I trust in You."

Click to pray the Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus.

Prayer in Homage to Christ's Precious Blood

Almighty and eternal God, you have appointed your only-begotten Son, Christ, the Redeemer of the world, and willed to be appeased by his Blood. Grant we beg of you, that we may worthily adore this price of our salvation, and through its power be safeguarded from the evils of the present life, so that we may rejoice in its fruits forever in heaven. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

Sources: The Precious Blood of Christ, Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J., and Catholic Encyclopedia.

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