WITH DYED GARMENTS
Christ shed His Blood for all men, and hence there is not a human being that does not owe a debt of gratitude to this Price of our Redemption. If we reach heaven at all, it will be because we are clothed with the dyed garments from Bosra with the Blood of our Redemption. Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ.
On account of the prominence assigned by the Apostles themselves to the Blood of Christ, as the instrument and price of our redemption, and as the cause of the triumphs of the Blessed in heaven, this devotion is pre-eminently called the Devotion of the Elect. At the consecration of the chalice the priest uses these words: For this is the chalice of my blood of the new and eternal testament, the mystery of faith: which shall be shed for you and for many, to the remission of sins. While Christ indeed died for all men that all men without exception may be saved, the words, for you and for many, imply that the fruits of His Precious Blood are not applied to all, because all men do not reach out for them or co-operate with the proffered graces. In this sense we must also understand the prayer of our Lord: I pray for them; I pray not for the world, but for them whom thou hast given me, because they are thine. This is the chalice of my blood which shall be shed for you for me? My beloved Redeemer. I want to belong to those for whom Thou dost shed Thy Blood every morning mystically at Mass; for by this Blood I have become Thine own. You are not your own, for you are bought with a great price. Glorify and bear God in your body. By venerating Thy Sacred Blood in a special manner I wish to become Thine own also in a particular manner and to participate in the fruits of the Redemption in a larger measure. Blessed are they that wash their robes in the blood of the Lamb: that they may have a right to the tree of life, and may enter in by the gates into the city. This devotion has not only a divine claim on every Christian, but now in Christ Jesus, you, who some time were afar off, are made nigh by the blood of Christ; it seems to urge this claim by lending itself so easily to every other devotion, besides being a special devotion in itself. Just as the blood in the body circulates freely throughout its members, nourishing all its tissues and forming a medium upon which all the organs depend for their very life and functions; so, too, the Blood of Christ must naturally be traced in all the other devotions conveying super natural life and grace, because the Blood of Christ underlies the whole plan of the Redemption and is the means of our sanctification in the sacraments. Let us follow up this characteristic of the Precious Blood devotion in some of the most prominent devotions of the Church.
DEVOTION TO THE HOLY NAME
When did our Lord receive the name of Jesus? It was when He shed His Blood the first time in the Circumcision as a pledge that He would save us, for He became our Saviour in His Blood. And He was clothed with a garment sprinkled with blood, and his name is called the Word of God. Again we find the holy name of Jesus appended to the Cross where our Saviour sheds His Blood the last time on Calvary. Hence the Prophet already coupled the Precious Blood with the Holy Name when he exclaimed, I will take the chalice of salvation and I will call upon the name of the Lord The blasphemous cry of the rabble before Pilate: His blood be upon us and upon our children! is repeated today on our streets in the terrible profanation of the Holy Name.
Those who habitually utter the name of Jesus Christ by way of cursing give unmistakable evidence that they are in the service of the Devil and that they are already doing now what the damned do forever in hell.
Our language will betray whether we are a follower of Christ or a companion of Satan. Surely thou also art one of them; for even thy speech doth discover thee, St. John heard the language of heaven. It is one of praise to the Lamb that was slain, therefore to Jesus Who redeemed us in His Blood.
O diabolical tongue, exclaims St. Bernardine of Siena, what urges thee to curse thy God Who created thee and Who redeemed thee with His Precious Blood?
In the words of the Psalmist, let us take the chalice of salvation at Mass and offer up the Precious Blood of Jesus as an expiation for the horrible outrages committed against His divine majesty by those who reject His Precious Blood and revile His Holy Name. O Jesus, my Savior, as I call upon Thy Holy Name, let Thy Blood cry to Heaven for me and obtain mercy and forgiveness for me! How sweet and consoling Thy name will be to me in the hour of death when I remember the mercies of the Precious Blood! You shall draw waters with joy out of the Saviors fountains: And you shall say in that day: Praise ye the Lord, and call upon his name.