HIS BLOOD BE UPON US
There is, then, no one who has not a special reason to venerate the Precious Blood and to make some atonement for his coldness and indifference towards this gift more precious than all the gold and silver in the world. Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things as gold or silver, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb unspotted and undefiled. Alas! outside of the true fold, how many so called churches there are where this Precious Blood does not flow, where people come to meet, but not to worship, where they hear little or nothing about the Price of their Redemption, and where it is never applied to their souls. In our day, the very Divinity of Christ, and therefore the efficacy of His Divine Blood, is openly and publicly denied in books and from sectarian pulpits. Again, when we remember the indifference of men towards their salvation, which Christ purchased so dearly, when we see how vice and crime are on the increase and, like the blood of Abel, crying to heaven for vengeance, we might also hear our Lord complaining through the mouth of the prophet: Quae utilitas in sanguine meo? Of what use is my Blood?
Father, whither art thou going without thy son? O holy Pontiff, whither art thou hastening without thy deacon? Never didst thou offer the holy sacrifice but I stood at thy side. Father, did I perhaps offend thee or has my zeal diminished? Try me now, whether thou hast chosen me as an unworthy servant to minister the Sacred Blood. Canst thou refuse me, who have drunk the Precious Blood with thee at the altar, to shed my blood with thee? Such is the language of the great deacon, St. Lawrence, to Pope Sixtus II, who was being led to martyrdom on the Appian way.
Whenever we are about to make the Way of the Cross and our eyes meet our Saviour, our Holy Pontiff, going to die for us, these sentiments of St. Lawrence will help us to make the stations in a spirit of atonement for our lack of filial attachment to our Divine Lord. As often as we attend the holy sacrifice of the Mass, let us commend to the mercy of God, revealed to us by the shedding of His Blood more than through anything else, our own coldness and indifference towards Jesus, our Leader, in the holy Eucharist. On one occasion, our Divine Saviour presented Himself to Blessed Margaret Mary Alacoque as He was when Pilate showed Him to the people, to excite their compassion, saying to them, Behold the Man! He appeared all torn with stripes and covered with wounds; His Blood flowed from every part; He bore upon His shoulders a heavy cross, and said with a sad and mournful voice, Will no one have pity on Me and com passionate My grief? Behold the miserable state to which sinners reduce me now! said the servant of God, He presented Himself to me covered with wounds, His Body bleeding and His Heart torn with sorrow, He seemed as if intensely weary. I prostrated myself at His feet with great fear which was imprinted in me, not daring to speak to Him. He said to me: Behold the state to which I am reduced by My chosen people, that should have appeased My justice, and that instead persecute Me. If they amend not, I will chastise them severely. I will withdraw the just and the innocent, and immolate the rest in My just anger, inflamed against them by their sins.
Here, then, is a labor of love for devotees of the Precious Blood daily communion and the Holy Hour as an act of Reparation. I looked for one that would grieve together with me, but there was none: and for one that would comfort me, and I found none. Could you not watch one hour with me? With a feeling of compunction we can prostrate ourselves before the tabernacle and kiss the floor in spirit while we think of our Divine Saviour in the Garden of Olives lying on His sacred countenance, His bloody sweat mingling with the dust of this accursed earth, which He does not reject but embraces with tender mercy. In spirit let us then join the Procession of the Precious Blood to Calvary. With Simon of Cyrene let us help carry the Cross of Jesus. Like Veronica, we can offer ourselves to wipe the Blood from the holy countenance of our dear Lord, in prayer and meditation, supplicating Him to give us also His picture in His Blood, as imprinted on the veil of Veronica, by impressing deeply upon our minds the memory of His Sacred Passion. With Mary Magdalen let us embrace the Cross and kiss the blood-stained feet of our Saviour and weep over our sins. With the penitent thief let us be zealous in defending the honor and glory of God, making amends for those who blaspheme Him, and in acknowledging Him as our King in whose kingdom we wish to reign forever. Beside the Sorrowful Mother let us stand beneath the Cross and offer the Blood of Jesus to His Heavenly Father for ourselves and for the whole world. With the Centurion let us strike our breast and proclaim the Divinity of the Precious Blood and claim it as the Price of our Redemption. Let us vow that our whole life as well as our death shall be an oblation to Jesus, our God, in honor of His Sacred Heart and His Precious Blood. O yes, the Sacred Heart and the Precious Blood, our love and our grace! We can awaken in us, as an act of Reparation, a lively faith in the Lamb that was slain living in the Blessed Sacrament with His five wounds that shine like five roseate suns in the hands and feet and heart of Jesus, suns whose exuberant radiance is causing unsetting day this hour in the farthest extremities of heaven. I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne, and the living creatures, and the ancients; and the number of them was thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice: The Lamb that was slain is worthy to receive power, and divinity, and wisdom, and strength and honor, and glory, and benediction (Apoc. V, 11-12).