TREADING THE WINE-PRESS
It is an indisputable article of Faith, that, to be cleansed from sin, whether original or actual sin, we need the application of the Precious Blood of Jesus Christ, in which alone we are justified and freed from the anger of God. Almost all things, according to the law, are cleansed with blood: and without shedding of blood there is no remission.
Christ died for us; much more therefore, being now justified by his blood, shall we be saved from wrath through him.
Another undeniable truth that shows forth the necessity of applying the Precious Blood to our soul, is the doctrine that nothing defiled can enter the kingdom of heaven. Since the fall of Adam, man is a vessel of defilement and must be washed in the Blood of the Lamb before the gates of heaven will be opened to him. No one will become a citizen of the abode of the elect unless marked by the Blood of Christ. 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 (Apoc. XXII, 14). The Abbot Rupert expresses this doctrine of the Apostles in these words: Nobody will see God unless he is sprinkled with the Blood of Christ.
For this reason our Lord has left us in His Church many means by which His Precious Blood is applied to our soul. The Holy Eucharist is, as a sacrifice and as a sacrament, the heart of the activity of the Precious Blood, but the other sacraments are the vessels, the veins through which this life-giving stream of grace is conducted from the Heart of Jesus into our soul for our purification and sanctification. The sacraments are a continuation of the earthly life of our Divine High-priest going about doing good. Do we realize the enormous iniquity of sin, with which men sport and jest and which many drink like water? O terrible necessity of the Blood of Jesus, which alone is efficacious in wiping out sin! Sin frustrates the designs of God and destroys, as much as it can, the merits of our Redeemer s Blood. The sinner sees the Blood of his Saviour flowing and by his sins helps to widen and deepen His wounds. But what could inspire the penitent sinner with more confidence in God than a deep devotion to His Precious Blood? Who could lose faith in Jesus when he sees Him bleeding for us? Jesus Christ loved us, and washed us in His Blood, and observe that He did not wait to love us until we were washed from our impurities; but He loved us when we were vile and impure creatures, and then washed us.