INTO THE HOLIES BY THE BLOOD OF CHRIST
In that day there shall be a fountain open to the house of David, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and you shall draw waters with joy out of the Saviour’s fountain. Every living creature that creepeth whithersoever the torrent shall come, shall live: and there shall be fishes in abundance after these waters shall come thither, and they shall be healed, and all things shall live to which the torrent shall come. These waters are to be understood mystically of the Blood of Christ, and in this Blood we find the riches of His grace as applied by the holy sacrifice of the Mass and the Sacraments. A special confidence in the power of Christ s Divine Blood and an ardent devotion to it cannot fail to draw upon the sick and suffering soul a larger portion of this plentiful redemption. As our bodies are nourished, purified and repaired every minute by the blood flowing in our veins, so may we be strengthened, sanctified and healed more and more from the effects of sin by the Divine Blood of Jesus received daily in Holy Communion.
In bringing comfort to our Saviour in Gethsemane, the consoling angel is represented to us holding a chalice in his hand. Pain, as beautifully described by Pere Laurent, not only respects the past, that is, it is not only expiatory in character, but is one of the finest signs of God’s mindfulness for us in the present as well as for the future.
We are afflicted that we may be saved, and the hand that wounds is also the hand that heals. New spiritual life is born from, this partial destruction of our being by suffering. God allows jealous rivalries, cruel disappointments, unexpected humiliations to accomplish this aim; here he shatters a fortune, there He humbles a pride; dissipates this man s dreams for the future, strikes that man in his affections; maybe for another all earthly happiness will be swallowed up at a blow. In all this lies the mission of pain. It is a force that brings God nearer to us and raises us up to God. Ego venio et curabo eum. I myself will come down and heal him. It detaches us from this sinful world, and our sinful habits, even as a log is raised to the skies by applying fire to it and letting it go up in flame and smoke. Our sufferings ascend to heaven like sweet incense. Pain enlightens the mind by bringing home to us the true meaning of life and death and inspiring us with a desire for blessed immortality. He who has not suffered what does he know? It is a great leveler and makes us all akin. In passione socii. It is an ordeal that fortifies the will. Sound virtue and indomitable will-power can be attained only by him whose spirit has been tempered by sacrifice and subjected again and again to testing blows in the forge of life. It mellows our character. It is a grace which sanctifies the soul. By pain a sort of mystic union is effected which unites the life of the suffering soul to the very life of the suffering God-Man, and in this contact of the soul with God, pain is transmuted into power of redemption. Such as are patient and resigned to the will of God, acquire a likeness to their Divine Master and take on the lineaments of the Crucified, especially if their sufferings are, in a measure, undeserved. They are identified with Jesus Christ as victims of His special love to be an expiation for this wicked world and thus become a part of the vast scheme of atonement.