REDEEMED IN THY BLOOD
Weeks before the tidal wave of green sweeps upward from the South, the sap that produces vegetation has been flowing unseen in root and trunk and branches, that now under the warm sun unfold a world of beauty and disclose a land of promise. So also the divine sap of Christ s Precious Blood had been flowing from those sacred springs on Mount Calvary through the arteries of the infant Church before its fruits blossomed forth under the warmth of fiery tongues. This vital fluid has ever been the divine life of the Church from the moment of its creation. Throughout the centuries and in every part of the globe, from the Catacombs to the Rocky Mountains and over the wide expanse of the Pacific Ocean, it circulates through the channels of the sacraments in the veins of the mystical body of Christ. Hence the Church is a living organism with the divine life of the Precious Blood and the Holy Ghost insuring its indefectibility and indestructibility.
Once our Lord sat at the well of Jacob and said to the Samaritan woman: thou didst know the gift of God, and who is he that saith to thee, give me to drink; thou perhaps wouldst have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water (John IV. 10). Here natural water was drawn from the earth to slake the thirst of the body. Now Jesus in the Tabernacle is sitting at a thousand wells of salvation in His Church and offering us drink from the soul-nourishing stream of His Sacred Heart. But the water that I will give him, shall become in him a fountain of water, springing up into life everlasting (John IV, 14). And immediately after these words Jesus said to His disciples: Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes, and see the countries; for they are white already to harvest. It was the land irrigated by the mystic waters of the sacraments, the countries converted by the Apostles, saturated with the blood of the martyrs, bedewed with the tears and sweat of the missionaries of all times, that our Lord saw in spirit as the rich harvest of His Precious Blood. Christ, the same yesterday, today and forever, continues to live in His Church both as Shepherd and Lamb. As Shepherd, He watches over His flock and carries the lamb on His shoulders; as Lamb, He lays down His life for His own and offers His own flesh and blood to his followers. So, too, the ministers of the Church have ever proven themselves both shepherd and lamb. And the blood of her martyrs has always been the seed of Christianity. The members of the Church are often victimized that they may become victorious. This sort of victory does not appeal to a sensual world. But it is the quality of loss and gain, of annihilation and resurrection, that our Lord impresses upon His followers. Many are called, but few are chosen, because they will not stoop to conquer. According to the divine plan we must become lambs, we must become as little children, before we are made heroes. He that humbleth himself shall be exalted. Christ came to conquer; but He conquered by becoming a Lamb and by shedding His Blood for us, then He arose as the Lion of the tribe of Juda. His wounds and His Blood became the panoply of His beauty and His strength, as the prophet Isaias had foretold: Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bosra, this beautiful one in his robe, walking in the greatness of his strength (Is. LXIII, 1). The triumph of the Blood of Jesus consists in sanctifying and saving souls. For this purpose alone it was shed. We must not be scandalized in Jesus Christ, or allow ourselves to be dispersed like sheep, when the enemy shall strike the shepherd. Blessed is he that shall not be scandalized in me.
The magnificent procession of the Precious Blood in the holy sacrifice of the Mass around the globe every twenty-four hours is one continual triumph of the Blood of Calvary; and the refulgence of the Precious Blood from 350,000 chalices is far more beautiful to the Most High than the golden sunset is to us here on earth. It is so consoling to see that this adorable Blood has not been shed in vain, that it is truly raised on our altars in remissionem peccatorum, for the remission of sin. For who can recount the triumphs of the Precious Blood in the confessional? Who can conceive their number and greatness? They are partially revealed at the communion railing. What glorious fruits of the Precious Blood can be observed in every successful mission! At every Benediction with the Blessed Sacrament, at every Forty Hours Devotion, we come to invoke the Blood of love and mercy upon us and to proclaim that we want to be the children of Jesus, Who was so ignominiously rejected by the Jews when they cried: His blood be upon us and upon our children. The principal part of the divine work of the Precious Blood is hidden in the secrecy of souls, and there are countless triumphs of truth and grace which will never be known till the day of judgment. The very greatest sacrifices we have to make are hidden from the gaze of an admiring world. Those have always been the heaviest crosses which we must drag along unseen by human eyes. The most painful struggles ever endured are fought out in the stillness of the heart. Fiercer battles have been fought, and greater heroes are to be found in the spiritual and hidden life of Christians, than the worlds history ever recorded. But every divine inspiration is like so many dew-drops of the Precious Blood, and oh! The happiness and love they instill in the heart! These are triumphs of the Precious Blood. They will come to light on the Day of Judgment. This day will see the rich harvest of the Blood of Calvary. Our Saviour will appear with His radiant Five Wounds, and the bodies of the just will reflect the glory of their Redeemer. But the Lord shall rise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee (Is. LX, 2).