The sacred liturgy celebrates the Precious Blood throughout the year, especially on Good Friday. Through the sacrifice of the altar, Our Lord Jesus Christ never ceases to spread its purifying virtue over the world, crying out not vengeance but mercy. That Blood of such a high price is given to us not with parsimony, but with infinite generosity.
O Blood of Jesus, I adore you present in the Blessed Sacrament, where you still flow in the sacred veins of the God-Man; I adore you in all the circumstances of the Passion where you were shed for us; enlighten me, that I may better understand your infinite excellence, and dedicate myself more generously to your worship and your glory.
Let us consider how the Blood of Jesus is precious for God Himself, since it rendered Him the greatest homage of glorification by repairing the dishonor that sin had caused Him, and gave the most touching witness of love. Let us recall that in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, it is the same Blood that is offered again to the heavenly Father; let us always attend Mass as on Calvary, thinking that then we render to the Lord the only homage worthy of Himself.
The Blood of Jesus is precious to our Divine Saviour Himself. It is His Blood, the principle of His natural life, which is the cause of all the acts He performed on earth. But above all, His Blood was precious to Him in His Passion, for it cost Him so many pains when He shed it in the scourging, the crowning of thorns and the horrible torment of the crucifixion.
The Blood of Jesus is also precious to Him in its effects. If there are so many holy souls that love and glorify Him, if in the hearts of so many martyrs, missionaries and virgins there are flames of most pure charity and the greatest zeal for the glory of God, it is due to the Blood of Jesus. If in Heaven there are thousands of Elect who will glorify the Lord eternally, it is also because of the adorable Blood: it is what redeemed and sanctified them.
The Blood of Jesus is also very precious to Mary. It is because She was to provide the first drops of this Blood that God ornamented Her with so much grace and sanctity, and that He put them within Her as a kind of reflection of His divine perfections. O Mary, You who were the most worthy adorer of the Blood of Your Son, teach us how to adore Him and glorify Him.
But above all, the Blood of Jesus is precious to us. If we cast a glance into our past life, we see our poor soul withered, defiled, spreading the infection of sin; but when one drop of the Blood of Jesus falls upon it through absolution, it is washed and purified; its ugliness turns into beauty and its infection into sweet perfume. And in the Eucharist, oh how precious the Blood of Jesus is to us! Yes, the Blood of Jesus is for us the source of the greatest happiness.
But life passes, and it passes quickly; after death, what shall be our place? Alas, after our numerous iniquities, it ought to be hell; let us consider that dreadful dungeon which was reserved for us, those devouring flames in which we were to burn eternally. But Jesus shed His Blood to prevent us from falling into that abyss of fire: if we follow His holy law, we will go to Heaven, which He purchased for us with His sufferings and the shedding of His Blood. For the Blessed, Heaven is the complete satisfaction of love, a participation in the felicity of God Himself; it is an eternity spent upon the bosom of Jesus, plunged into torrents of love and delight, and all of this is the fruit of the Divine Blood!
We truly have every reason to call it the Precious Blood, for it is so precious in every way! And how precious our own life becomes, since it is totally consecrated to what is most precious! My heart and my love are so precious to Jesus, because in order to possess them, He gave the last drop of that Blood whose value is infinite. God is Sovereign Wisdom, He cannot give something of great worth in return for an object of little price; how highly, then, has He reckoned my soul!
Let us often contemplate the price of the Divine Blood; how useful that will be to make us flee from all sin, to kindle us with love for Jesus! O Jesus, my love is therefore very precious to You, since to be loved by me, You shed unto the last drop of Your Divine Blood!
Devotion that we owe to the Precious Blood
First of all, let us acknowledge that faith, a very living faith, ought to be the first homage we have to render to the Blood of Jesus. We must believe that it is this Divine Blood which opened Heaven to us, we must penetrate ourselves with the thought that God became man and shed all His Blood to preserve us from eternal woe. This living faith will kindle our hearts with love for Jesus, who has so loved us, and this homage of our faith will be, at the same time, a reparation for the many infidels who do not know the Blood of Jesus, the many unbelievers who do not believe in it, the many Christians who believe in it but do not think of it and do not render it any homage.
The second homage we have to offer to the Blood of Jesus is that of compassion. God does everything with supreme wisdom; He willed to choose hearts which, by their love and their compassion, offer compensation to Him for the coldness of men and the crimes that insult Him every day. This loving commiseration will be likely to lessen our own pains, and to make us forget them in a way, at the sight of God suffering to the point of sweating blood in His agony, and enduring the other most bitter torments of His Passion. In the inevitable sorrows of life, if we want Jesus to have pity on us, let us have pity on Him; let us remember His sorrows and the shedding of His Blood – and not only vaguely, but in a way that will touch us, penetrate us with the deepest sorrow. When we look upon the crucifix, let us always express to Our Lord a sentiment of compassion; it will be an homage that will be very pleasing to Him and incline Him to have mercy on us in all our miseries.
The third sentiment to express to Jesus shedding His Blood for us is horror for sin and hatred for all faults, however slight they may be. Let us consider that it is sin which opened the veins of Jesus and made His Blood flow so painfully; it is our own sins, grievous sins, repeated sins committed in the past. Oh, who among us would still want to commit a voluntary sin, entertain a sentiment of self-love, a sentiment contrary to charity? O Jesus, we want to avoid sin, flee all the occasions of sin, since it cost You so many sufferings.
But the sentiment that the Blood of Jesus ought to arouse in us above all is love. Unceasingly, His Blood and His wounds repeat to us that word so sweet to our heart: I love you! Indeed, as Jesus Himself said, Greater love than this no man has, that he lay down his life for those he loves.1 The shedding of His Blood and His death upon the cross are the supreme proofs of His love for us. But in return, may our lips, faithful echos of our hearts, also say to Him at every moment: O Jesus, I love You, You who have loved me to the point of shedding Your Blood for me!
We are all exposed to temptation, even in the holiest state, and Saint James the Apostle said, Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been tried, he will receive the crown of life which God has promised to those who love Him.2 In these combats which the devil wages against whatever virtue, let us have recourse to the Blood of Jesus, let us apply it to our soul, and we will victoriously repel the attacks of hell. At the moment we are tempted, if we always remember the most bitter shedding of the Blood of Jesus, who would want to commit sin?
In all our troubles, whatever their nature, when we need lights to know how to act, let us again have recourse to the Blood of the Saviour; we cannot always have a guide in all the difficulties we encounter; but Jesus is always ready to listen to us and enlighten us upon what we have to do. On earth, His kindheartedness made Him find pleasure in comforting the afflicted, healing the sick, converting the sinners: well, He is still the same; He loves it when we go to Him with confidence in order that He may have an occasion to do good to us. What He did through His word during His mortal life, He does now through His Precious Blood; it is the means of action He employs to heal spiritual illnesses, purify souls and comfort those who suffer.
Yes, O Jesus, we want always to have recourse to Your Blood and apply it unceasingly to our souls, that they may appear beautiful and pleasing in Your sight. May we know how to employ Your Precious Blood in all our needs, and may we make it the most habitual object of our devotion and our homages.
Lord Jesus, may Thy Precious Blood
purify souls for whom Thou hast died
with so much love!
Extracts taken from: Msgr. J. S. Raymond, Méditations sur la Passion et le Précieux Sang de Notre-Seigneur Jésus-Christ (Beauchemin: Montreal, 1910), pp. 262-273.
1 St. John 15:13.
2 St. James 1:12.