Laver of Our Redemption
Thomas A. Droleskey
Today is the
Feast of the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
It was six months ago today that the New Year began with the Feast of
the Circumcision, the first time in which the Most Precious Blood of
Jesus was shed on this earth. We thus begin the second half of Anno
Domini 2005 by commemorating liturgically the Blood whose shedding
made possible our regeneration in the baptismal font and the Blood whose
merits are poured out on us as a laver of redemption every time we avail
ourselves of the Sacrament of Penance. The entire month of July is devoted
to the Most Precious Blood of Jesus.
The Most Precious
Blood of Jesus was pumped through His arteries by His Most Sacred Heart,
Which was formed out of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. There was for
a period of nine months, as the unborn Jesus developed in the tabernacle
of His virginal and immaculate Mother's womb, an interchange of the
blood between Mother and Son, making Our Lady, who gave the Second Person
of the Blessed Trinity His Sacred Humanity by the power of the Holy
Ghost, the first to receive the Most Precious Blood of the Divine Redeemer.
She received from Him what she had given Him, signifying the tremendous
and mysterious--nay, almost impenetrable--union that existed between
the Theandric Person and herself, who had been conceived immaculately
and thus preserved from all stain of Original and Actual Sin. The Most
Precious Blood Our Lady gave to her Divine Son would be splattered on
her as she watched Him shed every single drop of It to redeem us on
the Wood of the Holy Cross.
The Most Precious
Blood of Jesus has replaced the blood of goats and bulls and lambs,
which was a mere foreshadowing of the Blood of all telling that would
be shed for the many so that the lintels of the doorposts of their souls
could be signed with It, the Blood of the Paschal Lamb, and thus avoid
the angel of eternal death and damnation when they gave up their spirits
and breathed their last in this vale of tears. It alone has the power
to forgive sins and to regenerate eternal life in the souls of the faithful
who seek out Its infinite and inexhaustible merits in the confessional.
We receive the Most Precious Blood of Jesus every time we receive Holy
Communion. Every single particle of a consecrated Host is the entirety
of the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of the God-Man, Our Lord and Saviour
Jesus Christ. We are thus not only healed of sin by the Most Precious
Blood of Jesus; we are nourished unto eternity by It.
Our Lord poured
out His Most Precious Blood for us to pay back for us in His Sacred
Humanity the blood debt of Adam's sin that was owed to Him in His Infinity
as God. One drop of His Most Precious Blood at the Circumcision would
have been good enough to redeem us. He chose, though, to undergo the
events of His fearful Passion and Death so as to show us, His rational
creatures who are frequently so ungrateful and lukewarm, the depth of
His love for us and to show us that we must be ready to shed our blood,
both figuratively and literally, for Him and His Holy Church. And we
must be ready to give unto the others the forgiveness that was poured
out over us in the Sacrament of Baptism and is poured over us by the
merits of the Most Precious Blood, applied to us in time by the words
and actions of an alter Christus acting in persona Christi,
repeatedly in the Sacrament of Penance. We must never be slow to offer
others the Mercy that was won for us by Our Lord's emptying Himself
completely of the substance that made His human life possible, His Most
As was portrayed
so well in The Passion of the Christ and has been described
thoroughly in any number of books and the accounts of mystics, such
as the soon-to-beatified Venerable Anne Catherine Emmerich, Our Lord
shed His Most Precious Blood in the Garden of Gethsemane when capillaries
burst in His head and His extremities as He underwent His Agony, seeing
at that time all of the sins of all human beings, including yours and
mine, for all eternity. The very thought of coming into contact in His
Sacred Humanity with the antithesis of His Sacred Divinity, sin, caused Him to sweat droplets of His Most Precious Blood. Have we resisted sin to the point of shedding blood, as Saint Paul discusses in his Epistle to the Hebrews?
Dom Gueranger puts it this way in The Liturgical Year:
John the Baptist [whose nativity's octave is commemorated today] has pointed out the Lamb, Peter has firmly established his throne, Paul has prepared the bride; their joint work, admirable in its unity, at once suggests the reason for their feasts occurring almost simultaneously in the cycle. The alliance being now secured, all three fall into shade; whilst the bride herself, raised up by them to such lofty heights, appears alone before us, holding in her hands the sacred cup of the nuptial-feast.
This gives the key of to-day's solemnity, revealing how its appearance in the heavens of the holy liturgy at this particular season is replete with mystery. The Church, it is true, has already made known to the sons of the new covenant, in a much more solemn manner, the price of the Blood that redeemed them, its nutritive strength and the adoring homage which is its due. On Good Friday earth and heaven beheld all sin drowned in the saving stream, whose eternal flood-gates at last gave way beneath the combined effort of man's violence and the love of the divine Heart. The festival of Corpus Christi witnessed our prostrate worship before the altars whereon is perpetuated the Sacrifice of Calvary, and where the outpouring of the precious Blood afford drink to the humblest little ones, as well as to the mightiest potentates of the earth, lowly bowed in adoration before it. How is it, then, that holy Church, is now inviting all Christians to hail, in a particular manner, the stream of life ever gushing from the sacred fount? what else can this mean, but that the preceding solemnities have by no means exhausted the mystery? The peace which this Blood has made to reign in the high places as well as in the low; the impetus of its wave bearing back the sons of Adam from the yawning gulf, purified, renewed and dazzling white in the radiance of their heavenly apparel; the sacred Table outspread before them on the waters' brink, and the chalice brimful of inebriation--all this preparation and display would be objectless, all these splendours would be incomprehensible, if man were not brought to see herein the wooings of a love that could never endure its advances to be outdone by the pretensions of any other. Therefore, the Blood of Jesus is set before our eyes at this moment as the Blood of the Testament; the pledge of the alliance proposed to us by God; the dower stipulated by eternal Wisdom for this divine union to which he is inviting all men, and its consummation in our soul which is being urged forward with such vehemence by the Holy Ghost.
It is thus incumbent upon us today, the Feast of the Most Precious Blood and the Octave Day of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist, to make any and all sacrifices that we need to make to assist every day at the Immemorial Mass of Tradition. The Precursor of Our Lord, Saint John the Baptist, leapt for joy in the womb of his mother, Saint Elizabeth, as he heard the sound of the voice of Our Lady, carrying within her virginal and immaculate womb the One whose path he would prepare. Saint John the Baptist prepared the way by his preaching for the coming of Our Lord to assume His Public Ministry. May he, by his prayers from eternity, help us to prepare for the worthy reception of Our Lord's Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity each day at the offering of the Immemorial Mass of Tradition wherein everything points seamlessly to the fact we are present at the very Sacrifice of the Cross at which the Most Precious Blood was shed for our redemption and for our nourishment unto eternity.
We must realize that there can be no peace in the souls of men or in their nations or the world unless each man everywhere comes to recognize that the price of human redemption was wrought for us by the God-Man as He shed His blood to redeem us. There is no secular salvation in any ideology or program or policy. There is salvation only in the Blood of the Divine Redeemer. We must resist the entreaties of those who think that they have a plan for world peace or for natoinal security that either ignores or is indifferent to this simple fact: the Most Precious Blood of Jesus Christ the source of our peace and sanctification.
The Most Precious Blood of Jesus Christ flowed from His Most Sacred Heart, which was formed out of and is in perfect communion with the Immaculate Heart of Mary. May we pray to Our Lady, Mary Immaculate, to help us to be so cleansed by her Divine Son's Most Precious Blood that we will have by means of penance and mortification blood running through our arteries and veins that carries holy sentiments of deep and filial attachment to First and Last Things, being ever ready to shed our blood, both figuratively and literally, in defense of the fullness of the Holy Faith without compromise or any taint of error, being especially willing to make all sacrifices necessary to help our families and friends persevere to the point of their dying breaths in states of sanctifying grace. Those who die in a state of sanctifying grace will, having had the seal of the Blood of the Paschal Lamb Himself placed on their lips, know the reward of the eternal merits of the Laver of Redemption in an unending Easter Sunday of glory in Paradise.
O Most Precious Blood of Jesus, have mercy on us.
O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.
Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.
The Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Latin-English
Kyrie, eleison Kyrie, eleison.
Christe, eleison Christe, eleison.
Kyrie, eleison Kyrie, eleison.
Christe, audi nos Christe, audi nos.
Christe, exaudi nos. Christe, exaudi nos.
Pater de caelis, Deus, miserere nobis.
Fili, Redemptor mundi, Deus, miserere nobis.
Spiritus Sancte, Deus, miserere nobis.
Sancta Trinitas, unus Deus, miserere nobis.
Sanguis Christi, Unigeniti Patris aeterni, salva nos.
Sanguis Christi, Verbi Dei incarnati, salva nos.
Sanguis Christi, Novi et Aeterni Testamenti, salva nos.
Sanguis Christi, in agonia decurrens in terram, salva nos.
Sanguis Christi, in flagellatione profluens, salva nos.
Sanguis Christi, in coronatione spinarum emanans, salva nos.
Sanguis Christi, in Cruce effusus, salva nos.
Sanguis Christi, pretium nostrae salutis, salva nos.
Sanguis Christi, sine quo non fit remissio, salva nos.
Sanguis Christi, in Eucharistia potus et lavacrum animarum, salva nos.
Sanguis Christi, flumen misericordiae, salva nos.
Sanguis Christi, victor daemonum, salva nos.
Sanguis Christi, fortitudo martyrum, salva nos.
Sanguis Christi, virtus confessorum, salva nos.
Sanguis Christi, germinans virgines, salva nos.
Sanguis Christi, robur periclitantium, salva nos.
Sanguis Christi, levamen laborantium, salva nos.
Sanguis Christi, in fletu solatium, salva nos.
Sanguis Christi, spes poenitentium, salva nos.
Sanguis Christi, solamen morientium, salva nos.
Sanguis Christi, pax et dulcedo cordium, salva nos.
Sanguis Christi, pignus vitae aeternae, salva nos.
Sanguis Christi, animas liberans de lacu Purgatorii, salva nos.
Sanguis Christi, omni gloria et honore dignissimus, salva nos.
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, parce nobis, Domine.
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, exaudi nos, Domine.
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis, Domine.
V. redimisti nos, Domine, in sanguine tuo.
R. Et fecisti nos Deo nostro regnum.
Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui unigenitum Filium tuum mundi Redemptorem constituisti, ac eius sanguine placari voluisti: concede, quaesumus, salutis nostrae pretium ita venerari, atque a praesentis vitae malis eius virtute defendi in terris, ut fructu perpetuo laetemur in caelis. Per eundem Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.
Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.
Christ, hear us. Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us. Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on us.
Blood of Christ, only-begotten Son of the eternal Father, save us.
Blood of Christ, Incarnate Word or God, save us.
Blood of Christ, of the New and Eternal Testament, save us.
Blood of Christ, falling upon the earth in Agony, save us.
Blood of Christ, shed profusely in the Scourging, save us.
Blood of Christ, flowing forth in the Crowning with Thorns, save us.
Blood of Christ, poured out on the Cross, save us.
Blood of Christ, price of our salvation, save us.
Blood of Christ, without which there is no forgiveness, save us.
Blood of Christ, Eucharistic drink and refreshment of souls, save us.
Blood of Christ, stream of mercy, save us.
Blood of Christ, victor over demons, save us.
Blood of Christ, courage of Martyrs, save us.
Blood of Christ, strength of Confessors, save us.
Blood of Christ, bringing forth Virgins, save us.
Blood of Christ, help of those in peril, save us.
Blood of Christ, relief of the burdened, save us.
Blood of Christ, solace in sorrow, save us.
Blood of Christ, hope of the penitent, save us.
Blood of Christ, consolation of the dying, save us.
Blood of Christ, peace and tenderness of hearts, save us.
Blood of Christ, pledge of eternal life, save us.
Blood of Christ, freeing souls from purgatory, save us.
Blood of Christ, most worthy of all glory and honor, save us.
Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world, have mercy on us, O Lord.
V. Thou hast redeemed us, O Lord, in Thy Blood.
R. And made us, for our God, a kingdom.
Let us pray:
Almighty and eternal God, Thou hast appointed Thine only-begotten Son the Redeemer of the world and willed to be appeased by his blood. Grant, we beg of Thee, that we may worthily adore this price of our salvation and through its power be safeguarded from the evils of the present life so that we may rejoice in its fruits forever in heaven. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.