Modern Catholics are too prone to thinking that Our Lord’s Passion and the Divine Gift of His Precious Blood is something locked in the past
As Catholics, we are depriving ourselves and our loved ones by not venerating the Precious Blood with more fervour and sincere reverence. Now that we are in July, the month dedicated to the Most Precious Blood, we must immerse ourselves in the awesome truth that offering the Precious Blood is a powerful means of interceding for the souls of loved ones, and for the souls of people who have wronged us.
On the Cross, Our Lord shed His Blood to atone for our sins. We owe our redemption to Our Lord’s bloody sacrifice, ‘For this is my blood of the new covenant which is shed for the many, for the remission of sins’ (Matthew 26:28). If Our Lord established a New Covenant by His Sacrifice on the Cross, the highest sacrifice of the Old Law was the offering of the Paschal Lamb. Moses took the blood of sacrificial animals, sprinkled it upon the people and said: ‘This is the blood of the covenant, which the Lord has made with you’ (Exodus 24:8). In the new covenant, Our Lord, as Son of the Father, is the Lamb of God who offered himself on the altar of the Cross to redeem mankind from their sin and wipe clean the sins of the world with His Blood.
Modern Catholics are too prone to thinking that Our Lord’s Passion and the Divine Gift of His Precious Blood is something locked in the past, done and dusted, and we fail to see that it is a powerful means of helping souls get to Heaven in our times. When, in fact, us poor urchins may actually offer the Precious Blood to God the Father. It seems a contradiction that us sinners can take part in something so glorious. Fr Frederick William Faber’s book, The Precious Blood describes the experiences of saints who were given special visions to see the way a sinner can benefit from offering the Precious Blood. The Carmelite saint, St Mary Magdalen de Pazzi, when in a rapture, saw that, ‘every time a human being offers up the Blood by which he was redeemed, he offers a gift of infinite worth, which can be equalled by no other.’ Inspired by her vision, St Mary Magdalen de Pazzi offered the Precious Blood fifty times for the souls of the living and the dead, and then God rewarded her with visions of the multitudes of souls that had been saved from perdition or delivered from Purgatory. The prayer we may use is from The Raccolta: ‘Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Most Precious Blood of Jesus Christ, in satisfaction of my sins, in supplication for the holy souls in Purgatory and for the needs of Holy Church (name a soul).’
The Curé of Ars, St John Vianney drew on the most perfect way of offering the Most Precious Blood: he asked Our Lady to offer it for him, and said that it never failed to obtain for him the grace or favour he sought. Here is the Marian offering of the Precious Blood: ‘Immaculate Heart of Mary, do thou offer to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the conversion of sinners, especially, (name the soul).’ St Dominic actually had a vision of Our Lady sprinkling devout people in his congregation with the Precious Blood.
At Holy Mass, during the Consecration, we may ask Our Lady to offer the Precious Blood for the conversion of people living bad lives and doing harm to themselves and others, for the souls in Purgatory and for renewal in the Church.
The last point is perhaps the most neglected, if we want Mother Church to know rejuvenation by virtue of having leaders and a laity that are cleaned of their sinful ways, we must offer the Precious Blood for them. Here in Britain, we have a constant reminder to offer the Precious Blood for the sanctity of both leaders and laity, because Westminster Cathedral the mother church of England and Wales was dedicated to the Most Precious Blood in 1895.
By Mary O’Regan