July – The Month of the Precious Blood
“It is no use repeating this a thousand times; yet we should have to repeat it a thousand thousand times, for years and years, before we should get the vastness of this piercing truth into our souls. We should worship one drop of the Precious Blood with the same worship as that wherewith we worship God. Let us kneel down, and hide our faces before God, and say nothing, but let the immensity of this faith sink down into our souls.
“If the Easter Resurrection left any red stains upon the stones, or roots, or earth of Gethsemane, they are no longer to be found beneath the luxuriant vegetation of the Franciscan garden there. Neither indeed if they had been left, when Easter passed, could we have worshipped them with divine worship; for they had already ceased to be the Precious Blood. Whatever Jesus did not reunite to himself in the Resurrection remained disunited from the Person of the Word forever, and therefore, however venerable, had no claim to adoration. But, had we been in Jerusalem on the Friday and the Saturday, we should have found objects, or rather the multiplied presence of an object, of dreadest worship everywhere. The pavement of the streets, the accoutrements of the Roman legionaries, the floors of their barracks, the steps of Pilate’s judgment-hall, the pillar of the scourging, the ascent of Calvary, the wood of the Cross, many shoes and sandals of the multitude, many garments either worn or in the clothes-presses, ropes, tools, scourges, and many other things, were stained with Precious Blood; and everywhere the angels were adoring it. Had we been there, and had been wise with the holy wisdom of our present faith, we must have adored it also…. Millions of angels intently adoring down upon the low-lying surface of the ground, as if heaven were there, below rather than above, as indeed it was, and at each spot adoring with such singular concentration, as if the Divine Life had been broken up, and there were may Gods instead of One! Meanwhile men, the very part of creation which this Precious Blood most specially concerned, were passing through the streets, and over the ruddy spots, treading on adorable things and yet never heeding, with angels beneath their sandals and yet never knowing it, compassed thickly round with mysteries the sudden revelation of which would have struck them dead, and yet with the most utter, unsuspecting ignorance….
“But we need not go to Jerusalem, we need not have lived eighteen hundred years ago, to find the Precious Blood and worship it. Here is part of that awfulness of our holy faith, which makes us so thrill with love that it is sometimes as if we could not bear the fire which is burning in our hearts. We actually worship it every day in the chalice at Mass. When the chalice is uplifted over the altar, the Blood of Jesus is there, whole and entire, glorified and full of the pulses of his true human life. The blood that once lay in the cave at Olivet, that curdled in the thongs and knots of the scourges, that matted his hair and soaked his garments, that stained the crown of thorns and bedewed the Cross, the Blood that he drank himself in his own communion on the Thursday night, the Blood that lay all Friday night in seemingly careless prodigality upon the pavement of the treacherous city,–that same Blood is living in the chalice, united to the Person of the Eternal Word, to be worshipped with the uttermost prostration of our bodies and our souls…. When the Blessed Sacrament is laid upon your tongue,–that moment and that act which the great angels of God look down upon with such surpassing awe,–the Blood of Jesus is throbbing there in all its abounding life of glory. It sheathes in the sacramental mystery that exceeding radiance which is lighting all heaven at that moment with a magnificence of splendor which exceeds the glowing of a million suns. You do not feel the strong pulses of his immortal life. If you did, you could hardly live yourself. Sacred terror would undo your life. But in that adorable Host is the whole of the Precious Blood, the Blood of Gethsemane, Jerusalem, and Calvary, the Blood of the Passion, of the Resurrection, and of the Ascension, the Blood shed and reassumed. As Mary bore that Precious Blood within herself of old, so do you bear it now. It is in his Heart and veins, within the temple of his Body, as it was when he lay those nine months in her ever-blessed womb. We believe all this; nay, we so believe it that we know it rather than believe it; and yet our love is so faint and fitful. Our very fires are frost in comparison with such a faith as this.”