I was recently discussing the word 'blood' and the use of the verb 'to bleed' with a colleague. By no means was it a very indepth, academic discussion, but it had me thinking about the word 'blood.'
For many people the word 'blood' makes their, I wouldn't say blood curdle, but I would say it brings up unpleasant memories; maybe an accident that one experienced as a child, or an appointment where needles and blood tests are required.
We often forget though, of the importance of blood and how this substance that courses through our veins is essential to our life. It is essential not just to our life here on earth, but for our life in the next -- for it was by the blood of our Saviour, Jesus Christ, that we have been saved!
Similar to the month of June and the Sacred Heart devotion, July is traditionally associated with the most Precious Blood of Jesus. The feast occurs on July 1st, but it is a feast in Canada that is often overlooked because of a votive Mass for Canada Day.
As the month of July winds down, perhaps we should consider the blood of Christ poured out for us. Take a moment to consider the invocations that can be found in the litany to the Most Precious Blood of Jesus:
Blood of Christ, only-begotten Son of the Eternal Father,Blood of Christ, Incarnate Word of God,Blood of Christ, of the New and Eternal Testament,Blood of Christ, falling upon the earth in the Agony,Blood of Christ, shed profusely in the Scourging,Blood of Christ, flowing forth in the Crowning with Thorns,Blood of Christ, poured out on the Cross,Blood of Christ, price of our salvation,Blood of Christ, without which there is no forgiveness.Blood of Christ, Eucharistic drink and refreshment of souls,Blood of Christ, stream of mercy,Blood of Christ, victor over demons,Blood of Christ, courage of Martyrs,Blood of Christ, strength of Confessors,Blood of Christ, bringing forth Virgins,Blood of Christ, help of those in peril,Blood of Christ, relief of the burdened,Blood of Christ, solace in sorrow,Blood of Christ, hope of the penitent,Blood of Christ, consolation of the dying,Blood of Christ, peace and tenderness of hearts,Blood of Christ, pledge of eternal life,Blood of Christ, freeing souls from purgatory,Blood of Christ, most worthy of all glory and honor.
I am very moved by these invocations, particularly when I consider that the response to each invocation is 'save us.' I can't help but find this a very humbling litany when I realize what our Lord did for us to in fact
The litany closes with this prayer:
Almighty and eternal God, you have appointed your only-begotten Son the Redeemer of the world, and willed to be appeased by his Blood. Grant we beg of you, 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.
No longer am I considering needles and scraped knees when blood comes to mind. Instead, I think of love.