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What comes to your mind when you think about blood? Does it bring to mind arduous circumstances such as in the saying “I sweat blood over this”? Perhaps you remember Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s famous words when Britain was threatened as Hitler was conquering country after country in the Spring of 1940 and he told parliament that “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat”.
God in His goodness has given us opportunities to offer our Lord Jesus Christ’s Precious Blood to the Eternal Father for the sake of our fellow sinners and ourselves as well, in prayers and in the Holy Eucharist at Mass. Devotion to the Precious Blood can help heal emotional wounds, fortify righteousness, and save souls!
To that end, we have this prayer of reparation, along with other prayers on our site linked here.
Precious Blood of Jesus, infinite price of sinful man’s redemption, both drink and laver of our souls! You continually plead the cause of man before the throne of infinite mercy. From the depths of my heart I adore You. Jesus, so far as I am able, I want to make reparation for the insults and outrages You constantly receive from human beings, especially from those who dare to blaspheme You.
Who would not venerate this Blood of infinite value? Who does not feel inflamed with love for Jesus, who shed it? What would become of me had I not been redeemed by this divine Blood? Who has drained It all from the veins of my Savior? Surely, this was the work of love!
O infinite love, which has given us this saving balm! O balm beyond all price, welling up from the fountain of infinite love! Grant that every heart and every tongue may praise and thank You now and forever. Amen.
These two short prayers are also quite effective in a spirit of reparation. They can be said at any time and are easy to memorize:
Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Precious Blood of Jesus, in satisfaction for my sins, and for the needs of Holy Church.
This second one asks for assistance from the Blessed Mother for the relief of the Holy Souls in Purgatory. It is very similar to the well known Prayer of St. Gertrude.
O Eternal Father, I offer Thee, through the Immaculate Virgin Mary, the Precious Blood of Thy Son for the relief of the suffering souls in Purgatory
Jesus Himself faced perhaps the darkest hour anyone could imagine in His human nature in His Passion when He sweated blood at the Garden of Gethsemane in His Agony there the night before His crucifixion.
(Keep in mind that you don't need to pray for the Souls in Purgatory just in November, the month that is dedicated to them. They need our prayers all year round and will be very grateful for them!)
Our Lord saw visions of all the sins and depravities of mankind throughout the ages. Would his Precious Blood shed on our behalf be in vain for so many who would lose their souls anyway?
In a church approved private revelation recalling that dreadful night, Jesus expressed His deep sorrow to Sister Josefa Menendez, a Spanish nun in the 1920’s, how that would indeed be the case!
Blood is the source of life. The blood of goats, calves and bulls was used for sacrifices of atonement for sins in Old Testament rites in the Jewish temple. Tragically, blood has also been shed in countless pagan human sacrifices, including those of children, serving various Molochs and other false Gods over the centuries.
Through His bloody sacrifice in His Passion for our salvation, Jesus nullified the need for animal blood to be sacrificed on a constant basis, as in the Old Covenant. In the New Covenant our Lord established with His church, He is offered up to our Heavenly Father in a very real but “unbloodied” sacrifice in the Hosts we consume in a state of grace at every Mass throughout the world!
(Keep in mind of course, especially in these Pandemic times, that you need not consume the Precious Blood from the Chalice (the consecrated wine). When you receive our Lord in the Host, the consecrated bread at communion, you receive Him in His body, blood, soul, and divinity. Indeed there have been a number of proven Eucharistic miracles where blood was emitted from the Hosts!)
Still, Jesus must have had a terrible feeling as he was getting ready to be crucified the night before his Crucifixion as He sweated blood at the thought of so much ingratitude from so many who would be lost in spite of His enormous sacrifice on our behalf.
We read in the Book of Isaiah a prophetic line about a Suffering Servant that applies to Jesus Himself in His Scourging “By his stripes [his wounds from being scourged] we are healed”, (Is 53:5) but only if we want to be! It might help to remember St. Peter’s memorable exhortation to his fellow Christians that “You were not redeemed with corruptible things, as gold and silver…but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb unspotted and undefiled” (1 Pet. 1:18-19).
Think of all the needless bloodshed over the centuries from those who could not (out of ignorance) or would not (out of stubbornness or pride perhaps) follow Christ. This testifies to our brokenness as human beings from Original Sin! So many of us have wanted to go our own way instead, out of concupiscence or perhaps disordered passions, greed, arrogance, or anger.
These vices blind us to seeing the salvific value of the blood Jesus shed in His Passion. In Christ’s Crowning with Thorns, Anne Catherine Emmerich in her church approved private revelations found in the book The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ relates that “The sufferings of Jesus from thirst, caused by the fever which his wounds and sufferings had brought on, were intense. blood which trickled from his head on to his parched lips.”
Can you imagine His blood being shed for us providing one very slight bit of relief in those terrible moments?
In keeping with the prayers of reparation let us pray and fast when considering all the bloodshed that's going on right now in various parts of the world, such as in Ukraine and places we don't even know, where murders are commonplace. All this adds up to so much blood for souls shed in vain.
Because of humanity’s fallen nature from Original Sin, we have a tragic tendency not to want to listen to our Lord’s entreaties through His church to follow Him and keep His commandments. God has given us free will, with memory and intelligence to aid us in distinguishing right from wrong. Yet so often we keep ourselves from discerning what is truly good from what is evil, and we wind up acting more like raging beasts than human beings created in the image and likeness of God!
Pray for those with disordered passions. For example, those whose blood has been shed in vain in turf wars and drive-by shootings by gangs and drug cartels (which include many innocent victims caught in the crossfire). Pray for those who have no supernatural faith, and see no life beyond their current earthly existence, and who are shedding blood in tragic battles for raw power.
This may be naive on my part to say this but if we lived in a world where people honored our Lord’s Precious Blood shed in His Passion we might have far less bloodshed! We need to honor Jesus in His Precious Blood that he shed for humanity as a whole but also for each one of us at Calvary.
Pray for those Christians who have undergone religious persecution throughout the world such as in Nigeria, for example, where many Christians have been savagely killed by Muslim extremists in that country.
Such bravery in witnessing for our faith goes all the way back to the time of Christian martyrs from the Church’s first few centuries, starting with Sts. Stephen, James, and of course Peter and Paul in standing up for our faith against what could be brutal opposition.
You might have heard the famous saying from Tertullian, one of the Early Church Fathers who said in the Second Century that “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.” He was referring to the dignity those literally thrown to the lions showed in their witness to Jesus, because they wouldn't give that pinch of incense to some false Roman God, and the way that resistance inspired converts.
To sum up, devotion to our Lord’s Precious Blood in prayer is both salutary and a moving way to show Him Your love. It is a great way to increase Holiness and heal emotional wounds as well. And remember, as with the Passion itself, God is always striving to bring good out of evil.
We read in the book of Revelation how St. John the Evangelist refers to a great multitude standing before the throne of God, those “who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (Rev 7:14). He is referring here to martyrs who through shedding their blood on behalf of Christ, became saints from His Precious Blood! Keep that in mind when you receive Jesus in Communion.
In these treacherous times, you may or may not ever have to give up your life for our Lord, in martyrdom in the way they did, but, at the same time, let Jesus, through this devotion and others like it, help you cope with adversity and help you give up those sinful tendencies and habits that keep you from serving Him in your own way, and loving Him more! Thank God for having shed His Precious Blood so that we might be saved and have Eternal Life!