It was funny Fourth of July this year. Stuck in the middle of the week on a Wednesday, it snuck up on me. My town made a robocall on Monday night to inform the residents of this year’s celebration. I didn’t get the message on my machine until early Tuesday afternoon. I was shocked to find out that festivities on the common began around 5 and that fireworks were that night. It took me totally by surprise.
July has been that way, too. Well, maybe a bit less so because I’ve really felt it creeping up on me. Now that it’s here, I keep asking myself, “How did it get to be July?” In the blink of an eye time passes leaving us sometimes a bit dazed.
One of the wonderful gifts the Church gives us is a way to mark time. We mark it by observing the liturgical year and by the dedication of the months of the year. So I’m thinking that rather than lamenting its fleeting nature, I will find a way to mark it more intentionally in my prayer.
The Church dedicates the month of July to the Precious Blood of Jesus – the price of our salvation. So today, I’ve decided to be more mindful of the Precious Blood and to make it part of my July ordinary time journey.
Below is a reflection by Pope John XXIII on promoting devotion to the Precious Blood followed by a morning offering and an act of consecration. These two prayers touched me the most as I was doing my research. At the very end (sorry for the length) I’ve attached files you can download or print out including the Chaplet of the Precious Blood. I invite you to join me in my July ordinary time journey.
Precious Blood of Jesus, save us! Anne
THE MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST
On Promoting Devotion to the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
An Apostolic Letter from Blessed Pope John XXIII.
June 30, 1960
Unlimited is the effectiveness of the God-Man’s Blood – just as unlimited as the love that impelled him to pour it out for us, first at his circumcision eight days after birth, and more profusely later on in his agony in the garden, in his scourging and crowning with thorns, in his climb to Calvary and crucifixion, and finally from out of that great wide wound in his side which symbolizes the divine Blood cascading down into all the Church’s sacraments. Such surpassing love suggests, nay demands, that everyone reborn in the torrents of that Blood adore it with grateful love.
The Blood of the new and eternal covenant especially deserves this worship of latria when it is elevated during the sacrifice of the Mass. But such worship achieves its normal fulfillment in sacramental communion with the same Blood, indissolubly united with Christ’s Eucharistic Body. In intimate association with the celebrant, the faithful can then truly make his sentiments at communion their own: “I will take the chalice of salvation and call upon the name of the Lord. . .
The Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ preserve my soul for everlasting life. Amen.” Thus as often as they come worthily to this holy table they will receive more abundant fruits of the redemption and resurrection and eternal life won for all men by the Blood Christ shed “through the Holy Spirit.” Nourished by his Body and Blood, sharing the divine strength that has sustained countless martyrs, they will stand up to the slings and arrows of each day’s fortunes – even if need be to martyrdom itself for the sake of Christian virtue and the kingdom of God.
Theirs will be the experience of that burning love which made St. John Chrysostom cry out, “Let us, then, come back from that table like lions breathing out fire, thus becoming terrifying to the Devil, and remaining mindful of our Head and of the love he has shown for us. . . This Blood, when worthily received, drives away demons and puts them at a distance from us, and even summons to us angels and the Lord of angels. . . This Blood, poured out in abundance, has washed the whole world clean. . . This is the price of the world; by it Christ purchased the Church… This thought will check in us unruly passions. How long, in truth, shall we be attached to present things? How long shall we remain asleep? How long shall we not take thought for our own salvation? Let us remember what privileges God has bestowed on us, let us give thanks, let us glorify him, not only by faith, but also by our very works.”
You know well enough that your ransom was not paid in earthly currency, silver or gold; it was paid in the Precious Blood of Christ; no lamb was ever so pure, so spotless a victim. If only they would lend a more eager ear to the apostle of the Gentiles: “A great price was paid to ransom you; glorify God by making your bodies the shrines of his presence.”
Their upright lives would then be the shining example they ought to be; Christ’s Church would far more effectively fulfill its mission to men. God wants all men to be saved, for he has willed that they should all be ransomed by the Blood of his only-begotten Son; he calls them all to be members of the one Mystical Body whose head is Christ. If only men would be more responsive to these promptings of his grace, how much the bonds of brotherly love among individuals and peoples and nations would be strengthened.
BASED ON THREE REVELATIONS OF OUR LORD
To St. Mechtilde and Two Mystics
DEAR LORD, I adore Thy Sacred Heart, which I desire to enter with acts of love, praise, adoration, and thanksgiving. I offer Thee my own heart as I sigh to Thee from its very depths, asking that Thou will worketh through me in all that I do this day; thus may I draw Thee closer to me than Thou wert before. I offer Thee all the crosses and sufferings of the world, in union with Thy life on earth, in expiation for sins. Please join my every action and heartbeat to the pulsations of Thy Heart. I unite all my works of this day to those labors Thou didst perform while Thou wert on earth, bathing them in Thy Precious Blood, and I offer them to the Heavenly Father so that many souls may be saved. Amen.
This prayer is based on the following revelations:
“When you awake, enter at once into My Heart, and when you are in it, offer My Father all your actions united to the pulsations of My Heart . . . If [a person is] engaged in work of no value in itself, if she bathes it in My Blood or unites it to the work I Myself did during My mortal life, it will greatly profit souls . . . more, perhaps, than if she had preached to the whole world. You will be able to save many souls that way.”
——-Our Lord to Sr. Josefa Menendez [1890-1923]
“When you awake in the morning, let your first act be to salute My Heart, and to offer Me your own . . . Whoever shall breathe a sigh toward Me from the bottom of his heart when he awakes in the morning and shall ask Me to work all his works in him throughout the day, will draw Me to him . . . For never does a man breathe a sigh of longing aspiration toward Me without drawing Me nearer to him than I was before.”
——-Our Lord to St. Mechtilde [1241-1298]
“It is not merely by praying that souls are saved, but through the actions of even the most ordinary lives lived for God . . . Offer Me everything united to My life on earth.
. . . Offer Me all the crosses of the world. There are so many, and few think of offering them to Me in expiation for sins . . .”
——-Our Lord to Gabrielle Bossis [1874-1950]
Act of Consecration to the Most Precious Blood
Blood of Jesus, inebriate me! O Jesus, my Beloved Savior, ever present in the Tabernacle, to be the strength, the joy and the food of souls, I come to consecrate myself to Thy Precious Blood, and to pledge Thee my sincere love and fidelity. Pierced with sorrow at the remembrance of Thy sufferings, the contemplation of the Cross, and the thought of the outrages and contempt lavished by ungrateful souls upon Thy dear Blood, I long, O my Jesus, to bring joy to Thy Heart, and to make Thee forget my sins, and those of the whole world, by consecrating my body and soul to Thy service. I desire, my Jesus, to live henceforth, only by Thy Blood and for Thy Blood. I now choose It as my greatest treasure and the dearest object of my love.
O merciful Redeemer, deign to regard me as a perpetual adorer of Thy Most Precious Blood, and be pleased to accept my prayers, my deeds and my sacrifices, as so many acts of reparation and love.
Heavenly Wine, giver of purity and strength, pour down upon my soul. Make of my heart a living chalice from which grace shall constantly flow on those that love Thee, and especially on poor sinners that offend Thee. Teach me to honor Thee and to make Thee honored by others. Give me power to draw to Thee cold and hardened hearts, that they may feel how infinitely Thy consolations surpass those of the world.
O Blood of my Crucified Savior, detach me from the world, and the spirit of the world. Make me love suffering and sacrifice, after the example of St. Catherine of Sienna, who loved Thee so much [and whom I choose again today as my special patroness].
O Precious Blood, be my strength amid the trials and struggles of exile. Grant that at the hour of death I may be able to bless Thee for having been the comfort and the sanctification of my soul, before becoming, in Heaven, the everlasting object of my love and praise.
Saints of God, who owe thy happiness to the Blood of Jesus; Angelic spirits, who sing Its glory and power, august Virgin, who to It owest the privileges of thine Immaculate Conception and Divine Maternity, help me to pay to the Precious Blood of my Redeemer a perpetual homage of adoration, reparation and thanksgiving. Amen.
Precious Blood morning offering & consecration (same as above)