July Devotion – The Most Precious Blood
Holy Mother Church dedicates the month of July to the Precious Blood of Jesus, which was “shed for the many, for the remission of sins” (Matthew 26:28). Like the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the subject of Catholic devotion in June, the Precious Blood has long been venerated for its role in our redemption.
Devotion to the “Body Parts” of Jesus
Many non-Catholics find Catholic devotion to the “body parts” of Jesus Christ to be a little odd. In addition to the Sacred Heart and the Precious Blood, there are devotions to the Five Wounds (in Christ’s hands, feet, and side), to the shoulder wound, where Christ carried the Cross and to the wounds caused by the crown of thorns, to name just a few.
Faced with Protestant discomfort with these devotions, many Catholics have abandoned or downplayed them. But we should not do that. These devotions provide a living witness to our belief in the Incarnation of Jesus Christ. Our Saviour is not an abstraction, He is God-Made-Man. And as the Athanasian Creed tells us, in becoming man, Christ assumed humanity into the Godhead.
It’s an awesome thought – our physical nature is united to God through the Person of Jesus Christ. When we venerate Christ’s Precious Blood or His Sacred Heart, we aren’t making an idol out of Creation, we are worshiping the One True God Who so loved the world that He gave His Only Begotten Son to save us from everlasting death!
Christ’s Precious Blood, like His Sacred Heart, is a symbol of His love for all mankind. In this prayer, we recall the shedding of His Blood and ask, that He may guide our live,s so that we may be worthy of Heaven.
Lord Jesus Christ,
who came down from heaven to earth
from the bosom of the Father
and shed Thy Precious Blood
for the remission of our sins,
we humbly beseech Thee,
that in the day of judgment
we may deserve to hear,
standing at Thy right hand:
“Come, ye blessed.”
Who lives and reigns forever and ever.