Chris Doig is a seminarian for the Diocese of Aberdeen. He has visited our parish on several occasions. Below, he reflects on the devotion to the Most Precious Blood of Jesus. Chris Doig will be ordained to the Order of Deacons in 2020; he will be ordained a priest next year.
As we approach the month dedicated to the Most Precious Blood, I look back to the time when I was studying at the Gregorian University in Rome, more particularly to my first lecture of Ecclesiology(the study of the Church) when the professor asked a question right at the start: “when was the Church born?” There were many answers, ranging from the Annunciation to the Calling of the disciples; and even from Jesus entrusting the keys to Peter to the day of Pentecost. Then there was one seminarian, young and pious, usually very quiet in class, gently raised his hand to get the professor’s attention, and he said confidently: “the Church was born when blood and water gushed forth from the side of Christ.”
A mystical answer, yet very traditional. Already the Fathers of the Church saw this moment as the initiation of the Sacraments. We could say, then, that the outpouring of the Most Precious Blood is, in a sense, like an eternal blood transfusion, which gives energy and charge – Life! – to the Body, the Church; after all, She is an organism.
The Precious Blood which flowed through Jesus’ human veins now runs through the mystical veins of the Church, that is, her sacraments, by which we are restored to the Father and cleansed from sin. This fresh life we receive comes from the blood of the Lamb, slain on the Cross for our salvation.
In our consideration of the Most Precious Blood, we can say that it is not really an optional aspect of our life of Faith. It is the very Life in which we live and so we should not shy away from the various forms of love and devotion; it will actually help sustain and increase our faith, especially now when it may be failing or we’re feeling tempted or lacking zeal. The Most Precious Blood is our Life! A beautiful way to mark the month of July is to take the Litany of the Most Precious Blood on our lips so as to, not only renew the sacramental life within us, but also to take it as a way of preparing ourselves to receive the Lord worthily when we can get back to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
As I reflected on the Litany the other day, I felt inspired to write a poem dedicated to the Most Precious Blood that I would like to share. I hope that it can inspire, renew and increase our love for Our Lord Jesus who spared nothing, giving everything out of love for us.
A POEM TO THE MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD
Blessed be His Most Precious Blood! a free and flowing holy flood,
the sacrifice of just mercy, is for sure healing remedy.
On the door post was blood of lamb, now fulfilled, our saving balm.
The dark angel passed them o’er, now sin and satan are no more.
No need for ram or goat or bull, Christ’s blood for us, a chalice full,
’tis more powerful than the old, our salvation, now, behold!
That Precious Blood for many out-poured, covenant renewed, the Ark restored,
Everlasting and always new falls from heaven like holy dew.
This is the hour of the Son, that our sin must be undone,
by each drop of Life Most Precious, reviving faith, how infectious!
Look on me with eyes of faith, heaven opens wide the gates,
each drop of blood I shed for you, takes your sin, and soul makes new.
My wounds are painful healing, call you to adore in kneeling,
the pain of scourge and crown of thorn, gives you hope to see the morn.
Tremble, see, in adoration, it’s the time of your salvation,
go dear soul and sin no more, the Lord saved you by blood out-poured.
Standing by the Cross we must, remember that we are but dust,
with Mother of Sorrow let us weep. And, cast ourselves into the deep.
Praise to the Father and the Son, who in the Spirit, love as one
Theirs the honour and the glory, as it was, is now, and will be.