Devotion to the Precious Blood is a fitting part of the Church's year
As previously mentioned on this blog, July is given to the devotion to the Precious Blood of Christ, a fitting way to follow the month of June and its devotion to the Sacred Heart.
Dom Gueranger writes about the actual feast of the Precious Blood, saying that its positioning shortly after the feasts of Sts. John the Baptist and Peter and Paul is deliberate: “John the Baptist has pointed out the Lamb, Peter has firmly fixed His throne, Paul has prepared the Bride; this their joint work, admirable in its unity, at once suggests the reason for their feasts occurring almost simultaneously on the cycle. The alliance being now secured, all three fall into shade; while the Bride herself, raised up by them to such lofty heights, appears alone before us, holding in her hands the sacred cup of the nuptial-feast.”
As such Gueranger notes how the feast – and by extension the whole month – highlights how great the mystery of Good Friday truly is.
“How is it, then, that Holy Church is now inviting all Christians to hail, in a particular manner, the stream of life ever gushing from the sacred fount? What else can this mean, but that the preceding solemnities have by no means exhausted the mystery?
The peace which the Blood has made to reign in the high places as well as in the low; the impetus of its wave bearing back the sons of Adam from the yawning gulf, purified, renewed, and dazzling white in the radiance of their heavenly apparel; the Sacred Table outspread before them, on the waters’ brink, and the Chalice brimful of inebriation; all this preparation and display would be objectless, if man were not brought to see therein the wooings of a Love that could never endure its advances to be outdone by the pretensions of any other.”
“Therefore, the Blood of Jesus is set before our eyes, at this moment, as the Blood of the Testament; the pledge of the alliance proposed to us by God; the dower stipulated upon by Eternal Wisdom for this divine union to which he is inviting all men, and whereof the consummation in our soul is being urged forward with such vehemence by the Holy Ghost.
This is why the present festival, fixed as it is upon a day that must necessarily be one of the Sundays after Pentecost, does not interrupt, in any way, the teaching which these Sundays are particularly meant to convey, but tends rather to confirm it.
Indeed, as St. Alphonsus Ligouri writes, recounting the shedding of Christ’s blood on the cross: “It is true that this blood was first poured forth in the garden, and was also poured forth in the crowing with thorns, and by the driving in of the nails; but the largest portion was shed in the scourging, which was also a cause of great shame and insult to Jesus Christ, because this was a punishment inflicted only on slaves…It was revealed to St. Bridget that one of the executioners first commanded Jesus Christ to strip himself of his garments…The revelation stated that the stripes not only struck him, but ploughed into his most holy flesh. He was so torn open that, as the same revelation declares, his ribs appeared cut bare”.(St. Alphonsus Liguori, The Passion and Death of Jesus Christ, Consideration on the Passion: Chapter 3)