4 Things Catholics Can Do To Increase Devotion To the Precious Blood of Jesus
Written by catholicradio on July 10, 2023
Monthly devotions are opportunities to learn about central tenets of the Catholic faith including the Holy Name of Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and devotion to the Blessed Mother, among others. August is devoted to the Blessed Sacrament, and July is dedicated to the Precious Blood of Jesus. Here are four things Catholics can do to increase devotion to the Precious Blood of Jesus:
1. Pray to Recognize Jesus’ Blood As the Real Presence
The source and summit of Catholic life is the “Eucharist”, from the Greek word for “thanksgiving”. The Catholic Church teaches that during the celebration of the Mass, gifts of bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. This occurs through the power of the Holy Spirit and the priest, in persona Christi (Latin for “in the person of Christ”).
Unfortunately, when examining today’s society in a religious context, it is the “nones” that have grown for over a decade. This group includes people who describe themselves as atheists, agnostics, or “nothing in particular”, according to Pew Research. Even worse is the number of Catholics who do not believe in the Real Presence: about 69%.
In today’s culture where there is an emphasis on what can be seen and understood, what can be done to help increase our own faith in the Mystery of Christ’s Body and Blood? “Mystery”, as it is used here does not mean some unsolvable conundrum. “Mystery”, in the Catholic sense, signifies there are hidden dimensions in our faith, a deeper reality, that are unveiled through God’s revelation.
“I believe; help my unbelief!”
In Mark’s gospel, a father asks Jesus to heal his son…if He can. Jesus replies that all things are possible to him who believes. Sometimes we may be like that father, praying tentatively, not fully trusting in the power of Jesus. But we can also follow that father’s example by crying out to God, “Help my unbelief!”
2. Look to Sacred Scripture for Knowledge and Wisdom About the Precious Blood
What is prophesied and law in the Old Testament, Jesus fulfills and makes new in the New Testament. Beginning in Genesis, the blood of sacrificial animals was used to atone for idolatry and sin. In the New Testament, Jesus was the Lamb of God sacrificed for us once and for all time.
“…if we walk in the light, as He is in the light,
we have fellowship with one another, and the
blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.”
1 John 1:7
By using a bible dictionary, concordance (index of verses containing a particular word), and a Catholic catechism, you can pray through your own word study of the “Blood of the Lamb” or the “Blood of Jesus”. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you and you will discover how much Jesus loves you!
3. Look to Sacred Tradition and the Catechism For Timeless Teachings About the Blood of Jesus
Devotion to the Precious Blood of Jesus can be traced to the early Church. St. Clement I of Rome wrote in his First Epistle to the Corinthians, about 96 AD:
Let us fix our gaze on the blood of Christ and realize how precious
it is to the Father, seeing that it was poured out for our salvation
and brought the grace of conversion to the whole world.
Centuries passed, but the Most Precious Blood remained in the hearts of our popes. In particular, Pope Pius IX proclaimed the 1st Sunday in July would be dedicated to the Precious Blood of Jesus. Shortly after, Pope Pius X assigned July 1st as the fixed date of this celebration.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church also teaches the Church was born from the pierced side of Christ, and that the sacraments were brought forth through His Blood. (CCC, 766)
4. Pray a Litany, Chaplet, and Offering In Reparation To the Most Precious Blood of Jesus
While study of Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, and the Catechism are important, to develop a devotion to the Precious Blood of Jesus, one thing still remains: personal prayer with an open heart.
- The Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus “…clearly traces the line of salvation history through a series of biblical references and passages. In its present form it was approved by Pope Saint John XXIII on February 24, 1960.” (Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy)
- The Chaplet of the Most Precious Blood is a meditation on the seven times the Precious Blood is mentioned in the gospels.
- An Offering in Reparation to the Most Precious Blood of Jesus was approved by Pope Pius VII on September 22, 1817.
- Another prayer by St. Catherine of Siena, who experienced mystical visions relating to the Precious Blood, can be committed to memory:
Precious Blood, ocean of divine mercy: Flow upon us!
Precious Blood, most pure offering: Procure us every grace!
Precious Blood, hope and refuge of sinners: Atone for us!
Precious Blood, delight of holy souls: Draw us! Amen.
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