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For the Sick And Consolation For the Dying
THE GLORIES OF THE PRECIOUS BLOOD
REV. MAX F. WALZ C.PP. S.
BOOKS AND PUBLISHERS, INC.
Imprimi Potest: Joseph
M. Marling, C.PP.S., Ph.D. Provincial C.PP.S.
Nihil Obstat: J. E. Dillon, Censor
Imprimatur: John Francis Noll,
D.D. Bishop of Ft. Wayne
Feast of the Ascension May 18, 1939
beautifully described by Pére Laurent, not
only respects the past, that
is, it is not only
expiatory in character, but it is one of the finest signs of God's
mindfulness for us in the present, as well as for the future. We are
afflicted that we may be saved, and the hand that wounds is also the
hand that heals. Through suffering, new spiritual life is borne from
this partial destruction of our being. God allows jealous rivalries,
cruel disappointments, unexpected humiliations, to accomplish this aim;
here He shatters a fortune, there He humbles a pride; dissipates this
man's dreams for the future, strikes that man in his affections; maybe
for another all earthly happiness will be swallowed up at a blow.
lies the mission of pain---to bring God nearer to us and to raise us up
to God. It detaches us from this wicked world and our sinful habits.
Our sufferings ascend to Heaven like sweet incense, even as a log is
raised to the skies by applying fire to it and letting it go up in
flame and smoke.
Pain is a
grace which sanctifies the soul; through it, a sort of mystic union is
effected which unites the life of the suffering soul to the very life
of the suffering God-Man, and in this contact of the soul with God,
pain is transmuted into power of redemption. Those
patient and resigned to the will of God, acquire a likeness to their
Divine Master, assuming the lineaments of the Crucified, especially
if their sufferings be, in a measure, undeserved. They are identified
with Jesus Christ, as victims of His special love, offered in expiation
for the sins of this wicked world, and as such, they become a part of
the vast scheme of atonement.
shedding of blood there is no remission," says St. Paul. It matters
little whether it be the blood of bodily wounds or tears, which are the
blood of the soul. "The good God," says the Curé of Ars, "asks
the martyrdom of our bodies, but for the martyrdom of our hearts and
wills." There is an apostolate of suffering, as well as an apostolate
of prayer and labor. "For whom He foreknew, He also predestinated to
be made conformable to the image of His Son." (Rom. 8:29). Jesus Christ
continues to make reparation through those whose mission it is to
suffer with Him for this sin-sick world. This is what St. Paul meant
when, persecuted like his Master, he said of himself, "I fill up these
things what are wanting of the sufferings of Christ."
consoling truth this should be for the sick, especially for nervous
persons who feel like outcasts from human society, and frequently
consider themselves abandoned even by God. Their past sins, and even
their smaller faults, weigh heavily upon them. They imagine that God
has forsaken them on account of their mistakes in life, and their
offenses against Him, and they feel that neither in this life nor in
the next can they receive forgiveness or attain happiness.
Look up to
the Cross, despondent souls, you who share in the bitter abandonment of
your dying Saviour, and listen to the words of the Beloved Disciple,
"He has loved us and washed us in His Blood," and He loves us now; as
much as He did then.
Blood, that can implore
God, and heaven restore,
The heaven which sin has lost,
blood for vengeance pleads,
What Jesus shed still intercedes
For those who
wrong Him most."
persons, at a certain stage in their despondency, the future has naught
in store but gloom and despair. "And I wept much," writes St. John of
what he saw as a pilgrim in Heaven, "because no man was found worthy to
open the book nor to see it." To this book, by which is meant the
history of the fall and redemption of mankind, the future of our own
lives may be compared; it is a sealed book to us, and a most perplexing
riddle, full of anxieties and fearful uncertainties, especially for
the nerve-racked. "And one of the ancients said to me:" continues St.
John, "weep not; behold the lion of the tribe of Juda, the root of
David, hath prevailed to open the book, and loose the seven seals
thereof. And I saw ... a lamb standing as it were slain ... and he came
and took the book out of the right hand of Him that sat on the throne.
And when he had opened the book ... they sung a new canticle, saying:
'Thou art worthy, O Lord, to take the book, and to open the seals
thereof; because thou wast slain, and has redeemed us to God, in Thy
blood, out of every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation, and hast
made us to our God a kingdom and priests, and we shall reign on the
earth.'" (Apoc. 5:4-10).
weep not, dear despondent soul! The Lamb that was slain, but rose again
on the third day, as the Lion of the tribe of Juda, will lead you
safely through your labyrinth of gloom and despair, if you will but
cling to Him by the virtue of hope. The Lamb that was slain becomes the
Lion of the tribe of Juda. "Ideo
victor quia victima," says St.
Augustine, "Christ is the victor because He became a victim."
encourages us in these words: "In all things we suffer tribulation, but
are not distressed: we are straightened, but are not destitute: we
suffer persecution, but are not forsaken: we are cast down, but we
perish not. For which cause we faint not: but though our outward man is
corrupted, yet the inward man is renewed day by day." (2 Cor. 4:8)
this seeming destruction of your being, you will emerge renewed in
heart and character, your soul purified and sanctified, and worthy to
sing a new canticle of life. "These are they who are come out of great
tribulation, and have washed their robes and have made
them white in the blood of the Lamb." (Apoc. 7:14).
"For the Lamb, which is in the midst of the throne, shall rule them
and shall lead them to the fountains of
the waters of life, and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes."
In the light of our future
glory, our present tribulations should seem light and transient
way to life everlasting, to the land of the living, to the world, to
the life, to the light. The road thither leads
us through long and dark
tunnels, then again up steep paths covered with thorns and thistles;
our present infirmities will serve but to shorten the way. All Heaven
is awaiting us at the other end.
Christ is truly a balm for the sick, and a consolation for the dying.
The Sacrament of Extreme Unction is the channel through when the
Precious Blood is conveyed to the sick, during their last moments, by
means of the application of the holy oils to the wounds
devotion to the Blood of Jesus has the wonderful distinction of
dispelling the fear of death, and the dread of meeting our Judge.
"Having, therefore, a confidence in the entering into the holies by the
blood of Christ." (Heb. 10:19).
"The Blood of our Lord, wherever it is found, must produce great
confidence in God; confidence in God is its primary and principal
effect. Not only does it give us confidence through the belief that we
have been bought at so great a price, but it gives confidence by a kind
of heredity, a psychological transformation in the spirit that receives
it. We become spiritually, supernaturally sanguine. We expect
everything from God, precisely because we have in our veins that
precious blood that makes the heart of the Son of God throb with
unlimited confidence in the goodness of the Father."---Vonier.
"The Blood of Jesus Christ," says St. Bernard, "speaks with trumpet
tones, not of the judgments of God, but of His mercies." The great St.
Thomas Aquinas calls the Precious Blood the key to the heavenly
Paradise. How consoling are the words of St. John Chrysostom: "This
Blood has the power to drive away the evil spirits and to draw to our
side the Good Angel, aye, the King of Angels, and to blazon the way to
Heaven." Ah! how well the Saints knew the wonderful power of the Blood
of the God-Man! "O Blood of Jesus, shed for love of me," exclaimed St.
Francis Carraccioli at the hour of death, "Thou belongest to me. I ask
it of Thee, O Lord! Thou canst not refuse it to me, because it is
mine." Then he devoutly kissed the five wounds of the Crucified and
repeated again and again: "Blood of my Jesus, Thou art mine and only
with Thee and through Thee I hope to be saved."
Thou, too, discouraged soul, art stretched upon a cross of pain, twixt
earth and Heaven; being above the earth, its comforts and vain hopes
can give thee no relief; and since thou art yet fastened to the earth,
Heaven and its consolations are far from thee. Look up to the Cross of
Christ, despondent soul---nay, happy soul, that sharest the bitter
abandonment of thy dying Saviour. For
thy sake, His cry of agony, "My God, my God! why hast Thou forsaken
Me?" is piercing the very heavens. Courage, sad heart, thy God has not
forsaken thee. The Beloved Disciple says: "And I heard a loud voice in
Heaven saying: 'Now is come salvation and strength, and the kingdom of
our God, and the power of his Christ; because the accuser of our
brethren is cast forth, who accused them before our God day and night.
And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb,'" (Apoc. 12:10-11).
You, who sometime were afar off, were made nigh by the Blood of Christ
in the Sacrament of Baptism. Your soul, stained by sin, was time and
again washed by the Sacrament of Penance. In Holy Communion you were
brought still nearer to Jesus. You entered into the closest
relationship with Our Lord so that His Divine life pulsated in yours.
In Confirmation your soul received the impression of an indelible seal
which marked you as the property of God. In how many Masses was your
soul sprinkled with the Precious Blood of your Redeemer! And now in the
Sacrament of Extreme Unction and in the plenary indulgence for the hour
of death the Precious Blood achieves its final triumph here on earth so
that you may appear with the robe of royalty before your Judge.
In the words of the Dies Irae
you may well exclaim:
Faint and weary Thou has sought me,
On the Cross of suffering bought
Shall such grace in vain be brought me?
Thou Who didst the robber hear,
Biddest me with hope draw near.
Yes, bid me come to Thee above,
With Thy Saints to sing Thy love.
Now you are prepared to join the Saints, now you are entitled to sing;
and the echo from your death-chamber will be: With Thy Saints to win
Thy love. From Heaven the words of St. John fall like a gentle dew upon
your grave: "Blessed are they that wash their robes in the Blood of the
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