Readings on the Precious Blood (Days 11-20)
July 11, 2024
Fr. John Colacino C.PP.S.

Day 11

 A reading from the First Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians.

Therefore, my dear friends, flee from the worship of idols. I speak as to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say. The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a sharing in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a sharing in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread. Consider the people of Israel; are not those who eat the sacrifices partners in the altar? What do I imply then? That food sacrificed to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything? No, I imply that what pagans sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be partners with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. Or are we provoking the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he? (1 Corinthians 10:14-22)

From the “Sitio” of Ven. Catherine Aurelia Caouette (+1905)

Come and drink of the chalice the Lord the Lord offers you; it is full of so delicious a draught that once you have touched it to your lips you will want to drain the cup. Come; here you will find the way that leads to true sorrow of soul, to the holy anguish of zeal which is no longer a penance but a grace. Come, come to rest on the sacred tree of the Cross; come, under its crimsoned boughs, take your delight and feed on its fruit; come and hide from the pursuit of the enemy of salvation; come and see from experience how sweet and light is the Lord’s yoke. … always be seen on the summit of the holy mountain holding in [your] hands the chalice of salvation and uniting [your] voices to that of the Precious Blood in order to beg grace and pardon for [yourselves] and all people. At the sight of this striking sign of the inexpressible love of his Word made flesh, the heart of our Father who is in heaven will be touched and the waves of his mercy will flow over every point of the globe.

Let me repeat: in order to walk faithfully in the footsteps of the Divine Liberator and make perpetual holocausts of ourselves, we must be untiring in spirit, aspiring to every act of self-giving and to every sacrifice. We have to be courageous souls who do not hesitate to shed our heart’s blood in the sweat poured out in the austere practice of work and penance. Here are needed souls on fire with that love which made Jesus burn with desire to be baptized in a baptism of blood.

Love! Oh, Love! That is the divine seed which produced the fruit of the Cross. It is love that burdened Jesus with the wood of sacrifice and gave Him the strength to fly to the holy mountain. Yes, it is love that urged him to immolate himself for us. It is love that made of him the King of martyrs. The life of Christ was one perpetual act of love. In his Mother’s womb, in the crib at Bethlehem, at Nazareth, on the bloody mountain, Jesus offered to his Father sacrifices of love.  Now, on the altar, the new Calvary to which love enchains him, he immolates himself anew each day; he lances darts of fire on just souls to kindle in them the pure flame that consumes his heart, and on sinners to touch them, convert them, and draw them to the repentance of love.

Yes, our Jesus is all love; he is the perfect model of love. Enraptured by the charms of this Spouse of love, our souls burn with the desire to resemble him and walk in his footsteps; they choose the mountain of myrrh and the hill of incense for their dwelling in exile. The road is short, the way is all outlined.... Each day, on the altar of the new Calvary, let us offer him a thousand victims of love; by our songs of love let us atone for the outrages he there receives. Solitary Lover, I thirst to be, with you, a victim in my turn; I thirst to share your sorrows, to weep for the outrages and forgetfulness of sinners.

GOD IS LOVE. He will forget the depth of our misery; he will bind us to his altar with unbreakable bonds. He will unite our will to his adorable will, merge our feeling with his own; he will transform in us everything opposed to the holiness of our state and with the burning seraphim permit us to offer perpetual homage of adoration to the chalice of his Blood.


The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ, and the bread that we break,  is it not a participation in the body of Christ? Because we who are many are one bread and one body

-- for we all partake of the one bread and one cup. 

Whosoever shall eat this bread and drink this cup unworthily, will be answerable for the body and blood of the Lord -- for we all partake of the one bread and one cup.

Day 12

A reading from the First Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians.

For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, ‘This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way he took the cup also, after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.’ For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be answerable for the body and blood of the Lord. Examine yourselves, and only then eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For all who eat and drink without discerning the body, eat and drink judgement against themselves. (1 Corinthians 11:23-29)

From “A Discourse on the Sacrifice of the Mass” by Pierre Cardinal de Bérulle (+1629)

How can you say that the presence of an ordinary lamb, or of bread and a cake of pure flour, set on God's table which is His altar, is a true sacrifice; yet that the presence of the living bread come down from heaven, the only Son and unique Lamb of God who taketh away the sin of the world, a presence effected by the High Priest according to the order of Melchisedech, at the moment when He begins to dedicate and offer Himself up to the cross, is not a true sacrifice? .... If we observe the movements of Him who weighs each action, performing each in due time and measure, we shall see that this mysterious action was reserved by Him to the last hour of His life, when the real Passion in Blood was already on its course (if we look for it in its beginning, namely in the heart of Judas and the plotting of the Jews), in order that this religious and sacred action should find itself brought within the bounds of His Passion, and should be initiative and dedicative of the Mystery of the Cross, and that the mysterious offering which He makes of Himself to God His Father in the Eucharist, should be followed on and carried out visibly and in Blood in His Humanity, without the interruption of any other action or mystery .... Thus it is that here He takes the first step on the way to death, whether interiorly in the intention of His heart, or liturgically in the ceremony which He institutes, or exteriorly in leaving the Cenacle to go to the garden, where His Blood was to trickle from every part of His Body, and where the enemy waited His coming to capture Him and lead Him to Calvary. For He rises from this last holy table whereon He has offered the Eucharist, to meet the agonies of death which lay hold upon Him in the garden, and He arises from the table too with these beautiful words on His lips: that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father hath given me commandment so do I (John 14:21). And assuredly seeing and considering that the Son of God did not delay the offering of Himself to death till the actual moment of torment, that His love forestalled and outmatched the malice and rage of the Jews, and seeing that in this Last Supper He had no other topic of discourse but His death and Passion, and that He saw it there present in the heart and plot of Judas who was with Him at the same table, and that He was even then making a perpetual memorial of His suffering, and that in this new and Christian Pasch He was delivering up the same Lamb that was to die for our Redemption on the Cross: this being so, is it then so unbecoming the dignity of Christ when instituting the marvels of the Eucharist, or the mystery of the Cross so intimately bound up with it, or the connection between the two mysteries (as if it were another Saviour and not the same whom we see celebrating the mystery of the Eucharist in the Supper room on Sion and enduring death and the Passion on Mount Calvary), that you would have to torture your minds to believe, that it has pleased our Lord in the act of His Testament to remember His Death, and to present to God the offering and the voluntary acceptance thereof, while He is instituting the sacrament and perpetual memorial of it? If you are willing to be led by the light of His words, they clearly tell you: This is my body which is given for you, this is my blood which is shed for you (Luke 22:19), plainly words of oblation and sacrifice. For to be given for us and to be offered for us, are one and the same thing.


Know that in this bread is the body of Christ which hung upon the cross, and in this cup, the blood of Christ which flowed from his side. Take, therefore, and eat his body; take and drink his blood,

– and you will become members of his body.

Eat this sacred food, so that your bond of unity with Christ may never be broken. Drink this sacred blood, the price he paid for you, so that you may never lose heart because of your sinfulness.

– and you will become members of his body.

Day 13

 A reading from the Letter of St. Paul to the Ephesians.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love. He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and insight he has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ, as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. (Ephesians 1:3-10)

From “Revelation and Knowledge” of St. Mary Magdalen de’ Pazzi (+1607)

How truly wonderful you are, O Word of God, in the Holy Spirit; you cause him to infuse the soul with you, that it may join itself to God, conceive God, savour God, taste nothing but God. The Holy Spirit enters the soul, sealed with that precious seal of the blood of the Word, the Lamb that was slain. Indeed it is this blood that urges him to come, although the Spirit is moved of himself and desires to come. This moving Spirit in himself is the substance of the Father and of the Word, proceeding from the essence of the Father and the will of the Word, coming like a fountain into the soul, which is submerged in it. And just as two streams which rise separately mingle together so that the lesser loses its own name and takes the name of the greater, this divine Spirit acts in the same way when he enters the soul in order to join himself to it. The soul must lose its own name, which is the lesser, and relinquish it to the Spirit; it will do this if it so turns towards the Spirit that it becomes one with him. This Spirit, the dispenser of the treasures that are in the Father and keeper of the counsels that are between the Father and the Son, pours himself so sweetly into the soul that he is not perceived, and his greatness is understood by few. Drawn by the force of his love and yet moving with supreme freedom, he moves into all places that are suitable and disposed to receive him. He is heard by all in his frequent utterances and in his profound silence. By the force of love, being both unmoved and swiftest of all in movement, he enters all things. You do not remain, Holy Spirit, in the unmoved Father, nor in the Word, and yet you are always in the Father and in the Word and in yourself, and in all blessed spirits and creatures. All creatures need you, since the only-begotten Word, by shedding his blood, in his burning love placed all creatures in need of him. You repose in creatures who dispose themselves so that, by receiving your gifts, they may in purity receive your own image in themselves. You repose in those who receive in themselves the effect of the blood of the Word, and make themselves worthy dwelling-places for you.


God has predestined us for adoption as children through Jesus Christ  -- in whom we have redemption through his blood. 

The forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace that he lavished on us  -- in whom we have redemption through his blood.

Day 14

A reading from the Letter of St. Paul to the Ephesians.

But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us. He has abolished the law with its commandments and ordinances, so that he might create in himself one new humanity in place of the two, thus making peace, and might reconcile both groups to God in one body through the cross, thus putting to death that hostility through it. (Ephesians 2:13-16)

From “Story of a Soul” by St. Thérèse of Lisieux (+1897)

One Sunday, closing my book at the end of Mass, a picture of Our Lord on the Cross half slipped out, showing only one of His Divine Hands, pierced and bleeding. I felt an indescribable thrill such as I had never felt before. My heart was torn with grief to see that Precious Blood falling to the ground, and no one caring to treasure It as It fell, and I resolved to remain continually in spirit at the foot of the Cross, that I might receive the Divine Dew of Salvation and pour it forth upon souls. From that day the cry of my dying Savior --"I thirst!"-- sounded incessantly in my heart, and kindled therein a burning zeal hitherto unknown to me. My one desire was to give my Beloved to drink; I felt myself consumed with thirst for souls, and I longed at any cost to snatch sinners from the everlasting flames of hell.

Was it not when I saw the Precious Blood flowing from the Wounds of Jesus that the thirst for souls first took possession of me? I wished to give them to drink of the Blood of the Immaculate Lamb that It might wash away their stains…. I seemed to hear Our Lord whispering to me, as He did to the Samaritan woman: "Give me to drink!" It was indeed an exchange of love: upon souls I poured forth the Precious Blood of Jesus, and to Jesus I offered these souls refreshed with the Dew of Calvary. In this way I thought to quench His Thirst; but the more I gave Him to drink, so much the more did the thirst of my own poor soul increase, and I accepted it as the most delightful recompense.


You who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. -- For he is our peace, who has made both one.

So that he might create in himself one new humanity  -- For he is our peace, who has made both one.

Day 15

 A reading from the Letter of St. Paul to the Colossians.

[Christ Jesus] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers—all things have been created through him and for him. He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross. (Colossians 1:15-20)

From “The Mystical Vine” by St. Bonaventure (+1274)

We find our dearest Jesus’ second bloodshedding, that dyed the rose of the passion, in the bloody sweat, which came from him while in the agony of his prayer; for “being in any agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat became as it were great drops falling down upon the ground.” Were we to ignore all the other bloodsheddings, would not this one alone suffice to deepen the red hue of our rose? In truth it would. Let my miserable heart tremble; let it be rent and become bedewed with bloody tears, for lo! it was for me that my Creator was drenched with a bloody sweat, and that not a little, for it ran right down to the ground. Alas that my wretched heart is not moistened with a sweat like his, and to the same extent! See the anguish which tortured that most gentle heart, for it caused a bloody sweat to break out from every part of his body. So great an amount of sweat like this would not have poured out of his visible body, unless the heart within had been breaking under the strain of his overwhelming sorrow. “My heart within me is broken,”said the prophet. His heart within was broken, as also was the external veil of the true Solomon, our most loving Jesus. His most bloody sweat is poured out upon the earth. Thus does the rose of charity and of the passion become reddened by the redness of Jesus. See how wholly red he has become. This general blood effusion of our most good Jesus has a mystical meaning also. He who came to bear the infirmities belonging to our flesh and blood, sweated throughout his whole body. This bloody sweat, which covered every part of the body of our head, Jesus, was to serve to strengthen and heal his mystical body the Church. Therefore, we are “delivered from bloodguiltiness, by the God of my salvation.” We are delivered by our most kind Jesus, who poured out his blood for us. Surely this bloody sweat may also signify the poured-out blood of the martyrs, which was to redden the whole body—his mystical body—the Church.


God was pleased to reconcile all things in Christ  – making peace through the blood of his cross.

For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell  – making peace through the blood of his cross.

Day 16

 A reading from the Letter to the Hebrews.

 When Christ came as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation), he entered once for all into the Holy Place, not with the blood of goats and calves, but with his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and bulls, with the sprinkling of the ashes of a heifer, sanctifies those who have been defiled so that their flesh is purified, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to worship the living God! For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, because a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions under the first covenant. Where a will is involved, the death of the one who made it must be established. For a will takes effect only at death, since it is not in force as long as the one who made it is alive. Hence not even the first covenant was inaugurated without blood. For when every commandment had been told to all the people by Moses in accordance with the law, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the scroll itself and all the people, saying, ‘This is the blood of the covenant that God has ordained for you.’ And in the same way he sprinkled with the blood both the tent and all the vessels used in worship. Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. (Hebrews 9:11-22)

From the “Commentary on Hebrews” by St. Thomas Aquinas (+1274)

When Paul says, how much more the blood of Christ . . . cleanses our conscience, he lays down the consequent. As if to say: If blood and ashes can do this, what could Christ’s blood do? Certainly much more. Then the Apostle mentions three things, which show the efficacy of Christ’s blood: first, he shows whose blood it is, namely, it is Christ’s. From this it is evident that His blood cleanses: ‘For he will save his people from their sins’ (Mt. 1:21). Secondly, the reason why Christ shed His blood, because this was done by the Holy Spirit, through Whose movement and instinct, namely, by the love of God and neighbor He did this: ‘When he shall come as a violent stream which the spirit of the Lord drives on’ (Is. 59:10). But the Spirit cleanses: ‘If the Lord shall wash away the filth of the daughters of Sion, and shall wash away the blood of Jerusalem out of the midst thereof, by the spirit of judgment and by the spirit of burning’ (Is. 4:4). Therefore, he says, who by the Holy Spirit offered himself: ‘Christ has loved us and has delivered himself for us, an oblation and a sacrifice to God for an odor of sweetness’ (Eph. 5:2). Thirdly, he describes His condition, because He is without blemish: ‘It shall be a lamb without blemish, a male, of one year’ (Ex. 12:5); ‘What can be made clean by the unclean?’ (Sir. 34:4).


If the blood of goats and bulls sanctified those who were defiled -- how much more will the blood of Christ. purify our conscience from dead works to worship the living God.

Not even the first covenant was inaugurated without blood -- how much more will the blood of Christ purify our conscience from dead works to worship the living God.

Day 17

 A reading from the Letter to the Hebrews.

It was necessary for the sketches of the heavenly things to be purified with these rites, but the heavenly things themselves need better sacrifices than these. For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made by human hands, a mere copy of the true one, but he entered into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. Nor was it to offer himself again and again, as the high priest enters the Holy Place year after year with blood that is not his own; for then he would have had to suffer again and again since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the age to remove sin by the sacrifice of himself. And just as it is appointed for mortals to die once, and after that the judgement, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin, but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him. (Hebrews 9:23-28)

From the poetry of St. Ephrem the Syrian (+373)

Like the publican I sigh, like the harlot I shed tears, like the thief I call out, like the prodigal son I entreat you. O Christ my Savior and Lover of humanity, strengthen my soul which has grown faint, which has been paralyzed with the intoxication of delights; heal its scabs and wash it, blackened with sin, with your honorable blood!

Our error is much mightier than our prayer. Our prayer is insignificant, but our guilt is great. What sacrifice could we bring to reconcile ourselves with you? We have nothing to give to you. Thus we ask you to reconcile us by your blood, O All-merciful One.

Praise be to the Good One Who descended for our sake, became like unto us and healed our sores by His all-sanctifying flesh and His all-sanctifying blood! May all sing praises to Him!

My Savior cries out to me, to His disciple: do not despair of thy salvation; I will restorer you and forgive you your sins. I have found you and I will not leave you; for I have redeemed you with My very own Blood.

You, O Jesus, have redeemed all with your blood; and by your death you have bound the powerful adversary. Release me from the fetters of the evil one; break his shackles and bonds.

With your life-creating Body, of which I have partaken, preserve me from impure lust, that I might lie down and fall asleep in peace. May your Blood protect me. And grant my soul, that is your image, the freedom that is proper to your image. And by your right arm shelter my body that was made by your hands.

Behold the cup of your terrifying blood, filled with light and life. Grant us understanding and enlightenment, that with the love and sanctity of faith we might approach it and that it might be unto us for the forgiveness of sins and not for condemnation.

What shall I do with my sins? I do not know. My mind cannot imagine what I might use to wash and cleanse myself. If I took it into my head to wash with water, then the seas and the rivers would not be sufficient to cleanse me. Yet if I wash myself with the blood and water that flowed from the rib of the Son of God, then will I be cleansed, and compassion will be showered upon me.


Christ came as the high priest of the good things which are to be. Not with the blood of goats or calves, but with his own blood – he entered the holy place once for all, and won our eternal salvation.

He did not enter a holy place fashioned by human beings, he entered heaven itself. –  he entered the holy place once for all, and won our eternal salvation.

Day 18

 A reading from the Letter to the Hebrews.

Since the law has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered year after year, make perfect those who approach. Otherwise, would they not have ceased being offered, since the worshippers, cleansed once for all, would no longer have any consciousness of sin? But in these sacrifices there is a reminder of sin year after year. For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said,
‘Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired,
   but a body you have prepared for me;
in burnt-offerings and sin-offerings
   you have taken no pleasure.
Then I said, “See, God, I have come to do your will, O God”
   (in the scroll of the book it is written of me).’
When he said above, ‘You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt-offerings and sin-offerings’ (these are offered according to the law), then he added, ‘See, I have come to do your will.’ He abolishes the first in order to establish the second. And it is by God’s will that we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. (Hebrews 10:1-10)

Selections from the Diary “Divine Mercy in My Soul” by St. Faustina Mary Kowalska (+1938)

At the feet of the Lord. Hidden Jesus, Eternal Love, our Source of Life, divine Madman, in that You forget yourself and see only us. Before creating heaven and earth, You carried us in the depths of Your Heart. O Love, O depth of Your Abasement, O mystery of happiness, why do so few people know You? Why is Your love not returned? O Divine Love, why do You hide Your beauty? O infinite One beyond all understanding, the more I know You the less I comprehend You; but because I cannot comprehend You, I better comprehend Your greatness. I do not envy the Seraphim their fire, for I have a greater gift deposited in my heart. They admire you in rapture, but Your Blood mingles with mine. Love is heaven given us already here on earth. Oh, why do You hide in faith? Love tears away the veil. There is no veil before the eye of my soul, for You Yourself have drawn me into the bosom of secret love forever. Praise and glory be to You, O indivisible Trinity, One God, unto ages of ages!

I sense keenly how Your divine Blood is circulating in my heart; I have not the least doubt that Your most pure love has entered my heart with Your most sacred Blood. I am aware that You are dwelling in me, together with the Father and the Holy Spirit, or rather I am aware that it is I who am living in You, O incomprehensible God! I am aware that I am dissolving in You like a drop in an ocean. I am aware that You are within me and all about me, that You are in all things that surround me, in all that happens to me. O my God, I have come to know You within my heart, and I have loved You above all things that exist on earth or in heaven. Our hearts have a mutual understanding, and no one of humankind will comprehend this.

O merciful Jesus, how longingly You hurried to the Upper Room to consecrate the Host that I am to receive in my life. Jesus, You desired to dwell in my heart. Your living Blood unites with mine. Who can understand this close union? My heart encloses within itself the Almighty, the Infinite One. O Jesus, continue to grant me Your divine life. Let Your pure and noble Blood throb with all its might in my heart. I give You my whole being. Transform me into Yourself and make me capable of doing Your holy will in all things and of returning Your love. O my sweet Spouse, You know that my heart knows no one but You. You have opened up in my heart an insatiable depth of love for You. From the very first moment it knew You, my heart has loved You and has lost itself in You as its one and only object. May Your pure and omnipotent love be the driving force of all my actions. Who will ever conceive and understand the depth of mercy that has gushed forth from Your Heart?

I am going forward through life amidst rainbows and storms, but with my head held high with pride, for I am a royal child. I feel that the blood of Jesus is circulating in my veins, and I have put my trust in the great mercy of the Lord.

Hail to You, Eternal Love, my Sweet Jesus, who have condescended to dwell in my heart! I salute You, O glorious Godhead who have deigned to stoop to me, and out of love for me have so emptied Yourself as to assume the insignificant form of bread. I salute You, Jesus, never-fading flower of humanity. You are all there is for my soul. Your love is purer than a lily, and Your presence is more pleasing to me than the fragrance of a hyacinth. Your friendship is more tender and subtle than the scent of a rose, and yet it is stronger than death. O Jesus, incomprehensible beauty, it is with pure souls that You communicate best, because they alone are capable of heroism and sacrifice. O sweet, rose-red blood of Jesus, ennoble my blood and change it into Your own blood, and let this be done to me according to Your good pleasure.

God, You could have saved thousands of worlds with one word; a single sigh from Jesus would have satisfied Your justice. But You Yourself, Jesus, purely out of love for us, underwent such a terrible Passion. Your Father’s justice would have been propitiated with a single sigh from You, and all Your self-abasement is solely the work of Your mercy and Your inconceivable love. On leaving the earth, O Lord, You wanted to stay with us, and so You left us Yourself in the Sacrament of the Altar, and You opened wide Your mercy to us. There is no misery that could exhaust You; You have called us all to this fountain of love, to this spring of God’s compassion. Here is the tabernacle of Your mercy, here is the remedy for all our ills. To You, O living spring of mercy, all souls are drawn; some like deer, thirsting for Your love, others to wash the wound of their sins, and still others, exhausted by life, to draw strength. At the moment of Your death on the Cross, You bestowed upon us eternal life; allowing Your most holy side to be opened, You opened an inexhaustible spring of mercy for us, giving us Your dearest possession, the Blood and Water from Your Heart. Such is the omnipotence of Your mercy. From it all grace flows to us.


It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said  -- but a body you have prepared for me.

You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt-offerings and sin-offerings -- but a body you have prepared for me.

Day 19

A reading from the Letter to the Hebrews.

Therefore, my friends, since we have confidence to enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain (that is, through his flesh), and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us approach with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful. And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching. For if we willfully persist in sin after having received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful prospect of judgement, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. Anyone who has violated the law of Moses dies without mercy ‘on the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ How much worse punishment do you think will be deserved by those who have spurned the Son of God, profaned the blood of the covenant by which they were sanctified, and outraged the Spirit of grace? For we know the one who said, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay.’ And again, ‘The Lord will judge his people.’ It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. (Hebrews 10:19-31)

A prayer by Bishop Francesco Albertini (+1819)

“O most precious Blood of eternal life, mercy and ransom of the entire universe, drink and bath of our Souls, which continuously protect the cause of humanity before the throne of the supreme Mercy, I adore you profoundly, and wish as much as is possible for me to compensate you for the injuries and mistreatment that you continually receive from human beings, and especially from those who boldly burn to blaspheme you . And who will not bless this Blood of infinite value? Who will not feel on fire with emotion toward Jesus who sheds this Blood? Who would I be if I had not been redeemed by this Divine Blood? Who has not drawn Blood from the veins of my Lord to the last drop? Ah! This was certainly love! Oh! Immense love, which has given us this most salutary balm! Oh! Priceless balm that flowed from the font of an immense love. Alas! Make all hearts and all tongues to adore you, praise you and give you thanks now and forever, and until the day of eternity . Amen .”


We have confidence to enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus -- by the new and living way that he opened for us.

 We have a great priest over the house of God.  Let us approach with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience -- by the new and living way that he opened for us.

Day 20

 A reading from the Letter to the Hebrews.

You have not come to something that can be touched, a blazing fire, and darkness, and gloom, and a tempest, and the sound of a trumpet, and a voice whose words made the hearers beg that not another word be spoken to them. (For they could not endure the order that was given, ‘If even an animal touches the mountain, it shall be stoned to death.’ Indeed, so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, ‘I tremble with fear.’) But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel. (Hebrews 12:18-24)

From the “Moral Reflections” on Job by Saint Gregory the Great (+604)

Holy Job is a type of the Church. At one time he speaks for the body, at another for the head. As he speaks of its members he is suddenly caught up to speak in the name of their head. So it is here, where he says: I have suffered this without sin on my hands, for my prayer to God was pure. Christ suffered without sin on his hands, for he committed no sin and deceit was not found on his lips. Yet he suffered the pain of the cross for our redemption. His prayer to God was pure, his alone out of all humanity, for in the midst of his suffering he prayed for his persecutors: Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing. Is it possible to offer, or even to imagine, a purer kind of prayer than that which shows mercy to one’s torturers by making intercession for them? It was thanks to this kind of prayer that the frenzied persecutors who shed the blood of our Redeemer drank it afterward in faith and proclaimed him to be the Son of God.

The text goes on fittingly to speak of Christ’s blood: Earth, do not cover over my blood, do not let my cry find a hiding place in you. When humanity sinned, God had said: Earth you are, and to earth you will return. Earth does not cover over the blood of our Redeemer, for every sinner, as he drinks the blood that is the price of his redemption, offers praise and thanksgiving, and to the best of his power makes that blood known to all around him. Earth has not hidden away his blood, for holy Church has preached in every corner of the world the mystery of its redemption. Notice what follows: Do not let my cry find a hiding place in you. The blood that is drunk, the blood of redemption, is itself the cry of our Redeemer. Paul speaks of the sprinkled blood that calls out more eloquently than Abel’s. Of Abel’s blood Scripture had written: The voice of your brother’s blood cries out to me from the earth. The blood of Jesus calls out more eloquently than Abel’s, for the blood of Abel asked for the death of Cain, the fratricide, while the blood of the Lord has asked for, and obtained, life for his persecutors.

If the sacrament of the Lord’s passion is to work its effect in us, we must imitate what we receive and proclaim to mankind what we revere. The cry of the Lord finds a hiding place in us if our lips fail to speak of this, though our hearts believe in it. So that his cry may not lie concealed in us it remains for us all, each in his own measure, to make known to those around us the mystery of our new life in Christ.


O Lord, the blood of your Son, our brother, cries out to you from the earth. – Blessed the earth that drank in the blood of the Redeemer.

The blood he shed is more eloquent than the blood of Abel. – Blessed the earth that drank in the blood of the Redeemer.