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  • Writer's pictureFr. Scott Haynes

The Power of the Precious Blood

Fr. Scott A. Haynes


In the garden He sweat blood; when scourged, according to the Shroud of Turin, He received 120 lashes from the nape of His neck and down His back. Blood flowed from His sacred head crowned with thorns and when nailed to the cross blood poured from hands and feet while He lived and after His death it poured from His side.

Saint John the Evangelist, an eyewitness, reports that although Christ was already dead one of the soldiers opened his side with a lance. Saint Augustine observes that there is significance in the word opened because from the side of Christ as from a door there comes forth eternal life. This, he says, was foreshadowed by the door in the side of Noah’s ark. When it was opened all, both men and beasts, that were to be saved from the flood entered in.

Because the blood of a dead man congeals, it was a miracle, a divine sign, that blood flowed from the side of Christ after His death. This miracle was done, says St. Thomas, to show that through Christ’s passion we obtain full remission from sin. The eternal life that Christ brings us, moreover, is first communicated to us by baptism, represented by water. For Our Lord said:

“Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”

The blood of Christ, the price of our salvation, also represents the Eucharist. As He Himself also said:

“He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood hath everlasting life and I will raise him up on the last day.”

Since baptism and the Eucharist belong to the Church, holy men from ancient times have recognized that Eve who was formed from the side of Adam sleeping in the garden foreshadowed the Church who was formed from the side of Christ, sleeping on the cross. Because Christ humbled Himself becoming obedient unto death even to the death on the cross, God hath exalted him and given him a name that is above every name. In his human nature Christ subjected Himself to the will of the Father by undergoing bloody sufferings.

He is now seated in glory at the Father’s right hand. The wounds He once suffered He now bears as sparkling trophies of His triumph over sin and death. These surpass the stars in splendor and the honeycomb in sweetness. All the diamonds and rubies of the Orient cannot compare with them in value nor can balsam and the rose equal their fragrance.

The blood of Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, lavishly shed in the Passion is the price of our salvation. In our gratitude for the redemption He won for us at such a great price, we must engrave upon the walls of our mind those stirring words of Saint Ignatius:

“Christ died for me. What have I ever done for Christ? What am I doing for Christ? What will I do for Christ?” 




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