“Eternal Father, I offer you the Body, Blood, soul and Divinity of your dearly beloved Son our Lord Jesus Christ in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.”
The following is from a letter I wrote to those that are homebound here at Holy Spirit Catholic Church on the Month of the Precious Blood. Holy Spirit calls those that are homebound the “Ministers of Praise.” The church has long taught that when we suffer something we can unite that suffering to the Cross of Christ and win spiritual graces and merits for ourselves, intentions, and others. The phrase: “Offer it up” was commonly heard in my house growing up, as a way for my Mom to remind my siblings and I that we really didn’t have it that bad and that we should offer up the spiritual merits from doing something painful or that we didn’t like for the Souls in Purgatory or someone who was in need of our prayers. Here at Holy Spirit, we ask our homebound to be that spiritual backbone for the parish, to pray 3 times each day, morning, noon, and night for the intentions of our parish, the church, and the world. The letters are written by the staff each month as a way to keep our parishioners engaged and united to the life of the parish.
Dear Ministers of Praise,
In 1849 Pope Pius IX instituted July as the Month of the Precious Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. June, is dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus who shed his precious blood upon the cross for us, for the remission of our sins, the cleansing of humanity, and a truly wonderful sign of how far the Lord will go to share his mercy and love with us.
The icon above is one of my favorites, as it shows the angels catching the blood, which is pouring from Christ’s wounds into chalices. If we think of the Mass and the Altar of most churches, we see that the Church is made in a cruciform shape with the Altar where the crossbeam of the cross would be. The Altar itself stands as that crossbeam at every Mass in every church around the world. It is where Christ comes, and his one, true, sacrifice is re-presented to us as he gives himself to us in His Body and Blood in Holy Communion.
There’s an old Baptist hymn: which states: “There’s a Power in the Blood.” For us, as Catholics the Blood of Christ truly has power. It is through the shedding of Christ’s blood that our sins are washed away; it is through the power of his blood that we are made new, that all of humanity raises from the ash heap of sin and into the glorious Son-light of the Resurrection. It is through the receiving of the Body and Blood of Christ in Holy Communion that we receive the grace needed to combat the darkness of the world and to intercede on behalf of others to Christ. It is through our Baptism that we are cleansed with the waters of rebirth, the waters and our garments, which have been washed clean in the blood of the lamb.
As I think of all that has happened in our world this month and the Precious Blood of Jesus Christ, I cannot help but to hear the words of St. Maria Faustina Kowalska, who taught us the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, asking God for his mercy through the blood of Christ for ourselves and the whole world. And so, invoking the patrons of Divine Mercy, Pope St. John Paul II, St. Faustina, we pray this month for the following intentions:
- For Peace in the world, especially within our country, that the Precious Blood of our Lord will wipe away the anger, hurt, and violence in our lives.
- For those members of our parish who have died, that through the power of the Blood of Christ they might receive their eternal reward, especially: Carlene Witucki, Jeanette Adams, Vicki Lee Warych, Rose Dobernic, and Steven Allen Saul.
- For the safety of all of our Public First Responders, that the Precious Blood of our Lord will protect them as they minister and help the vulnerable among us.
- For all those who seek public office or currently hold office, that the Precious Blood of our Lord spilt on the Cross will encourage them in their fight for justice, and that they will seek to enact laws which honor the dignity of all human life, and serve the common good.
- For the Intentions, health and wellbeing of our Holy Father Pope Francis, our Bishop William Francis, our Pastor Fr. John and Associate Father Timothy, that the Precious Blood of our Lord which they offer daily for the Salvation of the World at Mass will shower down it’s grace and mercy on us and our parish.
- For all who are in time of transition, especially our former associate pastor Fr. Emmanuel Udoh, Stephany Nelson as she enters her Novitiate Year with the Ursilines, Corey Bruns as he starts at Saint Meinrad Seminary, and for all those who are starting college, school, seminary, and new jobs.
We offer these prayers and those we hold in our hearts, united to the Precious Blood of Christ as we pray: “Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world! Amen.”
I remain yours in the Precious Blood of Christ,
Corey D. Bruns
Seminarian – Intern