Feast of the Most Precious Blood of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ
Salvation! To be saved! What is to be saved? Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man, what things God hath prepared for them that love Him (1 Cor. 2.9). It is a rescue, and from such a shipwreck. It is a rest, and in such an unimaginable home. It is to lie down in the bosom of God in an endless rapture of insatiable contentment with that eternal exchange of mutual love flowing from the Heart of the Father most tender and immeasurably good.
Thou shalt call His name Jesus; for He shall save His people from their sins (Mt. 1.21). Who else but Jesus can do this; and what else even from Him do we require but this? for in this lie all things which we can desire.
Of all miseries the bondage of sin is the most miserable. It is worse than all our earthly sorrow, worse than all our earthly pain; for it is a most insolent slap, as it were, made on the face of God - our greatest benefactor - Who insists, with warnings of chastisement, on His order of things which runs counter against that 'order' of life we would like to live. It is such a ruin that no other ruin is like unto it; for, what is man - stricken as he were by a fatal degenerative disease after his Fall from the grace of His Creator, Father, and Benefactor - like in his present age left to his own independent and free of the yoke of God and of His Church. At the base of his 'human dignity' is the mire where even dogs burning in their beastly lust on the street would refuse to wallow in.
The bondage of sin is the misery that troubles all the peace of life. It poisons the very blessings of God which should have been for our healing. It doubles the burden of life, which are heavy enough already. It makes death a terror and a torture, and the eternity beyond the grave an infinite and intolerable darkness. The first moment after death is a moment which must infallibly come to every one of us. Earth lies behind us, silently wheeling its obedient way through the black-tinted space. The measureless spaces of eternity lie outstretched before us. The words of our sentence have scarcely floated away into silence. It is a sentence either of our salvation or of our damnation.
From all this horror whither shall we look for deliverance? Not to ourselves; for we know the practical infinity of our weakness, and the incorrigible vitality of our corruption. Not to any earthly power; for it has no jurisdiction here. Not to philosophy, literature, or science; for in this case they are but sorry and unhelpful matters. Not to any saint, however holy, nor to any angel, however mighty; for the least sin, an offense against God, is a bigger mountain than they have faculties to move. Not to the crowned Queen of God's creation, the glorious and sinless Mary; for even Her holiness can not satisfy for sin, nor the whiteness of Her purity take out its deadly stain. And neither may we look for deliverance direct from the patience and compassion of God Himself; for in the abysses of His wisdom it has been decreed, that without the shedding of blood there is no remission [of sins] (Heb. 9.22). It is from the Precious Blood of Jesus Christ - prefigured by the blood of animals poured forth on the altar of Old - alone that our salvation comes. He that is just, be sanctified still: and he that is holy, let him be sanctified still (Apoc. 22.11). But how shall we be justified still and sanctified still? Let us always draw towards the Confessional and the high altar of God's Traditional sanctuaries, washing our robes and having them made white in the blood of the Lamb (cf., Apoc. 7.14).
A blessed Feast to all!