Join our Lenten Campaign 2024.
“Father, is it really as bad as all that?”
“Yes, it’s as bad as all that—and it’s even worse than that.”
The question was asked of me by a dear and scandalized friend, after we heard Dr. Janet Smith of Sacred Heart Seminary of Detroit give a presentation on the present crisis in the Church.
My friend went on to ask: “Father, what can we do?”
I have asked those very words—in prayer.
I don’t know if the present crisis in the Church is the worst ever. I do believe that we are at an epoch-making crossroads in the life of the Church. There will be repentance or chastisement. We can no longer kick the can down the road.
We must resist the bureaucratic temptation to believe that we’re just one more meeting, committee, process, procedure, policy, regulation or statement away from fixing everything. All those may be useful, but without natural and supernatural virtue, without the grace of God, without thoroughgoing repentance, reparation and reform, they’ll avail us nothing.
We’re not helpless during this dark time, for our help is in the name of the Lord. We’re not powerless, because when we’re united in faithful prayer, Christ is in our midst.
Here come the protagonists of the Church’s Act 3, and it’s exhilarating
I urge us now to retrieve the tradition of invoking the Precious Blood of Jesus to combat whatever evil may be around us or within us.
In the worship prescribed by the Old Testament, the blood of sacrificed animals was used to seal a covenant bond and to signify purification from sin by an atoning death. These imperfect means were but a pre-figurement of the perfect sacrifice of Jesus on Calvary. The shed Blood of Jesus has matchless power for binding his disciples to God, to atone for sin and to defeat the diabolical. We would be foolish not to invoke that great power now!
These prayers recall 7 occasions when Jesus’ blood was spilled
Please, for love of God and neighbor, let’s pray daily the Litany of the Precious Blood:
Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Jesus, hear us. Jesus, graciously hear us. God, the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us. God, the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us. God, the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us. Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on us. [“save us” is repeated after each of the below invocations.] Blood of Christ, only-begotten Son of the Eternal Father, save us. Blood of Christ, Incarnate Word of God, save us. Blood of Christ, of the New and Eternal Testament, … Blood of Christ, falling upon the earth in the Agony, … Blood of Christ, shed profusely in the Scourging, Blood of Christ, flowing forth in the Crowning with Thorns, Blood of Christ, poured out on the Cross, Blood of Christ, price of our salvation, Blood of Christ, without which there is no forgiveness. Blood of Christ, Eucharistic drink and refreshment of souls, Blood of Christ, stream of mercy, Blood of Christ, victor over demons, Blood of Christ, courage of Martyrs, Blood of Christ, strength of Confessors, Blood of Christ, bringing forth Virgins, Blood of Christ, help of those in peril, Blood of Christ, relief of the burdened, Blood of Christ, solace in sorrow, Blood of Christ, hope of the penitent, Blood of Christ, consolation of the dying, Blood of Christ, peace and tenderness of hearts, Blood of Christ, pledge of eternal life, Blood of Christ, freeing souls from purgatory, Blood of Christ, most worthy of all glory and honor, Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world, spare us O Lord. Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world, graciously hear us O Lord. Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us. You have redeemed us, O Lord, in your Blood, and made us, for Our God, a Kingdom. Let us pray, Almighty and eternal God, you have appointed your only-begotten Son the Redeemer of the world, and willed to be appeased by his Blood. Grant we beg of you, that we may worthily adore this price of our salvation, and through its power be safeguarded from the evils of the present life, so that we may rejoice in its fruits forever in heaven. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.
For souls wounded by sin, let’s invoke the Precious Blood of Jesus—that they may be healed.
For souls hardened by sin, let’s invoke the Precious Blood of Jesus—that they may be converted.
For souls beleaguered by sin, let’s invoke the Precious of Blood of Jesus—that they may be strengthened.
When I write next, I will speak of praying with the Psalms in times of crisis. Until then, let’s keep each other in prayer.
5 Saints who received the stigmata and what it felt like