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Reflections from St. Francis de Sales

The Precious Blood of Jesus

During this month dedicated to the Precious Blood of Jesus we recognise once more his love and the sufferings he bore out of love. What does our Father Saint Francis de Sales tell us about our own sufferings? Here are two pearls from him that we can reflected on:

“How fortunate is that soul who is willing to have a great deal of tribulation before departing from this life! How can one possibly learn how to love deeply and sincerely if not among spines, the crosses and the feelings of abandonment over a long period? Our dear Saviour thus proved His limitless love in the agony of His passion. Learn well how to love Christ on the bed of sorrow; on this bed He formed your heart before creating it, foreseeing it in His divine plan. Yes, the Saviour has numbered all your sorrows and all your sufferings. He has paid for them with His blood, with all the patience and love that is necessary. Be satisfied, therefore, to accept generously all that God has in store for you” (Letters 1043, Oeuvres de St Francois de Sales vol. XVI, p.300-301).


“(God will fulfil all his) divine promises in a surprising manner. “I will lead her into the wilderness, and I will speak to her heart, and I will give her milk.” “Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad with her that you may draw out milk and be filled at the breasts of her consolation, that you may suck and find delight at all the abundance of her glory. You shall be carried at the breasts, and upon their knees they shall caress you.”

Such is infinite happiness and it has not only been promised to us but we have a pledge of it in the most holy sacrament of the Eucharist, the perpetual feast of divine grace. In it we receive our Saviour’s blood in his flesh and his flesh in his blood, for his blood is dispensed to us by his flesh, his substance by his substance. It is given into our bodily mouths so that we may know that he will give us his own divine essence in an eternal feast of glory. Here on earth, it is true, this boon is granted to us really but in a hidden way, under sacramental species and appearances, whereas in heaven, God will give himself openly and “we shall see him face to face, as he is.”  (Treatise on the Love of God 1, 3: 11, 191-92)

Let us remember with gratitude that we are washed clean by the blood of the Lamb and try not to stain ourselves with sin. In the Book of Revelations we read: “And he said to me, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night within his temple; and he who sits upon the throne will shelter them with his presence.” (Rev. 7:14).


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