(French Holy Card c. 1870)
glorious humiliations. Tie me to you, O Jesus, through a lively and
acting faith, a strong hope, a fervent and unselfish love... so that I shall live only for you.”
(Source: "Meditations for Lent from St. Thomas Aquinas", pp. 64-65, 1937 Imp.)
THE FEAST OF THE HOLY
AND THE NAILS OF OUR LORD
One of the soldiers with a spear opened his side, and
immediately there came out blood and water. -John xix. 34.
1. The gospel deliberately says opened and not
wounded, because through
Our Lord's side there
was opened to us the gate of eternal life. After
these things I looked, and behold a gate
was opened in
heaven (Apoc. iv. i). This is the door opened
in the ark, through which enter the animals who
will not perish in the flood.
2. But this door
is the cause of our salvation.
Immediately there came forth blood and water, a thing
truly miraculous, that, from
a dead body, in which
the blood congeals, blood should come forth.
This was done to show that by the Passion of
Christ we receive a full absolution, an absolution
sin and every stain. We receive
this absolution from sin through that blood which
is the price of our redemption. You
redeemed with corruptible things as gold or silver, from
your vain conversation with the tradition
of your fathers;
but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb
unspotted and undefiled (i Pet.
We were absolved from every stain by the water,
which is the laver of our redemption. In the
prophet Ezechiel it is said, I will pour upon you clean
and you shall be cleaned from all your filthiness
(Ezech. xxxvi. 28), and in Zacharias, There shall
fountain open to the house of David and to the
inhabitants of Jerusalem for the washing of the sinner
the unclean woman (Zach. xiii. i).
And so these two things may be thought of in
relation to two of the sacraments,
the water to
baptism and the blood to the Holy Eucharist.
Or both may be referred to the Holy Eucharist
since, in the Mass, water is mixed with the wine.
Although the water is not of the substance of the
Again, as from the side of Christ asleep in death
on the cross there flowed that blood
in which the Church is consecrated, so from the
side of the sleeping Adam was formed the first
woman, who herself foreshadowed the Church.
(In John xix.)
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The Papal Restoration Staff