Thanks to Bram Stoker’s Dracula, vampires solidified themselves as an iconic archetype in fantasy and fiction, even to this day. From the bevy of movies about Dracula to the Hotel Transylvania series to the Marvel anti-hero Morbius, vampires are present in many levels of entertainment. But while most people are familiar with the stereotypes regarding this fictional creature, are you aware of where they got their roots?
Vampires are doomed to walk in eternal death, afraid of the light because it burns them, vulnerable to crucifixes, they drink the blood of the living even though it never quenches their thirst, and you kill them by stabbing them with a wooden stake. Sound like the anti-thesis of somebody you’re familiar with? That’s right: vampires were created as the embodiment of everything counter-Christian.
Jesus and His cross are their only weakness, He is the eternal light that destroys darkness, and while vampires drink blood that never quenches, Jesus provides His blood for us to have eternal life. While yes, vampires are entirely fictional and a bit silly, even their fictional existence is forced to recognize the true power of the Blood of Christ.
During July, we celebrate devotion to the Precious Blood of Christ. And Josh Raymond welcomed Father James Kubicki onto The Inner Life to talk about devotion, how the Precious Blood is related to the Sacred Heart, and how we can express our reverence more effectively at Mass.
Father James began by explaining devotion, saying that we should remember the word itself in our participation. It means to be committed, not just with our heads but with our hearts. And in one way or another, every devotion should seek to bring us closer to Christ, and the best route to meet God intimately is through the Holy Eucharist. So ultimately, devotion should lead us to the devotion of all devotions: the Holy Eucharist.
In other words, the litmus test for whether a devotion has any merit or not is based on if it directs us back to the Holy Eucharist, the Body of Christ. That’s essentially what determines sainthood. If you look at each saint, you will see a tremendous devotion to Our Lord, always through the reception of the Eucharist.
But even though devotion to the Eucharist is paramount in our relationship with Christ, some of us may have a tendency to get carried away with specific devotions. As Father Kubicki said, we all exhibit a little bit of obsessive-compulsive behavior, and it might come out in this realm of our life. In the back of our heads, we might hear, “‘Well, if you really loved God, you would add this devotion,’ or, ‘You would do this as well as what you’re already doing.’” This oversaturation of devotions can become dangerous because it causes imbalance and dilutes them all, eventually causing us to leave them all behind.
Last month, Father Kubicki joined The Inner Life to talk about the devotion of June, The Sacred Heart of Jesus. In finding the relation between the two devotions, Father Kubicki said:
“They’re both very Eucharistic. When we have during the month of June the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, it’s preceded by the feast of Corpus Christi, where we honor the most Precious Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. And if you think about blood, it comes from the heart. The heart pumps blood throughout the body to keep it alive. And so, it seems natural that the month that follows the month dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus would be a month dedicated to the Precious Blood of Jesus.”
So, as we focus on the Precious Blood this month, we should place emphasis on the reverence and piety that should be shown in receiving the Blessed Sacrament at Mass, whether we receive the Blood or only the Body of Christ. When Jesus said, “Do this in memory of me,” He was not suggesting that this is simply a remembrance or symbol for the Holy Sacrifice being offered all those years ago. Just as the Israelites made the Passover present, a celebration of Mass makes the sacrifice of Jesus present before us. Let us remember that as we prepare ourselves to receive Him during this month of July and in cooperation with the National Eucharistic Revival.
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