O Lord our God, you have replanted on our earth the garden lost in Eden, and you have sent a new Gardener to till the soil plowed by the wood of the cross. He who is both the farmer and the seed has watered the earth with his life’s blood, shed for our redemption. Make us grow in his likeness by the power of his word dwelling in our hearts. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.—Magnificat, Feb 18, 2019 Prayer for the Morning
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“In the Bible, blood is considered a sacred substance because it bears within it the life of the creature, which must be respected (Lev 17:10-14).”—Curtis Mitch & Scott Hahn, The Ignatius Catholic Study Bible Genesis
Jesus completely and utterly sacrificed all of himself for our salvation. Trickling throughout the entire Passion narrative is Christ shedding blood, even in the Garden of Gethsemane, before he was captured.
In Gethsemane, he was in such anguish that he sweat blood. There is an extremely rare medical condition of sweating blood called hematidrosis.
The cause is unknown, though in Christ’s case, it seems that his emotional anguish and pain were so severe, that it was spilling over into his physical being. That emotional-physical connection calls to mind how both acute and chronic stress has effects on us physically.
Meditating on the Passion
I find it spiritually beneficial to meditate upon the Passion of Christ, and the “Devout Affections on the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ” are a sobering walk through what he endured for us.
The Meaning of the Cross
The event of the Passion may seem confusing to our human minds, but Father Mike here explains how God’s answers can seem like contradictions to us: