Overview of July
July is usually hot and a time for relaxing. It is also the time when crops planted in the Spring are maturing and growing. Just as the crops are dependent upon summer rains not only to grow but to survive so our spiritual development is dependent upon our frequenting the sacraments and receiving the Blood of Christ. The Blood that coursed through the veins of Christ was a part of that Sacred Humanity made possible by the maternity of Mary, whose parents, St. Joachim and St. Anne are honored this month. (July 26). Our Lord's blood poured out on the Cross purchased our salvation, washed clean the robes of the martyrs, and gave birth to the Church as it flowed from his wounded side. The Precious Blood of Christ — now pulsing through his Mystical Body — continues its salvific work, preserving and purifying, repairing and providing nourishment for regeneration and renewal of its members. July’s longer and warmer days also provide us with the opportunity for renewal, both interior and exterior. Schedules relax and pressures ease, inviting travel. But, whether we travel or not, like the missionary, St. Junipero Serra (July 1), we preach to others — by our conduct, our speech, even the clothes we wear. May we be modest in everything we do, imitating St. Maria Goretti, the young martyr for purity (July 6), and “preaching” Christ to everyone we meet.
The summer Readings of Ordinary Time remind us that our earthly pilgrimage is also a journey, a great adventure towards union with Christ, the Beginning and the End of our journey. Each Sunday with its Easter renewal becomes a mile marker along the way, linking where we have been with where we are going. May the Precious Blood of Jesus sustain us as we journey to our true home, with Mary and the angels as our companions on the way.
JULY 1 Monday in the Octave of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
FEAST OF THE PRECIOUS BLOOD
2 Chronicles, Chapter 32, Verse 7
“Be strong and steadfast; do not be afraid or dismayed because of the king of Assyria and all the horde coming with him, for there is more with us than with him.
Of course, the more of us is the power of the angels of God.
Kings come and Kings go
· After taking over Israel, King Sennacherib of Assyria comes gunning for Hezekiah in Judah.
· King Hezekiah immediately gets to work building up defenses in all the most important cities in Judah. He's a good strategic thinker, but he also has one thing that the Assyrians don't—God is on his side.
· He tells the people of Judah not to worry because God will help them out. Sure, he didn't help Israel or any of the other countless nations the Assyrians have smashed to bits, but he's totally going to help Judah.
· King Sennacherib sends his people to Jerusalem to give the city a message—you're going down.
· He throws some shade at Hezekiah, too. Their king is lying to them about God being able to protect them. Seriously, Hezekiah is so bad at ruling that he actually took down all the altars in Judah and just left this one in Jerusalem.
· Look, King Sennacherib tells them, we've conquered a lot of nations. No god has ever been able to hold us back. What makes you think your God is different?
· So King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah start to pray and God listens.
· He sends an angel to kill a lot of people in the Assyrian camp. With his army depleted, King Sennacherib is forced to head back home. Later, his own sons kill him.
· Hezekiah gets deathly sick and successfully prays to God for healing. He gets into some minor trouble with God, but repents and goes on to do all kinds of successful things as king.
· God blesses him with immense wealth. Gold, gems, spices, weapons, food, wine, oil, and livestock—you name it, the guy has a whole warehouse full of it.
· Finally, after a lifetime of righteousness, King Hezekiah dies. Everyone mourns him.
The Gift of Fortitude
Feast of the Precious Blood
As today is the Feast of the Precious Blood I Hiked and prayed the Litany to the Precious Blood with my book-DivineMercy Hikes