Blessed John XXIII began his Apostolic Letter Inde a Primis as follows:
From the very outset of our pontificate, in speaking of daily devotions we have repeatedly urged the faithful (often in eager tones that frankly hinted our future design) to cherish warmly that marvellous manifestation of divine mercy toward individuals and Holy Church and the whole world redeemed and saved by Jesus Christ: we mean devotion to his Most Precious Blood.
From infancy this devotion was instilled in us within our own household. Fondly we still recall how our parents used to recite the Litany of the Most Precious Blood every day during July.
How wonderful that such a thing should happen in the home. It is no surprise that this family gave rise to such a Saint! It often seems that when we hear of descriptions of the lives of saints they seem so far from our own. When was the last time you had the Litany of the Precious Blood at home?
Well, perhaps you’d be surprised. I have been to houses where the Rosary is regularly said before bed time by the whole family. And others where Morning Prayers are said in bed before getting up. What a wonderful thing to be able to look back childhood and remember the rosary and family prayers. Of course it’s hard (and I’m perfectly aware that I am a celibate man and don’t have a family to annoy me all the time!) but I suppose that it is all about the decisions you make in life.
Perhaps it might be to do with embarrassment. I suppose you must need quite some neck to say to your children “now that we’ve had cake, let’s have a Litany to the Precious Blood”. But what a wonderful thing if it could happen!
I have tried to suggest that people say the Hail Mary whenever they hear the siren of an Ambulance or Fire Engine or Police Car, so that prayers intrude into everyday life.
Perhaps I should give out Family Litanies to the Precious Blood this weekend.
Why do I always think of these things in the middle of the month?