When the soldier Longinus had withdrawn the point of the lance which had opened the Heart of Jesus, there was seen to issue from that deep wound, water and blood. Even now, if we contemplate with the eyes of faith the sacred image of this adorable Heart, that touching pledge of the love of Jesus for us, we shall see, flowing from that mysterious wound, drops of water and blood. The water flows in order that man may be born again to the life of grace by Baptism, of which it is the type. "I will pour upon you dean water and you shall be cleansed, and I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you" (Ezech. xxxvi. 25-26). St. Augustine assures us that this miraculous water has also the power to assuage the burning thirst of the passions of men. "It is not only," says he, "a salutary bath to cleanse souls; it is also a draught which refreshes and quenches their thirst." O good Jesus! "give me this water," so that I may drink and suffer thirst no more. The blood flows from the Heart of Jesus to effect our justification; its voice reaches to the throne of God, not to call for vengeance, but to ask for pity and mercy, and, at this voice, divine justice is appeased and looks down on us with love. "O sweet wound!" exclaims St. Bonaventure, "gentle wound of my Savior! what can be more wonderful! His death gives life, His wounds heal, and His blood redeems souls." It is the blood of the Heart of Jesus which still flows each day in the chalice on our altars, and gives life and grace. Yes, that sacred wine "springing forth virgins," and rejoicing souls, is the blood of Jesus. At the holy table it empurples our lips, it circulates in our veins in such a manner that, according to the beautiful expression of a holy father of the Church, we contract with Jesus Christ a glorious consanguinity. Oh! let us often hasten to drink of the chalice of salvation, and be inebriated with this divine blood.
Christians, let us repeat frequently during the day, as an ejaculatory prayer, the beautiful words of St. Ignatius: "Water from the side of Christ, cleanse me: Aqua lateris Christi, munda me. Blood of Christ inebriate me; inebriate me with thy love: Sanguis Christi, inebria me." And when you kiss your crucifix, press your lips to the wound of the Sacred Heart, as if to draw from thence the last drops of Its blood.
Tradition relates that the soldier Longinus, who dared to plunge his lance into the Heart of Jesus, was partially blind. This misfortune, which he had endured for several years, was the result of long and severe sufferings. As he withdrew his spear, a drop of divine blood fell on his face, and at the same moment his sight was restored; his soul at the same time was illuminated with the light of faith, and his heart was filled with love for the God whom he had just outraged. Oh! wonderful vengeance of the Redeemer; He cured miraculously both the soul and the body of the executioner. Longinus was not ungrateful for so great a favor: obliged to guard the Savior’s tomb after His burial, and, therefore, a witness of the resurrection, he published everywhere all he had seen and heard. The Jews being unable to corrupt him by gifts and promises, obtained an order from Pilate that he should be put to death, and two soldiers were sent to kill him. Longinus, when he heard the decree, leaped for joy, happy to shed his blood for Him whose blood had cured and sanctified him. He asked for a white garment in which to celebrate the feast of his heavenly nuptials, and having embraced and blessed the two friends who accompanied him to the place of execution, he was beheaded. Such was the edifying death of him, who had been first the executioner, and then the apostle of the Heart of Jesus. Oh, marvellous power of the blood which gushed from that sacred wound! If one drop alone possessed so great a virtue, what may we not hope for from that inexhaustible fountain which flows unceasingly on our altars!
Heart of Jesus! how much hast Thou loved me! What would have become of me if I had not been redeemed by Thy precious blood ? Alas! I should most certainly have been lost. Oh priceless balm, springing from the fountain of infinite love! Sweet Savior continue to sprinkle me with the dew of Thy saving blood, so that it may purify me more and more, and obtain for me the glory of heaven. Amen.
Renew your Baptismal Promises before the image of the Sacred Heart. The Prayer for this can be found here.