Pauca Verba is Latin for A Few Words.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

I Claim the Blood of the Lamb

After the first news of the San Bernadino massacre this past Thursday, I had a sudden fear that the day would come when I would feel nothing at the next report of gun homicide in this country. And the Dali Lama (the spiritual head of Tibetan Buddhism) has said, "Don't pray for Paris; do something." And the front page of the New York Daily News read: God Isn't Fixing This - the headline surrounded by the texts and tweets of presidential wannabes all sending their "Thoughts and prayers to the families" of those murdered. "Thoughts and prayers" - the new cliche.

Here, I want to do more than send soft prayers and good wishes, I want to do something powerful - I'm going to claim the Blood of the Lamb (Jesus Crucified) over all the earth where there is trouble or the potential for trouble. I don't tell God what to do, but I believe claiming the Blood of the Lamb matters. The angels in this painting seem to think so too. There's no politics in this claiming - just a sense of where things are or can go very wrong - dangerously wrong - murderously wrong - sinfully wrong. 

There are books that have prayers to pray before offering Mass. They tend to be full of obsolete language and without a real-life connect. So I'm putting this claiming-prayer out there as an alternative. Most of the people who read this blog go to Mass at least once a week. We might pray it before we receive the Body and Blood of Christ.

I claim the Blood of the Lamb for
all the presidents, prime ministers and premiers of the world,
all the congresses, parliaments and senates,
all the politicians of all the parties and for whatever office,
and for everyone who has a vote.

I claim the Blood of the Lamb for 
the Vatican
and all the spiritual headquarters of
all the religions.

I claim the Blood of the Lamb for
the priests, ministers, rabbis and imams,
for left and right wing,
for the people who call themselves fundamentalists,
religious, consecrated,
or who think of themselves as the base.

I claim the Blood of the Lamb for
MSNBC, FOX News, Al Jazeera, CNBC,
RT, Free Speech TV, NPR, BBC, CBB 

I claim the Blood of the Lamb for
bullies and the bullied,
secret meetings,
locked files and courtrooms.

I claim the Blood of the Lamb for
those who make, buy and sell weapons and ammunition,
those who own and use guns for anything,
whether it's law enforcement,
target practice,
hunting or attacking innocent people.

I claim the Blood of the Lamb for
those who hate - the seeds of which are fear,
defensiveness, pride, ignorance,
power-seeking and prejudice.

I claim the Blood of the Lamb for 
the Catholics, the Jews, the Protestants,
the Muslims, the Christian East, the Buddhists,
and the folks who don't believe in God.

I claim the Blood of the Lamb for
the people who plan and fund great evil,
who make and plant bombs,
who open fire on crowds.

I claim the Blood of the Lamb for
the people who neglect children,
harm children,
exploit children,
terrorize children,
enslave children,
under value children.

I claim the Blood the Lamb for 
all the families of the world whatever their arrangement,
for the hospitals, 
the nursing homes, 
the hospices,
the rescuers and the healers.

I claim the Blood of the Lamb for
those who are hated or mocked because they are trying
to create peace,
to save the planet 
to initiate reconciliation.

I claim the Blood of the Lamb for
all those who are trapped in addictions:
alcohol, drugs, pornography, anger, shopping,
entertainment, power or the money-quest. 

I claim the Blood of the Lamb for 
the United States of America and
the seventy four nations where we are either
fighting a war or supplying and supporting
the wars of other nations. 

I claim the Blood of the Lamb for
every radicalized person,
every terrorist cell or army,
every flag waving hate group.

I claim the Blood of the Lamb for 
myself, my family, my friends,
the people who cause me grief,
anxiety or sadness.

And I claim the Blood of the Lamb
as a blessing for every person
who does good,
who helps or
who makes security for me and my dear ones.


  1. This will be a regular mantra with the closing, 'Lord, Jesus Christ, Son if the living God, have mercy on me , a sinner. Thank you for your perseverance and patience of thought and prayer, Fr. Stephen,

  2. You're very welcome. God bless you and your family in the Advent time!

  3. Thank you Father for encouraging us to pray in different ways. We can all find something we are comfortable with that will make our offerings more meaningful. God will listen to us regardless of how we pray. It is what we say with our hearts that matters most to Him.

  4. Can you explain how this is different and more powerful than sending our thoughts and prayers. What should we say at times like these? If we each offer up a little prayer, wouldn't that be a powerful statement of solidarity. After the Paris massacres, everyone seemed to send prayer candles and offerings for the dead and wounded. I looked upon it as a great sign of unity.

  5. I think it's different in that the power of it, if you will, is in the Blood of Christ. The "sending our thoughts and prayers" has become the new cliche, the new thing to say when horror strikes and (here's where the rubber meets the road) nothing is done about it happening again. The people who have the power to address the deadly problem excuse themselves. The expression "sending our thoughts and prayers" is spoken by all the media folks too and right away talk about "healing" and "moving on" - before the dead are picked up from the floor and returned to families. "I claim the Blood of the Lamb" might get someone's attention. I try to avoid devotional or religious language that is used too much or casually or offhandedly - it's often empty - not always - but often. Talk is cheap, we say. And humans are fickle. We must be very careful.

  6. Claiming the Blood of Jesus is a spiritual dynamic. The power of the blood of Jesus Christ is greater than both the energy of our own humanity and that of our Adversary. The power that saves is also the power that releases, delivers, and neutralizes the enterprises of hell and the weaknesses of the flesh.

  7. I will indeed pray this prayer before Communion. As much as I can remember as I prepare to receive the Body of Christ. It will keep me centered and grounded.

  8. Some folks read these prayers on their phones in the pew before Mass. Just remember to turn the phone off when finished. A blessing in the Advent time!

  9. Sometimes the road ahead seems so dark and overgrown that I question if the journey is worth it. I sometimes wonder if it is pointless to even try to forge on. I will pray this prayer so that my faith will be strengthened by the Blood of Christ. I claim it for all those lost on their journey.