by Greg Evers, Candidate from the Cincinnati Province
I had the wonderful opportunity to spend my first summer of Special Formation traveling and visiting with the members and companions of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, Kansas City Province. I also had the privilege of visiting the houses of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ in Wichita, Kansas and Ruma, Illinois along with the Precious Blood Sister in O’Fallon, Illinois. Along with these visits, I had the opportunity to study the origins of Precious Blood Spirituality and where it is today with Fr. Keith Branson, C.PP.S.
Upon reflecting on this summer experience and what I have studied regarding Precious Blood spirituality thus far, I have a better understanding of what it means to be Precious Blood. One of the hallmarks of Precious Blood spirituality is to minister to those whom are far off or are viewed as “less than.” This can take all kinds of shapes and forms: outreach to the poor, advocacy for immigrants and refugees, hospice ministry, a currently developing ministry of accompaniment for government assistance and many other ministries. The point though is that Precious Blood spirituality calls us to see the Christ in others and to respect that person’s human dignity. The blood of Christ that was shed for all of us unites us together into a new creation, a new humanity, which cries for all to be respected and treated as equals.
Another hallmark of Precious Blood spirituality is hospitality. Every dinner engagement I had and every house I visited, I always felt welcomed, despite being almost a complete stranger. Fr. Keith made mention that St. Gaspar made it a point that there should always be plenty on the table and that the guest should always be well taken care of. This is also lived out in our call as Christians to include all people in the kingdom of God. God’s mercy transcends all boundaries and we are all washed cleaned in the blood of the lamb. All we have to do is open our arms and embrace it.
Precious Blood spirituality is not something that just sits stagnant. It is constantly in motion and changing. This became evident to me in both the literal sense of constantly being on the road and sleeping under various roofs and in the figurative sense that Precious Blood spirituality is still evolving and is lived differently from place to place. It takes on different expressions in the various ministries we participate in and in how we interact with one another. I am thankful for the witness and hospitality that I experienced during my time in the Kansas City Province. I look forward to continuing my discernment with the Missionaries of the Precious Blood and discovering how I can live out Precious Blood spirituality in my life and be a witness to the cry of the blood in our times.