Invoking The Holy Name Of Jesus
Today is the feast dedicated to the Holy Name of Jesus. In our current culture where God is so disregarded and Jesus' name spoken so often in vain, it is good for us to remember that we can and should pray Jesus' holy name. As St Paul tells us in his letter to the Philippians:
For which cause God also hath exalted him, and hath given him a name which is above all names: That in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those that are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth. And that every tongue should confess that the Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father. (Phil. 2:9~10)
Here are some thoughts from St Bernard of Clairvaux:
O Jesus, how consoling You are to those who invoke You!
How good You are to those who seek You!
What will you not be to those who find You?
Only he who has felt it can know what it is to languish in love for Thee, O Jesus.
(Sermons on the Canticles, 15)
What could be more powerful than this Name? What could be more efficacious? At the sound of this Name the dead are revived, the lame walk, the blind see and the sick are healed. What power in a Name! Consider these miracles, and others no less great, no less startling, that are accomplished by virtue of this Name. Henceforth who can dare to mention this powerful and most sacred Name without fear, and without respect? At the sound of this Name the angels bow down, men bend their knees and demons tremble. This Name puts Satan to flight, reduces the violence of temptations, and pierces heaven to obtain every grace, for our Lord has said that “whatever you ask in My Name, that will I do in order that the Father may be glorified in the Son” (John 14:14), and again I say it, “whatever you ask in My Name, I will do it.”
What a great respect we should have for this Name! How great a punishment is deserved by those who have the audacity and temerity to blaspheme the Name of God, to take it in vain or to pronounce it without respect.
(Sermon for The Feast of the Circumcision on the Divine Name)
I will return to St Bernard and leave you with this prayer of his for this beautiful and holy feast:
May Thy name, O Jesus, always be deep within my heart, and in reach of my hands so that all my affections and all of my actions may be directed to Thee... In Thy name, O Jesus, I have the remedy to rid me of my wickedness and to turn my defects into perfections, also a medicine with which to preserve my affections from corruption or to heal them if they have already been corrupted.
So let us say Jesus' name often, but in a spirit of prayer and with utmost reverence and devotion, for there is great power in His Holy Name.