Memorial of the Most Holy Name of Jesus

[public domain]

Triumph of the Name of Jesus, Ceiling of the Church of Gesu (Rome) , by Giovanni Battista Gaulli, 1674

The Most Holy Name of

JESUS

Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Philippians 2:9-11

Jesus means in Hebrew: “God saves.” At the annunciation, the angel Gabriel gave him the name Jesus as his proper name, which expresses both his identity and his mission (cf. Lk 1:31). Since God alone can forgive sins, it is God who, in Jesus his eternal Son made man, “will save his people from their sins” (Mt 1:21; cf. 2:7). In Jesus, God recapitulates all of his history of salvation on behalf of men. (CCC 430)

The name Jesus means “God saves.” The child born of the Virgin Mary is called Jesus, “for he will save his people from their sins” (Mt 1:21): “there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). (CCC 452)

But the one name that contains everything is the one that the Son of God received in his incarnation: JESUS. The divine name may not be spoken by human lips, but by assuming our humanity The Word of God hands it over to us and we can invoke it: “Jesus,” “YHWH saves” (cf. Ex 3:14; 33:19-23; Mt 1:21). The name “Jesus” contains all: God and man and the whole economy of creation and salvation. To pray “Jesus” is to invoke him and to call him within us. His name is the only one that contains the presence it signifies. Jesus is the Risen One, and whoever invokes the name of Jesus is welcoming the Son of God who loved him and who gave himself up for him (Rom 10:13; Acts 2:21; 3:15-16; Gal 2:20). (CCC 2666)

The invocation of the holy name of Jesus is the simplest way of praying always. When the holy name is repeated often by a humbly attentive heart, the prayer is not lost by heaping up empty phrases (cf. Mt 6:7), but holds fast to the word and “brings forth fruit with patience” (cf. Lk 8:15). This prayer is possible “at all times” because it is not one occupation among others but the only occupation: that of loving God, which animates and transfigures every action in Christ Jesus. (CCC 2668)

From Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition


Prayer to the Most Holy Name of Jesus
By St. Bernard of Clairvaux

Jesus, the very thought of Thee
With sweetness fills the breast!
Yet sweeter far Thy face to see
And in Thy presence rest.

No voice can sing, no heart can frame,
Nor can the memory find,
A sweeter sound than Jesus’ name,
The Savior of mankind.

O hope of every contrite heart!
O joy of all the meek!
To those who fall, how kind Thou art!
How good to those who seek!

But what to those who find? Ah! this
Nor tongue nor pen can show
The love of Jesus, what it is,
None but His loved ones know.

Jesus! our only hope be Thou,
As Thou our prize shalt be;
In Thee be all our glory now,
And through eternity.

Amen.

New Year’s Day – World Day of Peace

[public domain]

Dove of Peace, Mosaic

Prayer for Peace
By Pope Paul VI

Lord, God of peace,
who has created man,
the object of your kindness,
to be close to you in glory,
we bless you and we thank you
because you have sent us
your beloved son, Jesus,
making him the mystery of the pasch,
the architect of all salvation,
the source of all peace,
the bond of true brotherhood.
We thank you for the desire,
the efforts, the realizations
which your spirit of peace
has roused in our day:
to replace hatred with love,
diffidence with understanding,
unconcern with care.
Open yet more our hearts
to the needs of all our
brothers and sisters,
so that we may be better able
to build a true peace.
Remember, Father of mercy,
all who are in pain,
who suffer and die
in the cause of a more
brotherly world.
For the men of every race,
of every tongue –
may your kingdom come:
your kingdom of justice,
of peace, of love;
and may the earth be filled
with your glory.
Amen.

Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God

[public domain]

L’Innocence, by William-Adolphe Bouguereau, 1893

Prayer to Mary, Mother of Divine Love
by Pope Pius XII

To you, O Mary,
are known all the needs of your people
and of the whole Church.
Mother of Truth and Seat of Wisdom,
dissipate the clouds of error which darken our minds.
Amend the straying’s of our hearts
and inspire in us love for truth
and the desire to do good.
Obtain for all people a holy fear of God
so that society may know happiness.
Give us lively faith that we may trust
in those things which are imperishable.
Give us that love which is sealed forever in God.
Obtain for families fidelity, harmony, and peace.
Stir up and confirm in the hearts
of those who govern nations
a clear notion of their responsibility,
and of their duty to foster religion,
morality, and the common good.

And just as your mercy is showered upon souls, O Mary,
may it likewise flow over all those ills
which afflict this people,
and indeed the whole Christian family.
Have pity on the poor, on captives,
on all who bear persecution
for the sake of justice,
or are stricken by misfortune.
Hail, O Mary,
Mother of those who wander here below;
you are our life,
our sweetness,
and our hope.

O Mother of Divine Love,
send down your motherly blessing
on all who pray to you;
send it abundantly and consolingly.

Amen.