Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children

[public domain]

Prayer for the Unborn Child

Almighty God, our Father,
you who have given us life
and intended us to have it forever,
grant us your blessings.
Enlighten our minds to an awareness
and to a renewed conviction
that all human life is sacred
because it is created
in your image and likeness.
Help us to teach by word
and the example of our lives
that life occupies the first place,
that human life is precious
because it is the gift of God
whose love is infinite.
Give us the strength to defend human life
against every influence
or action that threatens or weakens it,
as well as the strength
to make every life more human
in all its aspects.

Give us the grace…

When the sacredness of life
before birth is attacked,
to stand up and proclaim
that no one ever has the authority
to destroy unborn life.

When a child is described as a burden
or is looked upon only as a means
to satisfy an emotional need,
to stand up
and insist that every child is a unique
and unrepeatable gift of God,
a gift of God
with a right to a loving
and united family.

When the institution of marriage
is abandoned to human selfishness
or reduced to a temporary conditional arrangement
that can easily be terminated,
to stand up and affirm
the indissolubility of the marriage bond.

When the value of the family is threatened
because of social and economic pressure,
to stand up and reaffirm
that the family is necessary
not only for the private good of every person,
but also for the common good of every society,
nation and state.

When freedom is used to dominate the weak,
to squander natural resources and energy,
to deny basic necessities to people,
to stand up and affirm
the demands of justice and social love.

Almighty Father,
give us courage to proclaim the supreme dignity
of all human life and to demand
that society itself give its protection.
We ask this in your name,
through the redemptive act
of your Son and in the Holy Spirit.

Amen.

(Adapted from St. Pope John Paul II’s homily of October 7, 1979)

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.