First, thank you, thank you to everyone who made special end-of-year contributions last month! Your thoughtful generosity will be returned by our good Lord!
Second, historically, the month of January is dedicated to growing in loving devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus. The Holy Name of Jesus is not loved enough in our world. I am deeply saddened when I hear His Name used in an irreverent manner. When I hear this happen, I will pray for that soul and I offer words of encouragement and instruction to avoid this behavior. Taking our Lord’s Name in vain wounds His Heart and it is a sin for that soul. We also must understand that we are called to spread our Lord’s love to others. Therefore, out of Love for Him, we are to practice reverence for His Holy Name and not be afraid to teach others about the grave importance of loving and practicing reverence toward His Holy Name!
In order to best help others, we must first work to perfect our personal habits of showing reverence to His Holy Name. We can do this by: 1) conscientiously speaking His Name with reverence when in prayer; 2) when talking about our Lord, to speak His Name with reverence; 3) when attending Holy Mass we can make a slight bow of our heads when His Name is mentioned; 4) when we hear His Name used in an irreverent manner we can offer a prayer in reparation for that sin, asking Jesus for mercy and forgiveness; 5) when we hear His Name used irreverently we can offer some kind of correction or encouragement to avoid that sin; 6) we can spread devotion and teach others to understand the great power and strength Jesus shares with us when we love His Holy Name; 7) we can offer our personal prayers and petitions to our Heavenly Father through the praying in the Holy Name of Jesus. Perhaps you may be able to add a few more possible ways to perfect our personal habit of loving the Holy Name of Jesus!
There is a marvelous booklet on the efficacy of the Holy Name of Jesus written by Fr. Paul O’Sullivan, O.P. I include the first few chapters to help us grow in love of the Holy Name of Jesus:
“Chapter 1 - THE WONDERS OF THE HOLY NAME
We have been hearing and have been repeating from childhood the Holy Name of Jesus, but alas, many, very many, have no adequate idea of the great wonders of this Holy Name!
What do you know, Dear Reader, about the Name of Jesus? You know that it is a holy name and that you must bow your head reverently when you say it. That is very little. It is as if you looked at a closed book and merely glanced at the title on the cover. You know nothing of all the beautiful thoughts in the book itself. Even so, when you pronounce the Name of Jesus you know very little of the treasures hidden in it.
This Divine Name is in truth a mine of riches; it is the fount of the highest holiness and the secret of the greatest happiness that a man can hope to enjoy on this earth. Read and see.
It is so powerful, so certain, that it never fails to produce in our souls the most wonderful results. It consoles the saddest heart and makes the weakest sinner strong. It obtains for us all kinds of favors and graces, spiritual and temporal.
Two things we must do. First of all, we must understand clearly the meaning and value of the Name of Jesus. Secondly, we must get into the habit of saying it devoutly, frequently, hundreds and hundreds of times every day. Far from being a burden, it will be an immense joy and consolation.
Chapter 2 - WHAT DOES THE NAME OF JESUS MEAN?
The Holy Name of Jesus is, first of all, an all-powerful prayer. Our Lord Himself solemnly promises that whatever we ask the Father in His Name we shall receive. God never fails to keep His word.
When, therefore, we say, "Jesus," let us ask God for all we need with absolute confidence of being heard. For this reason, the Church ends her prayer with the words "through Jesus Christ," which gives the prayer a new and divine efficacy.
But the Holy Name is something still greater. Each time we say, "Jesus," we give God infinite joy and glory, for we offer Him all the infinite merits of the Passion and Death of Jesus Christ. St. Paul tells us that Jesus merited the Name Jesus by His Passion and Death. Each time we say, "Jesus," let us clearly wish to offer God all the (Holy) Masses being said all over the world for all our intentions. We thus share in these thousands of (Holy) Masses…
Each time we say, "Jesus," it is an act of perfect love, for we offer to God the infinite love of Jesus. The Holy Name of Jesus saves us from innumerable evils and delivers us especially from the power of the devil, who is constantly seeking to do us harm. The Name of Jesus gradually fills our souls with a peace and a joy we never had before. The Name of Jesus gives us such strength that our sufferings become light and easy to bear.
WHAT MUST WE DO?
St Paul tells us that we must do all we do, whether in word or work, in the Name of Jesus. "All whatsoever you do in word or in work, do all in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ..." (Col 3:17). In this way, every act becomes an act of love and of merit, and moreover, we receive grace and help to do all our actions perfectly and well.
We must therefore do our best to form the habit of saying, "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus," very often every day. We can do so when dressing, when working – no matter what we are doing – when walking, in moments of sadness, at home and in the street, everywhere. Nothing is easier if only we do it methodically. We can say it countless times every day. Bear in mind that each time we say, "Jesus," devoutly: 1. we give God great glory, 2. we receive great graces for ourselves, and 3. we help the souls in Purgatory.”
Through the intercession of Mary, the Mother of Jesus, St. Joseph, the foster-father of Jesus, and St. Columbkill, may our good Lord Jesus bless us with a fervent love for His Holy Name!
In Christ through Mary,
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