Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

The Holy Name of Jesus

Today is the feast of the Holy Name of Jesus, one of my favorite devotions. There are so many feasts devoted to Jesus in his various manifestations: The Sacred Heart, Christ the King, Christmas. Yet the richness of this devotion is that it is almost a celebration of Jesus as beloved. The Litany of the Holy Name of Jesus is the tenderest prayer I know. It is simply whispering the loved one's name over and over, with various endearments and praises and cataloging of virtues.

Jesus, most amiable.
Jesus, most admirable.
Jesus, the mighty God.
Jesus, Father of the world to come.
Jesus, angel of great counsel.
Jesus, most powerful.
Jesus, most patient.
Jesus, most obedient.
Jesus, meek and humble of heart.
Jesus, lover of chastity.
Jesus, lover of us.
Jesus, God of peace.
Jesus, author of life.
Jesus, example of virtues.
Jesus, zealous lover of souls.
Jesus, our God.

This is a time when names have gained a great deal of prominence. No longer are Mary and John the top ranking monikers -- parents put much time and thought into finding just the perfect expression of their baby's potential personality and ambition. Everyone has a chance to reinvent himself or herself with an online handle or three. We allow names to define us in one little mouthful. The devotion to the Holy Name, therefore, ought to be the ideal devotion now. The name of Jesus is not arbitrary -- it was divinely revealed to Mary as the right name for God's son. It means "God saves", and "God saves" means Jesus. The name itself has power to bind demons and to give strength. The name itself is lovable.

Brandon has posted a lovely poem by George Herbert on the Holy Name.

For more meditation on Jesus, head over to The Wine-Dark Sea, where I have a guest post today on "True God from True God" as part of Melanie's series on Professing the Creed for the Year of Faith.

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