So yesterday was the feast of the Holy Name of Jesus. Apparently the feast used to be celebrated on January 1st along with the Circumcision of Jesus, but was moved to January 3rd to allow for the older celebration of Mary, Mother of God on January 1st. Both feasts seem to have good reason to be celebrated on the 1st, though it would be nice to celebrate the feast of His Holy Name on the day it was first announced. Regardless of the date of celebration, however, the feast commemorates the naming of Jesus and the salvation that comes only through His Holy Name.
Today was also First Friday, so I had the chance to go to a parish I don't get to attend as much as I would like for adoration, mass, benediction and nocturnal adoration. The church was beautifully decorated for Christmas and I couldn't help taking a few pictures of the empty church!
The pastor touched on the parallel to Exodus where God tells Moses "I AM who I AM" indicating not only His existence outside of time, but also that He is the only one who can make that statement, and the Name of Jesus, revealed to us precisely because that very Word became flesh and dwelt among us. He also spoke about St Bernadine of Siena who encouraged devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus during the early fifteenth century. St Bernadine was responsible for adding the name of Jesus to the Hail Mary (Luke 1:28,43) and founded an order dedicated to reparation for the damages caused by the profane use of the name of Jesus.
Father also mentioned the practice that some have of making a prayer of reparation every time they hear His name misused. He referenced John Paul II who said that every moral act, be it good or bad, has two effects, an effect on the person committing the act and an effect on the world. Making an act of reparation, then, is a virtuous act that can help to restore sanctity and atone for the damage caused by the profane act, as well as give us another opportunity to pray for the person committing the act.
I find the Golden Arrow prayer, given to Sister Mary of St. Peter in 1843, to be a beautiful prayer for this reparation.
May the most holy, most sacred, most adorable,
most incomprehensible and unutterable Name of God
be always praised, blessed, loved, adored
and glorified in Heaven, on earth,
and under the earth,
by all the creatures of God,
and by the Sacred Heart of Our Lord Jesus Christ,
in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.