Since January is the month dedicated to the Holy Name of Jesus, let us remind ourselves of the great power of the Most Holy Name of Jesus with these excerpts from Fr. Paul O’Sullivan’s beautiful booklet, The Wonders of the Holy Name:
St. Paul tells us in his own beautiful way two great truths about the Name of Jesus. First of all, he tells us of the infinite power of this Name. “In the Name of Jesus every knee shall bend in Heaven, on Earth and in Hell.” Every time we say, “Jesus,” we give infinite joy to God, to all Heaven, to God’s Blessed Mother and to the Angels and Saints. Secondly, he tells us how to use it. “Whatever you do in word or in work, do all in the Name of Our Lord Jesus Christ.” He adds: Whether you eat or whether you drink, or whatever else you do, do all in the Name of Jesus.
This advice all the Saints followed, so that their every act was done for love of Jesus, and therefore their every act and thought won them graces and merits. It was by this Name that they became Saints. If we follow this same advice of the Apostle, we too shall reach a very high degree of sanctity. How are we to do everything in the Name of Jesus? By acquiring the habit, as we have said, of repeating the Name of Jesus frequently in the course of the day. This presents no difficulty — it only demands good will.
St. Augustine, the great Doctor of the Church, found his delight in repeating the Holy Name. He himself tells us that he found much pleasure in books which made frequent mention of this all-consoling Name.
St. Bernard felt a wonderful joy and consolation in repeating the Name of Jesus. He felt it, as he says, like honey in his mouth and a delicious peace in his heart. We too shall feel immense consolation and shall feel peace steal into our souls if we imitate St. Bernard and repeat frequently this Holy Name.
St. Dominic spent his days preaching and discussing with heretics. He always went on foot from place to place, as well in the oppressive heats of the summer as in the cold and rain of winter. The Albigensian heretics, whom he tried to convert, were more like demons let loose from Hell than mortal men. Their doctrine was infamous and their crimes enormous. Yet, as another St. Paul, he converted 100,000 of these wicked men, so that many of them became eminent for sanctity. Wearied at night with his labors, he asked only for one reward, which was to pass the night before the Blessed Sacrament, pouring out his soul in love for Jesus. When his poor body could resist no longer, he leaned his head against the altar and rested a little, after which he began once more his intimate converse with Jesus. In the morning, he celebrated Mass with the ardor of a seraph so that at times his body was raised in the air in an ecstasy of love. The Name of Jesus filled his soul with joy and delight.
St. Francis of Assisi, that burning Seraph of love, found his delight in repeating the loved Name of Jesus. St. Bonaventure says that his face lit up with joy and his voice showed by its tender accents how much he loved to invoke this all-Holy Name. No wonder, then, that he received on his hands and feet and side the marks of the five wounds of Our Lord, a reward of his burning love.
St. Ignatius of Loyola was second to none in his love for the Holy Name. He gave to his great order not his own name, but rather he called it the “Society of Jesus.” This divine Name has been, as it were, a shield and defense of the Order against its enemies and a guarantee of the holiness and sanctity of its members. Glorious, indeed is the great Society of Jesus.
St. Francis de Sales has no hesitation in saying that those who have the custom of repeating the Holy Name frequently may feel certain of dying a holy and happy death. And indeed there can be no doubt of this, because every time we say, “Jesus,” we apply the saving Blood of Jesus to our souls, while at the same time we implore God to do as He has promised, granting us everything we ask in His Name. All who desire a holy death can secure it by repeating the Name of Jesus. Not only will this practice obtain for us a holy death, but it will lessen notably our time in Purgatory and may very possibly deliver us altogether from that dreadful fire.
Many Saints spent their last days repeating constantly, “Jesus, Jesus.”
All the Doctors of the Church agree in telling us that the devil reserves his fiercest temptations for our last moments, and then he fills the mind of the dying person with doubts, fears and dreadful temptations — in the hope, at last, of carrying the unfortunate soul to Hell. Happy those who in life have made sure of acquiring the habit of calling on the Name of Jesus.
We, therefore, sinful as we are, can, with this Omnipotent Name, obtain every favor and every grace. The weakest mortals can become strong, the most afflicted find in it consolation and joy. Who then can be so foolish or negligent as not to acquire the habit of repeating, “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus,” constantly. It robs us of no time, presents no difficulty and is an infallible remedy for every evil.
Jesu Dulcis Memoria
Jesus, the very thought of Thee
With sweetness fills my breast,
But sweeter far Thy face to see
And in Thy presence rest.
Nor voice can sing nor heart can frame,
Nor can the memory find
A sweeter sound than Thy blest name,
O 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
His loved ones only know.
Jesus our only joy be Thou
As Thou our prize wilt be;
O Jesus, be our glory now
And through eternity. Amen.