Sunday, January 03, 2010

St. Francis de Sales on the Most Holy Name of Jesus II

Image above taken from In the Sight of Angels blog

(The following is excerpted from St. Francis de Sales's sermon for the Feast of the Circumcision, 1 January 1622, as printed in "The Sermons of St. Francis de Sales For Advent and Christmas," published by TAN Books.)

"Now, how are we to pronounce the sacred name of Jesus so that it may be beneficial and profitable to us?...This name certainly ought not be pronounced carelessly or thoughtlessly. It is not enough to be aware that is is a two-syllable word, nor even less to speak it merely with the mouth. Parrots can do that! Infidels and Mohammedans name Him perfectly well, as far as that goes, but they are not saved thereby. Our Lord showed us how we are to say it. He shed His blood in receiving His name. In that, He indicated His willingness to do what this holy name signifies: to save. It is not enough to say it with your lips; it must be engraved upon your heart...."

"How happy we will be if, at the hour of our death, as well as during the whole of our lives, we pronounce the sacred name of the Saviour with due respect. It will be like a password by which we will freely enter Heaven, for it is the name of our redemption. In our last hour, if God gives us the grace not to die suddenly, we will have a priest near us who will hold a blessed candle in his hands and will call out to us: 'Remember our Redeemer; say Jesus, say Jesus.' Blessed will they be who pronounce it reverently and with a most profound appreciation of our Saviour having ransomed us with His blood and by His Passion. Those who call upon the name well at the time of death will be saved. The opposite will be the fate of those who do not speak it well and who pronounce it tepidly and without fervor. We ought most certainly to repeat it often during our lifetime, for it was given to His Son by the Eternal Father. It is a name which is above every other name, wholly divine, gentle and full of goodness. It is an oil poured out [Cant. 1: 2 (3)] to heal all the wounds of our souls. At this sacred name every knee bends [Phil. 2: 9-10]. It is the name which gives joy to the angels, saves men, and causes demons to tremble. This is why it should be deeply engraved upon our hearts and our spirits so that, blessing it and honoring it in this life, we maybe worthy of singing with the blessed: Live Jesus! Live Jesus!"

(For another excerpt from St. Francis de Sales on the Most Holy Name of Jesus, go to St. Francis de Sales on the Most Holy Name of Jesus )


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