The Most Holy Name of Jesus

On this feastday, we continue with the theme of the last few posts – the nativity, the divine child, and the birth of Jesus within us.  Why, you may ask.  What connection is there between the Holy Name of Jesus and ourselves giving birth to Christ daily?

Well, the name of Jesus was given by an angel to Mary and Joseph before the birth of the Baby.  Must we not also receive His Holy Name into our hearts before we can birth Him? 

I’ve posted some reflections from Servant of God Catherine Doherty over at Contemplative Haven today, which help to explain the connection between the Holy Name of Jesus and His presence within us.  But here I’d like to share some thoughts from Father George A. Maloney, S.J., from his book entitled, Invaded by God.  Mysticism and the Indwelling Trinity” .

In his section on “The Jesus Prayer”, Father Maloney writes:

The name of Jesus Christ for us modern Christians is also more than a mere recall of our Lord who once lived on this earth and performed healings and miracles and died for love of us.  Allowing His name to be present not only on our lips but in our heart (pushing ourselves to be consciously present to Him), we can experience by the Spirit’s gifts of deeper infusion of faith, hope and love the presence of Jesus Christ.  (pg. 140)

Strikingly similar to the thoughts of Meister Eckhart posted recently, Father Maloney continues:

Jesus becomes more and more present to us, leading us into the presence of the Father through His Spirit of love.  We experience with Mary the growth of Jesus within our hearts.  We experience also the Heavenly Father begetting Him and us together in a new birth of His only begotten Son.  We experience the Holy Spirit pouring out His gifts that allow us to build up the body of Christ through contemplation and action.  (pgs. 140-141)

In the video I posted just recently where Father Schineller, S.J. tells us that the U.S. Catholic bishops took Meister Eckhart’s thoughts one step further, i.e., into the world, so too Father Maloney makes this point, and does so beautifully in the section entitled, “A Transfiguring Light”:

Above all, as we are bathed in the transfiguring power of the indwelling Jesus, we are able to release the same transfiguring presence of Jesus in the world in which we are present….  What a power a Christian contemplative has to call forth the transforming power of Jesus Christ into his modern world, one that groans so loudly in agony until the full Christ has been born….  “Come, Lord Jesus, Marana tha!”  (pg. 141)


4 Responses

  1. I find a common grace in the words you’ve posted and my experience…particularly in the simple prayer of Jesus name. In consenting to His presence in the simplest of ways, “Jesus”…I allow His grace to be birthed in me, his compassion to flow out of me, His life to be lived through me. He in the Father, I in Him in the Spirit…



  2. Sam, thanks for sharing your experience of this with us here. I used to think of the Most Holy Name of Jesus (especially related to the Catholic feastday) more in terms of reverence to His Name, and acknowledgement that “every knee shall bend”. But the real experience of the name of Jesus as a prayer, and His presence with us as we say His Name, is a beautiful, honest and simple way of praying that everyone can practise throughout the day, isn’t it, and our awareness of the indwelling Trinity also grows in this way, as you say.

  3. For the longest time, it is simply belief, faith, reverence. Then one day, one realizes (through belief, faith, reverence that strays and stumbles well into greater personal consecration) that it is a living in a reality so far beyond us that one can only marvel. We carry our Home within us. That He goes to prepare a place for us means (in a manner of speaking) that He has drawn up a 4th but smaller Adirondack chair in this one of many mansions mentioned– the soul.

  4. Yes, and this is so related to practising the presence of God as well, isn’t it, so that we become more and more aware of the Indwelling.

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