The name of Jesus is a divine name, announced to Mary on the part of God by St. Gabriel: and you shall call His name Jesus.(Compare the NIV Luke 1:31) For that reason it was called a name above all names. (Compare the NIV Phil. 2:9) And it was also called a name in which alone salvation is found: whereby we must be saved. (Compare the NIV Acts 4:12)
This great name is likened by the Holy Spirit unto oil : Your name is as oil poured out. (Song 1:2 DR) For this reason, says St. Bernard, that as oil is light, food, and medicine; so the name of Jesus is light to the mind, food to the heart, and medicine to the soul.
It is light to the mind. By this name the world was converted from the darkness of idolatry to the light of faith. We who have been born in these regions, where before the coming of Christ all our ancestors were Gentiles, should all have been in the same condition had not the Messiah come to enlighten us. How thankful ought we not, then, to be to Jesus Christ for the gift of faith! And what would have become of us if we had been born [among the indifferent and un-churched]? He who believes not is lost: He that believes not shall be condemned. (Compare the NIV Mark 16:16) And thus probably we also should have been lost.*
The name of Jesus is also food that nourishes our hearts ; yes, because this name reminds us of what Jesus has done to save us. Hence this name consoles us in tribulation, gives us strength to walk along the way of salvation, supplies us with courage in difficulties, and inflames us to love our Redeemer, when we remember what he has suffered for our salvation.
Lastly, this name is medicine to the soul, because it renders it strong against the temptations of our enemies. The devils tremble and fly at the invocation of this holy name, according to the words of the Apostle That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those that are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth. (Compare the NIV Phil. 2:10) He who in temptation calls upon Jesus shall not fall; and he who constantly invokes him shall not fall, and shall be saved: Praising, I will call upon the Lord; and I shall be saved from my enemies. (Psalm 17:4 DR) And who was ever lost, who when he was tempted invoked Jesus? He alone is lost who does not invoke his aid, or who, whilst the temptation continues, ceases to invoke him.
Oh, that I had always called upon You. my Jesus; for then I should never have been conquered by the devil! I have miserably lost Your grace, because in temptation I have neglected to call You to my assistance. But now I hope for all things through Your holy name: I can do all things in Him who comforts me. (Compare the NIV Phil. 4:13) Write, therefore, O my Savior, write upon my poor heart Your most powerful name of Jesus. so that, by having It always in my heart by loving You, I may have it always on my lips by invoking You, in all the temptations that hell prepares for me, in order to induce me to become again its slave, and to separate myself from You. In Your name I shall find every good. If I am afflicted, it will console me when I think how much more afflicted You have been than I am, and all for the love of me; if I am disheartened on account of my sins, It will give me courage when I remember that You came into the world to save sinners; if I am tempted, Your holy name will give me strength, when I consider that You can help me more than hell can cast me down; finally, if I feel cold in Your love, it will give me fervor, by reminding me of the love that You bear me. I love You, my Jesus ! You art, and I trust You wilt always be, my only Love. To You do I give all my heart, O my Jesus! You alone will I love! You will I invoke as often as I possibly can. I will die with Your name upon my lips a name of hope, a name of salvation, a name of love. O Mary. if you love me, this is the grace I beg of you to obtain for me the grace constantly to invoke your name and that of your Son; obtain for me that these most sweet names may be the breath of my soul, and that I may always repeat them during my life, in order to repeat them at my death with my last breath. Jesus and Mary, help me; Jesus and Mary, I love you; Jesus and Mary, 1 recommend my soul to you.
St. Alphonsus de Liguori, The Incarnation Birth and Infancy of Jesus Christ, Rev Eugene Grimm, Trans., Redemptorist Fathers, Brooklyn, Publishers (1927) pp. 255-258. Imprimatur +Patrick Cardinal Hayes, 1927.
This material is presented for religious and educational purposes
only. It appears as it is in the text of The Incarnation Birth and
Infancy of Jesus Christ except to replace archaic words, and the
words in brakets. Scripture quoted in the text is from the