This evening I had an incredible experience in which the splendor and magnificence of God was made known to me in a very beautiful way. I was looking out at the gorgeous view from the University of Mary in North Dakota and saw an amazing sight…
The sun was shining, bright as can be (though it was 8:00pm), and all of a sudden, a cloud covered it up. But, each time it got covered by a cloud, the sun would somehow manage to make its way back into our line of vision, shedding a golden light over the whole land. It was really cool to watch because the sun almost was dancing, trying to fight its way back to light our evening and come above or around the clouds to peek through. I’ve attached pictures so you can see what it looked like in chronological order:
This wonderful display reminded me of the glory and power of Jesus and how, even in our darkest moments, He, in His divine goodness, somehow always manages to shine through when we most need Him to and to create beautiful light through His mercy.
To remember the power of even the Holy Name of Jesus, I wanted to share a prayer that the young adult group at my home parish, a chapter of Crossroads 4 Christ, learned about in one of our weekly meetings recently. A member of the group led us in prayer and taught us all about the Litany of the Name of Jesus.
The prayer is very simple and repetitive–It lists different names for Jesus, like Lamb of God or Prince of Peace, and asks for His mercy on us. It then goes on to ask further for Jesus to save His people, reflecting on different attributes of Jesus. It is one of the few litanies that is recognized by the Church.
Even just the very NAME of Jesus holds mighty, awesome power. The name of Jesus holds the power to fight off demons, work miracles, convert sinners, and really do anything; to shed light in the darkest places and turn them from dust to gold. When lost for words to say to God, how profound to simply say the sweet name that God gave His Only Son and Our Savior, “Jesus.”
Thinking about this more reminded me of a prayer I learned earlier this year. It is a simple prayer, in which one breathes in while praying, “Jesus, Savior of the World” (or any of the other names for Jesus), and then breathes out, praying, “have mercy on me, a sinner.” The idea of this prayer is that we are breathing in the sweetness, the goodness, the splendor, the beauty of Jesus, as we breathe out our sin, begging Him to have mercy on our souls. We remind ourselves of the greatness of God and of Jesus, but also acknowledge our imperfect, flawed, sinful selves and, by asking for His mercy, show remorse for having offended Our God. It is very similar to the idea of the Litany of the Name of Jesus, but shorter and good to say throughout the day.
These two prayers, simply invoking the name of Jesus and asking for His mercy, are some of the most powerful prayers we will ever pray. How amazingly blessed we are that we have a God willing to give us even a Name that can bring about unbelievable peace. As we talked about in the meeting at Crossroads, we should not be using Jesus’ Name in profane, disrespectful ways, or showing reluctance to use His Name for fear of offending someone else. Jesus’ Name is holy and precious.
If tonight’s sunset reminded me of anything, it was the beauty of Jesus, Our Lord and how He makes all things good.
Jesus, Author of Life, shine Your light upon us. Thank You for the beauty of the earth and all creation. Thank You for life. Teach us how precious each life is and remind our world of the sanctity of life. Thank You for Your Holy Name. We praise You, we bless You, we adore You, and we glorify You. In the Name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.
Below is the Litany of the Name of Jesus that we used in Crossroads and a link to another version on the EWTN website: