Saturday, March 6, 2010

Jesu, Jesu, Jesu, esto mihi Jesus

Kneeling before the altar, before and after making my confession, I remembered these words: Jesu, Jesu, Jesu, esto mihi Jesus (hoc est, Salvator) – "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, be to me Jesus (that is, Saviour)".   In church, what is better than to kneel before the Sacramental Presence, and invoke Our Lord?

Of old time the English had a great devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus, as exemplified in the Jesus Psalter, a form of devotion consisting in great part in a devout calling upon that saving Name.  This was retained in Anglicanism, as early injunctions to make reverence at Christ's Name makes clear: hopefully those soon to be in full communion again will help reinstate the traditional practice of bowing one's head at the Name of Jesus.

To-day (in the traditional Roman calendar) also marks the memory of two famous martyrs, SS Perpetua and Felicity, who bravely bore witness before hostile and uncomprehending pagans in Carthage just over 1800 years ago: as St Augustine put it, thus through trial and suffering they entered "perpetual felicity".  At the stirring account of their witness unto death, partly dictated by the saints themselves, the heart dilates in love for such great champions of Christ.  May they pray for us, and their glorious merits avail on our behalf.

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