The Litany of the Holy Name
2nd Sunday Ordinary Time
January 17, 2010
When I go to the movies, one of things that always bothers me is how many times God’s name is taken in vain, and I hope it bothers you as well. I cringe when I hear the name of the Lord, who wishes us to love him, used as a curse word (not to mention that it breaks the 2nd commandment). For example, recently I went to the movie Avatar and counted 5 of them, which is low by modern movie standards! How
many people hear this kind of language, over and over again, and think there is nothing wrong with it! So what can we do about it?
Well, for starters, if there is anything wrong with your own language, you can repent of it. If you find you have fallen into this sin again out of anger or frustration, you can say a prayer to the Lord asking his forgiveness as soon as you have recovered your composure, and ask him to assist you in breaking this terrible habit. If you are around others who use the Lord’s name as a curse word, or hear it in the media or at school, you can do a small act of reparation, right on the spot. Say a Hail Mary to yourself, or close your eyes for a moment and beat your breast. That’s what I do.
At one time it seemed like almost every parish had a “Holy Name Society.” Members of this society would always bow their heads whenever the name of Jesus was mentioned out loud (many still try to follow this custom, including your pastor). The church has recently reintroduced the feast of the Holy Name of Jesus (January 3).
Why not enroll yourself in a personal “Holy Name Society” and get busy making a
difference in a world where too many couldn’t care less if the Lord’s name were taken
On the other side of this column is the Litany of the Holy Name. This beautiful litany can be said whenever you wish as a beautiful and very biblical prayer that offers reparation to the Holy Name of Jesus. When you pray this litany, notice that nearly every major biblical title of the Lord is used. As we pray, this litany teaches us about Christ! Each of these beautiful titles of Christ is a lesson in and of themselves.
The way we pray forms us and changes us. Praying these titles of Christ slowly allows Christ to reveal himself to us in ways that we perhaps have never thought of before. Which of them will be the most powerful for you? Find one that particularly speaks to your heart and let the picture form itself in your heart as you pray.
Keep this litany handy. You may find it comes in handy when you want to make a difference, or allow Christ to make a difference in your life.