Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Holy Name of Jesus

Today is the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus. To follow St. Paul's admonition to "pray without ceasing", Orthodox Christians use a prayer rope or chotki . The prayer that is said on these prayer ropes is "the Jesus Prayer".

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a

The Holy Name of Jesus is very powerful. Repeating the Jesus Prayer or the Name of Jesus, while sitting quietly, while waiting in line, during times of anxious distraction or while taking a walk, can be a beautifully simple way to lift our souls up to God.

We don't always need to give God the details of our concerns.

For the Father knows what you need, before you ask Him.
~Matthew 6:8

Meditating on the Holy Name, praying the Jesus Prayer, is a way to unite ourselves to God. Far from being "vain repetition", this Eastern Christian way of prayer is not said for its results (i.e., to relax us, although it certainly will do that), its purpose is not to focus us inward, towards ourselves, but to focus our body, mind and soul to the One who is Love itself.

The Lord in His wisdom gave us prayer traditions in both the Eastern and Western Churches that involve using our minds as well as our bodies. The prayer rope in the East and the Rosary in the West similarly involve the fingers and hands during prayer. As someone who struggles with Attention Deficit Disorder, I find this particularly helpful. Its difficult to consciously worry while "saying the beads".

The Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be expressed.
~Romans 8:26

Prayer changes things. What better prayer is there than the Name of Jesus Himself?

In my own variation of the Jesus Prayer, I use a regular Rosary. On the large (Our Father) beads, I say the Jesus Prayer. On the small (Hail Mary) beads, I say the prayer taught to St. Faustina:

Jesus, I trust in You.


Anonymous said...

Good post!

4HisChurch said...

Thanks. Thanks for stopping by.

Maximilian said...

Ahh the Jesus Prayer, the most wonderful prayer around.

I pray the Jesus Prayer with a Chotki to guide me through the prayer.

I pray too and from work in the daily traffic jam. I get to work and from work in total peace.

Regards and God Bless,


Dymphna's favorite quotes

"Slavery ended in medieval Europe only because the church extended its sacraments to all slaves and then managed to impose a ban on the enslavement of Christians (and of Jews). Within the context of medieval Europe, that prohibition was effectively a rule of universal abolition. "— Rodney Stark

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