Laudetur Jesus Christus! Gelobt sei Jesus Christus! Sia lodato Gesù Cristo! Praised be Jesus Christ!
First of all, I wish each of you a very Happy New Year on behalf of everyone at the Oratory. I pray that the Lord blesses us in this new year and that we all face with courage whatever difficulties may present themselves and use them as a means of a grace!
A new year is always a time to examine our lives, priorities, and where we hope to go. Please also examine your spiritual lives, remain fervent, and strive to grow in a particular virtue this year. These are good spiritual practices to remember as we begin a new beginning.
The month of January is dedicated to the Holy Name, a Feast we celebrate on January 2 on the traditional calendar and on January 3 on the revised calendar. This month is an excellent time to meditate on how we use the Holy Name, the name of God, Mary, and any of the saints. It becomes easy to use such names casually. This is not a good habit to form and becomes so easy and often starts so simply.
The name of Jesus — and connected to that of all holy people and objects — is the name by which we are saved. As St. Paul says, it is the name by which all knees should bend. So examine how you may misuse such names and begin only to use them when praying, talking with the Lord, or teaching others about the goodness of the Lord.
The name of Jesus and also of Mary are powerful names. At which the very gates of hell shake and at which Satan flees. These names have won significant victories, protect us from sin, and give us the graces and virtues we need to live a holy life. So have respect for these names in all ways.
It is a sad reality that in Quebec, their very cuss words developed in French around religious figures and names due to the anti-clerical atmosphere of the time. May we not allow such practices to form within us. Be very careful in our speech and the example we set for others.
May the Lord, in this month of January and this new year, give us the grace to do so, so that whenever we mention the Holy Name, we may at least interiorly bend our knees for the name that has given to us salvation. Have a blessed month and new year!