In the pre-Vatican II calendar, today the Catholic Church celebrates the Holy Name of Jesus. Here is a reading from a sermon by St. Bernard of Clairvaux (Abbott and Doctor of the Church, d. 1143). (Copied from today's readings for Matins in the pre-V-II Divine Office, at www.divinumofficium.com).
From the Sermons of St. Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux.
1st on the Song of Songs.
It is not idly that the Holy Ghost likeneth the Name of the Bridegroom
to oil, when He maketh the Bride say to the Bridegroom: thy Name is as
oil poured forth. Oil indeed giveth light, meat, and unction. It feedeth
fire, it nourisheth the flesh, it sootheth pain; it is light, food, and
healing. Behold, Thus also is the Name of the Bridegroom. To preach it,
is to give light; to think of it, is to feed the soul; to call on it,
is to win grace and unction. Let us take it point by point. What,
thinkest thou, hath made the light of faith so suddenly and so brightly
to shine in the whole world but the preaching of the Name of Jesus? Is
it not in the light of this Name that God hath called us into His
marvellous light, even that light wherewith we being enlightened, and in
His light seeing light, Paul saith truly of us Ye were sometimes
darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord.
This is the Name which
the Apostle was commanded to bear before Gentiles, and kings, and the
children of Israel, the Name which he bore as a light to enlighten his
people, crying everywhere The night is far spent, the day is at hand;
let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the
armour of light, let us walk honestly as in the dayligth, He pointed out
to all that candle set upon a candlestick, preaching in every place
Jesus and Him crucified. How did that Name shine forth and dazzle every
eye that beheld it, when it came like lightning out of the mouth of
Peter to give bodily strength to the feet of the lame man, and to clear
the sight of many a blind soul? Cast he not fire when he said: In the
Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk?
The Name of
Jesus is not a Name of light only, but it is meat also. Dost thou ever
call it to mind, and remain unstrengthened? Is there anything like it to
enrich the soul of him that thinketh of it? What is there like it to
restore the fagged senses, to fortify strength, to give birth to good
lives and pure affections? The soul is fed on husks if that whereon it
feedeth lack seasoning with this salt. If thou writest, thou hast no
meaning for me if I read not of Jesus there. If thou preach, or dispute,
thou hast no meaning for me if I hear not of Jesus there. The mention
of Jesus is honey in the mouth, music in the ear, and gladness in the
heart. It is our healing too. Is any sorrowful among us? Let the thought
of Jesus come into his heart, and spring to his mouth. Behold, when the
day of that Name beginneth to break, every cloud will flee away, and
there will be a great calm. Doth any fall into sin? Doth any draw nigh
to an hopeless death? And if he but call on the life-giving Name of
Jesus, will he not draw the breath of a new life again?
I can't possibly improve on the words of St. Bernard, so I won't try.
Laudator Jesus Christus!