Saturday, September 12, 2009

So what's in a name?

I don't know about you but when I meet someone for the first time I ask their name and try to silently repeat the name so I won't forget it. When someone asks me to pray for them I ask them their name or the name of the person for whom they are asking prayers. It is so much more personal to pray for "John" or "Sally" or "grandma Smith". Our Sisters have always worked hard to remember names - of the children we teach, their moms and dads, the people we serve in the parishes. Months later when we see that person again and we can say hello to them by name they are touched, you can tell by the startled look on their faces!

What's my point with all of this? Today is the feast day (the memorial) of the Holy Name of Mary, she who is the Mother of God. Mary! What a beautiful name. Each time we pray the Rosary we say over and over again, "Hail, Mary". When we do, do we savor that name? Does it recall to our hearts the beautiful woman who carried the Son of God in her virginal womb?

St. Alphonsus Ligouri has said: After the most sacred name of Jesus, the name of Mary is so rich in every good thing, that on earth and in heaven there is no other from which devout souls receive so much grace, hope, and sweetness. See:

Lord our God, when your Son was dying on the altar of the cross, he gave us as our mother the one he had chosen to be his own mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary; grant that we who call upon the holy name of Mary, our mother, with confidence in her protection may receive strength and comfort in all our needs” (Marian Sacramentary, Mass for the Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary).

The Holy Name of Jesus is the most wonderful name! But God the Father chose Mary to be his Son's mother and has invested her name with great power and mercy. Next to Jesus, let us say her name often, with reverence and gratitude.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen


Devon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Devon said...

This is so true, Sister. I have always had a love of names and the beauty in names and the associations that they bring to mind once they are attached to a person ( a soul, a face) can be even more wonderful. Praise be to the most beautiful, grace-filled names in the world!