whoever invokes the name of Jesus is welcoming the Son of God
who loved him and who gave himself up for him.
This simple invocation of faith developed in the tradition of
prayer under many forms in East and West. The most usual formulation,
transmitted by the spiritual writers of the Sinai, Syria, and Mt. Athos, is
the invocation, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on us sinners.”
It combines the Christological hymn of
2:6-11 with the cry of
the publican and the blind men begging for light.
By it the heart is opened
to human wretchedness and the Savior’s mercy.
The invocation of the holy name of Jesus is the simplest way of
praying always. When the holy name is repeated often by a humbly
attentive heart, the prayer is not lost by heaping up empty phrases,
holds fast to the word and “brings forth fruit with patience.”
is possible “at all times” because it is not one occupation among others but
the only occupation: that of loving God, which animates and transfigures
every action in Christ Jesus.
The prayer of the Church venerates and honors the
Heart of Jesus
just as it invokes his most holy name. It adores the incarnate Word and his
Heart which, out of love for men, he allowed to be pierced by our sins.
Christian prayer loves to follow
the way of the cross
in the Savior’s steps.
The stations from the Praetorium to Golgotha and the tomb trace the way
of Jesus, who by his holy Cross has redeemed the world.
“Come, Holy Spirit”
“No one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except by the Holy Spirit.”
Every time we begin to pray to Jesus it is the Holy Spirit who draws
us on the way of prayer by his prevenient grace. Since he teaches us
to pray by recalling Christ, how could we not pray to the Spirit too?
That is why the Church invites us to call upon the Holy Spirit every
day, especially at the beginning and the end of every important action.
If the Spirit should not be worshiped, how can he divinize
me through Baptism? If he should be worshiped, should he
not be the object of adoration?
The traditional form of petition to the Holy Spirit is to invoke
the Father through Christ our Lord to give us the Consoler Spirit.
Jesus insists on this petition to bemade in his name at the verymoment
22 St. Gregory of Nazianzus,
31, 28: PG 36, 165.