Today is also the Optional Memoria of the Most Holy Name of Jesus. On this day, you may wish to spend some time praying the ‘Jesus Prayer’: ‘Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy upon me, a sinner’.

The late Metropolitan Kallistos Ware wrote: “The Jesus Prayer ʻholds in itself the whole gospel truthʼ; it is a ʻsummary of the Gospelsʼ. In one brief sentence it embodies the two chief mysteries of the Christian faith, the Incarnation and the Trinity. It speaks, first, of the two natures of Christ the God-man (Theanthropos): of his humanity, for he is invoked by the human name, ʻJesusʼ, which his Mother Mary gave to him after his birth in Bethlehem; of the eternal Godhead, for he is also styled ʻLordʼ and ʻSon of Godʼ. In the second place, the Prayer speaks by implication, although not explicitly, of the three Persons of the Trinity. While addressed to the second Person, Jesus, it points also to the Father, for Jesus is called ʻSon of Godʼ; and the Holy Spirit is equally present in the Prayer, for ʻno one can say “Lord Jesus”, except in the Holy Spiritʼ. So the Jesus Prayer is both Christocentric and Trinitarian. Devotionally, it is no less comprehensive. It embraces the two chief ʻmomentsʼ of Christian worship: the ʻmomentʼ of adoration, of looking up to Godʼs glory and reaching out to him in love; and the ʻmomentʼ of penitence, the sense of unworthiness and sin. There is a circular movement within the Prayer, a sequence of ascent and return. In the first half of the Prayer we rise up to God: ʻLord Jesus Christ, Son of God …ʼ; and then in the second half we return to ourselves in compunction: ʻ … on me a sinnerʼ. Those who have tasted the gift of the Spiritʼ, it is stated in the Macarian Homilies, ʻare conscious of two things at the same time: one the one hand, of joy and consolation; on the other, of trembling and fear and mourning’. Such is the inner dialectic of Jesus Prayer”.

May you have much joy in the Name and presence of Jesus this day, and may He bless you abundantly.