Today is the feast of St. Bernardine of Siena (+1444) in both the Extraordinary and the Ordinary Forms of the Roman Rite, and therefore I use this opportunity to offer something from one of his discourses about the Most Holy Name of Jesus.
St. Bernardine was famous for his preaching about the Holy Name and against the horrible sin of blasphemy.
We hear today a short selection from St. Bernardine’s Discourse 49, about the glorious Name of Jesus chosen for today’s Office of Readings in the Liturgy of the Hours. I read a bit of the Italian… sorry, it’s modern Italian… I don’t have the medieval original version, alas, and then English.
Then I rant for while.
The piece is very thought provoking and useful for an examination of conscience. We are made in the image and like of God, brought into being by the Word, now the Word made flesh. We are made to speak with words. But we so often fail in speech to live up to our dignity as images of God. At least I do. We occasionally lapse, but sometimes people fall into habits of speech, sometimes even habits of blasphemy which causes scandal making it easier for others to sin.
We have to examine closely our habits of speech and not by our speech disfigure the image of God, the Word made flesh.