(Thanks to Matt Swaim for reminding me that today is the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus.  For the record, I am a much bigger blasphemer than him.)

Today is a day to reflect on the power of words and the horror of blasphemy. Catholics have always believed in the power of the Name of Jesus.  Once upon a time, we used to celebrate January 1st as the feast of the naming of Jesus (the Feast of the Circumcision.)  During the 20th century, the world became more venial and blasphemous.  The Church gave a feast to the Holy Name (rather than the naming) in response.

The Church’s concern for blasphemy is also shown  in the recitation of The Divine Praises during Benediction.  These strophes contain a summary of the most hated and ridiculed truths of Catholic doctrine and are personally appealing because of their anti-humanistic verticallity: Their object is the glory of God and His saints rather than the edification of man.

The Divine Praises

Said in reparation for blasphemy

Blessed be God.
Blessed be His Holy Name.
Blessed be Jesus Christ, true God and true man.
Blessed be the name of Jesus.
Blessed be His Most Sacred Heart.
Blessed be Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.
Blessed be the Holy Spirit, the paraclete.
Blessed be the great Mother of God, Mary most holy.
Blessed be her holy and Immaculate Conception.
Blessed be her glorious Assumption.
Blessed be the name of Mary, Virgin and Mother.
Blessed be Saint Joseph, her most chaste spouse.
Blessed be God in His angels and in His Saints. 

May the heart of Jesus, in the Most Blessed Sacrament, be praised, adored, and loved with grateful affection, at every moment, in all the tabernacles of the world, even to the end of time. Amen.