Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has taught us, in his many writings about the Holy Face, that the Hebrew term, “panim”, which means “face” means to see The Face of God, or the presence of God. “Panim” is a term that describes relationships. The Hebrew word “shem” meaning “name” is also a term of relationship. God has a Face and a Name!
The revelation of the Face of God, Pope Benedict XVI says, took on a new and beautiful manifestation when God became man at the moment of The Incarnation, in the person of Jesus Christ. The Son of God was made man and He is given a Name–Jesus. As fully God and fully man, Jesus Christ gave us a human face that revealed the Face of God. The Incarnation reveals the direct connection between The Holy Face and Holy Name of God. Jesus shows us the Face of the Father for as He told His disciples, “If you have seen Me, you have seen The Father.” But Jesus also makes known to us the Name of God: as He said at the Last Supper when praying to His Father, “I have made Your Name known to them.”
The expression “name of God” means God as He Who is present among men. His name, Pope Benedict XVI teaches, is the concrete sign of His Existence.
Pope Benedict XVI wrote, “To rejoice in the splendor of His Face means penetrating the mystery of His Name made known to us in Jesus, understanding something of His Interior life and of His will, so that we can live according to His plan for humanity. Jesus lets us know the hidden Face of The Father through His human Face; by the gift of The Holy Spirit poured into our hearts.”
Because of the profound relationship with God and His Name and Face, sins committed against this relationship with Him–causing pain and suffering to His Sacred Heart– are reflected in the Face of Christ. The manifestation of our sins on His Countenance come about through blasphemy, atheism, disrespect of God in Sacred things, the profanation of Sunday, hatred of God’s Church. These indignities suffered by Our Lord in His Face represent the most serious sins, because they are against God Himself.
The damage done by our sins to our relationship with God are reflected in the Face of Jesus Christ. For this reason, devotion and reparation to The Holy Face and the Holy Name is fitting in order to make amends for what we have done to Him.
The Golden Arrow is a beautiful Prayer given by Our Lord to Carmelite Sr. Marie St. Pierre to be said in reparation for blasphemy against the Holy Name.
The Golden Arrow
“May the most holy, most sacred, most adorable, most incomprehensible and ineffable Name of God, be forever praised, blessed, adored, loved and glorified, in heaven, on earth, and in the hells, by all the creatures of God, and by the Sacred Heart of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the most Holy Sacrament of the Altar. Amen.”
Reciting the Golden Arrow or other prayers that honor the Holy Face and the Holy Name, are an act of compassion and love, which have the effect of wiping the blood, sweat, dust and spittle from The Face of Jesus. And by doing so, Our Lord also restores His Image in our souls.
“O God, Who did constitute Your only-begotten Son the Saviour of mankind, and did command that He should be called Jesus; grant in Your kindness that our hearts joy in Heaven may be the Face of Him Whose Holy Name we venerate on earth.” Amen.
“Oh Savior Jesus, who didst will that reparation should be as public and universal as had been the offense, penetrate us with the true spirit of reparation. Give us the grace to love Thy Divine Face, to make it known and loved by the whole world, in order that it may be to us a source of light and means of salvation. Amen. ” ~ Blessed Mother Maria Pierina De Micheli (who is also known for the Holy Face Medal, which bears the Face of the Shroud of Turin on one side, and the symbol for the Holy Name on the other.)