Carry it always close to your heart, always in your hand, and so ensure that all your affections, all your actions, are directed to Jesus.
You are even invited to do this: “Set me as a seal,” he says, “upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm.”
[...] For the moment you have this ready medicine for heart and hand.
The name of Jesus furnishes the power to correct your evil actions; to supply what is wanting to imperfect ones.
In this name your affections find a guard against corruption, or if corrupted, a power that will make them whole again.
Judea too has had her Jesus – Messiahs in whose empty names she glories: For they give neither light nor food nor medicine.
[...] They were sent on in advance, like the staff preceding the Prophet to where the child lay dead, but they could not see a meaning in their own names because no meaning was there.
The staff was laid upon the corpse but produced neither voice nor movement since it was a mere staff.
Then he who sent the staff came down and quickly saved his people from their sins, proving that men spoke truly of him when they said: “Who is this man that he even forgives sins?”
He is no other than the one who says: “I am the salvation of my people.”
Now the Word is heard, now it is experienced, and it is clear that, unlike the others, he bears no empty name.
As men feel the infusion of spiritual health they refuse to conceal their good fortune. The inward experience finds outward expression.
Stricken with remorse I speak out his praise, and praise is a sign of life: “For from the dead, as from one who does not exist, praise has ceased.”
But see! I am conscious, I am alive! I am perfectly restored, my resurrection is complete. What else is the death of the body than to be deprived of life and feeling?
Sin – which is the death of the soul – took from me the feeling of compunction, hushed my prayers of praise. I was dead.
Then he who forgives sin came down, restored my senses again and said: “I am your deliverer.”
Why wonder that death should yield when he who is life comes down?
“For a man believes with his heart and so is justified, and he confesses with his lips and so is saved.”
Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153): Sermons on the Song of Songs, 15, 7-8.