Friday, March 07, 2008

jmj, etc

Since I'm working on a writing project right now, I am spending more time putting actual pen to paper than usual. Something reminded me that I have gotten out of the habit of "blessing" the written page with a little cross and the initials "GDPH" which are customary in our Pauline communities.
GDPH? As in Gloria Dei, Pax Hominibus (Glory to God, Peace to Men): this was our Founder's "motto" and the goal of everything we do in the Pauline mission. Putting this intention at the head of the page was a way of consecrating the whole work to that goal.
You might be familiar with the more typical JMJ (as in Jesus, Mary, Joseph), to which we Paulines would add P for Paul.
There are other such abbreviated blessing-prayers, of course: AMDG being the most famous. What about SDG? Soli Deo Gloria (Glory be to God alone): Bach used to end his manuscripts with this intention. He headed each part of the Passion with JJ (Jesu Juva: I have no idea at all what this could mean; do you?).
Then there is SAG on letters (St. Anthony, Guide).
Can you think of other abbreviated prayers like these?

Saturday I will be attending a session on promoting Eucharistic Adoration (and bringing my book for kids!); Sunday is the 5th Sunday of Lent, and I will be making a retreat day. Have a blest weekend!


Lisa said...

I am most familiar with "JMJ" and "AMDG." For the SCCs, "JMJA" is also a common invocation. Guesses, anyone?




Yes, "Jesus, Mary, Joseph," but what about the "A"?


"A" ... "Augustine."

As a matter of fact the headstones of the Sisters is our cemetery all have J.M.J.A. at the top of the cross headstone.

Augustine was an influential figure in Mother Pauline's journey of founding the Sisters of Christian Charity. The Congregation's rule is rooted in the Rule of Augustine.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Bach expressed his attitude clearly enough by regularly inscribing his scores of sacred music with the letters J.J. 'Jesu, Juva': 'Jesus, help.'

Anonymous said...

Then there is "VJ", which stands for "Vive Jesu", French for "Live Jesus." This is a powerful Salesian salutation that the Sisters of the Visitation and other members of the extended Salesian family use.

"Live Jesus" comes from St. Francis de Sales. There are two well-known and oft-quoted references to "Live Jesus" in two separate writings of his.

One is in Introduction to the Devout Life (Book 3, Chap. 23), wherein he writes, "I have wished above all else to engrave and inscribe on your heart this holy and sacred motto, 'Live, Jesus!'" He goes on to say that "As our beloved Jesus lives in your heart, so too he will live in all your conduct and he will be revealed by your eyes, mouth, hands, yes even the hair on your head. With Paul you can say these holy words, 'It is no longer I that live, but Christ lives in me.'"

The other reference is in his Treatise on the Love of God, At the very end of it -- Book 12, Chapter 13, which is titled "That Mount Calvary is the True School of Love") -- St. Francis de Sales prays a beautiful prayer that ends with these immortal words:

"Live, Jesus! Jesus, I love! Live, Jesus, whom I love! Jesus I love, Jesus who lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen."

To live Jesus is to have one's heart totally possessed by Him, indeed one's whole life. It is to have Jesus live -- and reign! -- in us to the praise and glory of our loving Father.

It's such a small thing -- to write "VJ" or whatever at the top of our papers, whether they be minor notes to ourselves or major letters of importance. But such a small thing, I find, helps me so much to stay focused on HIM.

Thank you, Sister Anne, for your reminder of this beautiful practice. And thank you for all your wonderful posts which help us all to grow in God's love.


Rejoicing in hope,

Alice Claire Mansfield
Consecrated Virgin
Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston

Magnificat anima mea Dominum. Luke 1:46

xaipe said...

I've never heard of the JV, but it's beautiful!

Lisa said...

Thank you, Alice, for the "Live Jesus" insights. There's a Visitation blog that is called "Live Jesus." Now I understand the depth of the Salesian roots to the expression.

xaipe said...

I think I got out of the habit because I use computers so much... although when something is especially critical, I type a prayer into the header and then choose white as a font color!