Thursday, September 01, 2011

The Sacred Name

The grandparents spent their last day in Spokane with my daughters and some of the cousins. We had hoped to play tennis at Spokane Falls, but the courts were closed due to re-surfacing. We ended up walking instead through the Mukogawa campus, and eventually arrived at Saint Michael's Mission.

From what I understand, the building once stood at Peone Prairie as a mission to my ancestors of the Spokane Tribe, but I'm not sure why they moved the building. I'm not even sure if anyone uses that building anymore.

Someone asked about the meaning of the initials "IHS" above the door. I attempted an answer and was correct in saying that the "I" stood for Jesus, but I was mistaken in saying that the initials had some reference to the Sacred Heart. The Catholic Encyclopedia says that the name of Jesus was written as IHESUS during the Middle Ages. It was once a common practice to abbreviate the name using the letters IHS; therefore, the name Jesus appears literally on the wall of the church, just below the cross.

In a strange way, this seemingly minor experience got me to thinking about the names we use for one another within our homes. I can think of no more sacred names than mother, father, son, or daughter.

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