When you hear or say the name of “Jesus,” give a nod of the head. It need not be a pronounced nod, but rather the significance is in the thoughtful deliberateness of the action. Take personal note that the name of God, our Redeemer has been used.
Parents sometimes forget that children naturally watch their parents with an intensity adult selectively afford another person. A child’s measure of the world, and the value of thoughts and actions begin with their parents, the ones who have proven to be a life source. Not only does a child see an inherent value in a parent’s choices and behavior, but a child does not naturally want to disappoint a parent. A parent may be surprised at the smallest acts of theirs that their child focuses in on and seriously contemplates.
Children are born contemplatives as they are working to assimilate the world around them with what they already know. They are building that storehouse of knowledge and experiences; making connections, recognizing relationships, and spotting patterns to draw from to form understandings with some confidence in predictions.
For a child to see a parent, on humility, giving reverence to God is a powerful example for them to follow. It helps a child keep perspective in this world where so many and so much vies for not only our attention but also our commitment. “What,…,” or it should be asked, “Who is our anchor?” Every nod affirms that God is your anchor.
A Nod Can Change Everything
You fear that even a subtle nod can be noticed by others beyond my children. Are you ready to display your faith so publicly, maybe even risking others accusing you of being too religious? If you bear Jesus as a mother bears a child, there will be a day coming when you will show who you carry. The mother who has that distinctive baby bump in the belly may also feel a bit self-conscious when she first realizes her clothes don’t hide it. It is not the end of the world when it is revealed that God means something to you, that you are part of the human race, creatures of God who are dependent on God in your life. Once begun, it will seem as natural a thing for you to do as it is natural to reverence God. The sense of commitment will lessen, and you may even find yourself actively listening as never before to a priest’s homily even if only for the mentioning of Jesus as a prompt to nod.
The Nod Is Nothing New, Or Is It
A nod to the name of Jesus was of common practice encouraged by the Church for hundreds of years. Is it or was it a sin, not to nod? No, but it was a discipline taught and followed by the faithful in honor of God who not only created each of us but also suffered death to give us salvation and life. It is an acknowledgment of the power that comes with the name of Jesus. The name alone spoken can repel demons and gives grace that can turn the heart of an obstinate sinner.
St. Bernard is among those recognized as prominently promoting awareness of the power of the name of Jesus. In part, St. Bernard helped the Church place on its calendar the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus celebrated on January 2. St. Francis of Assisi would collect from the ground or floor torn pieces of paper with writing on it because if you were to arrange the written letters, they might spell the name of Jesus.
There have also been instances where those who do publicly nod to the name of Jesus and say, “Praise you, Jesus,” have witnessed a decline in the profane use of His name in the workplace.
Maybe a nod to the name of Jesus will be seen as something new. Are you prepared to trust in Jesus and His Holy Name.
Peace of Jesus in the womb of Mary be with you.
© 2019 Patrick A. O’Donnell All Rights Reserved