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There’re a great line from the book of the Prophet Isaiah today. In my opinion, it names the sort of person we all ought to aspire to become. First Isaiah offers a description and then speaks the name. Listen:

Thus says the Lord: If you remove from your midst oppression, false accusations and malicious speech; if you bestow your bread on the hungry and satisfy the afflicted; then light shall rise for you in the darkness, and the gloom shall become for you like midday; then the Lord will guide you always and give you plenty even on the parched land. He will renew your strength, and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring whose water never fails. The ancient ruins shall be rebuilt for your sake, and the foundations from ages past you shall raise. (IS 58: 9-14)

That sounds like a pretty big reward for doing what we should all be working toward in our lives. And for that, Isaiah says, “Repairer of the breach,” they shall call you.” It sounds to me like naming ceremonies in many indigenous cultures when individuals are given their “Spirit name” which “tells something about the person, their personality, their mission in this life.” (manataka.org) Similarly, Christians often choose a name during their Confirmation ritual that speaks of a saint of the Church or honors the sponsor who witnesses to their willingness to act in a sacred manner in life.

What is your “spirit name?” If you could choose one today, what would it be? For myself, I am rather partial to “Repairer of the Breach.” Perhaps in solidarity of purpose, we could all add that one to names we already own. It could look something like this: “Lois Ann Barton, CSJ, RB” (Congregation of Saint Joseph, Repairer of the Breach.) A good and necessary reminder to carry forward, don’t you think?

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