Giving What I Have: 3-Minute Retreat
Giving What I Have

Gary Jansen shares his reflection on today’s retreat

I used to pray a lot and by that I mean I used to use a lot of words in my prayers. I was a blabber-mouth spilling my thoughts and ideas all over God like a child using too much strength to open a bag of M&Ms™.

I still pray a lot, but I don’t use as many words anymore. While I have different devotions I do all the time, by far my favorite prayer now is simply the Most Holy Name of Jesus. I recite it over and over again throughout the day: Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. That’s it. I just repeat the name of Jesus throughout the day. When I’m stressed out, I just take a breath and say, Jesus. Often I touch my heart when I say Jesus’ name. Some people at work must think I have heartburn, but really I’m just praying.

Jesus’ name carries with it great power. Jesus’ name is at the heart of the Eucharist. Peter cures the sick just by saying his friend’s name. We are baptized, married, and die in the name of Jesus, and saints have cast out demons by speaking Jesus’ name. Some people will say words are cheap, but the Holy Name is priceless. It’s worth more than silver and gold. Peter understood that. You can’t deposit it in a bank, but it can make the lame rise and walk. 

When we are going through challenging times or are suffering through loss and illness, we would benefit by listening to St. Paul’s words to “pray ceaselessly”. We can do this easily and in profound ways by speaking the name of Jesus over and over and over again. When we do, we cross the threshold of The Beautiful Gate and experience the life everlasting in our day-to-day lives.


Gary Jansen

Gary Jansen is senior editor of religion and spirituality at the Crown Publishing Group at Penguin Random House.

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Books by Gary Jansen

Station to Station

An Ignatian Journey through the Stations of the Cross

This Ignatian exploration of the Stations of the Cross examines Jesus’ response to his own suffering and how his reactions can guide us in difficult times.

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The 15-Minute Prayer Solution

How One Percent of Your Day Can Transform Your Life

Stories and prayer exercises that guide readers into a heightened awareness of God and help them develop spiritual “muscles” in just 15 minutes a day.

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