Giving What I Have

A Reflection by Gary Jansen

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

Gary Jansen is a popular speaker and the author of several books, including The 15-Minute Prayer Solution, Station to Station, Life Everlasting, and the memoir Holy Ghosts. Jansen has appeared on A&E, the Sundance Channel, the Travel Channel, Coast to Coast AM,, and NPR. His writing has been featured in the Chicago Sun-Times, USA Today, Huffington Post, Thrive Global, Angelus, and Religion Dispatches. Jansen worked at Penguin Random House for 25 years where he was the editor on several New York Times bestsellers. He is now the executive editor of acquisitions at Loyola Press.

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