Protecting Your Name

Today is the feast day of St. John Neumann of Philadelphia.

He’s the first American Bishop ever to become a canonized Saint.

His work, in the early to mid 1800’s, across the Northeastern region of the U.S., focused primarily on Church and School planting.

He’s credited for developing the original Catholic School system so many of us have experienced.

I doubt he had the idea for wooden ruler’s snapped across the knuckles…no Saint thought of that.

Coincidentally, there’s another more famous canonized Saint named John Henry Newman.

Their names sound the same, but they’re two different people.

One of the lessons my dad taught, that I’ve always cherished, was the lesson about the bank hold-up.

He said, your name in the community needs to be so squeaky clean, that if there’s a bank robbery, and you happen to be the only person standing in the bank lobby when the police arrive, the first thing the cops would say is, “Who did it Ed?”…that was his name.

All of us, in God’s name, need to protect our own name.

We can’t help it if there happen to be others with the same name, who may not have behaved perfectly…that’s out of our control.

What’s not, is who we are and what we do.

Another thing that was common for dad to teach (It must be a Lebanese thing, as I’ve heard my Umoo Nabih from Stockbridge say the same)…“Never forget who you are.”

We Catholics like to remember Saints on their feast days, because they’ve poured out their lives like broken vessels.

The Church then uses a ruler to measure their good works…(a much better use of that wooden stick.)

Cherish the lessons you’ve been taught and those who remember your good works after you’re gone will cherish you.


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