There is a line in my favorite poem, ” As Kingfishers Catch Fire…,” by Gerard Manley Hopkins, that calls out: “the just man justices.”
Straight to the heart of it, Hopkins connects the description of a person to their action. More than just a connection, Hopkins is pushing for spiritual embodiment. If you are a “just” person do you practice justice? If you are an “honest” person do you exude honesty? If you are a “Christian,” do you embody Christ or are you just connected to Christianity?
We are all people in the flesh. You would be right to say I am a Thomas who Thomases. Who I am cannot be separated from what I do.
So pretend your name is a verb. If you are Sam what does it mean to Sam? If you are a Alex what does it mean to Alex?
St. James was the forerunner of this active embodiment with his understanding that faith without works is dead. To put it in Hopkins’ language, the faithful man faiths. It is so crucial that we learn to be who we are at all times, to actually embody the faith we have in our thought, word and work. This is the way that Christ is shown to the world, through the tireless acts of his body, the Church. We only have to look to his own incarnation, his spiritual embodiment of being Christ by acting like Christ, to see the path we must walk, one with joy but also repentance, as each day we become more truly who we really are.
If your name was a verb what would it mean?
How can you be more truly the person God has made you today?
What are you doing today to put your faith into practice?