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Rescued by a Name

  El Greco, The Adoration of the Name of Jesus By yon still river, where the wave Is winding slow at evening’s close, The beech, upon a nameless grave, Its sadly-moving shadow throws. — Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Dirge Over a Nameless Grave   There is a kind of gloom that naturally arises within our hearts whenever we behold a nameless grave. But why is it so? What is so special about a name? And what is a name anyway?  St. Thomas Aquinas teaches that a name is given to signify someone or something.  It is given . No one assigns a name for oneself. We receive our name from someone who precedes us or is above us. Adam, who has dominion over God’s manifold creations, was tasked to name them. Yet there is one exception. Only God can assign His own name since no one precedes or is above God.  Moreover, it is given to signify someone or something . A name, especially a personal name, is not simply a sack of empty letters, but it truly represents the person it signifies. It is linked to a f

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