(Photo from Father Lawrence Lew, O.P. - God’s Excessive Love)
" “If you don’t behave as you believe you will end by believing as you behave.” – Venerable Fulton Sheen

Monday, August 4, 2014

Are You A Walking Jesus?



(Image source: Wikimedia Commons)

At the time I made temporary promises as a Lay Dominican I had to select a religious name. Throughout my preparation as a postulant and novice, I had been exposed to a host of Dominican Saints and Blesseds – all worthy of emulation and whose example and name would serve me well.

Yet, I had an urge to take the name of the little Fatima visionary Francisco. It did not seem too far afield for this new Dominican to do so. Francisco would often go to Church and sit on the floor next to the tabernacle so that he could be closer to his “Hidden Jesus”.  I love spending time with my “Hidden Jesus” and encouraging others to come before Him as well. Like Francisco and all Dominicans, I love our Blessed Mother, the rosary, and have a deep passion and love for the Eucharist.  I participate in and coordinate Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration in my former parish. Francisco and my lay vocation seemed like a good fit to me.

But when it came time to disclose my name, I simply referred to myself as “Brother Francisco” and not the full name I had actually chosen - "Brother Francisco of the Hidden Jesus".

But let me tell you what really prompts this disclosure now.

While on a recent business trip, my son struck up a conversation with the gentlemen sitting next to him on the plane. He was a Protestant minister from Uganda who traveled throughout the United States and Canada raising money to fund the multiple works of corporal mercy his not for profit organization engaged in within his native land.

During the course of their chat, my son told the pastor about my blog, my books and of my Lay Dominican vocation. He did not fully understand everything Joe told him and asked my son a few questions trying to get the information he was seeking. After chatting back and forth for a bit, he turned to Joe and asked him bluntly, “But is your father a walking Jesus?  The question caught my son by surprise. After pausing for a bit, my son answered honestly “I wouldn’t say that.”

No matter how highly I have foolishly come to think of myself at times, I have never lost sight of the fact that I remain an obstinate sinner and flawed man. I love my son for sharing this experience and answering the good pastor’s question honestly, even though hearing of their exchange felt like I had been hit by three 2 by 4s. The truth about oneself can be a painful but vital call to change.

I do love the “Hidden Jesus’ I visit regularly and cannot imagine what my life would be without Him.  Thanks to my son’s encounter with the Ugandan missionary, I have been given a stark reminder of a sometimes forgotten truth: When I leave my “Hidden Jesus” in the tabernacle, everyone I encounter must see Jesus in the way I live my life.


If not, I have cheated them and my loving Lord.


3 comments:

  1. Amen....your very last sentence in this article was the most powerful, and exactly what we should be doing. Fantastic. SE

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  2. Thank you Sharon for your visit, encouragement and kind words.

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  3. Beautiful. Love your son's honesty! And the Hidden Jesus. God bless.

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