Monday, May 13, 2019

What I Do

The following was first published in the Catholic Times May 15, 2011 (without the prayer.)
“In my name, have you named what you do?”

This question from a song by David Kauffman (“I am a God Nearby”)  has been stuck in my head since I first heard it.  We do lots of things, but do we do what we do in the name of Jesus?  Must everything we do be in His name?  How would it change my behavior if I consciously acted in the name of Jesus all the time?

Such an awareness would surely bring about a change in word and action.  You’re not going to swear if your conversation is in the name of Jesus.  You’re not going to gossip, lie, or covet in the name of Jesus.  Come to think of it, there simply isn’t any deceitful or sinful word or action that you can utter or participate in that you can do in the name of Jesus!

Doing something in the name of Jesus forces us to consider the choices we make.  We naturally become a little more selective about what we choose to do.  Our decisions, elevated by the notion that we are acting in the name of Jesus, take on richer meaning and become more purposeful.  Not only does doing something in the name of Jesus change how we do what we do, but it also changes what we do. 

It’s easy to see Jesus in my work if I am involved in charitable work, go on a mission, or work in some other capacity where the work is identified as God’s work.  But, in the little things that we do everyday, sometimes it can be harder to see Jesus in them. 

Whether we are running the kids around, doing laundry and dishes, or doing work others deem trivial, if we do it in a spirit of humility as a gift given for today, it will bring joy to us and it will be pleasing to God.

The important thing is that when we try to identify with Jesus, we develop a pattern that signifies to others that there is no separation between what we believe and how we practice our faith.  This is not easy, of course, but it is an essential part of being an active Christian and a necessary part of successfully evangelizing.

If I can prune my patience and hold my tongue from harsh words, it will give evidence of the self-discipline that may be expected from a Christian.  If I can step out of a tendency to slothfulness, become a little more other-centered and a little more charitable, without counting the cost of my labor, I am moving closer to naming what I do in the name of Jesus.

Whatever you find yourself doing today, whatever passion you follow, do it in the name of Jesus.  You may be surprised what a difference it makes in your attitude, your planning, and even your decisions.  Let your work be influenced by the movement of the Holy Spirit in your life and align it with Christ.  Let the flow of grace touch every aspect of your day.  Take a moment and respond to the question, “In my name, have you named what you do?”

I believe that if we were to ask this one simple question, quite regularly, it could bring about an amazing transformation in our lives.

To help us remember that the purity of our work is not dependent upon the affirmation of others, but our genuine desire to do what is pleasing to God, I have written a prayer that you may find helpful in keeping you on track when you can’t see the grace flowing!

What I Do


I look for confirmation from others that what I do is good, while ignoring the ways YOU affirm what I do.


You give me inspirations and fuel my work, yet I still long for human feedback.


Free me from my need for kind words to be spoken about what I do.

Help me to keep doing what you ask me to do, even when I cannot be sure of its impact.

I long to make a difference.

Help me to keep doing what you ask me to do, even when I cannot see results.

Outcomes are not our responsibility; we just need to show up.

Let my efforts be enough, I pray.


Janet Cassidy

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