The Catholic Medical Guild of Singapore


The Significance of a Name Posted on 1st Jan 1970, 12:00am by Colin Ong

Most people would agree that there are few joys in life which can compare to that of becoming a first-time parent.

Our New baby

Our New baby,Isaac.

First, there is the excitement of preparing for your little one, the
appreciative gratitude to your wife for going through much suffering during the labour process, and then finally, the joy of seeing your little one snuggled tightly in his or her swaddling clothes looking back at you. In the midst of all that, there is also the joy of naming your child, a task that is perhaps reminiscent of the privilege given to Adam in the Creation story, where he named the animals brought before him, and it is this particular joy that I would like to share more about here.

In the Creation story, the task to name the animals was symbolic of the power that God had given to man to have dominion and stewardship over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and all the living things that move on the earth (Genesis 1:28). Thus, to name something, as man have done throughout the centuries, naming different species of plants, animals and wildlife, is not only associated with a certain power: a power to identify and to confer meaning upon something, but also brings at the same time a certain responsibility and accountability to God for what we have been given charge of. As spiderman was once told pithily, “With great power comes great responsibility”. To name another human being moreover, brings an added significance: we are here given charge of another imago dei, another image of God, a son or daughter of the Father.

As such, it was with a mixture of humility and awe, that we, as parents, undertook the task of naming our first-born son. As we prayerfully allowed different names to sit in our hearts, we also look at the meaning of the names. Most Christian names have meanings attached to them; most of them are high-sounding and noble, such as Aaron which means “exalted” in Hebrew; though some have less inspiring roots, such Leah which means “weary”. Others have implicit in them a particular relationship with God – Isaac could mean “May God smile” and Daniel, “God is my judge”. We favoured these latter ones because, for us, they explicate a relationship with God. In our modern times, we rarely think about the “christening” or consecration of a child to God; however, this was not so in ancient times. In those days, a name-giving ceremony was done to present the child to God (think of the presentation of Jesus). As such, we have lost the sense that a Christian name not only gives the person a unique personal identity, but also confers a specific Christian identity – that this person has a personal relationship with God. Furthermore, names confer upon the person a sense of belonging to a certain tradition and the Christian name identifies the one-who-is-named as a member of the Christian family, the Church. As such, most of the names which appealed to us were either biblical or are pagan names that have been absorbed into the church through the martyrs and saints. A famous example of the latter is “Francis” meaning Frenchman, but now a common Christian name after the indomitable St. Francis of Assisi.

I suppose we could have chosen a modern name for our child, names with a unique spelling or pronunciation that are chosen possibly for their uniqueness or ability to make people sit up and notice. While we certainly believe that our child is a unique and special individual, we chose to name our son Isaac, because we are proud to acknowledge as Eve did when she gave birth to Cain, that we have “gotten a child with the help of the Lord” (Gen 4:1); that this child is, like us, a child of a loving God; and that we are all, together, members of the family of God “the Father, from whom every family on heaven and earth takes its name” (Eph 3:15). Is there a greater joy than knowing that there is a loving Father who loves us and takes delight in us and in our children?

Comment on this post

Name *
Email *
URL
Comment *
 


Dr's Blog

Dr’s Blog is a feature of the CMG web site that aims to encourage interaction between Guild members. We hope to foster a spirit of community through the sharing of thoughts and personal experirences. The opinions expressed in these blogs are entirely those of the contributors and not of the Catholic Medical Guild of Singapore.

Interested in contributing articles to the Doctor’s Blog? Send us your contributions in word document to cmg.grapevine@gmail.com

Past Blog Articles

2014 Dec: A Prayer for Deliverance 2
2014 Oct: Who are you, Where am I?
2014 Sep: A Prayer for Deliverance
2014 May: Behind Those Clothes
2014 Feb: The Red Packet(s)
2014 Jan: God Loves You

2013 Dec: Caroling Reflections of an Expired M
2013 Nov: Scripture Reflection for Physicians
2013 Oct: Hang on. We haven’t beat this thing yet.
2013 Sep: Me and My Ride
2013 Aug: A Gift of Life
2013 Jul: Finding Happiness in a Land of Plenty
2013 Jun: A Beeline
2013 May: Living My Love Of..
2013 Apr: The Healthcare Debate
2013 Mar: A Doctor’s Prayer
2013 Feb: Project Battambang ’12
2013 Feb: Mission Srolanth ’12: To Heal the Heart, with a Heart to Heal
2013 Jan: The Hardest Thing To Say…

2012 Dec: The Lost Art Of…
2012 Nov: Rome Sweet Home – Short Reflections
2012 Sep: He Keeps Falling
2012 Aug: God Decides
2012 July: Am I To Blame?
2012 June: Saving Fragile Lives
2012 May: Ruminations On Love
2012 Mar: The iPhone

2011 Dec: The Red Cross
2011 Nov: Give Thanks!
2011 Aug: Ashes – The Epilogue
2011 July: Charity
2011 July: Ashes
2011 May: Of Angry Birds & Cowardly Mice
2011 May: Notes From Salzburg On Good Friday
2011 Apr: What It Means
2011 Mar: A Job.
2011 Mar: Dear Father…
2011 Feb: Clothes, A Person Doth Maketh
2011 Jan: Wonderfully Made

2010 Dec: A White Christmas
2010 Dec: A Medical Christmas Carol
2010 Nov: Saying Goodbye
2010 Oct: I Am Always With You
2010 Sept: Be Joyful Always
2010 July: Managing Expectations
2010 June: But They Are Our Masters…
2010 June: Driving: A Means of Personal Formation?
2010 May: HO Welcome Tea
2010 May: The Rain
2010 May: A Missed Lunch
2010 May: Man In The Mirror
2010 May: Reflections At The End Of The Day
2010 Apr: Finding God In All Things
2010 Mar: Surely You Put Your Trust In The Lord?
2010 Mar: The Significance of a Name

2009 Nov: Batam: Beyond A Mission
2009 Oct: The Broken Rosary
2009 Sept: Love Note To God, Father
2009 Aug: Let God Take The Wheel
2009 Aug: The Prequel: The One About Graduation
2009 July: The Sequel: The Later Months
2009 June: First Month of HO-Ship
2009 May: “The House of God” by Samuel Shem
2009 May: In The Discipleship for Christ


Topics

  1. Book review
  2. Discipleship
  3. Missions
  4. monthly mass
  5. Personal Sharing


Recent Articles

  1. May You Rest In Peace

    “Grief lasts longer than sympathy, which is one of the tragedies of the grieving.” – Elizabeth McCracken My patient died yesterday during my call and all i could feel was sadness and regret. Perhaps regret that i did not break the news as how i would want to break it. Regret perhaps that i went […]

  2. Happy New Year 2015!

    Goodbye 2014; what a year it has been.

  3. A Prayer for Deliverance #2

    Time flies, and I’ve moved on from Medical Oncology to its sister department, Palliative Medicine. The Bible reading from my previous post came to mind after seeing a referral to Palliative Medicine today.


Up-Coming Events



  1. About Us
  2. Events
  3. Dr's Blog
  4. Resources
  5. Join Us
  6. Contact Us

"I promise to consecrate my life to the service of humanity in the footsteps of Jesus Christ the Divine Physician."