Fonticulus Fides

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

What's in a name?

Yesterday, the kids asked me what "Noel" meant. I knew it was synonymous with Christmas, but I had some inkling that there was some literal translation that I'd forgotten, like "God is here" or "God is born" or something. (I was wrong, btw.)

Anyway, I was trying to work out what it might be, and I said, "Well, I think the 'el' means 'God' because it usually means 'God' in words like El-shaddai, which means 'God Almighty' or Elijah, which means 'YHWH is my God'...or Elisabeth, which means 'Consecrated to God,' but I don't remember what the 'no' part of Noel means."

Edyn perked up at that point, because Elisabeth is one of her given names.

"What does 'consecrated' mean?" she asked.

Another stumper. I tried to figure out a way to explain that to a five-year old while wondering why my kids are so doggone smart.

"Consecrated means that your whole life is about one thing. So if you are consecrated to God, it means your whole life is about showing people that God is real and good and showing God that you love Him and will serve him forever."

Edyn was mulling that over and didn't look too comfortable with the idea.

I cleared my throat. "Sounds like a lot of work, huh."

She scowled at me. "Well, yeah, for a little kid it is!"

Don't worry. I immediately launched into Saint Therese the Little Flower and her "Little Way." Edyn's good with her name again.



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