What’s in a Name, Like “Bean”? 36

A 7-week old child about the size and shape of a bean in the palm of your hand

When it comes to having children, there are many things a parent does not choose, such as eye and hair color, personality, what the child will look like, and whether it will be born healthy. One thing the parent does choose is the child’s name. 

What name to give a person, made in the image and likeness of God, is an important and often difficult decision. A person’s name is their hallmark, which will signify their identity for the rest of their life. In the Jewish tradition, the name a parent gives a child is its essence. When you think about it, the gift of naming a child bears with it an enormous responsibility and perhaps that goes without saying. After all, this act of giving is ultimately an act of love.

When asked about his reasons for being pro-life during the Vice-Presidential debate on Thursday night, Paul Ryan told the story of naming (rather, nicknaming) his first child:

You know, I think about 10 1/2 years ago, my wife Janna and I went to Mercy Hospital in Janesville where I was born, for our seven week ultrasound for our firstborn child, and we saw that heartbeat. A little baby was in the shape of a bean. And to this day, we have nicknamed our firstborn child Liza, “Bean.” Now, I believe that life begins at conception. That’s why — those are the reasons why I’m pro-life.

That name, Bean, tells the story of a heartbeat, of a person, of a tiny human figure, loved by its mother and father and infinitely loved by God; a child whose life began at conception. That’s everyone’s story, or at least it should be.

7 weeks after conception: the child has hands, feet, eyes, and a heartbeat. Does it have a name?


  1. Choosing the name of a baby is one of the most wonderful times of parenting and it begins long before the baby is born. In assigning a name or nickname to the unborn child, we acknowledge that yes, what is growing is a tiny little person, a human being, a child of God; someone who needs to be protected and nourished and loved. Paul Ryan’s retelling of Bean’s ultrasound brought back warm memories of watching my own babies on the U/S monitor.

    • I’m sure his telling this story touched millions of people (literally) who saw the debate. Everyone can relate to this experience in one way of another because it is part of who we are, both being called into life and called by name. God bless, 8-Kids!

  2. Wow I never thought it would come to if a woman should live or die I thought it was always she should live,that her life is important and why should men have the right to speak on what woman should live or die? This sounds like a government within a government of church.This never should be a question,in cases of incest on little girls and rape on anyone or life threatening situations there should never be a question.Yes I am Catholic and trying to understand and today I stood and did three rosaries in public in 42 degrees with the wind blowing very hard at us with a few other ladies doing the America needs Fatama rally.I hate abortion but I hate to see others taken advantage of and die in birth,that’s mean to!

  3. I guess I don’t belong iin the Catholic church I made a mistake I guess sorry. I tried but it never happens so God must want me to stay out of churches. By.

  4. People expecially catholics hurt others and think they are better then anyone else but I don’t need them or their church,many will pull away because your new evangilization will fail unless your additudes change and they never will,I have been on forums and to churches and it is cold for new bies and the people tell you they love you but they really don’t,expecialy if you don’t know what they know or seem stupid to them.All Gods dummies will be at His banquet table and All college grads will serve them.Wait it’s coming when Jesus and His Angels get here! by

    • Well… You are right. All God’s dummies will be at his banquet. I think that will put me there too. At least if all it takes is to be a dummy, then I think there’s a nametag for me at the table.

      Look. Church is not about social gatherings. If that were the case, I’d belong to another religion. It is about your faith. If it is about being accepted by people…

      You know, don’t judge lest you be judged is a two way street. When people are rude and cold, I don’t judge them (not saying that makes me just, but I don’t know what their problem is or why they have a problem, or even if they have a problem; whatever it is, it is their problem, not mine). My religion does not depend on other people accepting me. If it did then I definitely would have a problem.

      • Hi Chip,yes you are right, but it seems that we are to be family not just worship together . Jesus said do not forsake the assembling of believers and believers were Christ like and Jesus didn’t make others feel inferrior but came to serve them even with his life.A friendly welcome and smile will never hurt anyone and you sound just like the others I talked to, you go to church to worship,yes! IN Spirit and Truth not in morbidity acting better then others or dismikssing them all together. Gee in the Baptist church I was stunned to get hugged when I was leaving it was warm and nice but the minister died and his wife is retired and I moved away.It shouold never hurt to be nice to others expecially newbies.The house of God you should get a good feeling and feel warm all olver not dead in spirit and cold when you leave Your day should be great and happy:) you go to get uplifted not brought down.

    • Well, be at peace, Sister. I am sorry that a few bad examples, or many as it might have been, in your locality have made it difficult for you to follow Christ as a Catholic Christian.

      As for me, I cannot see myself abandoning Christ in the Eucharist and the faith I truly believed and professed at my confirmation, on account of human shortcomings; when we put our faith in man, we are soon to find disappointment.

      I am truly sorry for your disappointment and I share your disappointment. God bless!

      • Can I ask you about revelations? And were you ever other then a Catholic? When you leave the church you learn differnt and you forget what you learned and need to learn all over most things again. I am stuck on revelations because the Baptist church teached it different.If you have some time could you talk to me about it? I can give you my e-mail and we could discuss it??

  5. This latest exchange reminds me of something that I read once in Dear Abby, of all places: a church is a hospital for sinners, not a museum for saints.
    I am sorry when a reserved or anonymous atmosphere in a church drives people away. We can all be more welcoming, that is for sure.

    • You are right. We can and should be more welcoming and friendly. We should practice charity for everyone all of the time. A lot of it, of course, depends on the local community how accustomed and “established” they are in their own little comfort zone. And unfortunately, there is a lot of this type of thing in some Catholic churches. It is sad.

      Hey, speaking of nicknames, I’ve been meaning to ask… What exactly does Reinkat mean, by the way? (Sorry for changing the subject)

      • Yes, but with people being so transient these days, moving from one end of the country to the other, there is bound to be misunderstanding and misinterpretation. There are different cultural signals and signs of friendliness: the extremes might be New England reserved demeanor vs Mediterrean descent extroverted warmth of expression–neither individual might be more or less loving inside, but the outside observer might not see it as so.
        And some Catholic churches ARE unfriendly and closed in on themselves. I attribute it to large size and the resulting anonymity. If you don’t become actively involved, you can attend Mass for 20 years at a church and never know a single person in the pews beside you–or your pastor. We can go a long way in improving in this regard, that is for sure.

        Nicknames? Reinkat is a combination of 3 different names . . . it doesn’t really mean anything.

      • Sorry Perhaps I was little bit touchy on the matter and shouldn’t let any one let me miss church or not go because of a few people that don’t understand that I am learning and searching for different answers and how to do and believe in what the church does.Yes the church I was going to is not very friendly at all and snub others and since I go alone and sit alone it does make me feel like I am not wanted most of the time. What does it mean if a priest rolls his eyes at you like you were disgusting or something?Then if he sees you in the market place he turns the other way and you know he saw you?There are three churches in my area and he does all three:( I have not been for over a year and don’t know where to turn to. I do watch EWTN but don’t get to receive the Eucharist.

      • oooo, marieagrace, that IS nasty. I might be tempted to react exactly the way you did, because I can’t help but be affected by what other think and do. But it is his problem, not yours. His only. It is hard not to take it on, but you don’t want his personality or mental health issues to separate you from the Eucharist. If you keep going, you will find some nice folks there, maybe not demonstrative ones, but kind and genuine that you can connect with. I will pray that that happens for you. The priest is just one part of the parish . . . he’s important but certainly not everything.
        If you decide it really IS too awful and you just can’t go: how about this–if he is running 3 parishes he can’t be everywhere at once. And thus during Daily Mass time, there will be a communion services where you can receive the Eucharist without him, but hopefully with the nice people in the area. It’s worth looking into, I think. God bless, and I hope that helps.

      • Pray I get the courage up this week to go and get communion only if I have to go to confessioon he is the only one there to hear this there is only a deacon.He can’t hear confession and to recieve holding this in would be hippocritical wouldn’t it?Can I go out of town for confession?

      • Hmmm. If there was not an anonymous confession set-up in one of the 3 local churches–then yes, I probably would go out of town. Others might disagree, but I am a bit of a coward and probably would not face him down, if I felt as you did about his behavior.
        But if you didn’t have to look at him and he wasn’t sure who you even were–then yes, why not go close to home and convenient. That would work for me–but so would another town. The logistics can be worked out.

      • Would you be comfortable arranging to meet with the priest to tell him how you feel? It might be good for him to know. And it might be helpful for you as well.

  6. I am getting reconciled this Saturday at 3:30 before church and I am going to receive communion but I am going to let him know it was the reason why I stopped going that he always rolled his eyes when I talked to him and never asked if I was alive after my surgery. I even wrote him about helping out in the church and he never got back to me.
    I’m letting him know in few days

    • Good for you, Mariegrace! And if you want to talk about revelation as you said in your last comment, I would be very happy to talk about it with you, even by email. God bless you and I hope it all works out well with your pastor.

  7. HI CHIP:) Thank You for being considerate to my needs.I learned the way the Baptist taught about the revelation of Jesus Christ. I think you Catholics believe it already happened? I just don’t get it If it had happened then why isn’t Jesus here to get his elect from the 4 corners of the earth?And the abomination of desolation would be set up in the temple When a Catholic told me I was very confused as to why they would think it already happened.Then I realized you read different then I do and if I am going to be a Catholic it better be a good one, I had a Catholic man tell me it wouldn’t happen for at least another 5,000 years That means I won’t be here to see it; My e-mail is godlovesyou2@tds.net Feel free to send me information about that book and how you see what it is saying. Blessings and Peace!!! MarieaGrace

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