His Holy Name

Among all the words of Divine Revelation, there is one which is unique:  the name of God.  God confides His name to those who believe in Him and by doing so, reveals to them His personal mystery.  Sharing the gift of our name with someone else is an act of trust and intimacy.  Perhaps in today’s world this belief in the power of words or names isn’t as strong for us as it would have been for the Israelites.  When they heard the Second Commandment, “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain” they had a very clear understanding of what it meant.  In the culture of the Old Testament, the name of something was the thing. But names still possess a great deal of power for us.  Which one of us would want to hear someone using our mother’s name as a curse of frustration?  How many of us could stay calm if we heard our child’s name being used thoughtlessly to express contempt for someone?  How much more then should it disturb us as Christians to hear the name of God being tossed about casually or offhandedly or as a curse?  How close a relationship do we truly have with the Lord if we regularly show disrespect for His name or laugh it off when others around us do?
You can’t be in a love relationship with someone if you use their name to curse.  It’s really that simple.  The names of God the Father, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, His Blessed Mother and all the Saints should be reverently used to bless, to praise, and to glorify(Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 2143).  Whenever we invoke the name of God, we should be conscious of the reverence and the gravity of the occasion.  So using God’s name as part of our promise of truth and fidelity in a vow or an oath is gravely serious.  It should never be used for trivial matters.  Perjury, or lying under oath, is also an offense against the Second Commandment.  By extension, every person’s name should be held in the honor and respect due to a child of God.  As He tells us in Scripture “God calls each of us by name (Isaiah 43:1).” Our name is our icon and it demands respect as a sign of the dignity of the one who bears it (Catechism, paragraph 2158).  Our names will follow us into eternity (Revelation 14:1) and so every parent has the responsibility to give a Christian name to their children as a mark of their faith and life in Christ.
Here are some thoughts to keep in mind to insure that you are being faithful to God’s Second Commandment:  Do I blaspheme or insult God?  Do I use His name mockingly, jokingly, angrily or in any other irreverent manner?  Do I revere the name of God’s family and friends—His Mother and the Saints?  Have I used God’s name as a profanity?  Have I sworn falsely under the name of the Lord?  Have I broken any private or public vows, like my marriage vows?  Do I show disrespect for God’s name by misusing it in order to fit in with others?  Do I keep silent when those around me disrespect the name of God?  Do I read books or watch movies which use the name of God as a curse?  Do I hesitate to mention God’s name in appropriate situations, such as in conversations with friends and family?  Am I a good example to the children in my life of how to show reverence for the holy name of God?  Our words are powerful.  They can be blessings or they can be curses.  Words wound and words heal.  As Christians, it’s important that we choose our words carefully.  When we speak the name of God we know that He hears us as a father hears the cry of his child.  When we speak the name of the God we love and adore, it affirms our relationship with Him as our Lord and Savior.
“…I have called you by name:  you are Mine.”   —Isaiah 43:1

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Raul Soto
    Aug 20, 2012 @ 14:00:53

    I love your posts. Keep on writing and sharing. God bless you!


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