THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH
Her Doctrine and Morals
Holy Name of Jesus
3 January 2010
"There is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."
These words are from God the Holy Ghost, given to St. Peter to speak to the rulers of the people in his day, and are in turn recorded for us in the Acts of the Apostles.
If we are to be saved this sacred name needs to be on our lips throughout our lives but most importantly, this holy name should be on our lips as we die.
We cannot help but to admire the courage of the Apostles and especially that of St. Peter as recorded in today's Gospel. This is the power of God given to them by the Holy Ghost, who was sent by the Father and the Son. We too received the Holy Ghost when we were confirmed.
We have been given the grace to invoke the holy name of Jesus with great efficacy. Christ has promised us that anything we ask the Heavenly Father in His name, He will give us.
This name which is so sacred and holy is most powerful for our spiritual advancement and welfare. And so we see all around us, especially today, that the devils have succeeded in getting mankind to lose sight of the sacredness of this name. This most sacred name is spoken in vain almost constantly. It is used as an explicative to denote shock or surprise, even though now the use has become so common that it seems to have lost any meaning.
Despite the second commandment of God that we are not to use His name in vain, we all too often hear this misuse. We should feel great shame that this practice continues and grows worse by the day, but now we fail to blush or feel any shame whatsoever. Our blood should boil at the insult committed against God, but we carry on as if nothing has happened.
And indeed maybe nothing has happened! These souls have no fear of their damnation because perhaps they have already been damned, and are just awaiting the execution of the sentence. In such instances we should feel great sadness for the loss of this soul. If we could only see the state of such souls, we would tremble in fear for them. Souls damned for all of eternity for trying to impress others with their blasphemous speech. What pride and vanity in thinking nothing of insulting the name of God.
The world is all aghast at the use of pejorative stereotyping words to label different segments of our society, but there is no concern in the speech of our society for the countless insults to God. We see this not only among the uneducated, the crude, and vulgar, but we even see it used by highly educated, and upper class people. This sin has become universal and acceptable in all walks of society.
As St. Paul might say to us today: Now is the time to begin to do something about this. We might not be able to curb all the abuse in society, but we certainly can do something about the abuses that we hear around us. We must rise up in defense of this holy name. We can not remain silent a moment longer.
An insult like this against God, is an insult to the entire Mystical Body of Christ of which we are members. And we should not fear to express our outrage at the insult casually or even boldly thrown in our faces. If we are cautious not to use any words that might offend others, must we not likewise be cautious not to use words in offensive ways to God and thus to all true Christians? If we are ashamed or embarrassed for others who lack the social understanding to refrain from stereotypical pejoratives, should we not likewise feel shame and embarrassment for those who lack the moral understanding of the need to obey the Second Commandment? If we speak out, admonish and correct others in our social mores, how can we remain silent in the face of the morally offensive vain use of Our Lord's Name?
Let us take seriously our duties as citizens and members of the Mystical Body of Christ and do all that is in our power for the keeping of this commandment, both for ourselves and those around us. And let us not stop there, but make it a part of our prayers to recite the Divine Praises in reparation for the countless offenses against the Holy Name of Jesus Christ.