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The Second Commandment: you shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain 46 GRECO, El The Adoration of the Name of Jesus 1578-80 Oil and tempera.

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Presentation on theme: "The Second Commandment: you shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain 46 GRECO, El The Adoration of the Name of Jesus 1578-80 Oil and tempera."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Second Commandment: you shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain 46 GRECO, El The Adoration of the Name of Jesus Oil and tempera on pine panel, 55,1x33,8 cm National Gallery, London

2 Compendium of the Catechism 447. How does one respect the holiness of the Name of God? One shows respect for the holy Name of God by blessing it, praising it and glorifying it. It is forbidden, therefore, to call on the Name of God to justify a crime. It is also wrong to use the holy Name of God in any improper way as in blasphemy (which by its nature is a grave sin), curses, and unfaithfulness to promises made in the Name of God.

3 Introduction "There was a famous opera singer whose voice began to fail. Medical doctors found out that her life was in danger (…). Just before the operation, she was asked if she wished to say something. With a smile, she replied: Glory be to the Father, glory be to the Son, glory be to the Holy Spirit. These were the last words she pronounced". It is a moving example of how to honour God’s name. This is precisely what the second commandment urges us to do. GRECO, El The Adoration of the Name of Jesus (detail) late 1570s Oil and tempera on pine panel, detail size 29 x 24 cm National Gallery, London

4 Main ideas

5 1. The name of God is holy God is holy and so is his name, because the name represents the person. That is why we feel angry if someone pronounces disparagingly the name of a person we love. The angels and saints continuously praise God’s name, as they proclaim: “Holy, holy, holy Lord …”. In the Lord’s Prayer we say, “Hallowed be Thy name”, and this should move us to strive so that God’s name be glorified all over the world. ROELAS, Juan de las Adoration of the Name of Jesus Oil on canvas, 574 x 335 cm University Chapel, Seville

6 2. How to honour God’s name We hallow or honour God’s name as being holy:  when we praise him as Creator and Saviour;  when we listen with devotion and meditate on his word;  when we thank him for everything we receive from him;  respecting all that is sacred;  when we ask him with confidence for his help and protection;  when we endeavour to make God known, loved and honoured by all;  when we take an oath with piety, justice and truth;  when we make vows or pledges about things pleasing to God, with the intention of putting them into practice. VALENTIN DE BOULOGNE The Tribute to Caesar c Oil on canvas, 111 x 154 cm Musée du Château, Versailles

7 3. Respect for holy things We have to respect consecrated places, things and persons because in some way they manifest God’s name.  Sacred places are sanctuaries and cemeteries, which demand an attitude full of respect and dignity.  Sacred things are the altar, the chalice and other objects dedicated to God’s worship.  Sacred persons are God’s ministers and the religious: the Pope and the bishops deserve our respect because of whom they represent, and we should never speak badly of them. CARPACCIO, Vittore ( ) The Pilgrims Meet the Pope Tempera on canvas, c /8 x 120 3/4 inches (281 x 307 cm) Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice

8 4. To take an oath is to have God as our witness When stating what has been seen or heard about some serious matter, especially in a court, it could be necessary to take an oath invoking God as a witness of what is stated or promised. Otherwise oaths ought not be made; we should strive so that our everyday dealings be founded on sincerity and uprightness. Jesus said: “All you need say is ‘Yes’ if you mean yes, ‘No’ if you mean no; anything more than this comes from the Evil One” (Matthew 5:37). DAVID, Jacques-Louis The Oath of the Horatii 1784 Oil on canvas, 330 x 425 cm Musée du Louvre, Paris

9 5. Vows and pledges A vow is a free, deliberate and personally binding pledge made to God about something good. Unless God asks us to take a vow or make a pledge, the normal thing is to make serious resolutions which help us to improve, without any need for vows.  If we want to pledge something to God it would be prudent to ask a confessor first, to ensure that we would be able to fulfil what we vow. BOUGUEREAU, William ( ) Le voeu [The Vow] Oil on canvas, /4 x 42 1/2 inches (147 x 108 cm) Private collection

10 6. Sins against the second commandment Besides perjury and breaking a vow, other sins against the second commandment:  using the holy Name of God in any improper and unnecessary way,  calling upon God in anger,  cursing or blasphemy. Blasphemy consists in words or signs offensive to God, the Virgin Mary, the Saints and the Church. If it is done consciously it is gravely sinful because it is a direct offence against God. BLOCH, Carl Heinrich ( ) Denying Satan Oil on canvas Public collection

11 7. The Christian name In baptism we receive a Christian name. Parents, godparents and parish priests should seek to choose a genuinely Christian name for the baptized, the name of a saint who led a life of exemplary faithfulness to God. Being named after a Christian means having that saint as a model of charity and as an intercessor. God knows each person by their name; that is why each person’s name is sacred and deserves respect. Fra Angelico ( ) The Naming of St. John the Baptist Tempera on panel, /8 x 9 3/8 inches (26 x 24 cm) Museo di San Marco, Florence

12 Resolutions for Christian life

13 Resolutions to move forward Invoke God’s name with confidence, and so as to atone when we hear a curse or blasphemy. Strive to be persons whose word is to be trusted without having recourse to oaths.


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