Monday, June 11, 2012

The name of the Holy One

The name of the Holy One

In everyday life, one often hears the holy name used thoughtlessly. Even in prayer, one can use the Lord's name and become inattentive of what one is saying. The latter is no great crime, but does fall away from the attention due to the divine name.

Thou shall not use the Lord's name in vain.

Hallowed be thy name.

The Lord has done great things for me and holy is his name.

So many references are made to the Lord's name in both scripture and the liturgy, that it would be difficult for any one person to have them committed to memory. It is enough to see that it is present in the most important parts of scripture. The divine praises too bless the holy names of God, Christ, and Mary. Whole orders of religious are set aside for reparation on account of offenses against the holy name. How many are the offenses!

James talks about how the tongue is deadly member, such that controlling it is equivalent to having perfect virtue. Christ said that it is not what comes into the mouth that makes men evil, but rather what comes out of it, for this manifests the heart.

So not only must we careful to avoid offending against his holy name, but we must also give it due veneration.

May his name be always on our lips.

Through speaking the Lord's name in a worthy manner, our tongue will become like pen in the hand of a scribe, always ready to sing the Lord's praises. When our lips our cleansed and elevated, then our heart too will be properly disposed for true worship.

One interesting point is that honor for the divine name belongs to the natural law. I do not understand this fully, but it is among the ten commandments, which contain the natural law. The reason he gives is that man's natural end consists in the vision of God, and therefore the first three commandments are for the sake of attaining this end. A more human reason for its part in natural law is the common good. There are certain occasions in political life where a man must swear by someone higher than himself in order to assure his honesty. If the divine name is not held in esteem, then no man will care for pledges made in that name. This is not good for society, thus even natural reasoning can see why the holy name should not be used in vain. St. Thomas' reason with regard to our order to God is true as well, though it is more difficult to see how entirely our perfection depends on God without a revelation of his love.

So whereas lies have been a constant topic of conversation lately, it seems that conversation concerning the divine name would also be helpful for see the fundamental role speech plays in the moral life of man.

Sent from my iPhone

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