This Feast is associated with the Feast of the Circumcision, for it is when a child was circumcized that he received a name and was accepted as a son of Abraham and a full member of his family (the Feast of the Holy Family will come soon, after the Feast of the Epiphany on the 6th). So honored is His Holy Name that devout Catholics bow their heads (men removing their hats) at the sound of "Jesus" (or "Iesus" in Latin), both inside and outside of the liturgy. To protect the sacredness and honor due the Holy Name, when hearing the Name of the Lord taken in vain, it is right to pray "Sit nomen Dómini benedíctum!" ( "Blessed be the Name of the Lord"), to which the reply, if overheard, is "Ex hoc nunc, et usque in sæculum!" ("from this time forth for evermore!"). .I recently added the Lighthouse Catholic Media app to my iphone. This includes a full bible, and you can purchase the audio recording of any book. It comes with the audio of John free.
Lighthouse Catholic Media is probably better known for the audio CDs available at many parishes on a variety of topics. My sister’s church has them out in front for purchase at basically the cost of the CD and packaging. This app allows you to purchase these audio recordings for your phone. It also includes a variety of free audio resources from St. Paul’s Center for Biblical Theology. I’ve been enjoying the free download from there on the Gospel of John.
I did purchase the audio download on Confession by Father Larry Richards. Father Richards was at a Steubenville retreat I attended with a local youth ministry, and he was a very dynamic speaker. The audio recording was just as good, and I’d highly recommend it to anyone but especially those who are confused or hesitant about the Sacrament of Confession. It is very encouraging.
One thing from his talk that has remained on my mind was his thoughts on not using God’s name in vain. I’ve never had a problem with using God’s name in a curse. I was always taught that was one of the worst things we could do. It is also a bit preposterous anyway. Usually we’re cursing at an inanimate object, so we’re basically commanding the God of the Universe to forever condemn to hell a useless piece of plastic or metal. Asking others who frequent this phrase if that’s what they are intending to do usually makes them stop. Worse, of course, is if it is used towards another human. Then we’re demanding God send them to eternal suffering in hell.
Father Richards also noted that we shouldn’t use God’s name for no reason. How often do we say, or overhear, “Oh my God!” How often is that phrase really meant to invite God to the situation? Are we really requesting divine assistance or thanking the Lord for whatever novelty caught our attention so abruptly? Sure, if you see a car accident it might be a perfectly appropriate thing to say as you’d like God to assist. Cute socks, a nasty bug, or a friend’s ridiculous statement probably do not warrant the same reaction.
We’ve allowed the name of our Creator to become another slang word. There’s no particular moral issue with slang or altering the language to the time, though it might annoy some. But why would we make common something holy?
Lev_20:3 And I will set my face against that man, and will cut him off from among his people; because he hath given of his seed unto Molech, to defile my sanctuary, and to profane my holy name.
Lev_22:2 Speak unto Aaron and to his sons, that they separate themselves from the holy things of the children of Israel, and that they profane not my holy name in those things which they hallow unto me: I am the LORD.
Lev_22:32 Neither shall ye profane my holy name; but I will be hallowed among the children of Israel: I am the LORD which hallow you,
1Ch_16:10 Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD.
1Ch_16:35 And say ye, Save us, O God of our salvation, and gather us together, and deliver us from the heathen, that we may give thanks to thy holy name, and glory in thy praise.
1Ch_29:16 O LORD our God, all this store that we have prepared to build thee an house for thine holy name cometh of thine hand, and is all thine own.
Psa_33:21 For our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name.
Psa_103:1 Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.
Psa_105:3 Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD.
Psa_106:47 Save us, O LORD our God, and gather us from among the heathen, to give thanks unto thy holy name, and to triumph in thy praise.
Psa_145:21 My mouth shall speak the praise of the LORD: and let all flesh bless his holy name for ever and ever.
Eze_20:39 As for you, O house of Israel, thus saith the Lord GOD; Go ye, serve ye every one his idols, and hereafter also, if ye will not hearken unto me: but pollute ye my holy name no more with your gifts, and with your idols.
Eze_36:20-22 And when they entered unto the heathen, whither they went, they profaned my holy name, when they said to them, These are the people of the LORD, and are gone forth out of his land. But I had pity for mine holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the heathen, whither they went. Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name's sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went.
Eze_39:7 So will I make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel; and I will not let them pollute my holy name any more: and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel.
Eze_39:25 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Now will I bring again the captivity of Jacob, and have mercy upon the whole house of Israel, and will be jealous for my holy name;
Eze_43:7-8 And he said unto me, Son of man, the place of my throne, and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever, and my holy name, shall the house of Israel no more defile, neither they, nor their kings, by their whoredom, nor by the carcases of their kings in their high places. In their setting of their threshold by my thresholds, and their post by my posts, and the wall between me and them, they have even defiled my holy name by their abominations that they have committed: wherefore I have consumed them in mine anger.
Amo_2:7 That pant after the dust of the earth on the head of the poor, and turn aside the way of the meek: and a man and his father will go in unto the same maid, to profane my holy name: