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518

Part Three

2141

The veneration of sacred images is based on the mys­

tery of the Incarnation of the Word of God. It is not

contrary to the first commandment.

A

rticle

2

THE SECOND COMMANDMENT

You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.

72

You have heard that it was said to the men of old, “You shall

not swear falsely. . . .” But I say to you, Do not swear at all.

73

I.

T

he

N

ame of

the

L

ord

I

s

H

oly

2142

The second commandment

prescribes respect for the Lord’s

name.

Like the first commandment, it belongs to the virtue of religion

and more particularly it governs our use of speech in sacred

matters.

2143

Among all the words of Revelation, there is one which is

unique: the revealed name of God. God confides his name to those

who believe in him; he reveals himself to them in his personal mys­

tery. The gift of a name belongs to the order of trust and intimacy.

“The Lord’s name is holy.” For this reason man must not abuse it.

He must keep it in mind in silent, loving adoration. He will not

introduce it into his own speech except to bless, praise, and glorify

it.

74

2144

Respect for his name is an expression of the respect owed

to the mystery of God himself and to the whole sacred reality it

evokes. The

sense of the sacred

is part of the virtue of religion:

Are these feelings of fear and awe Christian feelings or not? . . .

I say this, then, which I think no one can reasonably dispute.

They are the class of feelings we

should

have—yes, have to an

intense degree—if we literally had the sight of Almighty God;

therefore they are the class of feelings which we shall have,

if

we realize His presence. In proportion as we believe that He is

present, we shall have them; and not to have them, is not to

realize, not to believe that He is present.

75

72

Ex

20:7;

Deut

5:11.

73

Mt

5:33-34.

74 Cf.

Zech

2:13;

Ps

29:2; 96:2; 113:1-2.

75 John Henry Cardinal Newman,

Parochial and Plain Sermons

V, 2 (London:

Longmans, Green and Co., 1907), 21-22.

2807-2815

203

435