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.
THE SECOND COMMANDMENT
You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
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.
The second commandment
prescribes respect for the Lord’s
Like the first commandment, it belongs to the virtue of religion
and more particularly it governs our use of speech in sacred
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
Respect for his name is an expression of the respect owed
to the mystery of God himself and to the whole sacred reality it
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
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,
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.
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.