Life in Christ
The holiness of the divine name demands that we neither
use it for trivial matters, nor take an oath which on the basis of the
circumstances could be interpreted as approval of an authority
unjustly requiring it. When an oath is required by illegitimate civil
authorities, it may be refused. It must be refused when it is required
for purposes contrary to the dignity of persons or to ecclesial
The sacrament of Baptism is conferred “in the name of the
Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
In Baptism, the
Lord’s name sanctifies man, and the Christian receives his name in
the Church. This can be the name of a saint, that is, of a disciple who
has lived a life of exemplary fidelity to the Lord. The patron saint
provides a model of charity; we are assured of his intercession. The
“baptismal name” can also express a Christian mystery or Chris
tian virtue. “Parents, sponsors, and the pastor are to see that a name
is not given which is foreign to Christian sentiment.”
The Christian begins his day, his prayers, and his activities
with the Sign of the Cross: “in the name of the Father and of the Son
and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.” The baptized person dedicates the
day to the glory of God and calls on the Savior’s grace which lets
him act in the Spirit as a child of the Father. The sign of the cross
strengthens us in temptations and difficulties.
God calls each one by name.
Everyone’s name is sacred.
The name is the icon of the person. It demands respect as a sign of
the dignity of the one who bears it.
The name one receives is a name for eternity. In the king
dom, the mysterious and unique character of each person marked
with God’s name will shine forth in splendor. “To him who con
quers . . . I will give a white stone, with a new name written on the
stone which no one knows except him who receives it.”
looked, and Lo, on Mount Zion stood the Lamb, and with him a
hundred and forty-four thousand who had his name and his
Father’s name written on their foreheads.”
86 CIC, can. 855.