Chapter 26. Second Commandment: Reverence God’s Name • 355
At the same time, we recognize diminished culpability when the
name of God is used because of an outburst of undisciplined speech
due to passion or unexpected incitement to anger. We need to cultivate
a persistent reverence for sacred names; if we do not, we can end up
giving bad example and also fall into the sin of blasphemy. It should
also be noted that in Scripture, the sometimes passionate language of
the Prophets, in which they lament the troubles of their times and utter
loud complaints to God, is not blasphemy or the taking of God’s name
in vain. It is actually prayer addressed to God.
We are forbidden to use God’s name to witness a perjury or false
oath, thereby using him to approve our lie.
God’s name has been invoked to justify unjust wars and terrorism,
slaughter enemies, and impose unwarranted power over others. Many
1. What does the Second Commandment ask of us?
The second commandment
prescribes respect for the Lord’s
e. Like the first commandment, it belongs to the vir-
tue of religion and more particularly it governs our use of
speech in sacred matters. (CCC, no. 2142)
2. Name one act forbidden by the Second Commandment.
The second commandment forbids every improper use
of God’s name. Blasphemy is the use of the name of God,
of Jesus Christ, of the Virgin Mary, and of the saints in an
offensive way. (CCC, no. 2162)
3. Why is our baptismal name important?
In Baptism, the Christian receives his name in the
Church. Parents, godparents and the pastor are to see
that he be given a Christian name. The patron saint pro-
vides a model of charity and the assurance of his prayer.
(CCC, no. 2165)
FROM THE CATECHISM