You are waiting for a bus, and another person waiting complains about waiting and uses the Lord’s name in vain.  Or you are at a sports game and the home team blows a play prompting another fan near you joins along with his expressed frustration the taking of the Lord’s name in vain.  You might be at work and deadlines and pressures lead a co-worker to let off some steam that includes some profane words directed at the Lord.  It’s so common to hear that it may have a diminished shock value to many of us.

 

The name of the Lord is so hallowed that respect for the name is the Second Commandment of the Ten God gave Moses on Mount Sinai.  Christians, bearing the name of Christ, are called to give honor to the name they bear in all that they do.  Catholic Teaching proclaims that there is power in the name of Jesus.  This power includes the power to gather angels to protect and defend.  There is also power in the name of Jesus over the demons who will flee at the utterance of His name.  His name brings hope and fortitude to the despairing and weak.

 

Catholics have a tradition of nodding in reverence to the name of Jesus and even to the Blessed Virgin Mary’s name.  It is a means to give honor and glory to our God that can be joined with an expression vocally or silently of, “Praise the Lord.”

 

There are times that publicly, and there are even instances where  privately, any effort to correct another who profanes the name of the Lord will fail.  Correction and amendment to do better is the goal we seek and if one approach may embarrass the one who profanes from correction, then you may have to simply lift it to God with your own praise.  One can actually use the prompting of another’s profanation of the Lord’s name as a cue to reverence the Lord with a simple nod accompanying an expression of, “Praise the Lord.”

 

It is fascinating that if you use this approach in a circumstance where you don’t have other recourse, know that it can work in the changing of hearts.  In time,  you will notice the diminishment and abandonment of such abuse of the name of Jesus.  It may take some time, but it is compelling when you see that the abuse diminishes and in turn your reverential praising also diminishes because there are fewer promptings to offer that reparation.  You may even have the feeling of emptiness that can only be filled with your praises prompted out of a deeper love for the power and care of Jesus through His Holy Name.