Taking the Lord’s Name in Vain

When I am around my peers (and adults), I am shocked at just how much people use the Lord’s name in vain. And these are good people too; I don’t know if they even understand what they’re saying. 

I used to occasionally say “Oh my God” (I mean no disrespect typing it there) when I was so shocked my mind had no time to think about what was coming out of my mouth. I also used to say “OMG” (no disrespect intended there either) quite frequently, though I wasn’t consciously associating it with God. I don’t know if either of those are mortal sins since I wasn’t deliberately trying to take the Lord’s name in vain. Nonetheless, I mentioned it at my last Confession (over the summer), and I’ve managed not to say anything bad since then. I’m sure I’ll slip at some point, but so far so good. In the beginning it was hardest, but now I’ve kicked the habit, so to speak. I only say “Oh my gosh.”  

Anyway, as I said before, I am SURROUNDED by bad language at school. Of course, there’s all the swearing, which everyone knows is bad. Even some teachers swear on occasion. You don’t have to be religious to know that’s bad. 

But then there’s the stuff that more directly addresses the second commandment, stuff that not everyone recognizes as bad. You know what I mean. Take anything that says “God,” “Jesus,” “Christ,” “Lord,” or some form of any of those words and use it not as it was intended. I’m not as surprised when I hear atheists say these things because they don’t believe they’re disrespecting any god. But I know a lot of really nice Catholics and really nice Christians of the various Protestant denominations who say these things. At first I thought they had just slipped as I will sooner or later. But they say these things all the time.

But I know them. I know they respect God. I don’t think they realize that what they’re saying is disrespectful. I think we’re all surrounded by disrespectful language so much in society that we become desensitized to it and think nothing of using it. But really, we shouldn’t use “Oh my God” (again, no disrespect intended) unless we’re praying or glorifying the Lord’s name.

“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 mystery. 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” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, #2143).  

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