Catholic FAQ


Latest Threads
newest posts



Go Back   Catholic Answers Forums > Forums > Apologetics > Moral Theology
 

Welcome to Catholic Answers Forums, the largest Catholic Community on the Web.

Here you can join over 400,000 members from around the world discussing all things Catholic. Membership is open to all, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, who seek the Truth with Charity.

To gain full access, you must register for a FREE account. Registered members are able to:
  • Submit questions about the faith to experts from Catholic Answers
  • Participate in all forum discussions
  • Communicate privately with Catholics from around the world
  • Plus join a prayer group, read with the Book Club, and much more.
Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free. So join our community today!

Have a question about registration or your account log-in? Just contact our Support Hotline.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search Thread Display
  #1  
Old May 15, '09, 8:00 am
Lisa44 Lisa44 is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: September 9, 2008
Posts: 1,272
Religion: Christian
Default What is "taking the Lord's name in vain"?

Are popular expressions like: "oh my God!", or, "Good Lord!" taking the Lord's name in vain?

Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old May 15, '09, 9:18 am
wolfgang's Avatar
wolfgang wolfgang is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: March 22, 2009
Posts: 647
Default Re: What is "taking the Lord's name in vain"?

Hi Lisa - here's a link to an answer from the Ask an Apologist forum.

link
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old May 15, '09, 9:30 am
Lisa44 Lisa44 is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: September 9, 2008
Posts: 1,272
Religion: Christian
Default Re: What is "taking the Lord's name in vain"?

Thanks, that answers my first question, now....

Is saying "Jesus Christ!" as an exclamation taking the Lords name in vain or does it fall under the similar expressions pointed out by Fr Vincent Serpa as being acceptable?

Thanks

For those who don't open the link, the expressions -
Oh my God!
Good Lord!
Lord have Mercy!
Jesus, Mary, Joseph!

are not taking the Lords name in vain.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old May 15, '09, 3:25 pm
Claire from DE's Avatar
Claire from DE Claire from DE is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: May 31, 2004
Posts: 2,361
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: What is "taking the Lord's name in vain"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisa44 View Post
Thanks, that answers my first question, now....

Is saying "Jesus Christ!" as an exclamation taking the Lords name in vain or does it fall under the similar expressions pointed out by Fr Vincent Serpa as being acceptable?

Thanks

For those who don't open the link, the expressions -
Oh my God!
Good Lord!
Lord have Mercy!
Jesus, Mary, Joseph!

are not taking the Lords name in vain.
I notice that Fr. Serpa's answer is 5 years old. I wonder if he would still stand by it. I differ with him. Although these expressions aren't blasphemy, they are using the words 'Jesus' and 'God' in a thoughtless manner which is what 'in vain' means. To say, "Jesus Christ!!" or "Oh, my God" instead of the four letter words which this forum represents by **** is certainly disrespectful. When we become aware of this, we should not use them.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old May 15, '09, 6:05 pm
monorail monorail is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: March 12, 2008
Posts: 109
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: What is "taking the Lord's name in vain"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Claire from DE View Post
I notice that Fr. Serpa's answer is 5 years old. I wonder if he would still stand by it. I differ with him. Although these expressions aren't blasphemy, they are using the words 'Jesus' and 'God' in a thoughtless manner which is what 'in vain' means. To say, "Jesus Christ!!" or "Oh, my God" instead of the four letter words which this forum represents by **** is certainly disrespectful. When we become aware of this, we should not use them.
I agree with you.

My confessor once suggested that if I thoughtlessly let an "Oh, my God!" slip, I should turn it into a prayer -- "I love you!"
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old May 15, '09, 6:21 pm
thistle thistle is offline
Forum Elder
 
Join Date: August 23, 2005
Posts: 19,743
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: What is "taking the Lord's name in vain"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Claire from DE View Post
I notice that Fr. Serpa's answer is 5 years old. I wonder if he would still stand by it. I differ with him. Although these expressions aren't blasphemy, they are using the words 'Jesus' and 'God' in a thoughtless manner which is what 'in vain' means. To say, "Jesus Christ!!" or "Oh, my God" instead of the four letter words which this forum represents by **** is certainly disrespectful. When we become aware of this, we should not use them.
The Church teaching:

TAKING THE NAME OF THE LORD IN VAIN

CCC 2150 The second commandment forbids false oaths. Taking an oath or swearing is to take God as witness to what one affirms. It is to invoke the divine truthfulness as a pledge of one's own truthfulness. An oath engages the Lord's name. "You shall fear the LORD your God; you shall serve him, and swear by his name."

CCC 2151 Rejection of false oaths is a duty toward God. As Creator and Lord, God is the norm of all truth. Human speech is either in accord with or in opposition to God who is Truth itself. When it is truthful and legitimate, an oath highlights the relationship of human speech with God's truth. A false oath calls on God to be witness to a lie.

CCC 2152 A person commits perjury when he makes a promise under oath with no intention of keeping it, or when after promising on oath he does not keep it. Perjury is a grave lack of respect for the Lord of all speech. Pledging oneself by oath to commit an evil deed is contrary to the holiness of the divine name.

CCC 2153 In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus explained the second commandment: "You have heard that it was said to the men of old, 'You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.' But I say to you, Do not swear at all. . . . Let what you say be simply 'Yes' or 'No'; anything more than this comes from the evil one." Jesus teaches that every oath involves a reference to God and that God's presence and his truth must be honored in all speech. Discretion in calling upon God is allied with a respectful awareness of his presence, which all our assertions either witness to or mock.

CCC 2154 Following St. Paul, the tradition of the Church has understood Jesus' words as not excluding oaths made for grave and right reasons (for example, in court). "An oath, that is the invocation of the divine name as a witness to truth, cannot be taken unless in truth, in judgment, and in justice."

CCC 2155 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 communion.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old May 16, '09, 7:17 am
Lisa44 Lisa44 is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: September 9, 2008
Posts: 1,272
Religion: Christian
Default Re: What is "taking the Lord's name in vain"?

The catechism says "the second commandment forbids every improper use of God's name."

The Catechism of Saint Pius X:

1 Q. What does the Second Commandment: Thou shalt not take the Name of God in vain, forbid?
A. The Second Commandment: Thou shalt not take the Name of God in vain, forbids us: (1) To utter the Name of God irreverently; (2) To blaspheme God, the Blessed Virgin or the Saints; (3) To take false, unnecessary, or unlawful oaths.

2 Q. What is meant by: Not to utter the Name of God irreverently?
A. Not to utter the Name of God irreverently means not to mention this Holy Name, or any other name that in a special way refers to God Himself, such as the name of Jesus, of Mary and the Saints, in anger or in joke or in any irreverent way whatsoever.


Another catechism-

Q. What is commanded by this precept?
A. To speak always with reverence of God, and his saints.



Okay, thanks all, I think I'll stick to my original assumption that using the word God or Lord in any context, except prayer or conversation pertaining to, is inappropriate.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old May 19, '09, 3:16 am
Appleby Appleby is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: July 30, 2008
Posts: 653
Religion: Catholic
Send a message via MSN to Appleby
Default Re: What is "taking the Lord's name in vain"?

For those who may not know, the reason *bloody* is considered an improper oath is that it is a contraction of By Our Lady.
__________________
We choose to go to the Moon in this decade...not because it is easy, but because it is difficult. -- John F. Kennedy, 1960

American Boots on the Moon - 1969
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old May 19, '09, 6:57 am
Lisa44 Lisa44 is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: September 9, 2008
Posts: 1,272
Religion: Christian
Default Re: What is "taking the Lord's name in vain"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Appleby View Post
For those who may not know, the reason *bloody* is considered an improper oath is that it is a contraction of By Our Lady.
I didn't know that. Thanks.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old May 19, '09, 3:38 pm
nkbeth nkbeth is offline
Regular Member
Prayer Warrior
 
Join Date: November 26, 2007
Posts: 760
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: What is "taking the Lord's name in vain"?

I know a mother who discourages her children from saying even "Oh my gosh!" because it is just a slip of the tongue away from taking God's name in vain. Maybe she has a point. I feel the same way about the now popular "word" OMG. Some people (if not everyone) don't mean "oh my gosh".
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old May 20, '09, 1:10 pm
SophieG SophieG is offline
New Member
 
Join Date: April 11, 2009
Posts: 93
Religion: Roman Catholic
Default Re: What is "taking the Lord's name in vain"?

Quote:
For those who may not know, the reason *bloody* is considered an improper oath is that it is a contraction of By Our Lady.
Really? My Brit Lit study guide said it refers to the bloody wounds of Christ crucified.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old May 21, '09, 2:09 pm
budgie2 budgie2 is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: May 18, 2009
Posts: 695
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: What is "taking the Lord's name in vain"?

Some people may say the name of God as a prayer or in a time of trial because they are asking for God's help. God does not judge us by our words but by our heart and if our intention is to insult God then it is a venial sin, but if our intention is not to insult then God knows this. In my opinion taking the name of the Lord in vain is to call ourself a Christian and take Christ's name without living according to his teachings. All sin is blasphemy. I think this is a worse form of blasphemy as it can give Christ a bad reputation.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old May 23, '09, 7:11 pm
Primox Primox is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: May 10, 2009
Posts: 233
Religion: Christian, contemplating Catholicism
Default Re: What is "taking the Lord's name in vain"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by monorail View Post
My confessor once suggested that if I thoughtlessly let an "Oh, my God!" slip, I should turn it into a prayer -- "I love you!"
That's foolishness. You might be able to placate the audience who heard you blaspheme, but God knows the ``I love you`` wasn`t the continuation of a prayer. I`m surprised at how lenient everyone is on this issue. None of the expressions Fr. Serpa has outlined are acceptable in casual discussion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by budgie2 View Post
God does not judge us by our words.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesus
But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.
I'm afraid God does precisely that.

Why search for lieniency in God's word? Suffice just to say "Gosh" or "Oh my Goodness" if you must say something.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old May 24, '09, 1:04 pm
nkbeth nkbeth is offline
Regular Member
Prayer Warrior
 
Join Date: November 26, 2007
Posts: 760
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: What is "taking the Lord's name in vain"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by monorail View Post
My confessor once suggested that if I thoughtlessly let an "Oh, my God!" slip, I should turn it into a prayer -- "I love you!"
Or maybe: add a real heart-felt prayer of repentance - "Forgive me Lord" - and then confess the sin later too.

Christ does know our weakness and will forgive us. I think a quick prayer after a sin will please Him even though the sin does not.
__________________
... the Lord answered Job out of a whirlwind, and said: Who is this that wrappeth up sentences in unskillful words?... Where wast thou when I laid up the foundations of the earth? Tell me if thou hast understanding. -- Job 38 1-4

Last edited by nkbeth; May 24, '09 at 1:19 pm.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old May 26, '09, 5:37 am
Sir Knight Sir Knight is offline
Banned
Book Club Member
 
Join Date: June 9, 2004
Posts: 7,611
Religion: Roman Catholic
Default Re: What is "taking the Lord's name in vain"?

Whenever we invoke God's name, it should be done with reverence and respect -- never thoughtlessly or in a less than respectful manner.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Go Back   Catholic Answers Forums > Forums > Apologetics > Moral Theology

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search Thread
Search Thread:

Advanced Search
Display

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


Prayer Intentions

Most Active Groups
8257Meet and talk,talk talk
Last by: GLam8833
5022CAF Prayer Warriors Support Group
Last by: Vim71
4346Devotion to the Sorrowful Mother
Last by: FootStool
4029OCD/Scrupulosity Group
Last by: B79
3835SOLITUDE
Last by: beth40n2
3571Let's empty Purgatory
Last by: RJB
3230Poems and Reflections
Last by: tonyg
3207Catholic Vegetarians & Vegans
Last by: Chast Forever
3137Petitions Before the Blessed Sacrament
Last by: grateful_child
3049For seniors and shut- ins
Last by: Thomas Choe



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 6:40 pm.

Home RSS Feeds - Home - Archive - Top

Copyright © 2004-2014, Catholic Answers.