The Lord's name in vain

I was waiting in line at the grocery store and the lady in front of me pulled out coupons and I thought to myself “God!” Did I commit a mortal sin? Please advise.

I ask myself that question a lot. Welcome to the club. :smiley:

This is an issue that I’ve been struggling with, too. When something unpleasant occurs, JJesus’ name will often be the first thought to pop into my mind, but after I took it to confession, it stopped proceeding out of my mouth. My conscience is apparently beginning to catch up with my mouth.

The question you raise is one that speaks to the how far our society has moved away from GOD. For mortal sin, you have to know it is evil, and with that forethought do it anyway - intentionally desirous of the outcome of the sin regardless of its grave impact against GOD.

The fact that “taking the name of GOD in vain” has become so common place, not as a curse but as an exclamation of surprise reflects how our personal relationship with GOD has weakened. I seriously doubt that you or the 1000’s of people who text OMG, or declare the same phrase verbally even think that they have broken GOD commandment.

However it is a good thing that you question your behavior for your soul knows it is wrong.

Learn “The Golden Arrow Prayer” as reparation to GOD for the times you hear HIS name in vain, and practice another phrase (and you need to practice and make it part of your behavior so that you do not continue to use GOD’s name in vain) to use when you are surprised or need to exclaim your amazement.

I’m not sure where you live but at the grocery stores here, a stack of coupons scan in a matter of seconds. Having said that, I might have the same thought you did if I see someone pull out a checkbook in a grocery line.

(to use an older post of mine)

As the Scholastics would say “always distinguish”

Various authors distinguish between “profanity” and “Blasphemy” in using or rather misusing God’s name …or that of the Saints etc.

Profanity in this sense is to take what is holy (like the name of God) and use it in a profane (ordinary) way …often such can be described as a venial sin…(or perhaps not a sin due to habit …or inadvertence etc)… still of course something not to be done!

Blasphemy on the other hand is objectively gravely sinful…which in this sense would be to use the name of God in a way that expresses hatred etc towards God etc

As for the habit of saying “God” when surprised --this should not then really be done --but would usually fall into I think the area of profanity …and often in the habit area…or inadvertant use…which may mean no sin happened at all…

Of course talk with your confessor too as to particular questions that come up for you.

Let us “hallow” his name…let us bless it …praise it… especially the name: Jesus

  1. When does one commit a mortal sin?

1855-1861
1874

One commits a mortal sin when there are simultaneously present: grave matter, full knowledge, and deliberate consent. This sin destroys charity in us, deprives us of sanctifying grace, and, if unrepented, leads us to the eternal death of hell. It can be forgiven in the ordinary way by means of the sacraments of Baptism and of Penance or Reconciliation.

  1. When does one commit a venial sin?

1862-1864
1875

One commits a venial sin, which is essentially different from a mortal sin, when the matter involved is less serious or, even if it is grave, when full knowledge or complete consent are absent. Venial sin does not break the covenant with God but it weakens charity and manifests a disordered affection for created goods. It impedes the progress of a soul in the exercise of the virtues and in the practice of moral good. It merits temporal punishment which purifies.

vatican.va/archive/compendium_ccc/documents/archive_2005_compendium-ccc_en.html

(to use an older post of mine)

As the Scholastics would say “always distinguish”

Various authors distinguish between “profanity” and “Blasphemy” in using or rather misusing God’s name …or that of the Saints etc.

Profanity in this sense is to take what is holy (like the name of God) and use it in a profane (ordinary) way …often such can be described as a venial sin…(or perhaps not a sin due to habit …or inadvertence etc)… still of course something not to be done!

Blasphemy on the other hand is objectively gravely sinful…which in this sense would be to use the name of God in a way that expresses hatred etc towards God etc

As for the habit of saying “God” when surprised --this should not then really be done --but would usually fall into I think the area of profanity …and often in the habit area…or inadvertant use…which may mean no sin happened at all…

Of course talk with your confessor too as to particular questions that come up for you.

Let us “hallow” his name…let us bless it …praise it… especially the name: Jesus

Thank you everyone of you all for your responses. I really do appreciate it. Thanks again!

Times of when I get shocked or surprised, I get in the habit of saying “my goodness!”. Once in a while I’ll add “gracious” lol. I wonder though is it the same thing using the Lord’s name in vain even though I didn’t say “God”?

When I watch the Wizard of Oz, when they see the wizard for the first time, Dorothy (played by Judy Garland) says “Jiminy Cricket!” Would that be the “censored” version of “Jesus Christ”?

Or am I making too big of a deal out of it? :shrug:

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