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St. Thomas Aquinas
Catechetical Instructions

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  • SECOND COMMANDMENT: "Thou Shalt Not Take the Name of the Lord Thy God in
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SECOND COMMANDMENT: "Thou Shalt Not Take the Name of the Lord Thy God in

Vain."

 

This is the Second Commandment of the law. Just as there is but one God

whom we must worship, so there is only one God whom we should reverence in

a special manner. This, first of all, has reference to the name of God.

"Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain."1

 




1. "He who requires that honor be paid Him, also demands that we speak of

Him with reverence, and He forbids the contrary. . . . There are those who

are so blinded by darkness of error as not to fear to blaspheme His name,

whom the Angels glorify. Men are not deterred by this Commandment from

shamelessly and daringly outraging His divine majesty every day, or rather

every hour and moment of the day. Who does not know that every assertion is

accompanied with an oath and teems with curses and imprecations? To such

lengths has this impiety been carried that one scarcely buys or sells, or

transacts ordinary business of any sort, without having recourse to

swearing, and who, even in matters the most unimportant and trivial, does

not profane the most holy name of God thousands of times" ("Roman

Catechism," "Second Commandment," 2). See also teaching of St. Thomas in

"Summa Theol.," II-II, Q. lxxxix, art. 3, 5, 6.

 






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