Text of Short Catholic Homilies : Reverence for the Holy Name of God


This traditional catholic homily points out that many people cling to one or two pious practices or avoid certain sins in order to “keep up appearances with God.” We are warned that Blasphemy which is possible for even a sinner to avoid is common, and that Gods vengeance on blasphemers is often sudden death.

Reverence for the Name of God. (Click on Link to Listen to Sermon)

The Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus, brethren, affords an opportunity for meditating upon reverence for the honor of God, especially in the person of our Blessed Savior  Reverence for God is something different from the love of God and the fear of God. Have you not noticed that when a bad boy neither fears his father nor (as far as we can see) loves him, that he yet often keeps up at least a show of respect for him? I don’t care much for him, he says, but after all he is my father; I must respect him. So with sinners. Many a sinner will break every commandment of God and the church except one or two, which he fancies he must observe in order to keep up appearances; that is to say, show at least some outward respect. The most atrocious scoundrel will not eat meat on Friday, because that would be a sign of losing all respect for religion. A wretch abandoned to every vice will say a Hail Mary or make the sign of the cross sometimes in order to persuade at least himself that he has not lost all respect for religion. He will not despise the piety of his friends, but rather respect it. Respect for holy things and holy practices is the last remnant of religion in the sinner’s soul.

Well, brethren, let us ask if Almighty God has nob set up any particular sign of reverence that we are to pay him ? What is that, among all religious practices, which he would have us do as a token of inner and outer reverence? Of course you know what I mean; you know that it is reverence for his holy name.

The name of God, and especially the name of Jesus, are set up as the divine standard before which every man will prove his reverence for God. Cursers and swearers and blasphemers forget this. No sin is so common as profanity in its various forms. Yet it shows a heart not only void of the fear of God, and of the love of God, but also, and worst of all, void of even reverence for God. A man who habitually curses is penetrated with defiance of the Divine Majesty. Holy Scripture says that he has put on cursing like a garment; that it has entered in unto his bones. In the old law a blasphemer was stoned to death. And in our own times God often anticipates the wrath to come by sending sudden death upon profane men. I lately read in the papers that a man, standing at a saloon-counter, cursed his own soul, and instantly sank down upon the floor stone dead. Many of you have doubtless heard or even seen such visitations of divine justice.

And it is in view of the sacred obligation of reverence to God in his chosen symbol—which is his name and his Son’s name—that, although he had but ten commandments to give us, one of them was set apart to secure respectful speech when dealing with God : Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

Brethren, you and I in future will be particularly careful to honor the sacred name of Jesus. Are you tempted? That name is a resistless charm against assaults of flesh, world, or devil. Are you tired out ? The name of Jesus is a restful and soothing influence. Are you sick ? That holy name will strengthen you with supernatural vigor. I hope that when you come to die your last breath may utter that name of Jesus with deep confidence, and that our Lord will answer your dying sigh with an affectionate welcome into his heavenly court.

*Blessed be God.
Blessed be His Holy Name.
Blessed be Jesus Christ, True God and True Man.
Blessed be the Name of Jesus.

In the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.

*Added by Alleluia Audio Books

Priests of the Congregation of St. Paul. Five Minute Sermons for Low Masses on All Sundays of the Year. Vol. 2. [S.l.]: Catholic Publication Society, 1886. Print. starts pg 82-84

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