The Catechism of the Catholic Church on the Our Father #3

August 27, 1995
Brother John Raymond

	Continuing with our look at the Our Father we now move to
 "Hallowed be Thy Name." Other English translations here replace
 "hallowed" with "holy." Hallow is simply an older English word that
 means holy. This petition reminds us that God's Name is holy and
 that we should treat it in this way. This echoes the second
 commandment of the Ten Commandments of the Old Testament, "You shall
 not take the Name of the Lord your God in vain." We have to be
 careful not to abuse or use improperly any Names of God, including
 the Name of Our Lord, Jesus Christ. I find it difficult to
 understand, apart from the devil, why people should use God's Name
 as a swear word. We do not do this with any human name. Imagine if
 when we got angry we used the name of someone we love__would they
 appreciate it? It is contradictory to use God's Name in anger or
 against our neighbor. The apostles cured in the Name of Jesus. We
 have salvation in His Name. God tells us to love our neighbor. How
 can we use His Name in an unloving way? Can the same tongue that
 receives our Lord in Holy Communion speak His Name with disrespect?
 It is blasphemy inwardly or outwardly to speak to God with words of
 hatred, reproach or defiance; to speak ill of God, to fail in
 respect toward Him in one's speech or to misuse God's Name.
 (Catechism #2148)
	I had an interesting experience concerning someone misusing Our
 Lord's Name. A woman was talking to me and every few minutes she
 uttered the Name of Jesus in a disrespectful way. With this woman, I
 believe, it had become a habit. Well, every time she said "Jesus
 Christ" I would say "have mercy on us." I turned her misuse into a
 prayer. After a little while the woman stopped using Our Lord's Name
 in vain__God and this woman heard my prayer.
	Another misuse of the Name of God takes place when we make a
 promise to someone invoking it. God's Name brings with it divine
 honor, fidelity, truthfulness and authority. Not to keep our promise
 "is to misuse God's Name and in some way to make God out to be a
 liar." (Catechism #2147)
	When we pray "hallowed be Thy Name" we are making an act of
 adoration. This adoration has sometimes been understood to be one of
 praise and thanksgiving. In a real way we are making reparation for
 those who misuse or dishonor God's Name.
	Now of ourselves we cannot make anything holy. Only God can make
 something holy. Jesus said, "Father, glorify Your Name." A voice
 from Heaven answered, "I have both glorified it, and will glorify it
 again." (Jn. 12,28) "The holiness of God is the inaccessible center
 of His eternal mystery. What is revealed of it in creation and
 history, Scripture calls, 'glory,' the radiance of His majesty."
 (Catechism #2809) In this petition of the Our Father we are not
 making God's Name holy. We are asking God with desire and
 expectation that He will glorify His Name. How does He do that?
 First everything that God has created gives Him glory. But Man also,
 created in the image and likeness of God, was a glory and honor to
 Him. By sinning Man has fallen short of the original glory that He
 gave to God. Since then God has manifested Himself (His holiness)
 and drawn Man back into relationship with Himself. He did this to
 restore Man to the image of His Creator. In the Old Testament God
 revealed His Name to Moses and made a people His own to be a holy
 nation. By Baptism we are made a holy people "in the Name of the
 Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." Glorifying God
 depends "on the hallowing of His Name in us and by us." (#2813) Our
 mission to glorify God's Name recalls Jesus' words that we let our
 light shine so brightly before men that they may give glory to His
 Heavenly Father. This is one request of this Our Father
 petition__that God would glorify Himself in us. The other is that He
 be glorified in others.
	With these reflections we see that the first petition of the Our
 Father involves more than one may think at first glance. Let us
 glorify God's Name by our lives and bring others to do so by our