THOU SHALT NOT TAKE THE NAME OF THE LORD THY GOD IN VAIN (Exodus 20:7)
In a way, Lent began for me a day early….on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, the Tuesday on which Mardi Gras always falls, but which is also the Feast of the Holy Face of Jesus.
And I wrote a post about this Feast, which although dedicated to the Holy Face of Our Lord, is more focused on making reparation for the blasphemies committed against the ineffable Name of God.
And sadly, there are so many. It occurred to me that reverence for His Name is so important to God that He used the second commandment to forbid any profanation of this Holy Name. The only prohibition placed before this one was the forbidding of the worship of false gods.
This awareness has remained with me in a deep way since that Tuesday before the start of Lent. How often do we hear God’s Name used in exclamation….and now famously as an abbreviation in text messages, Facebook and e-mails? Yet, that is only the beginning, for there are so many who deliberately utter the Holy Name of God and the Precious Name of Jesus in blasphemous ways.
How this must pain the Heart of God, Who loves us so much. So, in a tiny effort to make reparation, I have tried to say often the Name of God and of Jesus, with tenderness and utmost reverence. And when I do, I like to imagine that it is like a little kiss that I place on the cheek of my Father in Heaven.
As always, I wanted this Lent to be perfect. And as usual, it has been far from that! I am on my third round of medication for a virus I cannot shake, and the constantly changing weather has set my head to pounding with severe migraines.
So all those extra holy hours I was planning, together with daily Mass and extended prayer time have not yet come to fruition.
But, I have heard a little voice in my heart, and that little voice says: Be with Me.
I have heard those words before, many times through the years. Be with Me. I even have them written across the top of a page in my bible.
This morning, I read the following from the Hymn at Morning Prayer:
Maker of all things, all Thy creatures praise Thee;
Lo, all things serve Thee through Thy whole creation:
Hear us, Almighty, hear us as we raise Thee
I read them and tears came to my eyes…because they are not true. We are not all praising God. In fact, I cannot remember a time in my life when God has been so little praised and so very much mocked and blasphemed.
If you have not heard about the most recent Saturday Night Live skit, you may want to Google it. Suffice it to say that they made a mockery out of the Passion, Death and Resurrection of the Son of God. I caught snippets of it on a news show, and most heart breaking of all was the laughter of the audience which could be clearly heard.
Be with Me.
Has Our Lord ever been lonelier? Is this not the Agony all over again?
I find myself wondering how much longer God will put up with us. Are we not crucifying Him again?
And so…I cannot keep many promises this Lent. But I will try to keep these two: to recall often His Most Holy and Blessed Name with all the praise I can stir in my heart.
And, to not leave Him alone….the One Who pleads: Be with Me.
Yes, my Jesus, I will be with You. Call to me, for I am weak and I will forget. Remind me that nothing I have to do is more important than taking a few moments to comfort You. Let me spend my Lent….and my life, just being with You in the silence of my poor heart.
(To register a protest against the Saturday Night Live “skit” you can contact them at this address: For SNL, contact Jennifer Salke: firstname.lastname@example.org — contact info provided by The Catholic League)
Jesus entrusted to Sister Mary of St. Peter an act of praise and reparation which He called The Golden Arrow, saying that those who would recite this prayer would pierce His Heart delightfully, and heal those other wounds inflicted on Him by the malice of sinners. It is recommended to be prayed on the 33 beads of the Holy Face Chaplet (or rosary beads may be used.)
MAY THE MOST HOLY, MOST SACRED, MOST ADORABLE, MOST INCOMPREHENSIBLE AND UNUTTERABLE NAME OF GOD BE ALWAYS PRAISED, BLESSED, LOVED, ADORED AND GLORIFIED, IN HEAVEN, ON EARTH, AND UNDER THE EARTH, BY ALL THE CREATURES OF GOD, AND BY THE SACRED HEART OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST IN THE MOST HOLY SACRAMENT OF THE ALTAR. AMEN.