HALLOWING HIS NAME


Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name…” (Mt 6: 9)

God’s “name” can be said to be His “reputation” among us. Whenever I “name” Him or hear His name(s), according to the various names He has revealed to us, I immediately relate to Who God “is,” as far as I have heard, learned, and experienced. I know from received Tradition, and through living Tradition, that God, first of all, “is”; and that He is all-loving, all-powerful, all-knowing, all-glorious, and indeed, all-holy. He is, in fact, the one Source of love, power, knowledge, glory, and holiness. And He imparts these energies to me when I “recognize” Him, and look to Him, as their Source.

So, God Himself doesn’t need to be “hallowed” to be “holy.” But His “name,” according to which we relate to Him, can be more or less “recognized as holy,” or “hallowed,” by us (be hallowed, that is to say, glorified, as St. John Chrysostom writes, ἁγιασθήτω, τοῦτ᾽ ἔστι, δοξασθήτω). Or not. It is in the realm of my free will to “give God a bad name,” by mistrusting Him, by underestimating or otherwise distorting His perfect being, His perfect love, His perfect beauty, His perfect will, and so on, or simply forgetting that He "is." I can slip into these distortions of God’s “name,” time and again, by distancing myself from enlightening contact with Him, by replacing Him with something or someone else, or by projecting my fears, ambitions, and limitations on Him.

Today let His name be hallowed in my life, lest I look in the wrong places for love, power, knowledge, glory, or holiness. “Our Father, hallowed by Thy name.” Today, and forever. Amen.

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