Invoking the name of God to curse others
#1
Are little inscriptions and written curses threatening damnation or anathema upon a thief impious? There was a tradition in the Middle Ages of the book curse, wherein the books of libraries (often additionally chained to the shelves) contained very colorful curses, often in verse, upon potential thieves. These provide much joy to scholars these days, but were once such an issue that fearful monastic librarians hesitated to share their holdings, and if I remember correctly, the theologians of Paris were forced to address the matter.

As one of those sorry souls with a sick desire to acquire book after book, consuming them and allowing them to clutter bed and desk and table and shelf, who spends much time immersed in pagan verses and learning the arts of grammar and rhetoric and philosophy, I've taken to scrawling colorful things in my volumes. I don't seek to harm anyone, but rather to move the soul of a thief to fear or, failing that, pity upon someone of such a dismal character as to bother with a thing of that sort.

I have done the same for my misplaced USB thumb-drive, which was promptly returned by a shining-eyed, veiled Persian woman. She made every effort to get it back, and fast!

Anyway, I have no desire to take the name of the Lord in vain, and I would like to hear your thoughts on the matter.
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#2
My response the thieves has always been that if they're desperate enough to steal something, if they're desperate enough to put a sin on their soul, then they're free to have whatever they want. I think Christ mentions somewhere giving a robber your jacket along with your shirt when robbed.

The Persian lady was probably a Mohammedan. As such, she likely wasn't going to steal your thumbdrive anyway.
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#3
I would say that you should avoid the idea of cursing altogether.  Even Michael the Archangel did not curse the devil but only rebuked him.  Cursing is the devil's province, blessing is the Christian's.

"But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, disputed about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a reviling judgment upon him, but said, "The Lord rebuke you." ~Jude 1:9

[cum Michahel archangelus cum diabolo disputans altercaretur de Mosi corpore non est ausus iudicium inferre blasphemiae sed dixit imperet tibi Dominus
]


To 'exhort' perhaps better describes what you are aiming at, defined  "To urge by strong, often stirring argument, admonition, advice, or appeal."

"These things speak, and exhort and rebuke with all authority. " ~Titus 2:15

"But exhort one another every day, whilst it is called today, that none of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin."~Hebrews 3:13
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#4
One can curse, but generally it is legitimate only for those in authority; it is found in the Bible for sure.  In the Catholic Church, those with the authority to pronounce a curse would be the bishops.  An anathema is a curse.  "Let him be anathema"

Bad habits often spring up.  Cursing thieves is one of them, and while it was popular for a while, my sense is that it isn't the Catholic thing.  An Ex Libris or "If found please return to XXXX, God bless you for your honesty."  seems more Catholic to me.
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#5
I agree it's not a Catholic thing.

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. ~Romans 12:14

but no human being can tame the tongue--a restless evil, full of deadly poison.  With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who are made in the likeness of God.  From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brethren, this ought not to be so.~James 3:8-10
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#6
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m2..._16351115/

Apparently there was a fair amount of cursing going on in the monasteries.
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#7
Wow, that's fascinating Cyriacus.  A little creepy too I must say!  Thanks for sharing that.
It seems to me they would be breaking the second and fifth commandments.  I got this from my Benziger brothers Explanatgion of the Baltimore Catechism

[i]"What is forbidden by the Second Commandment?  The Second Commandment fobids all false, rash, unjust and unnecessary oaths, blasphemy, cursing, and profane words.

What is forbidden by the Fifth Commandment?  The Fifth Commandment forbids all willful murder, fighting, anger, revenge, and bad example."


Also in Scripture:

Matthew 5:
22 But I say to you, that whosoever is angry with his brother, shall be in danger of the judgment. And whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council. And whosoever shall say, Thou Fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

37 But let your speech be yea, yea: no, no: and that which is over and above these, is of evil.
38 You have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.
39 But I say to you not to resist evil: but if one strike thee on thy right cheek, turn to him also the other:
40 And if a man will contend with thee in judgment, and take away thy coat, let go thy cloak also unto him."

43 You have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thy enemy.
44 But I say to you, Love your enemies: do good to them that hate you: and pray for them that persecute and calumniate you:
45 That you may be the children of your Father who is in heaven, who maketh his sun to rise upon the good, and bad, and raineth upon the just and the unjust.

46 For if you love them that love you, what reward shall you have? do not even the publicans this?
47 And if you salute your brethren only, what do you more? do not also the heathens this?
48 Be you therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect.
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