Archive for the ‘Ten Commandments’ Category

Unpacking the Ten Commandments

November 18, 2010

1) You shall have no strange gods before Me

  • We commit idolatry if we make anything our god besides God, such as pleasures, power, wealth, popularity, another person, or even ourselves.
  • God is entitled to our daily prayers of Adoration, Contrition, Thanksgiving & Supplication (ACTS), to our Sorrow, Asking, Loving & Thanking (SALT).

2) You shall not take the Lord’s Name in vain

  • If must not commit blasphemy, by either misusing the names of God or His saints, or by uttering disrespectful words, inwardly or outwardly, against God.
  • We must not take false oaths; in fact, Jesus advises us: “do not swear at all.” (Matthew 5:34)

3) Keep holy the Sabbath

  • We must go to Mass every Sunday (or Saturday evening) and day of obligation unless we have a serious reason, such as sickness, storms, or impossibility; or have obtained the permission of our pastor.
  • On Sundays, we must refrain from work or activities that prevent it from being a day for worship, joy, works of mercy, rest and relaxation. However, family needs or important social service can legitimately excuse one from the Sunday rest.

4) Honor your parents

  • We must always love and honor our mothers and fathers, not only when we are young, but also when they have grown old and have need of our care.

5) You shall not kill

  • We must never commit murder by intentionally killing innocent human life, as in abortion, embryonic stem-cell research, standard in-vitro fertilization practices, spontaneous abortion from “the pill” and other contraceptives, active or passive euthanasia, suicide, or targeting civilians in wartime.
  • Jesus shows us that we must not hate, but love others: “I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment.… Love your enemies.” (Matthew 5:22, 5:44)

6) You shall not commit adultery  &
9) You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife

  • The gift of genital sexuality is meant solely for one’s spouse in the context of marriage.
  • Jesus teaches that we must not view others as things to use for our sexual pleasure: “Everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:28)
  • Pornography, masturbation, homosexual acts, fornication (sex before marriage), and contraception are contrary to chastity, the right ordering of our human sexuality.

7) You shall not steal  &
10) You shall not covet your neighbor’s goods

  • Not only must we refrain from unjustly taking what belongs to another, but from disordered desires to possess as well. As Jesus warns us: “Take care to guard against all greed.” (Luke 12:15)
  • Jesus teaches that we must care for the needy: “Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.” (Matthew 25:45)

8) You shall not bear false witness

  • We must not lie, by speaking or acting against the truth in order to lead someone into error, be it by perjury, slander, boasting, flattery, or the like. As Jesus says, “Let your ‘Yes’ mean ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No’ mean ‘No.’ Anything more is from the evil one.” (Matthew 5:37)