The 6th Commandment

“You shall not commit adultery.” Exodus 20:14

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you, everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Mt 5:27-28

The 6th commandment is not just some arbitrary rule that is imposed on you. Rather, it’s a prescription of how to live your best life. To practice the virtue of temperance is to live a chaste life. A life where you are not dominated by thoughts and actions of sex. You’ll be miserable if you hop from bar to bar, looking for a one-night stand. A meaningless life, dominated by sex will never be enough to fill the emptiness you will feel.

Imagine the scene, where the young man is enticed by the beautiful woman. She beckons for him and he resists because he loves another. Finally, the young man has a change of expression and one of determination and succumbs to his desires. Men and women have a choice, to master their passions or be enslaved to them. You can live a life of free choice or you can be moved by blind impulses.

Let’s say in the example above, the young man succumbs to his desires and is unfaithful, but his young bride never finds out. Is it ok then? There are two issues with this thought and first and foremost, is that nothing you do is unseen to the Lord. Nothing will go unpunished in a sinful life. The second is that you, yourself, know of your unfaithfulness. Even if you can’t express it, you know that you’ve failed. The demons in your head are in and they will continue to whisper to you, louder and louder; you are not free, but enslaved to the master of lies. Only through the sacrament of reconciliation and repentance can you find your burden eased.

In baptism, we are all called to live a chaste life. A life of chastity is a life of mastery over self and allows you to appreciate the integrity of another rather than reducing a person to their sexual function. The 6th commandment is not just about NOT committing adultery, but rather, its about loving one’s neighbor. The commandment is about the integrity of the person.

Not too often do you hear of the word chastity or chase other than as part of some joke (think chastity belt). Much like how today, we hear pride as a good thing to have, but when the good is bad (chase) and the bad is good (pride) do we know the devil is at work trying to trick us. “Chasity means the successful integration of sexuality within the person and thus the inner unity of man in his bodily and spiritual being.” CCC2337. When you are free from the desire, you can know yourself better, live a better and holy life and have a better relationship with your God, who loves you.

In the 6th commandment, at first, you see quiet simply that you must be faithful to your spouse. As you dig more, you come to realize that the 6th commandment is about, once again, love. It’s about the respect and integrity you must acknowledge about your fellow man. As we are drawn more and more closely to God and His love, we can live both a moral and free life but also an unflappable life in knowing God’s love always wins out.

Thank you for reading this blog today! God bless!

The 7th Commandment

“You shall not steal” Deuteronomy 5:19

Again, a seemingly straightforward commandment, yet more complex than one might at first assume. In a competition, the fastest or strongest are called victor. The best wins the game and takes the prize. In life though, the stronger man can take another’s property, but the theft is unjust. Christianity calls for a society where there is a respect for the ownership of property and goods, where the strongest can’t just take for him or herself.

When we start talking about possessions, we must realize that those possessions are given to us from God, who declared man the stewards of the Earth and all of her possessions. As good stewards, we must take proper care of our keep and order them to God and our fellow neighbor.

Violations of the rule are nuanced, but clear all the same. One cannot steal nor can he deliberately keep borrowed goods or those found. Imagine you see a man pull his hand out of his pocket and a $20 bill falls out – you should alert the man, not take the found prize. Also, it is a violation of the 7th commandment to take advantage of hardship, exploiting another’s misfortune. Purposely doing shoddy work in an effort for profit, at the expense of another, is also wrong.

Needless waste of goods, willful destruction of goods and tax evasion are all also violations. Imagine we discover a new world and you are first to land there – it is inappropriate for you to section off half the world as your own.

Gambling in excess is also a violation and can lead to enslavement if caution is not taken.

Slavery is obviously wrong but also fits into a violation of the seventh commandment because it exploits another for personal gain. To use another, unduly, is to unjustly exploit another for the accumulation of goods or money. You would be, in effect, stealing the time and energy of another for your personal gain.

One must rely on prayer, contemplation and a moral compass to discern the seventh commandment. It is just to pay a man a fair wage to perform a service but at what point does a wage become unfair? One must use his or her best judgment with many contemplations.

Animals are also God’s creation and should be treated as such. The use of animals for clothing and food is good, but causing animals to unduly suffer is a violation of the 7th commandment. Also, exploitation or unnecessary destruction of animals is wrong. Also, using animals for science is permitted, so long as it is necessary for the common good of man and good care is taken.

God has recognized us as stewards of the earth and are entrusted with its goods. Each and every gift should be ordered toward God. When Cain’s offering to God was from the least of his goods, hoarding his fruits for himself, God encouraged Cain to avoid his overt sinful pride. Cain didn’t appreciate the gifts received and put himself as the center, confusing himself as the giver. When we view our gifts as from solely our efforts, without appreciating the giver of all life, we can put an overabundance on the gifts rather than the giver. A dependence of the goods of the world will only lead to a restless heart. When you order the goods towards God, family and your neighbor, you can better find rest. If you worry over your goods, even to the point of exploitation of others or theft, you become enslaved to the earth and its sin.


Thanks be to God and His good gifts.

The 8th Commandment

“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” Exodus 20:15

How often have you thought this commandment was fairly straightforward? Don’t spread gossip about your neighbor and don’t lie. Most people would say, they don’t lie, but would most say they don’t get involved in gossip?

The 8th commandment is actually much more than what not to do (lie) but rather, what to do, tell and live the truth.

“So Pilate said to him, “Then you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say I am a king. For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.” John 18:37

We are called to adhere to this commandment by speaking the Truth, and that Truth is that Jesus is our Lord, our God and our Savior. To deny this statement, is to deny the Truth, violating this commandment. Not only must we speak the Truth about Jesus, we must live it too. We must strive to live the truth as well as speak it. Our actions and are deeds should be shaped by the Truth. In all societies, we respect truthfulness and we rely on truth in our dealings. Life is hard when there is rampant distrust. As good Catholics, we must strive for living the Truth to testify to it.

If you do not bear truthfulness, in grave situations, you violate the truth to a greater degree. When you deny the Truth of the Lord, you rob someone of hearing the truth that saves.

Regarding every day matters, I hope it is obvious that truthfulness must have discretion. Not all truth must be shared. In many cases, the truth would only harm and in those instances, it is not necessary to speak the truth. If you know something embarrassing that happened, you are not obliged to share that truth or imagine you are at a dinner party, and the host asks how are the meatballs, it is not appropriate to tell him they are dry and tasteless.

Rash judgement also speaks to the truth. When someone gives you their opinion, its best to assume the best and ask for clarification if it differs. Often, many people speak from their heart about some touchy subjects and its important to try and understand their rationale, even if you disagree. How much better would any political or religious discussion be if you assumed that the person’s heart was in the right place, even if he or she is wrong?

Identifying objections to another’s faults, without purpose also violates the truth. Constructive criticism is important, but if it is delivered only to harm, then it does not align with truth. Silence and or discretion should be sought to protect others.

Truth that is scandalous should also be avoided in sharing. When you are taken into confidence about a sensitive subject, that confidant’s subject should end with you. How easy would it be to then take another into that same confidence? For example, “I’m going to tell you something I heard, but you can’t repeat it…” often a recipe for disaster.

I’m often told that in life you just need to be a nice person and if you are a nice person, you don’t need a Church or a religion. The 8th Commandment might seem obvious and that nice people know it, but I don’t know of one person in this world that has mastered the 8th Commandment (me included). I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t benefit in their life from the Church instructing oneself to the 8th Commandment.

The Church calls us to live a better more truthful life. We strive to adhere to this life as the Bible prescribes and the Church teaches. Happy learning!

God Bless!