Friday, January 21, 2005

The Last Seven Commandments 

RCIA Monday night will be Chapter 21 in "This is our Faith" by Michael Pennock: "The Last Seven Commandments: Love of Neighbor:

1. Love your God and have no other gods before Him
2. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain
3. Remember the Sabbath Day and keep it holy
4. Honor your Father and your Mother
5. Thou shalt not kill
6. Thou shalt not commit adultery
7. Thou shalt not steal
8. Thou shalt not bear false witness
9. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife
10.Thou shalt not cover they neighbor's goods

As I've said before, I believe, the Catholic Catechism's teaching on the 10 commandments is a major point of departure from my Methodist roots. Catholics go deeply into what each of these commandments mean and how they affect people living today. I remember no such study or investigation into the commandments growing up Methodist. Certainly, we talked about the commandments, but never any discussion like this:
The seventh commandment condemns 'theft,' defined as taking another's property against his or her reasonable will. Also forbidden is any unjust taking and keeping of another's property. This includes business fraud, paying unjust wages, price fixing, corruption, shoddy work, tax evasion, forgery, padding expense accounts, wasteful practices, and the destruction of public or private property (vandalism). Promises and contracts must be kept, debts must be paid...
The discussion of the seventh commandment goes on to talk about gambling, social justice, the treatment of the poor... The Catholic Catechism's discussion of the 10 Commandments is a document that all Christians would benefit reading and studying. Not only do Catholics inform their conscience by studying the 10 commandments, they examine their lives before Reconciliation/Confession using these same commandments and try to actually live their faith. Certainly, all Christian faiths try to honor and consider the 10 commandments, but in my (limited) experience, the Catholic Catechism calls on the faithful to live up to their precepts more strongly and more completely than others.

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