Living the 10 Commandments

Latin Mass: Septuagesima Sunday
Beloved in Jesus Christ, we enter now the period of Septuagesima – a time to get ready for Lent. St. Paul reminds us today that we must work hard, even chastise our bodies – we must run the race so as to win. – Even the gospel speaks about workers in the vineyard: some come early, some late – but they have to work. Lent will be a time to get to work on Christian living, and so it seems good today, to review the Guide that we have for Christian living: the 10 commandments. 
This is the framework used by the Catechism, to present the moral Life in Christ. So let’s review the Commandments today.

The 1st Commandment is, ‘I am the Lord your God, you shall have no other gods before me.’ So, what are ‘other gods?’ Well, no one should be worshiping Zeus or Apollos these days, but it means more than that. It means not making any-THING the center of your life, the Lord should be the center of our life. If we are obsessed with games or money or clothes or music or sports, to the extent that Jesus is not really important – then we have made those things into false gods.

Now some people do not accept all of the teachings of the Church – but this is also against the 1st Commandment. We must be prepared to die if necessary, rather than ever deny one of the teachings of our Faith. So many of the martyrs gave their life for the faith, we must be prepared to do the same.

The 1st Commandment also prohibits superstition or fortune-telling or palm reading or astrology or Ouija boards or occult practices – this is to appeal to ‘other’ forces, probably the demons; These must never be part of our life.

The 2nd commandment is, ‘You shall not take the name of the Lord in vain.’ We use God’s name in good ways, such as when we say ‘God bless you.’ But we are forbidden from using God’s name in a bad way, for example, swearing or cursing. This commandment also tells us not to use crude language, or tell indecent jokes.

The 3rd Commandment is: ‘Keep holy the Lord’s day.’ This means we go to Mass every Sunday. If we are sick or prevented from going, that’s different. If we are on a trip, we should do our best to find a Catholic church. Also, we are to avoid doing hard work on Sundays. Sunday is not the day to put a roof on our house or mow the lawn or go to the mall; it is a day meant for family and rest, and sports may never take the place of Sunday Mass. To skip Mass is a mortal sin.

The 4th commandment is: ‘Honor your father and your mother.’ Children must obey parents and love them. We must pray for our parents every day. Sassing back or throwing tantrums is against this commandment, and when parents are old, children must care for them.

‘Thou shall not kill -‘ this is the 5th Commandment. We are forbidden to kill anyone, such as stabbing them, or poisoning them, or having an abortion. We are also forbidden from helping someone kill. Jesus says, ‘You have heard it was said, ‘You shall not kill; But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment.’ So, the 5th commandment forbids us to lash out in anger or bully someone or to fight, or to have hatred. We must learn to control our temper with patience.

The 5th commandment also tells us to respect our bodies; our bodies are the ‘temple of the Holy Spirit;’ so we must not use drugs, or get drunk, or be gluttonous. We may not be reckless with our life, and we may not commit suicide.

The 6th commandment is: ‘Thou shall not commit adultery.’ Adultery is a sin not only against purity, but mainly against charity. It is a terrible wound against one’s spouse. The only way to heal a marriage from this, is by serious repentance and a willingness to forgive. Adultery is straight from the devil.

In the 10th chapter of the Gospel of St. Mark, Our Lord says, if a man divorces his wife and marries another, he commits adultery – this is because in reality, he is still married to his wife. If a person is divorced, he can still practice his faith and become holy. But he may not remarry. Only if the Church would determine that the first marriage was never really valid – then he could marry another. But certainly it is against the commandments to just get rid of your spouse and get a new one.

Fornication – is unmarried people having sexual relations, and this is also a mortal sin. Young people do much better to just be friends with the opposite sex, and do things in groups with friends. Having a boyfriend or girlfriend is really only appropriate if you are thinking you might get married, and even then one must be careful. Any sexual actions outside of marriage are grave sins.
The 6th commandment also forbids immodest dressing, indecent pictures, or impure actions with self.

The 7th commandment forbids us to steal. Stealing is a pernicious sin, and some people develop a bad habit of this. If we steal something, we must make restitution – that means, we have to give it back, or pay for it.

The 8th commandment is: ‘You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.’ Here we find the sins of gossip and slander. Often, our critical thoughts or words condemn a person before we even know the facts, and this is rash judgment.

The 8th commandment tells us not to lie. Some people are compulsive liars. I have met professional people who so easily tell lies – you can’t trust a thing they say!

The 9th commandment says: ‘You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife,’ and this begins with lust. Lust is a wickedness that starts in the heart; it can lead to flirting which is a grave sin against marriage. In the Holy Scriptures, Jesus says: ‘he who lusts after another woman has already committed adultery in his heart.’

Finally the 10th commandment is: ‘You shall not covet your neighbor’s goods.’ This means don’t be greedy for things or for money. Some people are so greedy, they buy everything in sight. They waste their money because they can’t stop spending. Other people feel they always need more money to be secure. They are such cheapskates, that they won’t use their money in a proper way. Scripture says: ‘The love of money is the root of all evil.

So, the 10 Commandments are an excellent guide for living the life that Jesus calls us to. Lent is coming soon, and when we make our annual Confession, we can use the Commandments to examine our life; and if we have fallen off track, we only need rise up and begin again.

May the Blessed Virgin Mary help us to live our life rightly, and in this way be true disciples of Jesus Christ.

Comments are closed.

Post Navigation