Catechism Lesson 11: The Ten Commandments (Part 4)
The Eighth Commandment: You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
The Eighth Commandment forbids the misrepresentation of the truth in our relations with others. Christians should bear witness to God who is the Truth and who wills the truth. (2464) Truthfulness is the virtue which consists in showing oneself true in words and deeds, and guarding against duplicity, dissimulation and hypocrisy. (2468) Sins against the Eighth Commandment include false witness, perjury, calumny, detraction, rash judgment, flattery, boasting and lying. The gravity of a lie is measured against the nature of the truth it deforms, the circumstances, the intentions of the liar and the harm suffered by its victims. (2484)
Christians are not to be ashamed of testifying to our Lord Jesus Christ. In situations which require witness to the faith, the Christian must profess it without equivocation. (2471) The duty of Christians to take part in the life of the Church impels them to act as witnesses of the Gospel. This witness is a transmission of the faith in words and deeds. Witness is an act of justice that establishes the truth and makes it known. (2472)
Every offense committed against justice and truth entails the duty of reparation, even if the person has been forgiven. If someone who has suffered harm cannot be compensated directly, then he must be given moral satisfaction in the name of charity. The duty of reparation also includes offenses against a person’s reputation. (2412)
The Ninth Commandment: You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife.
The Ninth Commandment warns against lust and carnal concupiscence. (2529) It reminds us of Jesus’ words: “Everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:28) The baptized person must continue to struggle against concupiscence of the flesh and disordered desires; with God’s grace, he shall prevail by the virtue of chastity, purity of intention, purity of vision and prayer. (2520)
Modesty is a virtue which means refusing to unveil what should remain hidden. It guides how a person looks at others and behaves toward them. (2521) Modesty is decency and it inspires one’s choice of clothing. (2522) Modesty inspires a way of life which makes it possible to resist the allurements of current fashion and the pressures of prevailing ideologies. (2523)
The Tenth Commandment: You shall not covet your neighbor’s goods.
The Tenth Commandment forbids greed and the desire to collect earthly goods and riches. It also forbids the desire to unjustly harm the temporal goods of others. (2536) The Tenth Commandment also forbids envy, which is the sadness one feels at the sight of another person’s and the desire to acquire them for himself. (2539)
Examples of other sins against the Tenth Commandment include: persons who desire scarcity and rising prices for profit, persons who hope that their peers would become poor for their own gain, persons who wish for disease or illness to spread for their own benefit, persons who desire to monopolize companies and use unfair practices to attract competitors’ customers. (2537)
The desire for true happiness frees a person from his immoderate attachment to the goods of this world so that he can find fulfillment in the vision and beatitude of God. (2548) With God’s grace, holy people struggle to obtain the good things which God promises. In order to possess and contemplate God, Christians mortify their cravings and prevail over the seductions of power and pleasure. (2549)
- True or False. Lying is a sin against the Eighth Commandment.
- True or False. If a person forgives you for an injustice, you don’t have to make reparation.
- True or False. Christians should be modest in the way they dress, talk and act.
- True or False. Greed and envy are sins against the Tenth Commandment.
- True or False. It is okay for Christians to wish bad things to happen to other people, so that they can profit from it.