God And The Seventh Commandment
( Originally Published 1922 )
"Thou shalt not steal."
We are all God's children, so He wants us to live together on earth like brothers and sisters. In the Seventh Commandment God says : "Thou shalt not steal." By this God tells us to respect the rights of others. We must be honest and just in all our dealings with our fellow men. We must be careful with all that belongs to them and we must be good citizens of our country.
Children, perhaps you would like to talk again about the Commandments. You might tell me why God gave us the Commandments, and how the Commandments show that God loves us. Whom do you obey when you keep the Commandments? Whom do people disobey when they break the Commandments ? Whom do they disobey when they commit a sin? What does it mean to commit a sin ?
Now tell me about some of the things that be-long to you. Take a book, a pencil, or something and exemplify ownership with it. Tell me some of the things you have at home ; your playthings ; dolls ; sled ; wagon ; skates ; bicycle ; kite ; dog ; rabbits, and the like. Have the children tell you about these things. Be interested in them and encourage the expression of the children. As far as seems prudent they might also be permitted to tell about the possessions of their parents. But this should be done so as not to accentuate differences and perhaps cause envy.
Now, where did you get these things? How did God give them to you? Why does God want you to have those things? Whose children are we all? For what does God want us to use all that we have? Why does God want to protect from others the things that belong to us? What Commandment did God give to say that nobody should take what belongs to us? What did God say in the Seventh Commandment? How would you feel if somebody stole your skates, wagon, or anything belonging to you? Why did God give the Seventh Commandment? What did God want to protect for us? When did God tell people not to take your ? (Name things that have been mentioned.)
Tell me now about our Heavenly Father and about some of the things He gives us. Who tells us how to use the things of this world? How does God want the things of this world to help us? What should they help us to do? Why does God wish us to keep from loving the things of this world? What can people do with their money and their property when they die ? Where will everybody be rich? How long will you have the good things of heaven? But why, then, does God give us many things in this world? What does it show when God is so good to you?
On what special day do we pray for good crops and fruits? These are the Ember days. They are Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday at the beginning of the four seasons — spring, summer, autumn, and winter. On these days we beg God especially to give us the blessings of the seasons. Now, what would you say if some one asked you about the Ember days? For what do we pray especially on the Ember days ? When do the Ember days come? From whom do we get all that we have in this world? When did God tell people to respect what belongs to us?
Where do all the people get what they have? In what Commandment did God tell us what belongs to others? Why do you always give to others what belongs to them? Whom do you obey when you give to others what belongs to them? Whom do people disobey when they take what belongs to others? Why is it a sin to take what belongs to others ? Whom do people disobey when they commit a sin? Whom do people disobey when they steal? When will God forgive people who steal? What do they have to do to be forgiven? For what do they have to be sorry? What Sacrament must they receive ? What must they promise? What must they pay back? What happens if they are not willing to pay back what they have stolen?
What kind of people are always honest? What does it mean to be honest? When did God tell us to be honest? What Commandment did God give us to tell us to be honest? What kind of people can you always trust? Why can you always trust honest people? Why can every-body always trust you? Why could anybody let you take care of a large sum of money for him? Who taught you to be honest always? Why do you always give to others what belongs to them? If somebody left you to take care of something for him, why would you be very careful? If you were left alone in somebody's house, why would you keep from looking around at everything? Why would you keep from looking into drawers and closets and cupboards? Who tells you to be good and honorable like that?
Who gives people the right to have houses and farms and other things? Who tells us to respect the property of others? What should anybody do if he broke a window in another's house? Why should he pay for it? Why do people have houses? Who wants people to live together as families? Who belong to your family at home? Who gave you your father and mother? Who gave you your brothers and sisters? What Commandment tells people to pay their rent? Why would it be a sin if anybody did not pay his rent? To whom does the rent belong?
Who wants us always to pay our debts? What Commandment do people break when they do not pay their debts? Of what should people think when they are making debts? Why should they think of how they are going to pay them? Why is it better to be saving than to make debts? Why do you try to take good care of your shoes and clothes? How does that help your father and mother? Why do you always try to keep your clothes neat and clean? How do you take care of your clothes? Why are you careful with things at home? Why do you always try to keep from breaking things? Who has to pay for those things? Why do you help to keep your home neat and clean?
Of what are girls careful when they are setting the table or washing the dishes? Why are they careful not to break the dishes? How can you help your parents to be saving? Why do you keep from wasting food? What can you do with food that you do not need? Who wants you to help the poor? Why does God want you to help poor people?
Tell me about our Lord's little home in Nazareth. Tell me how you think our Lord and the Blessed Virgin and St. Joseph lived. What do you think that our Lord, when He was a little boy, did for His mother? Of what do you think He was careful then? What do you think St. Joseph and the Blessed Virgin had to do to keep out of debt ? How do you think they kept their clothes ? How do you think the Blessed Virgin kept their little house? How do you think she kept our Lord's clothes? Where is God's house on earth? What kind of people help to build churches and keep them beautiful? Why does the Catholic Church have so many church buildings? Why does the Catholic Church have so many school buildings? Who gives the Catholic Church the right to have these buildings? Who is the head of the Catholic Church in heaven? Who is the head of the Catholic Church on earth? Where does the Pope live?
What is the most beautiful church in the world ? Whose house is beside St. Peter's Church in Rome ?
The Pope's house is called the Vatican Palace. That is because it stands on a place that used to be called the Vatican Hill, a part of Rome. The Vatican Palace is very large. Hundreds of men live there and have offices to take care of affairs for the whole Catholic Church. Now, what is the Pope's house called? Beside what church does it stand? Why is it called the Vatican?
There are more than five hundred beautiful churches in Rome. About 1900 years ago, when St. Peter was Pope, there were no churches, so some of the rich Catholics gave their homes to be remodeled and made into churches. These were the first churches of Rome. Who wants us to protect the property of the Church? Where did the first churches of Rome come from ? About how many churches are there in Rome?
What did God tell us in the Seventh Commandment ? When do people break the Seventh Commandment ? What Commandment do robbers break? What do robbers have to do if they want God to forgive them? What do they have to pay back? Whom do they disobey when they steal ? What do you do when you find anything? Why do you seek the owner? To whom does it belong? Why do you always wish to give to others what belongs to them? Why would you try to save others' things for them? Who wants you to be kind to others? What should anybody pay if he does damage to another's property? What Commandment does anybody break if he destroys other people's things? Why is it wrong to damage others' lawns or flowers? What Commandment do people break when they trample down others' crops in the field?
What would you do if a storekeeper gave you too much change? Why would you give it back to him? What would you do if you made a mistake and charged too much for something you were selling? Why would you give back the extra charge? Why is it wrong to charge too much for goods ? What Commandment do people break when they charge too much for goods? What Commandment do people break who cheat? What do they have to pay back when they cheat? What Commandment do people break if they give false weights or measures? What do they have to do if they give false weights or measures?
How much should people pay those who work for them? Who wants them to pay what is right?
What kind of work should people do when they work for others? Who wants them to do honest work? What Commandment do people break when they fail to do honest work? Why do good people never have to be watched at work? What kind of people will work as well when they are alone as when the superintendent is there?
When are we just to others? Who tells us to respect all their rights? What do honest people always give to others? Who tells them to give to others what belongs to them? When did God tell them that? Why are good Catholics always good citizens? What kind of people respect the rights of others? Who wants us to obey the law of the land?
Why did God give us the Seventh Command-ment? Why does God want others to respect our rights and property? Why does He tell us to give to others what belongs to them? How does God want us to live together on earth?
Where do the Commandments guide us to go? How does the Seventh Commandment help us get to heaven? How do the things of this world help us gain heaven? Why does God want us with Him in heaven?