God And The Tenth Commandment
( Originally Published 1922 )
"Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's goods."
This life is a preparation for eternal life. God wants us to use the things of this world to help us get to heaven. Riches and earthly pleasures do not make people really happy: We are happy when we love and serve God in this world, for then we are filled with the hope of everlasting life with God. We are contented with what we have in this world, because we put our trust in God. We keep from envying others because God knows best what is good for us. Then, too, we know that it is easier for poor people to love God in this world. For this reason the saints loved to be poor.
Children, I wonder if you would like to talk about the Commandments again to-day. Tell me about some of the Commandments. Let each talk about the Commandment he selects. Ask in turn : How does this Commandment show that God loves us?
Of course you can tell what God had in mind when He gave us the Commandments. No doubt you would be able to tell anybody why you love to keep the Commandments so well. But, tell me what shows that God is a loving Father to us all. What has God done for us? What does God do for you every day, every minute? What does God want us to do in this world? For what are we preparing ourselves in this life? How can we show that we love God? Tell me, then, some of the things you do to serve God. What do you do every morning and evening to show your love for God? What do you do on Sundays and Holy Days to show your love for God? Tell me some of the things for which you can thank God every day. Tell me about God's children and how you can show your love for God through them. Why do you love all the people in the world? Why are you happy when you see that others are good? Why are you happy to know that they love God? When did God tell you to respect what belongs to others ? What did God say in the Seventh Commandment?
Who tells us how to use what we have in this world? For what does God want us to use these things? Who gives people all that they have? To whom do all things belong? For whom, then, are we using the things that 'we have in this world ? How can poor people be happy when they suffer? How many people does God love? If God loves all the people, why does He let some of them suffer so much? Who knows best what is good for us? When will God reward us for all that we suffer in this world? Why do you think it is easier for poor people than for rich people to love God? What do rich people sometimes love too much? How long can they keep their riches? Why is it easier for poor people to think of heaven?
What did God say in the Tenth Command-ment? Who takes care of us all in this world? Why did God tell us to keep from desiring what belongs to others? Why does God want us to be contented with what we have? Of course, some are poor and others are rich ; some are sick and others are well ; some are old and others are young. Perhaps you can tell me how that helps us to show that we love one another. Why are we all like one big family? Tell me now about your little brothers and sisters. Tell me what you do for them. Why do you help them and take care of them? Why do you love them so much?
What, then, do you think the strong should do for the weak in God's family? How can you show that you love poor people and sick people? Why, then, do you think God allows some people to be poor and to be sick and to suffer? Through whom does God show His love for them? How do people show God's love for the poor and for the sick? Who gave them all that they have? How do you think the Christians lived together when the Apostles were still alive? Yes ; they loved one another very much. They lived together like brothers and sisters. They brought their money and shared it with the needy so that all had plenty to live on.
Why do you think the early Christians loved one another so much? Whom did they thank for all that they had ? Whom do you thank for all you have in this world? Who gave you your home and parents? Who gives you all that you need for your life? What does God tell us to keep from in the Tenth Commandment? When does God tell us to avoid envy? Why does God want us to keep from desiring what others have? Why does God want us to be contented with what we have? How does the Tenth Commandment show that God loves us? Why did God give us the Tenth Commandment ? How does the Tenth Commandment help us get to heaven? Whom do you obey when you keep the Tenth Commandment?
Whom are you obeying when you are contented with what you have? In whom do you trust when you are contented with what you have?
In what Commandment did God tell poor people to keep from envying rich people? What do you keep from if others have more than you have ? Why do you keep from envying them? Whom do you obey when you keep from envying them? What will you keep from if others are well when you are sick ?
Tell me now how the Holy Family lived at Nazareth. Tell me about our Lord's birth. Why were they contented to be so poor? Why did our Lord let His blessed mother live so poor on earth? Who tried to put our Lord to death when He was a little child? In what kind of house do you think King Herod lived? Who came to see our Lord the night He was born? In what kind of place do you think the shepherds lived ? Who do you think would be happier, the shepherds or Herod? What made the shepherds happy? What made Herod miserable? Why do you think the shepherds were satisfied to be poor?
What Commandment do people break when they envy others? Whom do they disobey when they envy others? Why do you always keep from envying others? What Commandment do people break when they are jealous of others? Who was jealous of God ? What happened to the bad angels when they became jealous of God? Who tries to make people jealous of others ? Why does the devil try to make people jealous ? Whom does he want them to disobey? Why does he want them to disobey God? Why does he hate God? Why is it a sin to be jealous of others? Whom do people disobey when they are jealous of others ? What Commandment do people break when they are jealous of those who are richer than they ; more handsome ; sing better ; have finer clothes ; have more friends ; know more ; have a better position than they have? Whom do people disobey when they desire what belongs to others ? Why did God give us the Tenth Commandment ? Why does God want us to respect what belongs to others ? Who gives us all that we have? Why do we need houses and money and the like ?
About twelve hundred years ago when Stephen III was Pope, King Pepin gave much property to the Church. He wanted the Pope to be free and he wanted him to have money to build churches and schools and to help people in all parts of the world. So he gave the Pope the city of Rome and other towns around it. He called it all the States of the Church. The Pope ruled the people there until fifty years ago, when the soldiers of Italy took the city and nearly all the church property from the Church. Now, could you tell any one what king gave the States of the Church to the Church? Why did King Pepin give all this property to the Pope? Who was Pope then? What did the Pope do with the money he obtained?
When did God tell us to keep from desiring what belongs to others? What Commandment do people break when they are jealous of others? Who were jealous of our Lord? What made the Pharisees jealous of our Lord? Why do some people hate the Catholic Church? What is the Seventh Commandment? What Commandment do people break when they take what belongs to the Church ? What Commandment do they break when they are jealous of the Catholic Church?
What Commandment do those break who are jealous of others' money ; property ; knowledge ; position? What kind of people are always contented with what they have? Where do we get all that we have? Why are good people con-tented with what they have? Why do you think it is easier for poor people to love God? Why did the saints love to be poor? You know that the religious, that is, priests, brothers, and sisters who join religious orders, take a vow to be poor all their life. This is the vow of poverty. They also take the vows of chastity and obedience. How do you think the Apostles lived ? Our Lord, when He sent them out to preach, told them not to take anything for the journey. He said that good people would give them lodging and some-thing to eat. So the Apostles were very poor all their lives.
Why do you think it is good to work? Why are people more contented when they work? But, how can people be happy who have to work very hard every day? Of what can they think to make them happy? On what days should they keep from working ? Why should they keep from working on Sundays and Holy Days? To whom do these days belong? Why does God want people to be contented at their work? To whom can you offer up your work every day? When will God bless your work? Who wants you to do your work well? Why is it good to be cheerful at your work? Why do you like to make others happy ?
How did St. Joseph keep the Holy Family at Nazareth ? Who helped St. Joseph with his work ? Who did the housework? How do you know that it is noble to work? Whose example do you follow when you work? What can make poor people happy? Why should everybody be contented? Who knows best what is good for us? What should people do when they lose all that they have? Why can they still thank God? What will God give them when they die?
In the Bible you can read about a holy man named Job. He was very rich and had many sheep and cows. But he lost all that he had. Then his children died and he became very ill. But holy Job still praised God and told Him that all these things belonged to Him. You can read about this in the Book of Job, which is a part of the Old Testament. Now, why did Job still bless God after he had lost all that he had? To whom did he say these things belonged? How could he be happy when he was so ill ? How could he be happy after his children died? Where did he hope to be with them again? When do we go to our true home ? Where is our true home ?
How can a mother thank God when her child dies? To whom has her child gone? To whom did the child really belong ? When will the mother be with her child again? Why, then, does God want us always to be contented? Why did God give us the Commandments? How do the Commandments show that God loves us? When can you thank God for giving us the Commandments?