1. I am the Lord thy God; thou shalt not have strange gods before me.
Strange is probably a good word for it in our times. This could be any number of things: money, sex or material things. I think it’s common sense that if something is consuming you, you are putting it before God.
2. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.
I do it. We all do it. It seems so innocent, “Oh my God!” Does it make it right? No.
3. Remember thou keep holy the Lord‘s Day.
It means go to church. I’ve heard all the excuses why people don’t go. And frankly, you could be a wonderful person, but if you call yourself Catholic, and mean it, an hour a week at the sacrifice of our Lord is the least you can do for your soul.
4. Honor thy father and thy mother.
Probably the most profound experience of my life was taking care of my mother in her last years of life. We were estranged for ten years and before I got married I took the step to reconcile with her. We never really reconciled. Her verbal brutality toward me never lost it’s edge. But I took care of her 24/7 in those last years. I made sure her house was clean, the bills were paid, took her to her doctor appointments and made sure she had food. I wasn’t about to love her, but I knew I couldn’t let her live in squalor either.
5. Thou shall not kill.
There are no exceptions.
6. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
What I think people truly don’t understand is this just doesn’t mean cheating on your spouse. This means you don’t have sex outside of marriage. Period. And the rule doesn’t exclude anyone.
7. Thou shalt not steal.
Don’t take what’s not yours and if you find something, try and return it to its proper owner.
8. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
Shut your mouth and mind your own business. It’s appalling to me when I hear how others talk about their families or friends. I’ll bet those same people who gleefully gossip about others have three foot of crap in their own back yards.
9. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife.
Or husband. If you find your heart wandering, you better get to work on your marriage.
10. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s goods.
My husband and I never wanted the big house in the burbs, the fancy car or the lily white neighborhood. We’ve been in the “hood” for thirty years. We’ve driven twenty year old cars. Our children are not thugs and they have many of the same friends since they were three. I have my husband, my children and my faith. My neighbor’s goods are of no interest to me.
The other day my daughter put on her Facebook page that it made no sense to her why people who didn’t bother to go to church all year gave up something for Lent. It’s a legitimate question, but she was called judgmental.
There’s a difference between judgment and fact. If someone doesn’t go to church all year, but out of guilt suddenly decides to give up something for Lent, that’s a non-practicing Catholic. Why not say it?
The Ten Commandments are the rules of our faith. God gave them to us for a reason. Jesus lived them. By His example, we are to live them too.
Going to Mass every week and participating in the Eucharist strengthens us to go out into the world and live the Ten Commandments. It’s practicing our faith. Martin Sheen once said, “I’m a practicing Catholic, and I’m going to practice till I get it right.”