A Review of the Ten Commandments

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.”



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  • Thou Shall Not Kill

    There are no exceptions?

    What if you come home and find a murderer with a gun to your wife's head? Can you retrieve the gun you keep under your bed and save your wife by shooting him in the head (the only line of site you have on the guy)? "No, there are no exceptions."

    My point: there is a grey area.

  • Pardon me - sight*, not site.

  • Most of these commandments are indeed common sense and even as a non-practising Catholic I have no problem with them. Unfortunately, too many Catholics don't follow the "Thou shalt not kill" commandment, and legitimize it for various situations.
    I agree with you about the Non-P Catholics who suddenly give something up for Lent. By all means, they can give something up, but I don't understand the sudden need for it, especially when they probably don't even go to church on Good Friday or Easter Sunday.

    The only one I have a real niggle with is "keep holy the Lord's day". When I grew up in the Church, we were told in no uncertain terms that Sunday was the only day that counted. You could go every day of the week, but if you couldn't get your behind out of bed on a Sunday, you were a bad Catholic. Now? Masses of convenience on Saturdays? What's that all about?

  • In reply to Expat in Chicago:

    I sing at the 5 PM Mass. It counts for Sunday. And yes, it is convenient. ;-)

  • All of these hang on the two greatest commandments: (1) Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind; (2) Love your neighbor as yourself.

    Matthew 22: 36-40

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    True. But some people are a lot more lovable than others. ;-) Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  • I have the delight of being part of the Old St. Mary's church Sunday mass bunch. We don't live in the parish but we travel there for several reasons. One is the plethora of races, mixed couples with the most beautiful children in all hues and eye colors and eye shapes. Most of all we go because of Fr. Dick.

    This past Sunday his homily drew applause. In a nut shell he reminded us that all human beings suffer the same basic 3 temptations as Christ did in the desert, seeking wealth, wanting power and not accepting that God is in charge and loves us. He ended his sermon with a quote from a most unlikely source, Kojack played by Telly Savalas. His comment coming from God? Remember who loves you, baby! That might be the most important thing I have ever heard at mass. That and the suggestion that instead of giving up something for lent, we might actually do something positive.

  • In reply to Danie:

    Thank you for your comment Danie. My husband and I sing at St. Therese's Chinese Catholic Church. We have a young, vibrant pastor who has a great sense of humor. We don't live anywhere near the church, but it is definitely worth the trip!

    And yes, I do remember, "Who loves you baby?" Awesome! LOL

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