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Editor’s Note: Due to the pandemic, we were unable to hold weekly classes for 22 tenth-grade Confirmation students, so we prepared a series of 14 lessons on the material, along with some questions to answer. If these lessons are of value to you, put them to whatever use you can. We will continue to welcome your questions for the column as well, so please send them along and we will interrupt this series to answer them. At the bottom of this column, see the postal mailing address and the email address where you can send your questions.

Special Course On Catholicism And Life — VII

The Seventh Commandment (“You shall not steal”) forbids taking what does not belong to us, cheating, and being dishonest in dealing with others. If we have stolen something, we must make restitution, which means giving back what we stole or the value of it. St. Paul said that love of money is the root of all evil. He didn’t say that money was evil, because money can be used to help others, but rather that treating money as a god and spending all our time trying to accumulate more money can keep us out of Heaven. Jesus said much the same thing when He warned that we cannot love God and money. Pope St. John Paul II said that we must show special concern for the poor because they have little or nothing to live on.
There is a virtue called justice, which means giving other people what is due them. For example, an employer must pay a worker a fair and just wage for the work he does, just as the worker must earn his wages honestly by giving a full day’s work for a full day’s pay. It is wrong to steal from parents, friends, or the store or company we work for. It is also wrong to borrow something and not return it, or to destroy or vandalize someone else’s property when we are marching for some cause.
And it is wrong to cheat in school. Would you go to a doctor who cheated his way through medical school? Or how about getting on a plane flown by a pilot who cheated his way through flight school?
Related to the Seventh Commandment is the Tenth Commandment (“You shall not covet your neighbor’s goods”). Covet means to have a strong desire for something another person has, such as wealth or possessions. It involves jealousy or envy, not only wanting what others have, but even hoping that something bad happens to them because of their possessions. We should be happy if someone has accumulated wealth by hard work or study, and not be jealous of them or sad about their good fortune. Envy is one of the seven deadly sins and is often encouraged in today’s political arena.
The Eighth Commandment (“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor”) has to do with always telling the truth and never lying. The Bible compares the tongue to a sharp sword because our hurtful words can cut another person’s reputation to pieces. Those who gossip or run down other people should remember the words of Jesus, that on Judgment Day we will be condemned for every unguarded word we have spoken. Have you used your power of speech to hurt others?
There are several violations of this Commandment. There is lying, which means saying something untrue to one who has a right to the truth. There is calumny, which means injuring another’s good name by lying about them. There is detraction, which means making known the hidden faults of another person. What you are saying might be true, for example, that a friend was arrested for drunken driving, but there is no good reason for you to make this information known. And there is rash judgment, which means believing something about a person without any evidence that it is true. It means judging a person strictly on the basis of their skin color or their religion or where they came from. We often find that our first impressions about others are wrong, and we need to be careful about making rash judgments.
If you are ever wondering whether to speak badly about someone, ask yourself if you would like them to speak badly about you. Some good advice: If you can’t say something good about someone, don’t say anything. Instead of using the power of speech God has given us to lie about or criticize others, how about using it to glorify, praise, and thank God, and to show love and concern for our friends and neighbors, and even, as Jesus recommends, our enemies.

List Of Answers

CALUMNY
CHEATING
DETRACTION
EIGHTH
ENVY
GOD
GOOD
JESUS
JUDGMENT
JUSTICE
LIE
MONEY
POOR
RESTITUTION
SEVENTH
SPEECH
TONGUE

Quiz:

1.The ______________ Commandment forbids stealing and dishonesty.
2.St. Paul said that love of ___________________ is the root of all evil.

  1. Pope St. John Paul said that we must show special concern for the _____.
    4.Jesus said that we cannot love _____________ and money.
    5.If we have stolen something, we must make ______________________, which means giving back what we stole or the value of it.
  2. __________________ in school is against the Seventh Commandment.
    7.The virtue of _______________ means giving others what is due them.
  3. __________ or jealousy is a sin against the Tenth Commandment.
    9.The __________________ Commandment forbids lying.
    10.The Bible compares the ______________ to a sharp sword.
  4. ______ said that on Judgment Day we will be condemned for every unguarded word that we spoke.
    12.A ________ is a harmful untruth told to one who has a right to the truth.
  5. __________ is injuring another’s good name by lying about them.
  6. __________ is making known the hidden faults of another for no reason.
    15.Rash ___________ means believing without sufficient evidence that a person is guilty of some wrongdoing.
  7. If we can’t say something ___________ about someone, we shouldn’t say anything.
  8. The power of _____________ should be used to glorify God and to show love and concern for others, including our enemies.
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Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: If the following lessons, which were prepared for Confirmation students, are of value to you, put them to whatever use you can. We will continue to welcome your questions for the column as well, so please send them along, either to the postal mailing address or the email address below, and we will interrupt this series to answer…Continue Reading

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