The Catholic religion speaks of the Ten Commandments as a series of religious imperatives based on the biblical commandments that God gave to Moses.
The Ten Commandments were given to the Jewish people more than 1,000 years before the birth of Jesus. But they are also a guide for Catholics, so we are going to see what the ten commandments are for the Catholic Church and what is the meaning of each of them.
Every society and institution needs its rules, and in the case of the Catholic Church we can say that they follow the Ten Commandments that Moses received from God on Mount Sinai. These Ten Commandments contain a list of religious and ethical rules that are of fundamental importance in Judaism and Christianity. A series of commandments that man must have fulfilled before receiving penance and that for Catholics is analyzed through the so-called examination of conscience.
A series of rules that, although well known by most people who have received a religious education, the truth is that the meaning of each of these ten commandments is rarely mentioned, so we are going to list them below and then we’ll see what they mean.
These are the ten commandments of the Catholic Church:
- You will love God above all things.
- You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
- You will sanctify the holidays.
- You will honor your father and your mother.
- You will not kill.
- Thou shalt not commit impure acts.
- You will not steal.
- You will not give false testimony or lie.
- You will not indulge impure thoughts or desires.
- You shall not covet.
The meaning of the Ten Commandments
During the migration of the Israelites from Egypt back to the Promised Land, God called the shepherd Moses to Mount Sinai. According to Old Testament tradition, God announced the Ten Commandments to him there. To this day they are the guiding principles of Christian values and, as we have mentioned, the “rules” that govern the Catholic Church, determining. the person’s attitude towards God and towards the neighbor.
The 10 Commandments are a kind of summary of the 613 commandments contained in the Old Testament law. The first four commandments deal with man’s relationship with God. The other six commandments relate to human relationships with each other.
Historically, the word law or mandate should be understood more as a sign, so the Ten Commandments are understood as a great gift from God, especially because it showed the individual and the people how life can be successful.
The 10 Commandments are found in the Bible in Exodus 20:1-17. Let’s see below the specific meaning for each of them.
Thou shalt love God above all else: This commandment means to Love God above all else, but also to trust and fear God.
You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain : The meaning of this commandment is that we cannot use the name of God to lie, curse or blaspheme but quite the opposite. We must use the name of God to pray and give thanks.
You shall keep the feasts holy: The third commandment has to do with special devotion to God. Separate days are provided for this worship of God: namely, Sundays and holidays. On these days, all Christians are required to come together for a common worship service. However, these days must also be sanctified throughout their course so that man can reflect on God in a special way. At the same time, these days are also meant for community, joy and relaxation.
You shall honor your father and your mother : This commandment refers to the correct relationship between children and their parents. The fourth commandment also applies to the family as a whole: it promotes the development of the family and protects it from certain dangers.
You shall not kill : The fifth commandment is clear. It prohibits the killing of humans and protects life against various attacks. Since human life is today in danger in many ways, this commandment covers many areas.
You shall not commit impure acts : The sixth commandment protects love and specifically, the institution of marriage and opposes attitudes and behaviors that endanger leading a pure and decent life. It defends certain values that are necessary for love to triumph.
You shall not steal: This other commandment is also very clear, we must not steal or take anything from others, but rather help them prosper and protect their possessions and income.
You shall not bear false witness or lie : The eighth commandment relates to truth. It goes against all forms of lies and forces us to defend the truth. The eighth commandment also requires that we strive for true knowledge and bear witness to known truths. But this presupposes that we know how to get to the knowledge of the truth and what meaning the truth has for us humans.
You shall not indulge impure thoughts or desires: The ninth of the 10 commandments deals with protecting marital fidelity. This commandment is closely related to the sixth commandment. In contrast to the sixth commandment, the ninth commandment is not about wrong actions, but about mental misalignments towards love and loyalty. God knows that all wrong actions begin with wrong thoughts and desires, and therefore He already puts the lever in the heart of man.
You shall not covet the goods of others: This commandment is directed against greed and envy and thus promotes social peace decisively. The tenth commandment is directly related to the seventh commandment: it concerns internal bad attitudes towards property and is intended to prevent wrong actions in the sense of the seventh commandment.