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The ninth commandment: you shall not covet your neighbour's wife 53 ANGELICO, Fra Annunciation 1430s Panel, 195 x 158 cm S. Maria delle Grazie, S. Giovanni.

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Presentation on theme: "The ninth commandment: you shall not covet your neighbour's wife 53 ANGELICO, Fra Annunciation 1430s Panel, 195 x 158 cm S. Maria delle Grazie, S. Giovanni."— Presentation transcript:

1 The ninth commandment: you shall not covet your neighbour's wife 53 ANGELICO, Fra Annunciation 1430s Panel, 195 x 158 cm S. Maria delle Grazie, S. Giovanni Valdarno

2 Compendium of the Catechism 527. What is required by the ninth commandment?   The ninth commandment requires that one overcome carnal concupiscence in thought and in desire. The struggle against such concupiscence entails purifying the heart and practicing the virtue of temperance What is forbidden by the ninth commandment?   The ninth commandment forbids cultivating thoughts and desires connected to actions forbidden by the sixth commandment.

3 Introduction The disorder caused by original sin brings with it a selfish claim for sexual pleasure that ignores the order established by God. Holy purity is a virtue acquired by means of God’s grace and personal struggle. To keep our hearts pure it is necessary to rid them decisively of impure thoughts and desires. As our Lord said:  “Blessed are the pure in heart, because they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8) Encouraged by this assurance, though aware that it can be hard to keep our hearts pure, we know that purity is a wonderful gift. REMBRANDT ( ) David and Uriah Oil on canvas, x 46 inches (127 x 117 cm) Hermitage, St Petersburg

4 Main ideas

5 1. Concupiscence When Adam and Eve disobeyed God they not only sinned but also opened the gates of sin: concupiscence is the inclination to sin which remains even in a baptized person. Saint John wrote about a triple concupiscence:  the lust of the flesh  the lust of the eyes  the pride of life (cfr. 1 John 2:16) Concupiscence in itself is not a sin, but it inclines man to sin. PATENIER, Joaquín Temptation of St Anthony c Oil on panel, 155 x 173 cm Museo del Prado, Madrid

6 2. Purification of the heart To combat the tickling of our passions, we have to look for the root of sin. And the root of sin is in the heart. Jesus warns his disciples :  “From the heart come evil intentions: murder, adultery, fornication…” (Matthew 15:19) Therefore, the fight against concupiscence begins with the purification of the heart, because God wants us to be pure and chaste first and foremost in our hearts. UNKNOWN MASTER, Flemish The Offering of the Heart c Tapestry Musée de Cluny, Paris

7 3. Fighting against temptations Temptations against chastity are not sinful in themselves, but only incitements to sin. They are sinful if the will indulges them. They should not surprise us and, without getting obsessed, we have to pray to be strong to reject temptations promptly. If when confronted with temptations we are able to say that we did our best to keep them away, then there is no reason to lose our peace and joy. CRANACH, Lucas the Elder Samson's Fight with the Lion Panel Kunstsammlungen, Weimar

8 4. Decorum and modesty Decorum forms part of the virtue of temperance and is a safeguard of purity. It is related to the virtue of modesty, which governs gestures and body movements; it also helps us keep silent when speaking would only satisfy morbid curiosity. Decorum protects personal intimacy and helps us behave with gentleness and sensitivity. BOUGUEREAU, William ( ) Modestie [Modesty] Oil on canvas, /8 x 28 1/2 inches (160.5 x 72.5 cm) Private collection

9 5. A campaign for purity Christians must struggle to cleanse the morally polluted environment of today’s permissive society. Christians, all the more, have to make every effort so that the means of entertainment are clean and do not offend God. The effort to promote chastity and purity means helping men and women to be more human and to purify and elevate social mores. UNKNOWN MASTER, French Crusaders 12th century Mural Chapel of the Templars, Cressac

10 6. How to improve in chastity We can obtain and improve interior chastity with prayer. We ought always to pray for purity, with rectitude of intention, seeking to do the will of God in everything. In order to resist indulging in impure thoughts, we have to guard our imagination and eyes, and the other senses as well. EL GRECO ( ) The Virgin of the Immaculate Conception and St John Oil on canvas, /4 x 46 3/8 inches (237 x 118 cm) Museo de Santa Cruz, Toledo

11 Resolutions for Christian life

12 Resolutions to move forward Promptly dispel impure thoughts, using the proper natural and supernatural means. Think about what could be done in my family and social surroundings to promote a morally pure environment. Practise decorum and modesty.


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