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The tenth commandment: you shall not covet your neighbour's goods 54 PROVOST, Jan (1465-1529) Death and the Miser Oil on oak 47 1/8 x 31 inches (120 x.

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Presentation on theme: "The tenth commandment: you shall not covet your neighbour's goods 54 PROVOST, Jan (1465-1529) Death and the Miser Oil on oak 47 1/8 x 31 inches (120 x."— Presentation transcript:

1 The tenth commandment: you shall not covet your neighbour's goods 54 PROVOST, Jan ( ) Death and the Miser Oil on oak 47 1/8 x 31 inches (120 x 79 cm) Groeninge Museum, Bruges

2 Compendium of the Catechism 531. What is required and what is forbidden by the tenth commandment? This commandment, which completes the preceding commandment, requires an interior attitude of respect for the property of others and forbids greed, unbridled covetousness for the goods of others, and envy which is the sadness one experiences at the sight of another’s goods and the immoderate desire to acquire them for oneself.

3 Introduction Man was created in a state of innocence; his mind was subjected to God, the inferior powers to reason and the body to the soul. Man often forgets his dignity and that he is worth more than material things. Not satisfied with having enough, he degrades himself by becoming attached to things and by giving in to greed and unbridled covetousness. One might expect to find greed in an atheist whose only hope lies in ephemeral things, but it is unbecoming in a Christian. MASSYS, Quentin The Money Lenders Museo de Bellas Artes Bilbao, Spain

4 Main ideas

5 1. Greed, the root of all evils Saint Paul wrote the following:  " for we brought nothing into the world and we cannot take anything out of the world. (…) those who desire to be rich fall into temptation (…) into many senseless and hurtful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all evils" (1 Timothy 6:7-10) Man cannot let himself become the slave of ephemeral goods. Greed and envy of other people’s goods have to be fought and conquered. GERRITSZ POT, Hendrick ( ) The Miser Oil on wood, /8 x 12 3/4 inches (36 x 32.7 cm) Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

6 2. To be satisfied with what God grants The heart identifies itself with what it loves; if it loves material goods without restraint the heart becomes matter, reducing its aspirations to transient material welfare. Being satisfied with what God gives, and what man can honestly acquire, makes man happy. Disordered desire or greed offends God and degrades man. BOSCH, Hieronymus Death and the Miser c Kress Collection Washington D.C., USA

7 3. What is forbidden by the tenth commandment? The tenth commandment forbids avarice, or the disordered desire of riches, and also the desire of committing an injustice that would harm others in their temporal goods. It also prohibits that kind of envy or sadness triggered by our neighbour’s goods and accompanied by a disordered desire to own and inappropriately obtain them. Envy often derives from pride and gives rise to hatred, criticism and slander. LE PRINCE, Jean Baptiste The Miser Private Collection

8 4. Detachment from earthly goods When God’s law abides in man’s heart, he finds himself detached from created goods, because God’s love rules his life.  " Blessed are the poor in spirit because theirs is the kingdom of Heaven“ (Matthew 5:3). Man has to keep his desires in line with the virtue of hope, seeking perfect love. DAVID, Jacques Louis Belisarius Begging for Alms 1781 Musee des Beaux-Arts, Lille, France

9 5. Struggle against attachment to earthly goods Attachment to material goods brings forgetfulness of God and makes life futile. The remedy consists in seeking true happiness by living in God’s grace. In order to reach and contemplate God we have to mortify, with God’s help, our concupiscence, overcoming greed for pleasure and power. MASACCIO The Distribution of Alms and the Death of Ananias Fresco, 230 x 162 cm Cappella Brancacci, Santa Maria del Carmine, Florence

10 6. To love and keep the Ten Commandments The tenth commandment refers to the intentions of the heart and, together with the ninth, sums up the Ten Commandments of God’s Law. The Ten Commandments show us how to love God above all things and our neighbour as ourselves. DE BOULOGNE, Valentín Moses with the Tablets of the Law c Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna, Austria

11 Resolutions for Christian life

12 Resolutions to move forward Live detached from things we own and use. Examine our conscience sincerely in order to keep at bay envy for other people’s goods; learn to rejoice at others’ successes.


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