The Tenth Commandment

When looking for something on the web, I’ve met the following thought:

I’ve never in my years as a Catholic Christian heard a sermon on the Tenth Commandment. We can’t possibly preach on “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s goods” because Western society is based on that. It’s called capitalism. Mass advertising tells us we need things none of us need. It sows confusion about what’s important for life. The level of need has moved to such a level of illusion and sophistication that what were once ultimate luxuries have become necessities. In our culture, people cannot feel good about themselves unless next year’s vacation is more luxurious than last year’s, unless everything is upgraded – while most of God’s people on this earth starve.

The affluent West has made happiness impossible. We’ve created a pseudo-happiness, a pseudo-success, a pseudo-security that will never satisfy the human heart. Most of God’s people are forced to learn to find happiness and freedom at a much more simple level. The gospel says that’s where happiness is always to be found.

That is about as traditional, old-fashioned, conservative a gospel as there, is, and it will never change. We have to keep saying it: There is a Tenth Commandment.

(from Preparing for Christmas With Richard Rohr)






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