Commandments of the Church

Did you know that in addition to the 10 commandments there are an additional 5 “Commandments of the Church”. But there used to be more, or less.

Read about the history of the “Commandments of the Church” and write a short post emphasizing your understanding of the current commandments, make mention of any other details in the article you find relevant.

Bonus: see if you can find a source online that specifically lists the holy days of obligation in the Canadian Catholic Church. In Canada, only two holy days of obligation sometimes do not fall on a Sunday. What days are these?

Be Generous

Theme 1: Do I have a heart of gold?

Students will

  • examine and evaluate their attitudes towards other people
  • express the meaning of “pure of heart”
  • identify ways they can be more generous in their attitudes
  • understand how Jesus models a generous attitude toward others
  • outline strategies for readjusting their attitudes when necessary

Key Concepts

  • “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God” (Matthew 5.8).
  • We are called to be pure of heart – to desire what God desires.
  • When we are “pure in heart” we are able to love and give generously, even as God does.
  • When we are pure in heart we are able to see according to God. We are able to have a generous attitude toward others, to recognize their goodness and to forgive their faults.
  • Modesty is an appreciation of our dignity and of the dignity of all other people.

Theme 2: How do I get satisfaction?

Students will

  • define envy and understand why envy is a sin
  • compare and contrast common attitudes in our society with the ninth and tenth commandments
  • use the ninth and tenth commandments as a tool for critical reflection on career and life skills planning
  • identify and evaluate criteria for achieving satisfaction

Key Concepts

  • Envy is a resentment towards another’s well-being. It is a refusal to love fully.
  • The ninth and tenth commandments forbid reducing relationships to opportunities for carnal, personal or commercial gain.
  • God desires and enables us to rejoice in our own and in others’ good fortune, happiness and blessing.
  • Our ardent desires are satisfied when they are directed toward the love of God and neighbour.

Be With Me

Who do I want to be with?

Students will

  • explore and express the qualities of relationships they want to have
  • name how they want others to “be with them”
  • know that each person has been created with the freedom to shape his or her own relationships
  • repeat and explain the Beatitudes
  • identify ways that the Beatitudes help us understand the Christian attitude toward being with others
  • articulate the Christian call to take on the attitude of Christ

Key Concepts

  • We are created with the freedom to shape our own relationships and to determine what kind of persons we will be with others.
  • We are called to make God manifest by acting in conformity with our creation “in the image and likeness of God.” (CCC #2085)
  • Our relationship with Jesus calls us to be of the “same mind” with Jesus, looking out for the interests and well-being of others with compassion and love. (Philippians 2.1-11)
  • The Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes describe for us the paths that lead to the kingdom of heaven. The grace of the Holy Spirit helps us to travel these paths. (CCC #1724)
  • The Beatitudes outline a distinctly Christian attitude toward being with others

Key Terms

  • beatitude
  • The Beatitudes
  • virtues
  • kingdom of heaven
  • the Ten Commandments

The Commandments: A Moral Code

When Moses led the Jews out of Egypt, they crossed the Sinai Desert. God called Moses to the top of Mount Sinai and gave him the Ten Commandments. These commandments formed the moral code for the Jewish people. Some were injunctions – things the people were told to do. Some were prohibitions – things they were told not to do.

Injunctions included keeping the Sabbath day holy and honouring one’s parents. Prohibitions included worshipping other gods, making idols, taking God’s name in vain, killing, committing adultery, theft, bearing false witness, and wanting things that belong to other people

Do you think these Ten Commandments are a good foundation for a code of conduct?

The Meaning of the Commandments

The Ten Commandments, the moral code for the Jewish people, are short and to the point. But each one carries a great deal of meaning.

1. You shall have not other gods but me.
2. You shall not make any idols.
3. You shall not take the name of your Lord in vain.
4. You shall remember and keep holy the Sabbath day.
5. Honour your father and mother.
6. You shall not kill.
7. You shall not commit adultery.
8. You shall not steal.
9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour.
10. You shall not covet your neighbour’s goods.

Choose one commandment. Explain, in detail, what it means and how it can apply to people’s lives.