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Chapter 34. Tenth Commandment: Embrace Poverty of Spirit • 455

and leisure. Members of the Church are called to build up the resources

of the Church herself and of civil society in making possible the sharing

of God’s blessings and social goods with others. This they do by their

own generosity in the use of their time, talents, and treasures with oth-

ers. Such generosity flows from hearts grateful to God for his generosity

in creating and saving us.


1. While it is necessary to acquire earthly goods for the care and well-

being of our families, there are forces that motivate us to become

overly attached to wealth. How does the media contribute to this?

What role does envy play in this drive toward the love of money?

2. What habits have you developed to help you have a healthy detach-

ment from worldly goods? How would generosity counter the ten-

dency to be attached to material things?

3. What do you need to do as a Christian steward?


• “The tenth commandment unfolds and completes the ninth, which

is concerned with concupiscence of the flesh. It forbids coveting the

goods of another, as the root of theft, robbery, and fraud, which the

seventh commandment forbids. . . . The tenth commandment con-

cerns the intentions of the heart” (CCC, no. 2534).

• “For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be” (Mt 6:21).

• Envy is an attitude of sadness at the sight of another’s prosperity. It

can create a disordered desire to acquire such goods, even by unjust

means. Envy tightens the heart and subdues love. For this reason,

envy is considered a Capital Sin.

• “The baptized person combats envy through goodwill, humility, and

abandonment to the providence of God. Christ’s faithful ‘have cruci-

fied the flesh with its passions and desires’ (Gal 5:24); they are led by

the Spirit and follow his desires” (CCC, no. 2555).

• “The tenth commandment forbids


and . . . requires that


be banished from the human heart” (CCC, nos. 2536 and 2538).