51. Seventh Commandment:
Thou shalt not steal
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  Introduction

   When the rich young came to Jesus asking what he must do to go to heaven, he heard this answer: "Keep the commandments". And he said to him, "Teacher, I have kept all these things from my youth up.", Jesus said, " "One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me." (Mark 10, 21). But at these words he was saddened, and he went away grieving, for he was one who owned much property. And Jesus, looking around, said to his disciples, "How hard it will be for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God!"

    The scene suggests some questions: Are we attached to the things we have? Are we selfish? Do we care and respect the things of others? We take what is not ours? Do we care for the poor and those who have less than us? Did we meet our obligations as citizens?

  A. Choose one of the following words and answer: heaven, world, happy, sad, joys and wealth

 Sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in

 

 The rich young did not follow Jesus and left

 

 How hard will be enter the kingdom of heaven those who have

 

  Ideas principales

1. The plan of God for the goods of the earth

   The man born into a family: parents, siblings and other beings who care him in order to get on. He is also surrounded by things needed to live: food, drink, clothes and many goods that enable and facilitate the development of his natural abilities. These goods have been given by God who is the Creator of all things and use the family as a tool of his generous and thoughtful Providence. But the condition of this man is that of every man and, therefore, created goods have a universal destination; they belong to everyone and is mainly achieved through work.

    At the same time, for the safety of his freedom and encouragement of work, he need to have some property (house, land, money ...), which protect the autonomy of the person and the family. It is the right to private property, which is a natural right. So systems that override or restrict freedom, labor and private property are unnatural because they are opposed to fundamental rights of the human person. Harmonize and protect one dimension: the universal destination of created goods and private property is what makes this seventh commandment of the Decalogue, along with the tenth. It is the idea behind the phrase of John Paul II: "Above all private property is a social mortgage"; because, although he can dispose of things, man is a mere administrator and must be open to others, taking into account social virtues such as temperance, justice and solidarity, claimed by the condition of the Christian.

2. Respect for people and their property

   Having in mind these principles governing the use of created goods, the seventh commandment forbids these actions, which violate the right of others:

    a) The theft, which is to remove or retain one thing against the will of the owner;

    b) The usury, which is lending money or anything requiring excessive interest;

    c) The fraud, which is not to give the right weight and measure or give one thing for another;

    d) It also prohibits to retain deliberately lost things, pay unfair wages, raising prices speculating with the ignorance or the needs of others, land speculation, corruption that "buy" the judgment of those who must make decisions according to law, work badly done, tax fraud, falsification of checks and receipts, excessive expenses, waste.

  B. Choose one of the following words and answer: things, illusions, particular, universal, rest, work, unnatural, natural, individual, social, usury, theft or fraud.

 To live and develop ourselves, we need

 
 Created goods have a
 
 Goods are mainly achieved by the
 
 Systems that deny freedom, labor and private property are
 
 Above all private property, there is a
 
 Removing or retaining a thing against the will of the owner is  
 Lending money by demanding an excessive interest is
 
 Do not give the right weight and measure or give one thing for another is
 

3. Respect for the integrity of creation

   God has given to man a relative dominion over nature; that is, a dominion regulated by the respect and care for the quality of life of others, including future generations.

   Regarding the animals, it is legitimate to use them for food and clothing, but it is not in conformity with human dignity make them suffer needlessly, slaughter their lives needlessly, and invest in them notable money that should more use for the needs of men.

4. Obligation to repair damage

   When something is stolen or damaged causing significant damage to the property of others, a serious sin is committed; it is a venial sin if the damage is small. Serious sin is forgiven in confession, if repentance is accompanied by the intention of return the stolen items or repair the damage; if there is no such intention, sin is not forgiven. If you do not already have what was stolen, you must return your possessions or buy anything equal to what was stolen. If you do not know what to do, ask the confessor.

5. Attitude towards the goods of the earth

    a) With respect to ourselves. We know that the things of the earth are to our service and we need them, but there are more important goods: the love to God and neighbor demonstrated with works, which are goods that lead to heaven. We should aspire to them, these are the ones we acquire and retain with effort.

    b) With respect to the other. Christians must share their goods with those in need, if you want to be faithful to the Gospel. Among the various ways of living the order of Jesus Christ, we can say: help others, especially the loved ones, such as parents, siblings, etc.; work, or study if the case- because in that way we participate in the work of creation and, with Christ, the work can be further redeemer; helping the poor and needy with alms and visiting to let them have a good time. We also have an obligation to help the Church in its needs, as indicated by the fifth commandment of the Church, that everyone has to live according to their possibilities (being generous in offering when we go to church on Sunday). That is the works of mercy to practice them.


Catechesis course. Mister Jaime Pujol Balcells and Mister Jesus Sancho Bielsa. EUNSA. Navarra. 1982. with the permission of the authors.


  C. Choose one of these words and answer: natures, serenity, treatment, clothes, plants, animals, serious, small, return, maintain, hell, heaven, need, too much.

 Man should respect and care for

 
 We use animals for food and
 
 Do not make suffer needlessly the
 
 When we steal, we commit
 
 He who steals something has to
 

 The most important goods are those that lead us to

 
 We must share the goods with those who have
 

  Catechisms Questions

1. What commands the seventh commandment?  The seventh commandment commands to practice justice and charity in the use of earthly goods and the fruits of human labor.

2. What prohibits the seventh commandment?  The seventh commandment prohibits actions against the property of others, such as theft, usury, fraud and any form of unjustly taking or retaining property of others.

3. What are obliged those who have stolen or have hurt the neighbor in his goods?  Those who have robbed or hurt the neighbor's property are required to restore the badly acquired sooner and repair damage caused culpably.

  D. Write the letter of the correct answer (A, B or C). The possible answers are below:

 QUESTIONS

 ANSWERS

 What commands the seventh commandment?
 
 What is prohibited by the seventh commandment?
 
 What are obliged those who have stolen or have hurt the neighbor in his goods?
 

 POSSIBLE ANSWERS

 A

 Actions against the property of others, such as theft, usury, fraud and any form of unjustly taking or retaining property of others.

 B

 They are required to restore the badly acquired sooner and repair damage caused culpably.

 C

 Practice justice and charity in the use of earthly goods and the fruits of human labor.

  Purposes of Christian life

• Live with generosity in letting the own things to the brothers, friends, colleagues, etc.

• Never steal anything; if it has been done, return it soon.

• Give alms to the needy



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®Arturo Ramo García.-Record of intellectual property of Teruel (Spain) No 141, of 29-IX-1999
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