If you love me

Keep my commands.

Love is an act of the will; to will the good of the other with no thought for the egotistical self.

To love God is to follow Him in His great plan through obedience to His commands.

What are God’s commands? I seem to recall Ten of them:

I am the LORD your God:
you shall not have strange Gods before me.

To follow this first of the 10 great commandments is probably the hardest. This means truly treating God as our last end. We should not allow ourselves to usurp His place. We should not allow the things of this world to usurp His place. “Eat of the fruit and you will be like God” was the temptation right from the beginning. Usurping God’s place is our first sin, Pride, and it is as natural to fallen humans as breathing. We constantly look out for ourselves, when we are not what really matters. God is first, the uncaused cause of all things and He deserves to be treated as such.

You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.

This follows on a much more practical level the first command. If we truly see God as the center of our lives, the purpose of our existence, the God before whom we have no others; then we shall certainly treat his name with reverence, not flippancy.

Remember to keep holy the LORD’S Day.

Go to Mass. It is not optional. Sacrifice is central to Christianity–Christ himself was the ultimate sacrifice. We should not fear to sacrifice our time to the Lord.

Honor your father and your mother.

This is probably the simplest to understand and apply. But I think it extends analogically to all authority. If we want to obey God’s commands, we should also obey those He has placed in authority over us.

You shall not kill.

Typically interpreted as a prohibition of murder rather than all killing, this command of the Lord’s serves to highlight the fundamental sanctity of life. If God created all things, we should hesitate to destroy his creation, even in the cases where it is necessary. God is Life Itself, and killing destroys life. How can a murderer say he loves God?

You shall not commit adultery.

Right relationship is impossible without honesty. Adultery is at the same time a betrayal, a lie, and violation against chastity. Remembering Jesus’s take on this commandment, we should be careful to not even lust in our hearts, for that is a kind of adultery.

You shall not steal.

Why shouldn’t I just take what I want when I want it? The correct answer to this question builds civilization. The false answer leads to anarchy and tyranny. This is an application of the golden rule. A thief seeks to cheat reality and avoid the curse of Adam. All men must work for their bread. If men think they can steal, they will not work. If men do not work, there will be nothing to steal. Stealing is self-defeating.

You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

Lies are literally the tools of the devil. From the very beginning when Satan tricked Eve, deceit was the method. We act based on information. False information leads to bad actions. Lies are false information. Lying directly causes bad actions.

You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife.

Beyond just the lust at play here, I think this command also points to social standing. We see great men and their lovely wives and are naturally tempted to covet. But this we shall not do, if we seek to honor God.

You shall not covet your neighbor’s goods.

Beyond just the greed at play here, I think this command also points to material power. We see wealthy men and their wonderful homes and are naturally tempted to covet. But, no.

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