Catechism of the Catholic Church

602 Part Three 2514 St. John distinguishes three kinds of covetousness or con­ cupiscence: lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and pride of life. 301 In the Catholic catechetical tradition, the ninth commandment forbids carnal concupiscence; the tenth forbids coveting another’s goods. 2515 Etymologically, “concupiscence” can refer to any intense form of human desire. Christian theology has given it a particular meaning: the movement of the sensitive appetite contrary to the operation of the human reason. The apostle St. Paul identifies it with the rebellion of the “flesh” against the “spirit.” 302 Concupis­ cence stems from the disobedience of the first sin. It unsettles man’s moral faculties and, without being in itself an offense, inclines man to commit sins. 303 2516 Because man is a composite being, spirit and body, there already exists a certain tension in him; a certain struggle of tenden­ cies between “spirit” and “flesh” develops. But in fact this struggle belongs to the heritage of sin. It is a consequence of sin and at the same time a confirmation of it. It is part of the daily experience of the spiritual battle: For the Apostle it is not a matter of despising and condemn­ ing the body which with the spiritual soul constitutes man’s nature and personal subjectivity. Rather, he is concerned with the morally good or bad works, or better, the permanent dispositions—virtues and vices—which are the fruit of submission (in the first case) or of resistance (in the second case) to the saving action of the Holy Spirit. For this reason the Apostle writes: “If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.” 304 I. P urification of the H eart 2517 The heart is the seat of moral personality: “Out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, fornication. . . .” 305 The struggle against carnal covetousness entails purifying the heart and practicing temperance: 301 Cf. 1 Jn 2:16. 302 Cf. Gal 5:16, 17, 24; Eph 2:3. 303 Cf. Gen 3:11; Council of Trent: DS 1515. 304 John Paul II, DeV 55; cf. Gal 5:25. 305 Mt 15:19. 377, 400 405 362 407 368 1809