Catechism of the Catholic Church

606 Part Three A rticle 10 THE TENTH COMMANDMENT You shall not covet . . . anything that is your neighbor’s. . . . You shall not desire your neighbor’s house, his field, or his manservant, or his maidservant, or his ox, or his ass, or any­ thing that is your neighbor’s. 317 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. 318 2534 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. “Lust of the eyes” leads to the violence and injustice forbidden by the fifth command­ ment. 319 Avarice, like fornication, originates in the idolatry prohib­ ited by the first three prescriptions of the Law. 320 The tenth commandment concerns the intentions of the heart; with the ninth, it summarizes all the precepts of the Law. I. T he D isorder of C ovetous D esires 2535 The sensitive appetite leads us to desire pleasant things we do not have, e.g., the desire to eat when we are hungry or to warm ourselves when we are cold. These desires are good in themselves; but often they exceed the limits of reason and drive us to covet unjustly what is not ours and belongs to another or is owed to him. 2536 The tenth commandment forbids greed and the desire to amass earthly goods without limit. It forbids avarice arising from a passion for riches and their attendant power. It also forbids the desire to commit injustice by harming our neighbor in his temporal goods: When the Law says, “You shall not covet,” these words mean that we should banish our desires for whatever does not belong to us. Our thirst for another’s goods is immense, infinite, never quenched. Thus it is written: “He who loves money never has money enough.” 321 317 Ex 20:17; Deut 5:21. 318 Mt 6:21. 319 Cf. 1 Jn 2:16; Mic 2:2. 320 Cf. Wis 14:12. 321 Roman Catechism, III, 37; cf. Sir 5:8. 2112 2069 1767 2445