Do not steal

Seventh Commandment


The seventh commandment of the Decalogue forbids theft
The seventh commandment forbids taking or unjustly keeping the goods of the neighbour and causing harm to the neighbour in his goods in any way.

It prescribes justice and charity in the management of material goods and the fruit of human work. It demands, in view of the common good, respect for the universal destination of goods and the right of private property.

(Catechism of the Catholic Church 2402)

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Seventh commandment: Do not steal

The seventh commandment is part of the precepts necessary to have eternal life. We read in the Gospel of Matthew: "If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments: Thou shalt not kill, commit adultery, steal, bear false witness, Honor your father and mother, love your neighbor as yourself".
(Mt 19.17 to 19)

The commandment not to steal is founded on a principle that goes down in the depths: "You shall not covet your neighbor's house ... or any of his possessions" (Ex. 20:17). It is a spiritual law, which seeks the soul, the source of the thoughts and intentions. According to the words of the Lord: "From the start the heart of the evil thoughts, murder, adultery fornication, thefts, and false witness"
(Mt.15, 19).

Justice must be, loved living in the depths of the heart, then it is also experienced in the works. Must love justice to be fair. The usual behavior of this time authorizes to take advantage of naivety, weakness, distraction for the next fool, solely for the purpose of maximum economic gain.

The stealing is really a steal other people's property against the reasonable will of the master and is an affront to justice and even more to charity. The seventh commandment forbids unjustly taking or keeping the property and causing damage to the neighbor in his property in any way.

The theft can perpetrate in many ways. What is the ultimate heist, but there are also other less common forms such as not fully comply with the contracts, conventions, professional obligations, either fraudulently or negligently, for malpractice. The temptation is particularly easy when it comes to commercial contracts, purchase and sales, leases, or contracts such as those for professional medical care or lawyers.

Commit burglary even those who steal money with counterfeit words and simulated, or false begging, even the sin of them is more serious, because they add to the theft lies. Even those who do not give the wages due the workers are robbers and St. James invites them to repentance with these words: "Weep, or rich, howling about the disasters that we mourn him".
(James 5.1)

Theft is not just of things, money, property, work. It can also mean thought, freedom, heart, faith, peace, love. So is theft raise the honor to a man, the dignity of a woman, the tranquility of a family, the faith of a believer, the innocence of a child, paternity or maternity of a birth, the hope for an elderly , wife to a husband, the love to a needy person.

Repentance involves the return of ill-gotten gains and is the only guarantee of the forgiveness of God not only who committed the theft must return the stolen property to those who have robbed, but also all those who participated in the theft were obliged to return. Those who could not return the ill-gotten restores, cannot hope to be forgiven and the evil done to obtain God's forgiveness of his guilt.

"Let him that stole, steal no more now, but rather works by working with his hands what is good to have something to give to those who suffer need" (Eph. 4.2 to 8). Exclaims the prophet Amos: "Hear, you who trample on the poor and have destroyed the wretched of the earth, saying: When will the month and sell the merchandise? Then we can decrease the size, increase the shekel weigh and use deceptive".
(Am 8.4 -5).

If we did hurt someone, God commands us to repair the damage caused and how can we not do it again (Jn 8:11). In this way we obtain forgiveness from the Lord, because there is true repentance only when there is good resolution. So did Zacchaeus: "If I have defrauded anyone of anything, restore it fourfold".
(Luke 19.8).

"Do not bother to lay up treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume, where thieves break in and carry on. Lay up for yourself’s treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not consume, nor thieves and burglars carried away. Indeed, where is your treasure is, there your heart will be also"
(Mt 6: 19-21).

Whoever steals makes him to procure the means to enjoy, but the joy procured by illegal means generates dissatisfaction and remorse in the soul, and also procured the money is spent badly wrong almost always: "See that you keep away from all covetousness, for though one is very rich, life does not consist of his possessions "(Lk. 12.15). "Those who accumulate wealth is the poorest of the poor, because it is not master of himself, seems a holder, but it is money held".
(St. Anthony of Padua).

Seventh commandment: Do not steal


Our life does not depend on the goods we possess, but on the grace that is granted to us. It is Jesus himself who advises us not to attach ourselves too much to material things and to flee away from avarice, which is a theft of those in need. Let us remember that we have brought nothing into this world and can bring nothing into the other. We use what we possess, but without being possessed by it: "He who accumulates wealth is the poorest of the poor, because he is not master of himself: he seems a possessor, but in reality he is possessed by money".
(Saint Anthony of Padua)

Wealth, when it is dishonest, always leads to dissatisfaction in the soul and to the ruin of the body, because the money unjustly procured is always badly spent. Those who steal, in fact, are destined to spend to enjoy and not to enjoy what they spend. He appears happy, but in reality he brings remorse in his soul and contempt and waste of goods, which are to be considered an offense to God.

Sometimes those who push to take possession of the things of others are the envy and greed that share the desire for greed imperious and insatiable to achieve all our most hidden ambitions. Envy and greed are mutually augmented, nourished by boundless profit, by selfishness, by greed of having, by pleasure, by vanity, from the wealth, that it is fallen like impetuous wind destroying feelings and every morality and then everything becomes legitimate for own purposes, comprised the stealing, and as an idol it exerts a powerful charm that pushes us on a way without return. To get out of this slavery we must import a radical choice, between wealth, waste, enjoyment and God, between selfishness and love, between the lowest things of the earth and the things of heaven. To us the choice.