The Good Shepherd (Catholic Tradition)
Today, more than ever before, many souls have lost the meaning of what real love is. How are we to know today, if love is good or real? We have such perversions, deceptions and temptations of fake and false love that so many souls have been at best confused, or at worst lost to damnation.
In recalling that God gave us our free wills, our mind, our body and our soul, we must know that all of those play a part in what we do and how we love. St. Thomas Aquinas says that everything we come to know, comes through our 5 senses. Thus, when we want to know love, it comes to us by our senses, we try to experience it through our touch, sight, hearing, taste, and smell.
For example, we want to see love in another's eyes, we want to hold the one we love, we want to tell and hear the words, "I love you."
Real love however, does not just pertain to the realm of the senses because real love goes beyond the mere senses to the supernatural, the Divine, for God is Love. Deus Caritas Est!
Thus, God Himself has revealed to us what real love consist in and how to love properly.
Remember God gave us a reason to know what is good and what is evil, and with that the free will to choose the good or do the evil. Since the Fall, we have an inclination to evil, but by God's grace we can raise ourselves up out of those inclinations. And remember we can sin in thought, word, and in deed, so we must be sure use our reason and freewill to avoid false love.
We can easily know, despite our weaknesses and failings what is real love and what is not by the guide of love given to us by God Himself.
Two things must be made clear to understand how this guide to Real Love works:
1st, To love, means to want and desire the good of another.
2nd, We must know what is the good of the other and how to not fall into harming the other.
3rd, For everything there is a right and a wrong--an order to it that is good or is bad, and it is up to our free will how we choose to order it.
Those three things are all included in the Guide of Love below. And that Guide of Love, can truly be called the Rules to Real Love. For God gave us this Guide to Real Pure Love in His 10 Commandments!
Did not Christ Himself say, if you love Me, keep My commandments? (John 14:15) In reality the 10 Commandments are the 10 Commands of Love. By them we can direct, form and check that our love is good, real, true, pure and beautiful! The first 3 of the commandments are for the order of our Love towards God and the last 7 are ordered to our love of neighbor.
If we were to violate just one of them or not follow any of them, then we can be sure our love is not real.
Let us now walk through each of the 10 Commandments of Love:
1. I AM THE LORD THY GOD: THOU SHALT NOT HAVE STRANGE GODS BEFORE ME.
COMMANDS our love, fidelity and worship of the only One True God in the Blessed Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Ghost; this command helps us not to fall into false love of idols and urges our love to that which is Good, Holy and True. "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart and with thy whole soul and with thy whole mind and with thy whole strength.” (Mark XII. 30, 31).
Examples of this commandment being broken today: By putting persons of things above God. Thinking more of men or of self than of God. Occupying or making the object of your life something else other than God; not being faithful to God but allowing other loves which displease God, i.e. worship of Pachamama; believing all religions are equal, or that one religion is as good as another; allowing sacrileges to occur on the altar of the One True God, like gay flag altar cloths or Buddhist idol by the tabernacle; etc. Think about to whom, or to what, do you dedicate your life, your heart, your actions, your thoughts, your words?
2. THOU SHALL NOT TAKE THE NAME OF THE LORD THY GOD IN VAIN.
COMMANDS: our loving reverence in speaking about God and holy things; the keeping of oaths and vows to God and honoring God’s Holy Name. Our Love of God should be expressed in a way that we should not allow anything to be above God, nor mock God’s Holy Name, instead our love should move us to action in defending His honor, His Name, and His Goodness. A respectful attention to the things of God and His Divine Person.
Examples of this commandment being broken today: Use of the Name of God in cursing or listening to one curse using God’s name and not saying anything to defend Him; breaking vows made to God, i.e. vow of celibacy or vow of marriage. Allowing sacred things of God be used for the profane. Making fun of or ridiculing those that do love God. Mocking those that do follow God and obey God and His commandments. For “as long as you did it to one of these my least brethren, you did it to Me,” (Matt. 25:40). This includes those today that persecute Catholics. And those that are claiming civil rights over religious freedom.
3. KEEP THE SABBATH DAY HOLY.
COMMANDS: that our love of God take us to be with the one we Love, there at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, where God Himself comes to our souls, to dwell with us, sanctify us, save us, and nourish our souls with His graces. Thus, we must go to Church on Sundays and holy days of obligation or else we greatly risk losing our state of Grace and His Love. St. Augustine said, “Our hearts are restless Lord, until they rest in You.” Since God is the source of all Love, we need to be with Him and go to Him to get Love. For we cannot give that which we do not have. And if we do not have Love of God then we cannot have love for our neighbor. The Sacraments are what make us holy and by them we can receive from God the grace to be holy.
Examples of this commandment being broken today: Not attending Holy Mass on Sundays and Holy Days to give our love to God Almighty; attending Holy Mass with little to no devotion or good participation; working on Sunday and Holy days; putting work above worship and love of God; giving little to no attention to Almighty God, spending no time with Him. This includes not doing any spiritual reading and not praying. We cannot love that which we do not love, when we do spiritual reading we are learning more of God and thus are able to love Him more. Prayer is our connection and conversation to God. Sunday is meant to be a day that renews and nourishes our soul in God. We are responsible for our souls and if we neglect to to take care of our souls for one day of the week, then how will we survive the other 6? Keeping holy the sabbath means focusing on God, being attentive to God and letting God nourish our soul. If we don’t turn from Him but instead turn to other things like work, entertainments, shopping, etc. then we violate the purpose and meaning of the Holy Day of Rest.
4. HONOR THY FATHER AND THY MOTHER.
COMMANDS: our love, respect and obedience to parents and legitimate authority. For those above us are to stand in the place of God, and is God’s tool for order, for discipline, and reflects the Kingship of Jesus Christ. Parents have a duty to bring up their children to know, love and serve God….teaching them the Truths of the Faith and protecting them from falsehoods and evil. Children have a duty to obey their parents so that they can be helpers in getting us to Heaven. As far as any authority that are obedient in God’s Truth, we are to obey and follow them to grow in virtue. Second, God’s truth does not come from “experience” but from being passed down from generation to generation. Catholics have always known this. Truth comes from God, He has revealed it to us and His faithful are to pass it down from one to another. For “Faith then cometh by hearing; and hearing by the word of Christ.” (Romans 10:17). Third, the family is a beautiful imitation of the Holy Family and of the life of the Blessed Trinity, and as such needs to be honored, respected and defended. The Hierarchy in the Church with the Pope, Bishops and priest also have authority from God to rule and govern souls. For as long as what they command is not immoral or does not go against the teaching of Jesus himself, then we have a duty to obey.
Examples of this commandment being broken today: Outright disobedience to parents or authority because of pride or culture or hate; breaking with Sacred Tradition, creating one’s own truth against that which was handed down, mocking the traditional family, cursing one’s mother or father. Promoting communism which is against the family. Mocking the office of the Pope, bishop or priest. Using the authority of the Church to spread heresy, etc.
5. THOU SHALT NOT KILL.
COMMANDS: our love of neighbor. "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself" (Mark xii. 30, 31) and “This is my commandment, that you love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends,” (John 15:12-13).
Examples of this commandment being broken today: abortion; contraception; murder; suicide; neglect to defend the innocent, supporting those that kill in any way mentioned above; for Pope St. Felix III has rightly said: “Not to oppose error is to approve it; and not to defend truth is to suppress it, and, indeed, to neglect to confound evil men—when we can do it—is no less a sin than to encourage them.” Killing one’s own conscience or that of another’s by denying the truth, opposing the truth, or by teaching, supporting or promoting, evil, lies and untruth. This would include anyone who does anything to kill another’s body, kill another’s soul or kill another’s mind. For subverting the Truth brings death to the soul. Prime example today is homosexuality, it kills life in that no life can come from the unnatural sinful act, it kills the soul, as it goes against God’s Divine order; and it kills the mind as its perverseness denies the truth and kills the conscience. The homosexuals not only fail from resisting the weakness of fallen human nature but they do even worse when they commit the cursed sin against nature. What the homosexual claims to be love, is nothing more than lust, trying to satisfy a selfish un-natural desire. Selfishness and love cannot co-exist.
6. THOU SHALT NOT COMMIT ADULTERY.
COMMANDS: our love to act in chastity in thought, word and in deed. This applies to those married and not married. For our love must be pure and not lustful. It must be good and not evil by falling into mere sensuality or into an emotional carousel. The more one’s love leaves God, the more it is not love at all. Love is to want and desire the good of another. It is not love to want something for ourselves and take that which is not lawfully ours. Love comes from our heart but it is still an act of the will. We can choose to love or not love something. In marriage one commits to loving that person until death. In celibacy, one commits to loving God in being His virgin till death. And because love is an act of the will and heart, it also involves the mind, thus we must be sure to guide and guard our thoughts in chaste love. The devil knows our tendencies and weaknesses; thus, we must be on guard for temptations against impurity in all our senses and all our acts.
Examples of this commandment being broken today: lust, pornography, wanting another when already vowed to another in marriage; improper friendship, entertain impure thoughts, looks, speech, books or movies; allowing one’s emotion and sensuality to have the upper hand; provoking one to impurity; mocking or not defending marriage between one man and one woman; homosexuality; promoting or allowing lgbtq+ ideas or agenda to grow and pervert to good, especially to the young. "For know you this and understand, that no fornicator, or unclean, or covetous person (which is a serving of idols), hath inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God," (Eph. 5:5).
7. THOU SHALT NOT STEAL.
COMMANDS: our regulation in our love of things by not taking that which is not ours. This included the property of rights and others; the paying of just debts; paying just wages to employees; and integrity in public office and in the workplace.
Examples of this commandment being broken today: theft; damage to the property of others; not paying just debts; not returning found or borrowed articles; not paying just wages; bribery; cheating; fraud; accepting stolen property; not giving an honest day's work for wages received; using the system to gain money not worked for, i.e. welfare. Those in public office not serving the people but just using the system to get rich and feed off of others. This also include organizations and charities that use money given to them in good will to be used for things other than that which it was intended for. Example, Catholic Charities using donated money to fund abortion, condoms, and LGBTQ activities.
8. THOU SHALT NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS AGAINST THY NEIGHBOR.
COMMANDS: our love to be truthful. For real love must have the truth. If it is not true, then it is not love. Lying, passing on lies or bearing false witness against the truth, against the good name of others is a sin. Rumors and falsehood are easily passed on by those that are not careful with this commandment. Rash Judgement and passing false information are included. Prime example are all the lies that were being spread during the Covid-19. It is our duty to want to know the truth, desire the truth and seek to know the truth and when we don’t know what the truth is at that moment of a particular situation or of a person, then we cannot promote it as a truth.
Examples of this commandment being broken today: lying or gossiping, including listening to gossip; rash judgment; not fact checking a story but simply helping pass on the falsehood, contemptuous speech; not defending the truth, doctrine or tradition of Holy Mother Church or helping promote some lie against doctrine, or truth of the Church. This includes those that deny that their only two genders, male and female. Promoting that or confirming that someone can be something other than their biological God-given sex is a sin against the truth.
9. THOU SHALT NOT COVET THY NEIGHBOR'S WIFE.
COMMANDS: our fidelity in love. That is, in particular here, the fidelity to the vows of marriage. When one has committed oneself to another in the sacred bonds of marriage, they must keep the fidelity of that love, and not let it be attacked or breached from the outside or in the thought of the mind. The Bond of Marriage is Sacred and is to be a reflection of Christ’s Love for the Church. When we do damage to people’s marriage, we are in fact work against Christ’s Love and fidelity. We have a duty not to bring slander to the Church by honoring the sacredness of this bond and vow of marriage.
Examples of this commandment being broken today; breaking one’s marriage vow, infidelity, impure thoughts, speech, deeds, or focusing on another’s wife/husband. Too much familiarity or time spent alone with another’s spouse. Pornography. Not defending marriage between one man and one woman.
10. THOU SHALT NOT COVET THY NEIGHBOR'S GOODS.
COMMANDS: that our love not be jealous or filled with envy against our neighbor in what he has and what we do not have. Our goods do not define us nor determine who we are. This last command can seem to be a no brainer, but though it is subtle, it can lead to break many of the commandments above.
Examples of this commandment being broken today: the desire to take, to keep, or damage the property of others; jealousy of the goods of another. This sin can lead to rash judgement, killing, stealing, pride, and more. The breaking of this commandment has started many wars throughout time. Socialism and Communism are way deep in this commandment, which is why Pope Pius X condemned them.
Let us thus remember well that:
On the last day, when the general examination takes place ... charity will be the whole syllabus." - St. Robert Bellarmine
"In the evening of life, we will be judged on love alone." ~ St. John of the Cross
"You are rewarded not according to your work or your time but according to the measure of your love.” ~ St. Catherine of Siena
“If I speak with the tongues of men, and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.  And if I should have prophecy and should know all mysteries, and all knowledge, and if I should have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.  And if I should distribute all my goods to feed the poor, and if I should deliver my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.  Charity is patient, is kind: charity envieth not, dealeth not perversely; is not puffed up;  Is not ambitious, seeketh not her own, is not provoked to anger, thinketh no evil;  Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth with the truth;  Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.  Charity never falleth away: whether prophecies shall be made void, or tongues shall cease, or knowledge shall be destroyed….. And now there remain faith, hope, and charity, these three: but the greatest of these is charity.” St. Paul
May the 10 Commandments guide and form our love always so that it may be real and good, pure and pleasing in the Eyes of God Who is Love Itself!
May the Pure Love of God reign in our hearts!