Questions and Answers

2107. What does Christ say to the young man who asks: “What must I do”? (CCC 2052-2053) To the young man who asks “What must I do?” Christ says:
1. to look at God as the source of all good
2. to keep the commandments
3. to live in poverty and chastity.
2108. What is the greatest commandment in the Law? (CCC 2055) The greatest commandment in the Law is: You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind and your neighbour as yourself.
2109. What does “Decalogue” mean literally? (CCC 2056) “Decalogue” means literally “ten words”.
2110. Where did God reveal the Decalogue? (CCC 2056) God revealed the Decalogue on the holy mountain Sinai.
2111. Where is the Decalogue found in the Bible? (CCC 2056) The Decalogue is found in the Bible in:
1. Exodus 20
2. Deuteronomy 5.
2112. Where is the full meaning of the Decalogue revealed? (CCC 2056) The full meaning of the Decalogue is revealed in Jesus Christ.
2113. What is the original context of the Decalogue? (CCC 2057) The original context of the Decalogue is the Exodus of the People of God from Egypt.
2114. What are the two tables called on which the Decalogue was written? (CCC 2058) The two tablets on which the Decalogue was written are called “the Testimony”.
2115. Where were the tablets of the Testimony deposited? (CCC 2058) The tablets of the Testimony were deposited in the ark of the covenant.
2116. In the midst of what did God pronounce the Decalogue to Moses? (CCC 2059) God pronounced the Decalogue to Moses in the midst of a theophany.
A theophany is an apparition of God.
2117. Which events surround the granting of the Decalogue? (CCC 2060) The events surrounding the granting of the Decalogue are:
1. preceding: the proposal of the covenant
2. following: the conclusion of the covenant.
2118. How does God introduce Himself before pronouncing the Decalogue? (CCC 2061) God introduces Himself before pronouncing the Decalogue by saying: “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.”
2119. Where especially does the Church use the Decalogue? (CCC 2065) The Church uses the Decalogue especially in the catechesis of baptismal candidates and of the faithful.
2120. Who established the division of the Commandments used in the Church? (CCC 2066) St Augustine († 430) established the division of the Commandments used in the Church.
2121. How are the Ten Commandments divided? (CCC 2067) The Ten Commandments are divided in two groups:
1. 1-3 concerning the love of God
2. 4-10 concerning the love of neighbour.
This is the reason why the Decalogue was written on two tablets.
2122. What council said that the Ten Commandments are obligatory for the justified? (CCC 2068) The Council of Trent said that the Ten Commandments are obligatory for the justified.
The Council of Trent (AD 1545-63) followed the Reformation. It rejected Protestantism and reinforced orthodoxy.
2123. Why does transgressing one commandment mean to infringe all the others? (CCC 2069) Transgressing one commandment means to infringe all the others, because all the commandments form an organic unity.
Example: One cannot adore God without loving all men, His creatures.
2124. How does St Irenaeus define the Decalogue in terms of natural law? (CCC 2070) St Irenaeus († 200) defines the Decalogue as a reminder of the precepts of the natural law which God has implanted in the heart of man from the beginning.
The natural law is human reason ordaining man to do good and to avoid evil.
2125. Why has the Decalogue been revealed, although it is accessible to reason alone? (CCC 2071) Although it is accessible to reason alone, the Decalogue has been revealed, because in the state of sin human reason was obscured so that man needed a revelation in order to fully understand the requirements of the natural law.
The Decalogue is a privileged expression of the natural law.
2126. What does it mean that the Ten Commandments reveal grave obligations? (CCC 2072) That the Ten Commandments reveal grave obligations means that:
1. they are fundamentally immutable
2. they oblige always and everywhere
3. no one can dispense from them.