The Seventh, Eighth, Ninth and Tenth Commandments

The Seventh Commandment:
Thou Shalt Not Steal

605. THE THREE ROBBERS.-----A merchant, who was travelling through a forest with a quantity of jewels and precious ornaments, was attacked by three robbers, who stripped him of all that he possessed and beat him severely. Having done so, they carried off the stolen treasure into their cave, and sent the youngest of their number into the neighbouring town to buy wine and provisions. During his absence the two remaining robbers said one to another: "Why should we be obliged to share our treasure with that boy? As soon as he returns let us make an end of him." Meanwhile their young companion thought within himself as he journeyed to the town, "What a grand thing it would be if all that gold and silver were my own! And why should it not, for I can easily poison my two comrades!" Accordingly when he bought the provisions, he purchased some poison which he mixed with the wine; he then set out on his return. No sooner had he reached the cave than his two companions set upon him and murdered him with their daggers. They then ate heartily and drank the poisoned wine. In a short time they died amid agonies of pain, and the dead bodies of the three were soon after discovered beside the treasure, which was restored to the rightful owner.----Gibson

608. POOR, BUT HONEST.-----A poor man one day found a purse containing about two hundred pieces of gold and silver. He knew that he could not make his own of what he found, and so he posted up a notice, in which was written: Whoever has lost some pieces of gold and silver can recover them by applying to-----, who lives in-----.The person who lost the money made every inquiry about it, but the money could not be found. At last the notice attracted his attention, and he at once hastened to the spot where he who had found the money lived. He saw the poor man, and after having answered satisfactorily the few questions proposed to him in reference to the money, the purse was handed to him. So grateful was the owner to the poor man that he offered him a tenth part of the money found. It would not be taken. Take at least three pieces," said he. "No," replied the poor man, "I will have none." "I beg of you, then," said the other, "to accept five pieces." The poor man persisted in his refusal to take any of the money. Being again and again solicited to take a little, he at last consented, but no sooner had he received it, than he divided it with others equally poor as himself.-----Reyre

610. HONESTY OF S. ELIGIUS.-----S. Eligius, who flourished in the eighth century, was apprenticed in his youth to a goldsmith, and made such progress in his trade that the fame of his skill in working the precious metals reached the ears of King Clotaire II. This monarch being anxious to possess a chair of state of the richest materials and superior workmanship, summoned Eligius to court, and gave orders that he should be supplied from the royal treasury with a large quantity of pure gold and a number of rich and costly jewels. The work being at length completed, the chair was brought home to the palace, and presented by Eligius to the king, who expressed his entire satisfaction and ordered a rich reward to be given to the young goldsmith. But what was his astonishment, when Eligius requested to know his pleasure with regard to the other chair. "For," said he, "finding that the materials were sufficient, I have made two state chairs, exactly alike and corresponding with the directions given." This remarkable instance of honesty, contrasting as it did with the conduct of so many others who were employed at court, but sought only their own enrichment, made such an impression on the king, that he immediately nominated Eligius to the responsible office of keeper of the royal treasury, a post in which he ever displayed the same spotless integrity that he had shown in the management of his own business. After leading a holy and mortified life at court for some years, beloved by all and esteemed as a Saint, he was consecrated Bishop of Noyon, in which sacred office he rendered important service to the Church.-----His Life: Dec. 1

614. THE LAST WILL OF A USURER.-----A miser, seeing his last hour arrive, called for a scrivener, and dictated his will as follows: "I give my body to the earth, and my soul to the Devil, to whom it belongs!" His friends around were horrified, and entreated the dying man to lay aside such frightful thoughts, and to remember he was soon to appear before God. But all attempts to change his mind proved unavailing. Persisting in his blasphemy and despair, he repeated the same words again and again, in a louder voice and with greater emphasis. "Yes," said he, "I leave my soul to the devils, that they may carry it to Hell, in punishment of my taking what belonged to others by usury. I also leave the Devil the soul of my wife and the souls of my children; because it was on their account that I engaged in those vile and crying practices of usury." He had scarcely uttered these terrible words when his soul quitted his body in frightful agony and despair.-----S. Liguori

615. A USURER'S REPENTANCE.-----A few years ago, a man, by means of usury, had acquired something like £600 a year income. Being at the point of death, he was moved by God's grace to repent of his injustices, and calling his two sons to him, he said: "You know, my boys, that what I possess is not really mine, for I have acquired it by means that both religion and humanity condemn. My intention now is to repair the evil I have done, and I trust to your loyalty and piety to carry out my last wishes." The two sons were delighted at the sight of their father's repentance, and a few weeks later, after his death, sundry families were receiving £10, £20, and even £40, by way of restitution, All interest unlawfully acquired was duly restored, to the last penny.-----Guillois

The Eighth Commandment:
Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness Against Thy Neighbour

625. S. ATHANASIUS AND HIS ACCUSERS.-----The Arians, wishing to get rid of S. Athanasius, accused him to the magistrates of having, in his wrath, cut off the hand of a certain man, whose name was Arsenius, and, as a proof of what they asserted, they produced the hand of a man which had been cut off, and declared that it was the hand of Arsenius which they had found, he being safely concealed in the meantime. But, hearing of their designs against the Saint, Arsenius secretly went to him, and warned him of what they were about to do. When the time came, the Saint was brought before the Council, and publicly accused by the Arians of the wicked deed which they had invented. Athanasius then cried out: "Is there anyone present here who ever saw Arsenius?" Many of the people answered that they knew him well. Then the Saint ordered a door to be opened, and Arsenius came in covered with a long mantle. "Is this man Arsenius?"' asked the Saint. "Yes," was the answer that came from every part of the room; "it is indeed Arsenius." Then the Saint, lifting up one side of the mantle, showed the man's hands and said: "What need is there of further proof that I am innocent of the charge you bring against me?" The Arians saw their plot had failed, and would have vented their rage on the Saint, but he escaped their hands.-----His Life: May 2

630. THREE RASH JUDGMENTS.-----A pious solitary who lived in Egypt, in the fourth century, was guilty of three rash judgments. The first was having accused some of the brethren of impatience and immortification, because they had had recourse to physicians for tumours that came into their mouths. The second, having blamed others for making use of goat-skin covers to sleep on or
under, instead of sleeping on the bare ground. The third was having taxed some religious with vanity because they had blessed oil asked of them by pious persons who came to see them. "To punish me for these sins," said the humble solitary, "God permitted that I should fall into the same faults. In fact, having an abscess in my mouth, I suffered so much that my superior ordered me to consult the doctor; the same ailment obliged me to sleep under a cover; and, finally, some persons urged me so much, that in order to get rid of them I gave them a phial of oil which I blessed. So it was that I learned how wrong I was in judging and condemning my brethren."-----Rodriguez

-----During the French Revolution, the priests were proscribed and forced to conceal themselves in the very forests and caves of the mountains. A young girl, Magdalen Larralde, living on the borders of Spain, was afraid to have recourse to her own parish priest in his concealment, and used to cross the mountains to receive the Sacraments on the Spanish side of the Pyrenees. One day, on her return, she was seized by the French soldiers, and taken as a spy to their general. In answer to inquiry, Magdalen said, in all simplicity, what her object was in crossing the border. The general, touched by her youth, and anxious to save her, quickly replied: "Do not speak of Sacraments; say, rather, the French troops drove you in fear to Spanish ground." Magdalen replied this would be a lie to say, and she could not do so. In spite of urgent representations, her firmness never yielded, and she refused to save her life by telling a lie: she was therefore condemned to the guillotine.----The Month

644. "ONLY A LITTLE LIE!"-----A little child of nine years of age was one day weeping bitterly. He had committed a fault by taking something which his father had told him not to touch, and he was afraid that his father would come to know about it and punish him. The servants of the house who saw him weeping, and knew the reason of his tears, said to him, "If your father asks you if you took it, you have only to deny it, and you will not be punished." But the child, looking at them with much indignation, answered: "What? Tell a lie about it? No, never! I would rather be punished than think of doing such a thing." This should be the answer of every Christian child to anyone who asks him to tell a lie.----Chisholm

The Ninth Commandment:
Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Neighbour's Wife

-----A poor solitary was much tormented with bad thoughts, without daring to acquaint his confessor with his trouble. "I am lost!" said he to himself; "it is frightful to have such bad thoughts; if I tell my spiritual father he will be scandalized, and will have a very bad opinion of me." Nevertheless, after having borne these interior torments for full twenty years, he resolved to speak of them to an old Father of the desert, in whom he had great confidence. When he had done so, the holy man began to smile, and said to him: "My son, place your hand on my head; I take your sin upon myself, so trouble yourself no more about it." "How, Father," asked the solitary, much surprised at these words; "it seems to me that I have already one foot in Hell, and you tell me not to trouble myself about it." "But, son," said the old man, "do you take pleasure in these thoughts?" "On the contrary, Father, they have always given me great sorrow and much pain." "That being the case," replied the man of God, "it is a proof that you did not consent to them, and that it was the Devil who excited them in you in order to make you despair." These words of the old man so consoled and strengthened the solitary, that he was never again attacked by the thoughts that had so long tormented him.-----Rodriguez

663. THE YOUNG CYRIL.-----A young man, named Cyril, gave himself up Without restraint to drink and immorality. Constantly in a state of intoxication, he passed nights and days in drinking saloons with companions like himself. One day, returning home in this state, he begins by stabbing his sister. On hearing her cries, the father rushes to the scene, and him, without remorse, this unnatural son also stabs and kills. In a few moments he likewise kills another sister, coming to the rescue of her father, What crimes in a single day, the results of excess in drink!-----S. Augustine

665. THE MIDNIGHT SCREAM.-----There was a certain boy who went into bad company. He was taught by one of his wicked companions to commit a very wicked sin which he never knew before. A year or two passed and still he went on committing this sin. One night he awoke out of sleep. He began to scream frightfully. His people came round him to see what was the matter, and asked him why he screamed. They could not get any answer from him. They told him to pray. At last he spoke, and what do you think he said? "Woe," he said, "woe to that bad companion who taught me that sin. It is of no use for me to pray. I see Hell open ready to receive me." With these words on his lips he died!-----Furniss

The Tenth Commandment:
Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Neighbour's Goods

666. DEATH THROUGH ENVY.-----A Prussian had a fine fortune, and was the owner of numerous cattle; but, notwithstanding all this, he was no less jealous of what was possessed by others. In the evening, when the cattle were returning from the pasture, he was accustomed to place himself before the door of his house to watch the flocks going home from the fields; whenever he saw a finer cow than any of his passing by, he was as vexed as could be, saying: "Ah I I have no cow like that." If in the spring he saw his neighbours' farms presenting the appearance of a fine harvest, he said sorrowfully to himself: "See! everything prospers with others, whilst nothing succeeds with me!" Thus he had the unhappy art of tormenting himself. And what was the result? After dragging out for some time a sickly, miserable life, he was seized with a violent bilious fever, and died just two days after receiving a legacy of two hundred thousand francs, left to him by a relative.-----Schmid

668. THE TWO BROTHERS.-----Two noblemen were one day passing together through a forest. They were brothers, and each of them possessed great riches. As they were passing through the solitary place, the demon of covetousness inspired them both with the same wicked thought, that of killing his brother, in order to obtain his share of wealth. But, as they were Christians, and feared to offend God, they both resisted the temptation. When they reached the nearest village, the one said to the other: "I am going to look for a priest, for I want to go to Confession." The other one answered: "I also have the same desire in my mind." So they both went to the Church and made their confession. After both had finished, and were about to continue their journey, one of them said to the other: "My dear brother, I must tell you of a terrible temptation that came into my mind as we were passing through the forest. Satan tempted me to take away your life, that I might obtain possession of your wealth." The other brother started back in surprise. "My dearest brother," he said, "the same thought also came into my mind, and I was tempted to kill you, that I might become possessed of your property: but I, like yourself, banished the temptation." This revelation filled them both with such horror for wealth, which so nearly was the cause of crime, that, on the spot, they both resolved to renounce forever the riches of this world, and went to live together in a hut which they built for themselves in the forest.-----Lives of the Saints