St. Peter's Square
Wednesday, 7 November 2018
Catechesis on the Commandments, 12: Do not steal
Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!
Continuing the explanation of the Decalogue, today we arrive at the Seventh Word: "Do not steal".
Listening to this commandment we think about the theft and respect for the property of others. There is no culture in which theft and abuse of goods are lawful; in fact, human sensitivity is very susceptible to the defense of possession.
But it is worthwhile to open ourselves up to a wider reading of this Word, focusing on the theme of the property of goods in the light of Christian wisdom.
In the social doctrine of the Church we speak of the universal destination of goods. What does it mean? Let us listen to what the Catechism says: "At the beginning, God entrusted the earth and its resources to the common management of humanity, to take care of it, to dominate it with its work and to enjoy its fruits. The goods of creation are destined for all mankind "(No. 2402). And again: "The universal destination of goods remains primary, even if the promotion of the common good requires respect for private property, the right to it and its exercise" (No. 2403). 
Providence, however, has not arranged a "series" world, there are differences, different conditions, different cultures, so one can live by providing for one another. The world is rich in resources to ensure all primary goods. Yet many live in scandalous poverty and the resources, used without criteria, are deteriorating. But the world is one only! Humanity is one!  The wealth of the world, today, is in the hands of the minority, of the few, and the poverty, even the misery and suffering, of many, of the majority.
If there is hunger on earth, it is not because food is missing! Indeed, for the needs of the market we sometimes get to destroy it, it is thrown out. What is lacking is a free and far-sighted entrepreneurship, which ensures adequate production, and a solidarity approach, which ensures fair distribution. The Catechism also says: "Man, using created goods, must consider the external things that he legitimately possesses, not only as his own, but also as common, in the sense that they can benefit not only him but also others" ( No. 2404). Every wealth, to be good, must have a social dimension.
In this perspective the positive and broad meaning of the commandment "do not steal" appears. "The ownership of a good makes him who owns it an administrator of Providence" (ibid.). Nobody is the absolute master of property: he is an administrator of property. Possession is a responsibility: "But I am rich in everything ..." - this is a responsibility you have. And every good removed from the logic of God's Providence is betrayed, it is betrayed in its deepest sense. What I really own is what I can give. This is the measure to evaluate how I manage wealth, whether good or bad; this word is important: what I really own is what I can give. If I can give, I am open, then I am rich not only in what I possess, but also in generosity, generosity also as a duty to give wealth, so that everyone can participate. In fact, if I can not give something, it's because that thing has me, has power over me and I'm a slave. The possession of goods is an opportunity to multiply them with creativity and use them with generosity, and thus grow in love and freedom.
Christ himself, despite being God, "did not consider being a privilege like God, but he emptied himself" (Phil 2: 6-7) and enriched us with his poverty (cf. 2 Cor 8,9).
While humanity struggles to get more, God redeems us by making himself poor: that Crucified Man has paid for all an inestimable ransom from God the Father, "rich in mercy" (Eph 2: 4, see Gc 5,11 ). What makes us rich are not goods but love. So many times we have heard what the people of God say: "The devil enters from his pockets". We start with the love of money, the hunger to possess; then comes the vanity: "Ah, I am rich and I am proud"; and, in the end, pride and pride. This is the devil's way of acting in us. But the front door is the pockets.
Dear brothers and sisters, once again Jesus Christ reveals to us the full meaning of the Scriptures. «Do not steal» means: love with your goods, take advantage of your means to love as you can. Then your life becomes good and possession becomes truly a gift. Because life is not the time to possess but to love. Thank you.
Greetings in Various Languages:
Je salue cordialement les pèlerins de langue française, en particulier le Collège Fénelon-Sainte Marie de Paris. Notre vie n’est pas faite pour posséder mais pour aimer. Efforçons-nous, frères et sœurs, de faire du bien, autant que possible, avec les biens que nous possédons. Notre vie sera bonne et nos biens deviendront un don pour tous. Que Dieu vous bénisse !
I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, especially those from Denmark, Japan, the Philippines and the United States of America. I offer a special greeting to the participants in the first International Men’s Meeting here in Rome. Upon all of you, and your families, I invoke the Lord’s blessings of joy and peace. God bless you!
Von Herzen grüße ich die Pilger deutscher Sprache, insbesondere die Freunde des Vatikanischen Geheimarchivs aus Bamberg sowie die Schulgemeinschaft der Mädchenrealschule Volkach. Der Herr schenke euch den Reichtum und die Freude eines Lebens im Geist der Hingabe. Wenn wir mit anderen teilen, werden wir nicht arm, sondern reich an dem, was wirklich zählt: reich an Liebe. Der Herr segne euch!
Saludo cordialmente a los peregrinos de lengua española venidos de España y Latinoamérica. Que el Señor Jesús nos conceda entender que la vida no es un tiempo para poseer sino para amar con nuestros bienes, porque solo tenemos aquello que sabemos donar. Que la Virgen María nos ampare e interceda por nosotros. Muchas gracias.
Saúdo cordialmente os vários grupos do Brasil e de Portugal e todos os peregrinos presentes de língua portuguesa: obrigado pela vossa presença e sobretudo pelas vossas orações! À Virgem Maria confio os vossos passos ao serviço do crescimento em dignidade humana e divina dos nossos irmãos e irmãs. Sobre vós e vossas famílias, desça a Bênção do Senhor!
أُرحّبُ بالحجّاجِ الناطقينَ باللّغةِ العربيّة، وخاصةً بالقادمينَ من الشرق الأوسط. أيّها الإخوةُ والأخواتُ الأعزّاء، أحبُّوا بواسطة خيوركم، واستفيدوا من الوسائل التي تملكونها لكي تحبّوا بحسب قدرتكم؛ لأنَّ الحياة ليست زمنًا للامتلاك وإنما للحب! ليبارككم الرب!Serdecznie pozdrawiam polskich pielgrzymów. Drodzy bracia i siostry, w przyszłą niedzielę przypada 100.rocznica niepodległości Polski. Z tej okazji jednoczę się w dziękczynnej modlitwie z wami i z wszystkimi waszymi rodakami. Życzę, by naród polski mógł żyć darem wolności w pokoju i pomyślności, budując szczęśliwą przyszłość ojczyzny w jedności osadzonej na duchowym dziedzictwie przodków i na bratniej miłości. Niech zawsze
wam towarzyszy opieka Maryi Królowej Polski i Boże błogosławieństwo!
I extend a cordial welcome to Italian-speaking pilgrims.
I am pleased to welcome the Sisters Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, with the lay collaborators; the parish groups, especially that of Andria, and the Faculty of Canon Law "Saint Pius X", of Venice, on the 10th anniversary of the erection, accompanied by the Patriarch, Mons. Francesco Moraglia.
I greet the national coordination center for Italian masks; the Association of Wine and Flavors of the Hills of Forlì and Cesena; the "Flying House" Association of Gazzo Veronese; the Comprehensive Institute of San Marco dei Cavoti and the group of gymnastic students of "Azuolynas" of Klaipeda.
A particular thought I address to the young, the elderly, the sick and the newlyweds.
The day after tomorrow we will celebrate the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica, the Cathedral of the Bishop of Rome, the Cathedral of the Pope. Pray for me to always confirm the brothers in the faith. Thank you.
 See Enc. Laudato si ', 67: "Every community can take from the goodness of the earth what it needs for its own survival, but it also has the duty to protect it and guarantee the continuity of its fertility for future generations. Ultimately, "of the Lord is the earth" (Ps 24: 1), "the earth and all it contains" belong to him (Dt 10: 14). Therefore God denies any claim to absolute property: "The lands can not be sold forever, because the earth is mine and you are with me as strangers and guests" (Lv 25,23) ».
 Cf. St. Paul VI, Enc. Populorum progressio, 17: "But every man is a member of society: he belongs to the whole of humanity. It is not only this or that man, but all men are called to this plenary development. [...] Heirs of past generations and beneficiaries of the work of our contemporaries, we have obligations to all, and we can not lose interest in those who come after us to enlarge the circle of the human family. Universal solidarity, which is a fact and for us a benefit, is also a duty ".