Daily Series on the Catechism

PART  III:  LIFE IN CHRIST

Section Two:  The Ten Commandments

Chapter 2:  “You Shall Love Your Neighbor As Yourself” (cont’d)

Article 8,  The Eighth Commandment

  • “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor” (Exodus 20:16; cf. Deuteronomy 5:20).
  • “It was said to the men of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn’” (Matthew 5:33).

§ 2464  The Eighth Commandment forbids misrepresenting the truth in our relations with others. This moral prescription flows from the vocation of the holy people to bear witness to their God who is the Truth and wills the truth. Offenses against the truth express by word or deed a refusal to commit oneself to moral uprightness: they are fundamental infidelities to God and, in this sense, they undermine the foundations of the covenant.

I.  Living in the Truth

§ 2465  The Old Testament attests that God is the Source of all truth. His Word is truth. His Law is truth. His “faithfulness endures to all generations” (Psalm 119:90; cf. Proverbs 8:7; 2 Samuel 7:28; Ps 119:142; Luke 1:50). Since God is “true,” the members of His people are called to live in the Truth (Romans 3:4; cf. Ps 119:30).

§ 2466  In Jesus Christ, the whole of God’s truth has been made manifest. “Full of grace and truth,” he came as the “light of the world,” He is the Truth (John 1:14; 8:12; cf. 14:6). “Whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness” (Jn 12:46). The disciple of Jesus continues in His word so as to know “the truth [that] will make you free” and that sanctifies (Jn 8:32; cf. 17:17). To follow Jesus is to live in “the Spirit of truth,” whom the Father sends in His Name and who leads “into all the truth” (Jn 16:13). To His disciples, Jesus teaches the unconditional love of truth: “Let what you say be simply ‘Yes or No’” (Mt 5:37).

§ 2467  Man tends by nature towards the truth. He is obliged to honor and bear witness to it: “It is in accordance with their dignity that all men, because they are persons…are both impelled by their nature and bound by a moral obligation to seek the truth, especially religious truth. They are also bound to adhere to the truth once they come to know it and direct their whole lives in accordance with the demands of truth” (DH 2 § 2).

§ 2468  Truth as uprightness in human action and speech is called truthfulness, sincerity, or candor. Truth or truthfulness is the virtue which consists in showing oneself true in deeds and truthful in words, and in guarding against duplicity [deception], dissimulation [dishonesty], and hypocrisy.

Tomorrow – Living in the Truth (to be continued)

(Part III, Section 2, Chapter 2, Article 8 – to be continued)

[Editor’s Note:  The abbreviations in today’s posting are noted below.]

  • “cf.” – “confer [compare or refer to]”
  • “DH” – “Dignitatis Humanae [The Dignity of the Human Person]”, Vatican Council II
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