Daily Series on the Catechism


Section Two:  The Ten Commandments

Chapter 2:  “You Shall Love Your Neighbor As Yourself”

Article 8,  The Eighth Commandment

I.  Living in the Truth (cont’d)

§ 2469  “Men could not live with one another if there were not mutual confidence that they were being truthful to one another” (STh II-II, 109, 3 ad 1). The virtue of truth gives another his just due. Truthfulness keeps to the just mean between what ought to be expressed and what ought to be kept secret: it entails honesty and discretion. In justice, “as a matter of honor, one man owes it to another to manifest the truth” (STh II-II, 109, 3).

§ 2470  The disciple of Christ consents to “live in the truth,” that is, in the simplicity of a life in conformity with the Lord’s example, abiding in His truth. “If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not live according to the truth” (1 John 1:6).

II.  To Bear Witness to the Truth

§ 2471  Before Pilate, Christ proclaims that He “has come into the world, to bear witness to the truth” (Jn 18:37). The Christian is not to “be ashamed then of testifying to our Lord” (2 Timothy 1:8). In situations that require witness to the faith, the Christian must profess it without equivocation, after the example of St. Paul before his judges. We must keep “a clear conscience toward God and toward men” (Acts 24:16).

§ 2472  The duty of Christians to take part in the life of the Church impels them to act as witnesses of the Gospel and of the obligations that flow from it. This witness is a transmission of the faith in words and deeds. Witness is an act of justice that establishes the truth or makes it known (cf. Matthew 18:16).

  • “All Christians by the example of their lives and the witness of their word, wherever they live, have an obligation to manifest the new man which they have put on in Baptism and to reveal the power of the Holy Spirit by whom they were strengthened at Confirmation (AG 11).

§ 2473  Martyrdom is the supreme witness given to the truth of the faith: it means bearing witness even unto death. The martyr bears witness to Christ who died and rose, to whom he is united by charity. He bears witness to the truth of the faith and of Christian doctrine. He endures death through an act of fortitude. “Let me become the food of the beasts, through whom it will be given me to reach God” (EAR 4, 1: SCh 10, 110).

Tomorrow – To Bear Witness to 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.]

  • “AG” – “Ad Gentes [To the Nations of the World]”, Vatican Council II
  • “cf.” – “confer [compare or refer to]”
  • “EAR” – St. Ignatius of Antioch, “Epistula ad Romanos [Letter to the Romans]”
  • “SCh” – “Sources Chrétiennes [Christian Sources]” (Paris: 1942- )
  • “STh” – St. Thomas Aquinas, “Summa Theologiae [Summary of Theology]”
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