By Fr. PJ Gannon, Catholic Exchange, Aug. 26, 2022
Fr. P. J. Gannon (1879–1953), a Jesuit, was one of Ireland’s foremost preachers and pamphleteers. He was a professor of theology and apologetics and a beloved retreat master who wrote numerous articles for Irish and American Catholic publications.
Editor’s note: The above excerpt was taken from Written in Stone: How the Ten Commandments Strengthen and Heal Our World, available now from Sophia Institute Press.
Thou shalt not steal. . . .
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house . . .
nor his servant, nor his handmaid, nor his ox,
nor his ass, nor any thing that is his. —Exodus 20:15, 17
Every one of the commandments is vital not only for the salvation of the individual but also for the wellbeing of society. None of them can be ignored or widely violated without disastrous results to the whole community. But these results are more immediate and more evident in the case of some commandments than in that of others. The two we consider now are so intimately bound up with the economic and social life of man that they simply govern business intercourse and effectively determine the measure of prosperity any nation shall be permitted to enjoy. They prescribe for all of us the practice of justice in our dealings with our fellowmen; and justice is the very keystone of the arch that bridges over the gulf separating ordered civilized existence from the conditions of prehistory. …