The Tenth Commandment forbids coveting the possessions of others; therefore, curbing the vice of envy is vital to observing the Tenth Commandment.
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The Discovery of the True Cross
by Gustave Doré
But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ; by whom the world is crucified to me, and I to the world (Galatians 6:14)
The Tenth Commandment forbids coveting the possessions of others; therefore, curbing the vice of envy is vital to observing the Tenth Commandment. As stated by Canon Francis Ripley, “The Tenth Commandment forbids all envious and covetous thoughts and unjust desires for our neighbor’s goods and profits. By this commandment, God wants to protect us against the evil inclinations of our own hearts and to blunt the sting of the unlawful desires which make us yearn for things that belong to others” (“This is the Faith” by Canon Francis Ripley, © 2002 by Thomas A. Nelson).
Underlying sins against the Tenth Commandment is the vice of envy. Aristotle in his discourse on Ethics writes:
But not every action nor every passion admits of a mean; for some have names that already imply badness, e.g. spite, shamelessness, envy, and in the case of actions adultery, theft, murder; for all of these and suchlike things imply by their names that they are themselves bad, and not the excesses or deficiencies of them. It is not possible, then, ever to be right with regard to them; one must always be wrong. Nor does goodness or badness with regard to such things depend on committing adultery with the right woman, at the right time, and in the right way, but simply to do any of them is to go wrong. It would be equally absurd, then, to expect that in unjust, cowardly, and voluptuous action there should be a mean, an excess, and a deficiency; for at that rate there would be a mean of excess and of deficiency, an excess of excess, and a deficiency of deficiency. But as there is no excess and deficiency of temperance and courage because what is intermediate is in a sense an extreme, so too of the actions we have mentioned there is no mean nor any excess and deficiency, but however they are done they are wrong; for in general there is neither a mean of excess and deficiency, nor excess and deficiency of a mean.
Likewise, St. John Vianney condemns envy in his writings on the subject:
Envy is a sadness which we feel on account of the good that happens to our neighbour.
Envy, my children, follows pride; whoever is envious is proud. See, envy comes to us from Hell; the devils having sinned through pride, sinned also through envy, envying our glo... Please purchase this lesson to continue learning.
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