The Ten Commandments are not heartless rules imposed by an oppressive God, but are words given by a father to his children in order to protect them from harm, Pope Francis said yesterday. Source: CNA.
“Man is in front of this crossroads: does God impose things on me, or take care of me? Are his commandments only a law, or do they contain a word? Is God a master or a father? Are we slaves, or children?” the Pope said.
This is a “battle” which takes place both inside and outside of the person, and “is continually present: a thousand times we must choose between a slave mentality and a mentality of children,” he said, adding that the Holy Spirit is a spirit “of sons, it is the Spirit of Jesus.”
“A spirit of slaves can only welcome the law in an oppressive way, and it can produce two opposite results: either a life of duties and obligations, or a violent reaction of rejection.”
The whole of Christianity, he said, is the passage “from the letter of the law to the Spirit who gives life. Jesus is the word of the Father, he is not the condemnation of the Father.”
Pope Francis spoke to pilgrims present in St Peter’s Square for his weekly general audience, during which he continued a new series of catechesis on the 10 Commandments.
In his address, the Pope noted how at the beginning of Chapter 20 of the biblical book of Exodus, in reference to the commandments, verse one reads “God spoke these words to all.”
The phrase might seem simple, but “nothing in the bible is banal,” Francis said, noting that the passage uses the term “word,” rather than “command.”
In Jewish tradition, the commandments, also called the “Decalogue,” are referred to as “the ten words,” he said, explaining that while they are also laws, the term “decalogue” in itself is meant to connote the term “word.”
Asking what the difference between “word” and “commandment” is, Pope Francis said a command is a something which “does not require dialogue,” while word, on the other hand, “is the essential means of relationship through dialogue.”