Francis: Commandments Aren't Fashionable, But Are Hymn to Love

Saying ‘Yes’ to Love Means Saying ‘No’ to Non-Love, Pope Explains

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Pope Francis admits that the very idea of a commandment is not fashionable today, but that the Ten Commandments come from a God who wants what is best for us. They are “not a hymn to ‘no,’ but to ‘yes,'” he says, “a ‘yes’ to God, a ‘yes’ to Love, and because I say ‘yes’ to Love, I say ‘no’ to non-Love.”

The Pope offered this reflection in a video message prepared for one of the events within the “10 Squares for 10 Commandments” initiative, organized by the Charismatic Renewal movement in Italy. The movement is marking its 40th anniversary in Italy.

“The Ten Commandments are a gift of God,” the Holy Father said. “The word ‘commandment’ is not fashionable; it reminds the man of today of something negative, the will of someone who imposes limits, who puts obstacles to life. […] But the Ten Commandments come from a God who has created us for love, from a God who has forged a close alliance with humanity, a God who only wills the good for man.”

Francis exhorted, “Let us trust God! Let us trust in Him! The Ten Commandments point out a path to follow” in a world of injustice.

He added that the Commandments “indicate a path of liberty.”

“We must not see the Ten Commandments as limitations to liberty. No, they are not this, but we must see them as indications for liberty. They are not limitations but indications for liberty! They teach us to avoid the slavery to which the many idols reduce us that we build ourselves – we have experienced this so many times in history and we are experiencing it also today,” Francis said. “They teach us to open ourselves to a dimension that is larger than the material, to live respect for persons, overcoming the avidity for power, for possession, for money and to be honest and sincere in our relations, to protect the whole of creation and to nourish in our planet lofty, noble and spiritual ideals. To follow the Ten Commandments means to be faithful to ourselves, to our more authentic nature, and to walk towards the genuine liberty that Christ taught in the Beatitudes.”

The Pontiff spoke of Jesus’ fulfillment of the Commandments with the Beatitudes, noting that the heart of the Decalogue is “the Love that comes from God and that gives meaning to life, love that makes us live not as slaves but as true sons, love that animates all our relations: with God, with ourselves – we often forget this – and with others.”

“True liberty,” he said, “is not to follow our egoism, our blind passions, but to love, to choose what is good in every situation. The Ten Commandments are not a hymn to ‘no,’ but to ‘yes.’ A ‘yes’ to God, a ‘yes’ to Love, and because I say ‘yes’ to Love, I say ‘no’ to non-Love, but the ‘no’ is a consequence of that ‘yes’ that comes from God and makes us love.”

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Kathleen Naab

United States

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