What Does God Command?


The two great commandments that contain the whole law of God are: 

First, you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your whole strength.

Second, you shall love your neighbor as yourself. LOVE is the most important of the commandments. Our love must go first to God and then to all of God’s children, our brothers and sisters in Christ.

The Ten commandments show us in detail how we are to love God and our neighbor.

“If you love Me,
Keep My commandments”
John 14:15


What must we do to love God, our neighbor, and ourselves?

To love God, our neighbor, and ourselves we must keep the commandments of God and of the Church, and perform the spiritual and corporal works of mercy.

Which are the commandments of God?

The commandments of God are these ten:

1. I am the Lord your God; you shall not have strange gods before Me.

2. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.

3. Remember to keep holy the Lord’s day.

4. Honor your father and your mother.

5. You shall not kill.

6. You shall not commit adultery.

7. You shall not steal.

8. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

9. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife.

10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s goods.

The first three commandments deal directly with a person’s relationship with God: Acknowledgement of one true God and the rejection of false gods and idols; honor due to God and His name; observance of the Sabbath as the Lord’s day.

The rest of the commandments cover interpersonal relationships: The obedience due to parent, and logically to other persons in legitimate authority, and the obligations of parents to children and of persons in authority to those under their care; respect for life, physical and moral well-being; fidelity in marriage, and chastity; justice and rights; truth; internal respect for chastity, fidelity in marriage; respect for the goods of others.


Should we be satisfied merely to keep the commandments of God?

We should not be satisfied merely to keep the commandments of God, but should always be ready to do good deeds, even when they are not commanded.

What are spiritual and corporal works of mercy?

The spiritual and corporal works of mercy are acts of love and  good deeds that help our neighbors, meaning our fellow men, in their physical or spiritual needs for the love of Christ..  As Our Lord Himself says:


“As long as you did it for one of these, the least of My brethren, you did it for Me”

Matt. 25:40


Which are the chief corporal works of mercy?

The chief corporal works of mercy are seven:

1. To feed the hungry.

2. To give drink to the thirsty.

3. To clothe the naked.

4. To visit the imprisoned.

5. To shelter the homeless.

6. To visit the sick.

7 To bury the dead.


Which are the chief spiritual works of mercy?

The chief spiritual works of mercy are seven:

1. To admonish the sinner.

2. To instruct the ignorant.

3. To counsel the doubtful.

4. To comfort the sorrowful.

5. To bear wrongs patiently.

6. To forgive all injuries.

7. To pray for the living and the dead.


Is everyone obliged to perform the works of mercy?

Everyone is obliged to perform the works of mercy, according to his own ability and the need of his neighbor.  We must remember, too, that our neighbor is everyone, even our enemies, which means those we do not like.


All the ordinary deeds done every day to relieve the corporal or spiritual needs of others are true works of mercy, if done for the love of Christ.  He, Himself has said of all these actions done to help others,


“As long as you did it for one of these, the least of My brethren, you did it for Me”

Matt. 25, 40


Real love never says “enough.” It always tries to do all it can for the one it loves, not just so much and no more.

Loving God perfectly means doing everything, every day in the way He prefers us to do it because we want to please Him.


Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.  Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.  Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.  Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.  Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the  peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.  You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.   You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.             Matt 5:3-17  (NIV)


This information obtained from:

The Baltimore Catechism

Foy,Felician A.  O.F.M., Avato, Rose M., A Concise Guide to the Catholic Church  1984

Recommended Reading:

Catechism of the Catholic Church 1994


Edited and compiled by Marta  © 1996


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