Friday, July 19, 2013

Boethius and the 10 Commandments

Boethius and the 10 Commandments

Today I was reading 1 Corinthians, thinking about how things in this world distract from God, and then I thought of Boethius! It seems that the 5 false happinesses he names in Book 3 of the Consolation correspond to the middle commandments.

Honor - Honor your father and mother
Power - Thou shall not kill
Pleasure - Thou shall not commit adultery
Riches - Thou shall not steal
Fame - Thou shall not bear false witness

While thinking, honor was the one I forgot, collapsing it with fame. Honor is what pertains to a politician or military hero, whereas fame would pertain more to a celebrity.

The first 3 commandments require that God be our end, and that we reverence him in speech and with our time. The next 5 commandments keep us from 5 idols, false beatitudes. Honor, by requiring that we honor another; power, by forbidding us from taking the life of others; pleasure, by limiting and ordering the most intense animal pleasure; riches, by commanding we respect the goods of other; and fame, by forbidding that we lie (for we often do this for the sake our reputation, so we can control how others esteem us).

The last 2 commandments are about coveting, which teaches us that the heart is essential. It does not matter what you do or don't do, unless the Lord be present to your heart. The heart, a mystery.

(I'm reading Proverbs: I will share later what it says about the heart.)

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