Today’s Catechism sections continue the discussion on the Tenth Commandment, focusing on the desires of the spirit, and poverty of heart. Supporting material comes from the Dogmatic Constitution, “Lumen Gentium”.

II. The Desires of the Spirit

2541 The economy of law and grace turns men's hearts away from avarice and envy. It initiates them into desire for the Sovereign Good; it instructs them in the desires of the Holy Spirit who satisfies man's heart.
The God of the promises always warned man against seduction by what from the beginning has seemed "good for food . . . a delight to the eyes . . . to be desired to make one wise."329

2542 The Law entrusted to Israel never sufficed to justify those subject to it; it even became the instrument of "lust."330 The gap between wanting and doing points to the conflict between God's Law which is the "law of my mind," and another law "making me captive to the law of sin which dwells in my members."331

2543 "But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from law, although the law and the prophets bear witness to it, the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe."332 Henceforth, Christ's faithful "have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires"; they are led by the Spirit and follow the desires of the Spirit.333

III. Poverty of Heart

2544 Jesus enjoins his disciples to prefer him to everything and everyone, and bids them "renounce all that [they have]" for his sake and that of the Gospel.334 Shortly before his passion he gave them the example of the poor widow of Jerusalem who, out of her poverty, gave all that she had to live on.335 The precept of detachment from riches is obligatory for entrance into the Kingdom of heaven.

2545 All Christ's faithful are to "direct their affections rightly, lest they be hindered in their pursuit of perfect charity by the use of worldly things and by an adherence to riches which is contrary to the spirit of evangelical poverty."336

2546 "Blessed are the poor in spirit."337 The Beatitudes reveal an order of happiness and grace, of beauty and peace. Jesus celebrates the joy of the poor, to whom the Kingdom already belongs:338

The Word speaks of voluntary humility as "poverty in spirit"; the Apostle gives an example of God's poverty when he says: "For your sakes he became poor."339

2547 The Lord grieves over the rich, because they find their consolation in the abundance of goods.340 "Let the proud seek and love earthly kingdoms, but blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven."341 Abandonment to the providence of the Father in heaven frees us from anxiety about tomorrow.342 Trust in God is a preparation for the blessedness of the poor. They shall see God.

IN BRIEF

2555 Christ's faithful "have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires" (⇒ Gal 5:24); they are led by the Spirit and follow his desires.

2556 Detachment from riches is necessary for entering the Kingdom of heaven. "Blessed are the poor in spirit."

The Dogmatic Constitution, “Lumen Gentium” (42) discusses the proper ordering of the desires.

Likewise, the holiness of the Church is fostered in a special way by the observance of the counsels proposed in the Gospel by Our Lord to His disciples.(13*) An eminent position among these is held by virginity or the celibate state.(231) This is a precious gift of divine grace given by the Father to certain souls,(232) whereby they may devote themselves to God alone the more easily, due to an undivided heart. (14*) This perfect continency, out of desire for the kingdom of heaven, has always been held in particular honor in the Church. The reason for this was and is that perfect continency for the love of God is an incentive to charity, and is certainly a particular source of spiritual fecundity in the world.

Footnotes

329 ⇒ Gen 3:6.
330 Cf. ⇒ Rom 7:7.
331 ⇒ Rom 7:23; cf. ⇒ 7:10.
332 ⇒ Rom 3:21-22.
333 ⇒ Gal 5:24; cf. ⇒ Rom 8:14, 27.
334 ⇒ Lk 14:33; cf. ⇒ Mk 8:35.
335 Cf. ⇒ Lk 21:4.
336 LG 42 # 3.
337 ⇒ Mt 5:3[ETML:C/].
338 Cf. ⇒ Lk 6:20.
339 St. Gregory of Nyssa, De beatitudinibus 1: PG 44, 1200D; cf. ⇒ 2 Cor 8:9.
340 ⇒ Lk 6:24.
341 St. Augustine, De serm. Dom. in monte 1, 1, 3: PL 34, 1232.
342 Cf. ⇒ Mt 6:25-34.