Evangelizing through the Catholic Arts

Temperance and the Commandments – Part III of III

Self Control

In our last two reflections on the virtue of Temperance, we covered Temperance’s association with the Fourth Commandment to honor one’s father and mother and the Sixth Commandment, to not commit adultery. Today we will conclude this mini-series by discussing how Temperance is associated with the Ninth Commandment: Thou shall not covet thy neighbor’s wife.

As with the discussion on adultery, from our last reflection, so too it is with lust for another that we sin in God’s eyes. Merely envisioning being with another person sexually, outside of the marital union, is considered sinful.

Lust is disordered desire for, or inordinate enjoyment of, sexual pleasure. Sexual pleasure is morally disordered when sought for itself, isolated from its procreative and unitive purposes. 1

However, through the practice of Temperance, by employing self-control, self-discipline and self-restraint we can live a chaste life, faithful to our vocations.

  • Go not after your lusts, but keep your desires in check” (Sirach 18:30).

How might one go about embracing Temperance? We will answer that question via three examples in our next three reflections on the virtue of Temperance. Don’t miss it!


1 Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2nd. Ed. paragraph 2351, Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1997. Print.

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