Covetousness
Covetousness
Generally, an unreasonable desire for what we do not possess

Catholic Encyclopedia. . 2006.

Covetousness
    Covetousness
     Catholic_Encyclopedia Covetousness
    Generally, an unreasonable desire for what we do not possess. In this sense, it differs from concupiscence only in the implied notion of non-possession, and thus may cover all things which are sought after inordinately. Classified under this general head, we may have covetousness of honours, or pride; of the flesh, or concupiscence properly so called; of riches, or covetousness proper (Lat. avaritia), or avarice. When covetousness of the flesh or of wealth has for its object that which is already the lawful possession of another, it falls under the ban of the Ninth or Tenth Commandment of God; and such desires, wilfully indulged, partake, as we are told by the Lord (Matt., v), in their malice, of the nature of the external acts themselves. For he who deliberately desires the possession of another manUs lawful wife or goods has already in his heart committed the sin of adultery or theft. In its specific meaning, covetousness looks to riches in themselves, whether of money or of property, whether possessed or not, and pertains less to their acquisition than to their possession or accumulation. Thus defined, it is numbered among the sins which are called capital, because it is, as St. Paul says (Tim., vi), a radix omnium peccatorum.
    The capital sin of covetousness is in reality rather a vice or inclination to sin, which is sinful only in that it proceeds from the unholy condition of original sin in which we are born, and because it leads us into sin. And so far is the desire—natural in us all—to acquire and hold possessions from being reproved as offensive by God, that, if kept within the bounds of reason and justice and resisted triumphantly in its inordinate cravings, it is positively meritorious. Even when indulged, covetousness is not a grievous sin, except in certain conditions which involve offence of God or the neighbour, e.g. when one is prepared to employ, or does actually employ, illicit or unjust means to satisfy the desire of riches, holds to them in defiance of the strict demands of justice or charity, makes them the end rather than the means of happiness, or suffers them to interfere seriously with oneUs bounden duty to God or man. Nourished and developed into an unrestricted habit, it becomes the fruitful mother of all manner of perfidy, heartlessness and unrest.
    JOHN H. STAPLETON
    Transcribed by Marcia L. Bellafiore

The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume VIII. — New York: Robert Appleton Company. . 1910.


Catholic encyclopedia.

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  • COVETOUSNESS — COVETOUSNESS, condemned and prohibited in the tenth commandment of the Decalogue (Ex. 20:14; Deut. 5:18), and throughout the Bible and Jewish ethical literature, particularly in the Book of Proverbs (e.g., 3:31, 14:30, etc.). Since envy may be… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Covetousness — Cov et*ous*ness, n. 1. Strong desire. [R.] [1913 Webster] When workmen strive to do better than well, They do confound their skill in covetousness. Shak. [1913 Webster] 2. A strong or inordinate desire of obtaining and possessing some supposed… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • covetousness — index desire, greed Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • covetousness — covetous ► ADJECTIVE ▪ longing to possess something. DERIVATIVES covetously adverb covetousness noun …   English terms dictionary

  • covetousness — noun see covetous …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • covetousness — See covetously. * * * …   Universalium

  • covetousness — noun Immoderate desire for the possession of something, especially for wealth. He which will yield to Fear. muſt neceſſarily yield to Covetouſneſs or any inordinate Deſire …   Wiktionary

  • Covetousness —    A strong desire after the possession of worldly things (Col. 3:5; Eph. 5:5; Heb. 13:5; 1 Tim. 6:9, 10; Matt. 6:20). It assumes sometimes the more aggravated form of avarice, which is the mark of cold hearted worldliness …   Easton's Bible Dictionary

  • covetousness — Selfish greed, condemned by Jesus (Luke 12:15) and regarded by Paul as the kind of specific command that makes people aware of their sinfulness (Rom. 7:7) …   Dictionary of the Bible

  • covetousness — I (Roget s IV) n. Syn. avarice, Cupidity, avariciousness; see greed . II (Roget s Thesaurus II) noun 1. Resentful or painful desire for another s advantages: enviousness, envy, jealousy. See DESIRE. 2. Excessive desire for more than one needs or… …   English dictionary for students

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