Lesson 37: The Fourth Commandment
"Son, support the old age of thy father, and grieve him not in his life; and if his understanding fail, have patience with him, and despise him not when thou art in thy strength:  for the relieving of the father shall not be forgotten.  For good shall be repaid to thee for the sin of thy mother.  And in justice thou shalt be built up, and in the day of affliction thou shalt be remembered:  and thy sins shall melt away as the ice in the fair warm weather."  (Ecclesiasticus 3:14-17)

  1. What is the Fourth Commandment?

  2.    Honor thy father and thy mother.
    "With thy whole heart, honor thy father, and forget not the groanings of thy mother:  Remember that thou hadst not been born but through them:  and make a return to them as they have done for thee."    (Ecclesiasticus 7:28-30)

  3. What are the duties of children toward their parents?

    1. To love and respect them as long as they live.
    2. To obey them in all things, except sin.
    3. To help them in their old age, or when they are sick and helpless.
    4. To see that they receive the Last Sacraments and a Catholic funeral; if they are not Catholic, to encourage them to join the True Church.

  4. How long is a child obliged to obey his parents?

  5.    Until approximately the 21st birthday, or until he or she leaves home to be married or to become a priest or sister.

  6. Do your parents come before your marriage partner?

  7.    No, your first obligation is to your marriage partner and your children.

  8. What are the sins against the Fourth Commandment?

  9.    Disobeying one's parents; hating, threatening, cursing, striking, or insulting them; being ashamed of them; wishing them evil; speaking or acting unkindly toward them; causing them anger or sorrow.

  10. What else does the Fourth Commandment oblige you to do?

  11.    To respect all lawful authority, especially the authority of the Church and the State.
    "Let every soul be subject to higher powers:  for there is no power but from God:  and those that are, are ordained of God.  Therefore he that resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God...  Render therefore to all men their dues.  Tribute, to whom tribute is due:  custom, to whom custom:  fear, to whom fear:  honor, to whom honor."    (Romans 13:1-7)

  12. What are the duties of parents toward their children?

  13.    See Lesson 33.