Q. 1. What is the meaning of the word "covetousness?"
A. 1. Based on the ninth Commandment, as explained in paragraph # 2514 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, there are "three kinds of covetousness or concupiscence: (a) lust of the flesh, (b) lust of the eyes, and (c) pride of life."
The word covetousness finds its origin in the Latin word "concupisco" which means "I desire strongly, I desire eagerly; I covet."
Covetousness is associated with lust. It is an arden or strong desire, especially a sexual desire. It is sexual lust, a morbid carnal passion. It is an improper or illicit desire, a sensual appetite, especially, lustful desire or feeling. It also involves a desire for sexual intimacy.
On this subject, the Catechism of the Catholic Church states:
THE NINTH COMMANDMENT
You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his manservant, or his maidservant, or his ox, or his ass, or anything that is your neighbor's.
Every one who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
# 2514 St. John distinguishes three kinds of covetousness or concupiscence: lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and pride of life. In the Catholic catechetical tradition, the ninth commandment forbids carnal concupiscence; the tenth forbids coveting another's goods.
# 2515 Etymologically, "concupiscence" can refer to any intense form of human desire. Christian theology has given it a particular meaning: the movement of the sensitive appetite contrary to the operation of the human reason. The apostle St. Paul identifies it with the rebellion of the "flesh" against the "spirit." Concupiscence stems from the disobedience of the first sin. It unsettles man's moral faculties and, without being in itself an offense, inclines man to commit sins.
# 2516 Because man is a composite being, spirit and body, there already exists a certain tension in him; a certain struggle of tendencies between "spirit" and "flesh" develops. But in fact this struggle belongs to the heritage of sin. It is a consequence of sin and at the same time a confirmation of it. It is part of the daily experience of the spiritual battle:
For the Apostle it is not a matter of despising and condemning the body which with the spiritual soul constitutes man's nature and personal subjectivity. Rather, he is concerned with the morally good or bad works, or better, the permanent dispositions - virtues and vices - which are the fruit of submission (in the first case) or of resistance (in the second case) to the saving action of the Holy Spirit. For this reason the Apostle writes: "If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit."