Sunday, August 14, 2011


Last night, my husband and I together with our friends were talking about the seven deadly sins. We don’t know what the 7 capital vices are; we only know 3 or 4. Some of us are aware that we are already committing those sins and some are not.

Why are these called deadly sins, capital vice or cardinal sins? According to Fr. William Sunders, these sins are the source of all sins. "A capital vice is that which has an exceedingly desirable end so that in his desire for it, a man goes on to the commission of many sins, all of which are said to originate in that vice as their chief source" (Summa Theologiae, II-II, 153, 4) stated by Saint Thomas Aquinas.

Here are the definitions of the seven deadly sins:

1. LUST - excessive thoughts or desires of a sexual nature. This includes dwelling on impure thoughts, masturbation, fornication, adultery and viewing pornography. "Inordinate love of the flesh is cruelty, because under the appearance of pleasing the body we kill the soul." In the end, lust leads to an idolization of sexual pleasure.” stated by St. Bernard of Clairvaux

2. GLUTTONY - over-indulgence and over-consumption of anything to the point of waste. There are 6 ways to commit gluttony as per Thomas Aquinas: eating too soon, eating too expensively, eating too much, eating too eagerly, eating too daintily and eating wildly. To avoid committing this sin, we should be mindful of the physical consequences to abusing food and drink and always be mindful of those who are less fortunate and who suffer from lack of proper drinking water and food.

3. GREED - excessive or rapacious desire and pursuit of wealth, status, and power. It is an inordinate desire to acquire or possess more than one needs, especially with respect to material wealth.[15] Also include disloyalty, deliberate betrayal, or treason especially for personal gain, scavenging and hoarding of materials or objects, theft and robbery, especially by means of violence, trickery, or manipulation ofauthority. A person committing this sin is easily becomes hard-hearted and blind to the needs of those less fortunate.

4. SLOTH - is not just laziness, but especially spiritual laziness.According to Archbishop Fulton Sheen, “Sloth is a malady of the will which causes us to neglect our duties. Sloth may be either physical or spiritual. It is physical when it manifests itself in laziness, procrastination, idleness, indifference and nonchalance. It is spiritual when it shows itself in an indifference to character betterment, a distaste for the spiritual, a hurried crowding of devotions, a lukewarmness and failure to cultivate new virtue" (Victory over Vice, p. 73). It also includes ACEDIA meaning a person has a lack of attention to daily tasks and an overall dissatisfaction with life.

5. WRATH - inordinate and uncontrolled feelings of hatred and anger. St. Thomas Aquinas listed six effects of the vice of anger: indignation, mental disturbance, noisy speech, blasphemy, abuse and quarrels. To guard against anger, a person must be true to the virtue of justice in thought, word and deed; be in control of himself in addressing an issue.

6. ENVY - a desire to deprive other men of theirs. Envy breeds hatred, gossip, detraction and resentment against one's neighbor. Sin of envy resent that another person has something they perceive themselves as lacking, and wish the other person to be deprived of it. Remedies for envy include the practice of humility, being grateful for one's own goods and thinking of the consequences of envy, whether loss of friendship or divine punishment.

7. PRIDE - desire to be more important or attractive than others, failing to acknowledge the good work of others, and excessive love of self. It is considered the original and most serious of the seven deadly sins because a person is so susceptible to it due to the woundedness of original sin. It can easily creep into our lives, grow quickly without recognition, and take hold, infecting all that we do. It includes VAINGLORY or VANITY.

After learning these 7 deadly sins, I felt guilty. I don’t want to receive divine punishment. It’s not too late to repent, ask God’s forgiveness and do the best you can to avoid committing these sins. Or simply do the opposite of the cardinal sins which are the cardinal virtues.

1. Chastity - It overcomes the sin of lust.
2. Liberality (generosity) - It overcomes the sin of Greed.
3. Temperance - It overcomes the sin of Gluttony.
4. Brotherly Love - It overcomes the sin of Envy.
5. Meekness - It overcomes the sin of Anger.
6. Humility - It overcomes the sin of Pride.
7. Diligence - It overcomes the sin of sloth.

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