Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Seven Deadly Sins, St John Cassian, Pope Gregory the Great, Geoffrey Chaucer

St. John Cassian (360-435) originally pinpointed the list of the seven deadly sins. Pope Gregory the Great (6th century) clarified the list and Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales (14th century) familiarized the English public to the seven deadly sins concept.

 It is a core group of attitudes and actions that corrupt the spirit. These sins and others deaden the conscience to right and wrong, after practices them for a period of time.

The point is that one sin leads to another. This list can help someone look at himself and see what some of his ingrained sins are, so he can repent. The seven vices are seen as mortal sins by the Catholic Church. They are deadly because they entice to breaking the Ten Commandments and destroy the sanctifying grace in the individual.

The seven deadly sins are pride or vanity, envy, lust, anger, gluttony, and greed.

  • Pride is the major one because you don't acknowledge God as the giver of life and talents.  It makes you think you're better than other people. So hurting people by lying, violence, cheating, stealing, being rude, being inconsiderate, insulting, and ignoring them is okay because you're better than they are, and they don't understand.
  • Envy or jealousy is wanting what others have and resenting their accomplishments, material or spiritual situation.
  • Lust is treating and thinking of people as sex objects, wanting sex with them outside of marriage or the inordinate desire for food, money, or power. Lust initially meant desire for something.
  • Anger is wrong when you want revenge. Impatience is akin to anger.
  • Greed or avarice is the inordinate desire for things, putting things before loving people.
  • Sloth is just plain laziness, avoiding work, related to procrastination, it can be spiritual or physical laziness.
Gluttony was covered in another article.


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