Do you know what the Seven Deadly Sins are? It is a great value to know and begin to understand these deep drives of sin in us. The more we can know and distinguish them the more we can grow in self knowledge. We can begin to understand better how we “tick.” Further, being able to know and name these seven deep drives of sin helps us to know their moves and gain mastery over them. As they stir deep within us we can see evidence of their stirrings and begin to take greater authority over them.
Too many Christians know little about twisted nature of sin. They just know they’re a little messed up (or alot!) and can’t seem to figure out why. Have you ever gone to the doctor, not knowing what was wrong and left feeling better just because you finally knew what ailed you had a name and a cure? Being able to name our demons is an essential part of growth and healing.
Fr. Robert Barron has just published a 100 minute DVD on the subject of the Seven Deadly Sins called Seven Deadly Sins, Seven Lively Virtues. I would like to recommend you get it and learn all you can about these root sins and the virtues that help us to overcome them by God’s grace. I have ordered mine and will tell you more of it when it arrives and I get the chance to view it. You can order it as well by clicking on the title above. At the bottom of this post is a brief video in which Fr. Barron describes the intent and structure of the DVD.
Briefly stated though here are the Seven Deadly sins listed for you:
- Pride – love of self perverted to contempt or hatred for one’s neighbor. It is to love and esteem oneself more than is proper and at the same time to denigrate the goodness of others. Pride also stirs us to reject lawful authority of others over us including God and refuses appropriate submission.
- Greed – The excessive desire for wealth and possessions. It is not wrong to desire what we need but through greed we hoard things and acquire far beyond our needs or what is reasonable, and we fail to be generous. Through greed we can also come to see the things of this world as more precious than the things of heaven.
- Lust – Usually thought of as excessive or inappropriate desires or thoughts of a sexual nature. It is not wrong to experience sexual desire per se but Lust moves this to become excessive (all that matters), or for the object of it to be inappropriate (e.g. sexually fantasizing about someone other than a spouse). More broadly, lust is thought of as an excessive love of others that makes the love of God secondary.
- Anger – Inordinate and uncontrolled feeling of hatred and wrath. It is not always wrong to experience anger, especially in the presence of injustice. But anger here is understood as a deep drive which we indulge and wherein we excessively cling to angry and hateful feelings for others. This kind of anger most often seeks revenge.
- Gluttony – The over-indulgence in or over consumption of anything to the point of waste. We usually think of food and drink but gluttony can extend to other matters as well. This sin usually leads to a kind of laziness and self-satisfaction that has little room for God and the spiritual life. Over indulging in the world leaves little room for God and the things of the spirit. Gluttony may also cause us to be less able to help the poor.
- Envy – Sorrow or sadness at the goodness or excellence of another person because I take it to make me look bad or less excellent. If I envy someone I want to diminish or undermine their excellence. Envy is NOT the same as jealousy. If I am jealous of you, I want what you have. If I am Envious, I want to diminish or destroy what is good or excellent in you. St. Augustine called Envy THE diabolical sin because of the way it seeks to eliminate excellence and goodness in others.
- Sloth – Sorrow or sadness at the good things God wants to do for me. Most people think of sloth as laziness. But what sloth really is, is an avoidance of God. I fear or dislike what He can do for me so I avoid him. Some avoid God by laziness, but others avoid him by becoming workaholics, claiming they are too busy to pray, get to Church or think about spiritual things.
Please consider getting the Fr. Barron Video. Learning of these deep drives of sin is essential for spiritual growth.
Here’s Fr. Barron’s brief into to the DVD: