In the previous posts we examined the root sin of pride and then the sins of vainglory, anger, and sloth.  The next three deadly sins—greed or avarice, gluttony, and lust—represent a shift in perspective.  Traditionally they are denominated as sins of the flesh, whereas the previous ones are categorized as sins of the spirit.  Before discussing the specific sin of avarice, we need to clarify this distinction between types of sins and demonstrate its dangers and advantages. Read the rest of this entry »

While most would recognize the deadly nature of the sins of pride, vainglory, envy, and anger, sloth does not seem to be that bad.  It’s not good to be lazy, but does it really rate so high as sin to be among the seven deadly?  In order to answer that question, we need to look at the attitude that underlies laziness. Read the rest of this entry »

Anger is universally recognized as an extremely dangerous emotion.  Two thousand years ago the Stoic philosopher Seneca the Younger lamented, “No plague has cost the human race so dear” (“On Anger,” 1.2).  The Jewish psychiatrist Solomon Schimmel wrote, “Of the seven deadly sins, anger is the most pervasive, injurious to self and others, and responsible for unhappiness and psychopathological behavior. … As a psychotherapist I spend more time helping clients deal with their anger than with any other emotions.”[1] Read the rest of this entry »

Henry Fairlie wrote, “Envy is the one Deadly Sin to which no one readily confesses.”[1] Why is this so?  Pride is the root of all sins, and yet it can have a positive meaning and even in its sinfulness has a sort of perverted nobility.  What makes envy so nasty?  In order to answer this question, we’ll need to define envy carefully and distinguish it from two closely related words “covetousness” and “jealousy.” Read the rest of this entry »

 

In the previous essay vainglory[1] was described as pride’s pitiful little sister, both to stress its likeness to pride and its difference from pride.  At its worse, pride despises others and does not care what they think.  In contrast, vanity desperately seeks, even demands, the approval of others. Read the rest of this entry »