Presently someone used the term “glutton” to describe another person’s behavior and the description made me think “we all are guilty of being a glutton now and then” (stop and truly think about it yourself). As I thought about the term and pondered on the meaning and the context for which it was use I found it conjured up where the term came from. My mind wandered into the realm of the “seven deadly sins”, the “capital vices or cardinal sins.
These sins or vices are a group of Christian teachings of behaviors that have a classification as being the birth for other immoral habits. Abusive actions or extreme versions of the humans’ natural feelings or passions. The standard list of these so-called sins are Pride, Greed, Lust, Envy, Gluttony, Wrath, and Sloth. However, in my search for more information about these sins I discovered the contrary of these seven sins are “seven virtues”. The virtues being Humility, Kindness, Abstinence, Chastity, Patience, Liberality and Diligence.
If we were to apply the seven virtues to the seven sins what we would have? Humility against pride, kindness against envy, abstinence against gluttony, chastity against lust, patience against wrath, liberality against greed, diligence against sloth. I strongly feel that as a human, I must know the virtues so that I am able to recognize the vices or is it the other way around.
I grabbed my Merriam Webster dictionary and look up each sin and each virtue. Pride: the quality or state of being proud, such as an inordinate self-esteem, a reasonable or justifiable self-respect, delight or elation arising from some act, possession, or relationship (I would say a parent’s pride).
Humility: freedom from pride or arrogance, the quality or state of being humble.
Greed: a selfish and excessive desire for more of something (such as money) than needed.
Liberality: the quality or state of being liberal or giving.
Lust: pleasure, delight, wish usually intense or unbridled sexual desire, an intense longing or craving.
Chastity: the quality or state of being chaste, such as abstention from unlawful sexual intercourse or abstention from all sexual intercourse (such as a priest’s vow), purity in conduct and intention, restraint and simplicity in design or expression.
Envy: painful or resentful awareness of an advantage enjoyed by another joined with a desire to have the same advantage.
Kindness: the quality or state of being kind.
Gluttony: excess in eating or drinking, a greedy or excessive indulgence.
Abstinence: the practice of abstaining from something, the practice of not doing or having something that one wants or enjoyable.
Wrath: strong vengeful anger or indignation, retributory punishment for an offense or a crime.
Patience: the ability, habit, or fact of being patient.
Sloth: disinclination to action or labor avoidance.
Diligence: steady, earnest, and energetic effort, persevering application, the attention, and care legally expected or needed of a person.
We must know a virtue to be able to recognize the vice. So, go forth into the present world with humble pride, a selfish need to give. Lust for the purity of life, be enviously kind to others, but abstain from gluttonous habits. Ensue patients with your wrath and always be diligent against slothfulness.