Summary of the 7 Deadly Sins and their sources

October 31, 2021 • 2 min

From The Sinner’s Guide, page 323

CHAPTER XXX.

REMEDIES AGAINST PRIDE.

Section I.

General Remedies.

We have already called the deadly or capital sins the sources of all iniquity. They are the roots of the mighty tree of vice, and if we can destroy them the trunk and branches must, soon decay.

With them, therefore, we shall begin, following the example of Cassian and other spiritual writers, who were so firmly convinced that if they could only rout these enemies the defeat of the others would be an easy task.

St. Thomas gives us a profound reason for this. All sin, he says, proceeds from self-love, for we never commit sin without coveting some gratification for self.

From self-love spring those three branches of sin mentioned by St. John: “the concupiscence of the flesh, the concupiscence of the eyes, and the pride of life” [1 St. John ii. 16.] which are love of pleasure, love of riches, and love of honors.

Three of the deadly sins, lust, gluttony, and sloth, spring from love of pleasure, pride springs from love of honors, and covetousness from love of riches.

The remaining two, anger and envy, serve all these unlawful loves. Anger is aroused by any obstacle which prevents us attaining what we desire, and envy is excited when we behold any one, possessing what our self-love claims.

These are the three roots of the seven deadly sins, and consequently of all the others. Let these chiefs be destroyed and the whole army will soon be routed. Hence we must vigorously attack these mighty giants who dispute our entrance to the promised land.

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