The unvoiced thoughts and ideas of a septegenarian.


on February 15, 2012




In the sixth century Pope Gregory the Great decided there were seven deadly sins harmful to mankind: pride, just, envy, gluttony, sloth, lust and greed.  Gregory didn’t rank them and if he’d ask me I would have told l him greed belongs at the top of the list. Greed isn’t just the desire for more things, better things, an unquenchable taste to acquire. It is the gateway to gluttony, theft, trickery and envy.

Whether in the name of supremacy or possession of land greed is surely the cause of war. It is the underlying motive for lust and gluttony. Charity is greed’s antithesis, caring for others, whether by reaching out a hand or offering material help.

Trying to rank the other 6 beneath greed I find they all fall into another category entirely. Whereas greed has pronounced effects on others, it seems to me that the other six – pride, just, envy, gluttony, sloth, lust – are personal, demeaning of the human spirit. Of those six, I think sloth stands alone – a refusal  to enjoy  the goodness of the world – failure to use one’s talents and gifts. Pity the sloth.

To correspond to the SDS, the Catholic church came up with seven virtues – humility, charity, kindness, patience, chastity (wouldn’t you know it) temperance and diligence. Ranking those probably depends upon what any one person feels a need for in a friend, lover,  companion.  I would put kindness and charity at the top of that list and chastity at the bottom.

Those seven deadly sins didn’t die with Gregory. Anyone whose eyes and ears are open can see them in operation every day  They are not particular as to gender or ethnicity, time or place.

I don’t imagine everyone would agree with me about this and I’d like to hear the views of others.


Julie Rose


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