Identifying your Predominate Fault

In this book, we are naming names. It’s time. Over the next several days we will grow in understanding of the predominant areas of sinfulness in our lives and thereby come to know the source of our bondage, the “Pharaoh” that seeks to bind us in shackles. For  Christ teaches us, “Truly, truly, I say to you, every one who commits sin is a slave to sin” (John 8:34). 

Yesterday we met the three-headed monster known as concupiscence. It’s the tendency towards sin which we specifically classified in the context of the flesh, the world, and the devil. Today we will learn how the infamous seven deadly sins fit within this predicament.

The Flesh (Deadly Sins 1-4): 
1. Lust: A “disordered desire for or inordinate enjoyment of sexual pleasure. Sexual pleasure is morally disordered when sought for itself, isolated from its procreative and unitive purposes” (CCC 2351).  

2. Gluttony: The inordinate desire for the pleasure connected with food or drink. 

3. Sloth: Sluggishness of soul or boredom because of the exertion necessary for the performance of a good work.  

4. Wrath: The desire of vengeance. “If anger reaches the point of a  deliberate desire to kill or seriously wound a neighbor, it is gravely against charity; it is a mortal sin” (CCC 2302). 

The World (Deadly Sins 5-6):  
5. Greed: The inordinate love for riches. Like lust and gluttony,  it’s a sin of desire. It implies an artificial, controlling passion for wealth or possessions. St. Paul essentially equates greed with idolatry, “Put to death therefore what is earthly in you:  immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness,  which is idolatry (Colossians 3:5).  

6. Envy: “...The sadness at the sight of another's goods and the immoderate desire to acquire them for oneself, even unjustly.  When it wishes grave harm to a neighbor it is a mortal sin: St.  Augustine saw envy as "the diabolical sin” (CCC 2539). 

The Devil (Deadly Sin 7): 
7. Pride: Undue self-esteem or self-love, which seeks attention and honor and sets oneself in competition with God. Webster's dictionary adds vanity, vainglory, conceit, arrogance, egotism,  boastfulness, self-glorification, and selfishness to the definition of pride. 

The greatest enemy and obstacle to our freedom is sin. Namely,  these seven we just identified and defined. Here is an area where our analogy with the Israelites and Pharaoh falls short. Their original bondage was external; ours is internal. It’s a matter of the heart. In  fact, it is actually a matter of two hearts: 

1. God’s Heart: Sin isn’t just breaking a rule, it’s breaking a heart.  Our Lord sorrowfully revealed his pierced Heart to St. Margaret  Mary Alacoque saying, “Behold this Heart which has so loved men, that it has spared nothing, even to exhausting and consuming itself in order to testify to its love. In return, I have  received from the greater part only ingratitude, by their  irreverence and their sacrilege, and by the coldness and  contempt they have for Me in this sacrament of Love.” When we sin, we break God’s heart.  

2. Your Heart: “The root of all sins lies in a man’s heart” (CCC  1873).  
Our journey into great freedom is a journey to set your heart free. It’s deeply personal; deeply intimate. Tomorrow, we get even more specific in examining our own hearts.


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