The Seven Deadly Sins – OOO! Sounds awful – deadly! I was reading a booklet put out by Tan Publications entitled, “The Seven Capital Sins: Pride, Covetousness, Lust, Anger, Gluttony, Envy, Sloth.” It is one of the subjects I teach in my religion classes, so I thought I’d brush up on the topic in my “light” summer reading.
First of all, it is important to note – for those of you who may not be familiar with these – that they are called “Cardinal” or “Deadly” sins, not because they in themselves wound our souls mortally, but because the habitual practice of these sins lead to even bigger sins – which may in fact be “Mortal.”
Reading through this booklet was kind of like doing an examination of conscience with the ten commandments. When one looks at the 10 commandments on the surface, most would probably say, ” I haven’t broken any of those. I mean, I haven’t stolen or killed anybody.” However, if one looks closely at the sins related to each commandment, the waters become much more cloudy. Hmmm.
When I got to the chapter on “avarice,” or greed, I thought, “Hey, I’m not a greedy person. I lead a pretty simple life. I’m grateful for what the Lord has given me.” Then I read on. Hhmmph! “…The desire to possess is deeply rooted in human nature. It is an appetite both hard to control and difficult to suppress…Under its influence we find all kind of excuses to acquire possessions…we must look out for our old age; for our health; for our safety; our family must be provided for… We must have some pleasure!” Eek!
I got to thinking about my own attitude of generosity – of sharing God’s gifts to me with others less fortunate. Am I giving from my need, or just what is left over? How much am I wasting on trivial things such as fast food, or items at the “dollar spot” to quiet restless children? Am I being generous enough? Am I teaching my children about sacrificing in order to help the less fortunate? I must do a better job – starting today!! I mean – no joking – my family has almost finished a half gallon of ice cream in two days! I’m not doing a good job of teaching them to limit themselves.
Today, God’s message hit me over the head again as I read the gospel from Matthew 10: 7-15 “Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.” I hear you, Lord!
Father, help me to give more generously, trusting in Your Divine Providence, knowing that it is Your Will that we share the bounty You have given us. Help me to teach my children to be more generous and caring as well. Amen.