If your a person who loves to make the better choice, I am happy to share the following for your discernment. Did you know that there are seven Capital Sins, or root vices? Did you also know you can choose to overcome them with the seven virtues? Check it out!
1. Sin of Pride: We've all heard that pride usually comes before the fall. We may have also experienced the ugly consequence of this sin first hand. Some attributes of pride - just in case you need reminding: self-centered, self-importance, rude, entitled, not open to advice, offended often, extremely sensitive, fearful, disobedient, loves a pity party, arrogant, boastful, talks too much, vain, feels superior to others.
Overcome the Sin of Pride with Humility: Instead of putting ourselves above God and others, lets choose to be humble and recognize that we all have unique gifts and talents given to us by our Creator. Live in gratitude, serve others, stop complaining, put others needs and feelings first, see the face of Christ in our fellow human beings, stop gossiping, think before we speak. Most importantly, surrender everything to the will of God for our lives.
2. Sin of Greed: Socrates once said, "He who is not contented with what he has, would not be contented with what he would like to have." Some attributes of Greed - just in case you need reminding: consumed with acquiring material things, always wanting more, covetousness, desiring wealth and power, not understanding that we are here for just a short time, stingy, cheap, hoarding, secretive when it comes to money and power, taking advantage of people and situations for material gain.
Overcome the Sin of Greed with Generosity: Remember that everything we have or have been given is from the Lord; it is not ours, these resources are the property of the One who made Heaven and Earth. We are only stewards of these gifts and talents, and they can be taken from us in a blink of an eye. We must also understand that we can't take anything with us when we leave this Earth and go to our eternal reward. Our time, talent, and treasure is measured; ultimately, we will give an account for the whole lot of it. Choose God first, Others second, and yourself third, seek simplicity, share with others, and tithe.
3. Sin of Anger: We've all heard of anger management; but very few of us sign up for the managing portion. We like to excuse or justify our anger issues; we feel we are entitled to be right, to be treated better, or seek revenge. Some attributes of Anger - just in case you need reminding: Un-forgiveness, control, willfulness, bitter, silent treatment, emotional responses, critical spirit, judging, fault-finding, resentful, hatred, gossip, silent treatment.
Overcome the Sin of Anger with Meekness: Meekness is not weakness. You are meek when you act with love, mercy, charity and patience. Choose to live in the presence of God at all times, see Him in others (even when its hard).Understand the concept of self-editing- you don't need to comment on every little thing that annoys or bothers you, pray for your enemies, pray for the world, pray for how you will choose to respond or not respond; unite all these little sufferings to Christ.
4. Sin of Envy: "The jealous are troublesome to others, but a torment to themselves." William Penn Some attributes of Envy - just in case you need reminding: Resentful and desire for another's possessions, gifts, skills, talents, power, wealth, beauty, etc. Filled with hate, gossip, backstabbing, finding joy in others troubles, being spiteful, detraction, do not care nor congratulate when another is being praised or recognized.
Overcome the Sin of Envy with Kindness: The spirit of charity flows from a kind person. We are at our best when we want the best for others. Acting out of good intention and brotherly love for all will lead us closer to Christ. Thank God for the gifts He has given to others, pray for and speak well of the person you are feeling envious of; most importantly, remember God loves all His children and He wants the best for each one of us. Seeing the big picture is important; He wants every soul that He has created to spend all of eternity with Him. He doesn't want to lose anyone.
5. Sin of Sloth: We all know the moniker "Just Do It". If a cute furry sloth were to wear that slogan on a t-shirt, an extra word would be essential to make the right statement, "Just Do It Later"! Procrastination is a very real thing; we are creatures who, at times, need to be pushed out of our comfort zones. Some attributes of sloth - just in case you are curious or need reminding: laziness, avoiding doing God's will because it's hard, wanting a life filled with ease and comfort, being late consistently, discouragement, being dull, moody, gloomy, filled with a lack of gratitude, bored, even expressionless.
Overcome the Sin of Sloth with Diligence: Saying yes to God means saying yes at all times - when it's hard as well as when it's easy. As fickle human beings we are far more comfortable talking our talk instead of walking our walk. But following God's will requires us to be all in; that means we will have to have to deal with a bit of discomfort or suffering in our lives. Being faithful to our prayer life is number one; but we can also take ourselves to task in other areas of our life. Keep a schedule, try to be as organized as possible, make a do list and get it done. Always remember that heaven is our true home; it might also be nice to incorporate acts of mercy (spiritual and corporal) as little ways to self-discipline.
6. Sin of Gluttony: "It is almost certain that excess in eating is the cause of almost all the diseases of the body, but its effects on the soul are even more disastrous." St. Francis Liguori
This one is personal, I am a foodie. I love to cook, I love to prepare meals for others, I love the art of dining and sipping on a nice glass of wine. I also know that the sin of gluttony these days involves more than just eating and drinking until we have to loosen the button on our pants.We live in a world where excess consumerism is outright encouraged. From our over consumption of media, goods, travel, luxury, spending too much time on our multiple devices etc.; it takes a keen heart to know when danger lies ahead. Just in case you needed more examples to see if you struggle, like I do, with this particular sin; here you go: Thinking and talking about food a lot, complaining when food seems bland, multiple snack attacks, immoderate use of alcohol, wanting to purchase something just because, thoughtless consumption of, well, most anything and everything.
Overcome the Sin of Gluttony with Temperance: How about we just slow things down a bit, and learn to take things in moderation? Most of us have all that we need, and more. Wouldn't it be wonderful to share what we have with others. Let us also be reminded that we are the temple of the Holy Spirit, may we work well at treating our mind, body, and soul with reverence. May we give up things we enjoy to grow in our spiritual pursuits; fasting is not a bad word. As we eat, drink, and consume, may we do it all for the honor and glory of God.
7. Sin of Lust: "Lust is a disordered desire or inordinate enjoyment of sexual pleasure. Sexual pleasure is morally disordered when sought for itself, isolated from its procreative and unitive purposes" (CCC 2351)
Our society is saturated with expressions of lust, from the advertising and television shows to the copious amounts of salacious pornography available online. The devil is having a field day and our innocent children and our families are paying the ultimate price. Some people say, live and let live; do what makes you happy as long as your not hurting anyone. The sin of lust is like a violent disease as it rages to destroy all in its wide path. Some more attributes of lust- just in case you need reminding: Carelessness in reading or viewing overtly sexualized material, not controlling our fleshly desires, using someone sexually as a means to an end, fornication, adultery, coveting or desiring someones spouse etc. These are all works of the flesh."Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are adultery, fornication,uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries , and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the Kingdom of God. Galatians 5 19-21
Overcoming the Sin of Lust with Chastity. Properly ordered desires of the flesh are good and pure. Growing in the virtue of Chastity daily will help us combat this sin. Firstly, we must develop and work daily on our personal relationship with the Lord, we must desire to please Him, not ourselves. Following His will for our lives -in every area -will be the sure way to avoid this sin and others. Listen and obey the Holy Spirit as He speaks to our heart. God has given us a conscious which will convict us from knowing right from wrong; it's up to us to respond correctly. We must despise our sinfulness, courageously seek forgiveness and desire change. We must also understand that our bodies are a gift that must be treated with reverence. In the end, we must always flee from the temptation of lust.