Photo of a confessional for the catholic 7 deadly sins

What are the Catholic 7 Deadly Sins?

Sins can be a very touchy subject, it can be very hard to discuss with someone, but as Catholics, we must be willing to know and educate ourselves about them. We all know that all sins are not good for us, but what we do have to remember is that not all sins are the same. Some may contend that all sins offend God whether small or big, however, in the bible, it is mentioned that there are some sins that are more serious than others.

“If anyone sees his brother sinning, if the sin is not deadly, he should pray to God and he will give him life. This is only for those whose sin is not deadly. There is such a thing as deadly sin, about which I do not say that you should pray. All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin that is not deadly.”

1 John 5:16-17

7 Deadly Sins Meaning

The Catholic 7 deadly sins are also called “capital sins”. The word capital is derived from the Latin word “caput” which translates to the head or the top. With relevance to this, capital sins are seen as the head of all sins and become the source of particular sins that are both Mortal sins and Venial sins.

Now if we look into the term “deadly sins”, we can see how these sins are not deadly in our actual corporal lives, but rather in our spiritual lives. When these 7 deadly sins emerge in someone’s life, they permit and inspire other sins to occur and can eventually be the cause of “death” to the life of the soul.

The 7 Deadly Sins List in Order

  • Pride
  • Greed
  • Lust
  • Envy
  • Gluttony
  • Wrath
  • Sloth

Pride

They say that pride is the root of all evil because if a person has excessive pride, there is simply no more room for others. Pride is overindulgent self-love that has nothing to do with others and everything to do with an unhealthy elevation of one’s self.

Pride as a Sin

Pride as a sin comes in different degrees and is not utterly just one intensity, but when it arises to the point where the person believes that everything they have is theirs, and theirs alone and is not at all a blessing and gift from God and refuses to acknowledge God and the Church, then it becomes a deathly sin. The highest degree of pride can morph into hatred of God.

How to Get Over Pride

Just like any other sin, there will be a challenge to overcome it. But with a constant desire to take it away, and repent for your sins to live a life more centered on God, there is always hope and a chance to succeed.

One way to counteract pride is through Humility. What does humility mean? You can easily think that humility is a form of low self-esteem, but that’s not the case. Humility is being able to joyfully accept and embrace the truth that human life, is essentially God’s gift. And that everything that we are going through in life, is all from Him. A humble person will always be grateful for God’s blessings and graces and will center their lives to live as an obedient, and thankful son or daughter of Christ.

Greed

Greed is the excessive yearning and desire for all earthly possessions. This can translate to the intense love for power, wealth, and material worldly objects.

Greed as a sin

Greed as a sin can be seen in one’s daily life through the intense attachment to material goods. This can also be seen in those who are highly attached to power and value it more than anything else. It has been said that there are a lot of crimes that are committed because of greed because their love for material possessions is more important than their love for God.

Lust

Lust is enjoying sexual pleasure disproportionately that can lead to dehumanizing people and perceiving others as objects of pleasure.

How to avoid lust?

A good way on how to avoid lust is to first be aware of how this particular deadly sin can be addicting and be disguised to give you pleasure. Lust only delivers temporary pleasure and is not at all even a speck of real happiness and pleasure in life.

Being armed with chastity is also a good way to combat lust. Chastity is a virtue that relates to temperance which can help you keep physical pleasure at ease.

Envy

Envy is a resentful longing for your neighbor’s goods with an unbridled desire to acquire it for oneself.

The Sin of Envy

The sin of envy is something that we may encounter in our daily lives and might not even notice it sometimes especially with how social media is portrayed nowadays, the sin of envy can lurk around easily. Jealousy is often associated with it, and can also be seen as outright hate and bitterness for others.

When the sin of envy goes out of hand, it can easily break lifelong friendships or romantic and familial relationships. Not being truly grateful for what you have and for God’s gift to you because you’re focused too much on what others have is truly damaging to one’s self and one’s soul.

How to Get Rid of Envy

One way on how to get rid of envy in your life is to practice gratitude. Being grateful for everything that God gives you will help you truly appreciate and find joy in every little thing that you have in your life simply because these are God’s blessings. We recommend you to practice gratefulness by writing at least one thing that you’re grateful for and telling God how happy you are for having these graces in your life, every night before you sleep and every morning before you wake up. In this way, you will truly combat the sin of envy.

Gluttony

Gluttony is excessive consumption and desire for food or drink.

The Sin of Gluttony

We might not know it or be aware of it, but the sin of gluttony may actually be very familiar. If you find yourself craving food excessively and give in, or overindulge for pleasure even if you know that it results in you being sick may be a form of gluttony. Participating in the sin of gluttony is a voluntary act with your conscious consent, so this differs from having an eating disorder which is a medical condition.

How to Steer Clear From Gluttony

Overcoming the sin of gluttony can be done through mortification and fasting. These little acts of self-denial are not here to punish you, but rather help you see that food is nourishment for our bodies and not something that is to be abused for pleasure. You may pray to God and offer up your fasting to Him to help you through the process of healing.

Wrath

What does the sin wrath mean? Wrath is extreme anger that is completely uncontrolled and full of hatred.

Wrath the sin

Wrath the sin should not be confused with anger that is justified. Yes, there are times that we are allowed to be angry especially if the situation is gravely unjust. But we should note that wrath the sin is anger that is completely not controlled and results in loathing and deep hatred which can cause a person to have no caring emotions left and has a hardened heart.

Overcoming Wrath the Sin

If you are looking for ways to overcome wrath, the virtue of meekness can definitely help you through it. Do keep in mind that meekness is not just being submissive but rather being patient enough in the midst of your difficulties, and believing that it all has a purpose and it is done in the will of God.

Sloth

The sin sloth is defined as having a strong disinterest in things that involve spirituality.

The Sin Sloth

Sloth is seen in different ways and can be associated with laziness. But when relating to the catholic 7 deadly sins, it refers to having this huge no care attitude to anything related to God and spiritual growth. Not at all acknowledging that having a relationship with God is important.

Overcoming the Sin Sloth

A way to overcome this sin is to have zeal. Zeal will bring you the willingness and effort to respond to God’s blessings and graces and will give you that extra push to nurture a relationship with Him.

Understanding the Catholic 7 deadly sins

When you understand these 7 deadly sins and how they can gravely affect your life and relationship with God, that is the first step to creating self-awareness and direction to properly cultivate your life for the Lord.

Reflecting on these sins is also a good way to have an examination of conscience and it may get overwhelming. To help you out with this we suggest that talk to a priest for spiritual direction or confession if needed.

Remember we are humans, and we are all capable to fall into sin. But what’s important is for you to remember that sin does not define and identify us. We are capable to rise above sin and repent. We are a loved and cherished child of God, that is our one and true identity.

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