What is Sin?
Sin is separation from God and thus separation from source of Life. That is why death is a consequence of sin. Only through Jesus we understand the abysmal dimension of sin [Youcat 67]. Anything that takes you away from your prayer life, your communication with God and reverts your priority, is a sin.
What is your priority?
Our priority should follow this order:
5. Charity and Outreach
When these priorities get shuffled, it leads to chaos, a messy life, an uncontrolled chain reaction I should say! A series of sin and disaster follows. The Devil comes to ‘KILL, STEAL, DESTROY’. He kills the presence of God in you, steals your peace of mind and destroys your soul to mortality. This is the abysmal dimension of sin. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” [John 10:10]
The Seven Deadly Sins
Classifying sins based on their roots of cardinal nature, we have Lust, Pride, Greed, Gluttony, Anger, Sloth and Envy. All other sins will fall under one of these categories.
Vice and Virtue: St.Ignatian spirituality on virtues and vices, gives us a practical exercise to overcome the vices through virtues. All we have to do is just march opposite to the direction of vice, towards virtue, towards God…our way, truth and life.
A VIRTUE is something we do with PASSION. A VICE is something which we cannot stop because of PASSION. So both are habit-forming. Nobody is a born smoker or a daily mass goer. The passion makes them pursue. Therefore once we master our habits and replace vices with virtues we win. For every vice, there is a virtue. We must take a 180 degree turn and march in the opposite direction literally, towards the virtue.
Seven Deadly Sins In Detail
1. Lust: This desire comes as lust of eyes or flesh, nobody is in exception to it and no age limit too. It’s just like placing food before a hungry person. This can be overcome by filling ourselves with true unconditional, pure love of a Mother (whatever gender we may be) and passing this love to that person in abundance without getting annoyed. This would build an everlasting relationship pure and dependable. Even pornography can be overcome by looking with the eyes of a Mother with the grace from above.
2. Pride: Just humble yourself before God and others, following Jesus who is the masterpiece of Humility. ‘But emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men and being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross.’ [Philippians 2:7,8]
3. Greed: Avarice or craving for material perishable things can be overcome by realizing that nothing is precious before our IMMORTAL and INVISIBLE God. Once this is well understood, generosity flows like a fountain as in the life of Zacchaeus. Now to the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen. [1 Timothy 1:17]
4. Gluttony: Practice fasting following Lord Jesus. “Feeding the crowd, fasting alone” goes the song. When you skip meals due to work schedule it can cause fatigue. But proper fasting, backed up with long hours of prayers, silence and light work, will energize you and heal many sickness.
5. Anger: Jesus says ‘You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, You shall not kill; and whoever kills shall be liable to judgement. But I say to you that every one who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgement’ [Matthew 5:21,22]. So anger is as grave as murder. The word of God is 100% true to the core. We must overcome anger by building the fruits of the spirit viz : self-control and patience.
6. Sloth: Wasting away time. Lack of prayer can slowly remove God’s presence in us. God’s path is a narrow door full of sacrifices and self denials. If your alarm rings at 5am and you are unable to get up, next day keep it at 4.50am and force yourself to get up. As days go by, even without alarm you will get up. This is what habit-forming is all about. ‘Strive to enter by the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able.’ [Luke 13:24]
7. Envy: Jealousy is as cruel as the grave. It’s flashes are flashes of fire, a most vehement flame. [Song of Solomon 8:6] Jealousy, anger and killing go together. They not only destroy others, but much more the person who harbors them. Developing motherly love and compassion is the only way to overcome them.
Jesus was no exception to these temptations, he overcame them by fixing his eyes on God the Father, winning every battle one by one. So lets march ahead from vice towards virtue, towards Holiness, towards one and only true God.
Turn back to God. About turn…mark time…march.
– – – written by Cecilia Francis