Seven Deadly Sins

Bosch's Seven Deadly SinsI had this thought that just would not let go of me for some reason this eve as I drove from the gym to the office for a bit of work. The thought was just how I probably hit at least four of the deadly sins over the weekend. The more I thought about the more I realized that even in my corrective action for some of the number, I probably transgressed another one. I was probably put in this mindset by the french film I saw yesterday that starting with a viscount commenting about the only sin left to an old man was that of gluttony, as he devoured a chicken leg. The more I thought about it, the more I really thought it would make a good blog and so here I find myself at nearly 4:30 a.m. in the morning contemplating not so much my ability to check the big ones off, but rather contemplating how hard it would be for someone to not, if honest with themselves, transgress at least one or two on occasion. And quickly, while I am thinking of it, the small image above is of Hieronymus Bosch’s The Seven Deadly Sins and the Four Last Things.

  • Gluttony – I certainly broke this one several times this weekend. I wined and dine on many occasions this weekend and did so in fine fashion with the lavishly rich foods that were much enjoyed and even on occasion much-anticipated before the meal. This is usually applied to food from a modern perspective, but historically was really applied to over indulgence in anything, food and drink certainly at the top of the list. Further, Aquinas suggested an even narrow take on the matter, where things such as eating to soon or even eating to daintily would be considered gluttony.
  • Lust – This one is easy to see how quickly we fall victim this sin. It is especially easy for me, as indeed I am a male and can so quickly and with ease find an object of my desires. In an effort to keep this PG, I will refrain from saying much more, but I am sure if you let your mind wander, even just a little bit, you will come up with something. At least according to Dante, lust is simply the “excessive love of others.” The larger harm of this sin is what it can lead too, which can include sexual addiction and adultery, amongst other things. Keep in mind that according the very strict definition some churches have in regards to adultery and this one soon catches a good 60% of the United States Population right off the bat.
  • Sloth – This one has changed in definition since its original medieval meanings. Originally it was used to refer to someone who was sad or not enjoying the happiness of things around them that God had provided. Today we typically thing of it as someone who is perhaps lazy or who at least on occasion only does what one needs to get by. I would have to check off on both of these for part of the weekend, as there were some moments when I was just a little bit on the sad side if I lingered on certain thoughts for very long and honestly, I did very little that was productive in any way over the weekend, despite having more than enough things that would have been beneficial if accomplished.
  • Envy – Largely defined as desiring what another has, especially when oneself is lacking. That in itself does not sound to bad and indeed Dante seems to take it step further and indicate you have to act on it. One would have to try to bring about getting what another has or at the very least find pleasure when someone else has misfortune and causes them to lose what you desired. If the latter is required I may have dodged the commission of this one over the weekend. However, if only the former is required, as much as I hate to admit it there were more than a few occasions when I was perhaps a bit envious of someone else. Most notable on my part, after riding the bike downtown was a good friend of mine being what another friend calls prisoner hot. Now granted, I don’t think I will ever go for a tattoo (or ten) but having that vein popping muscling that is not overdone on the arms is, well, hot. It was worth noting that the commandment, Though shall not covet the neighbors stuff.
  • Greed – This may be one that I did not get caught on this weekend. It is similar to envy, but is generally only concerned with material things, especially money. Obviously my occasionally longing for a trim and ripped body does not fit that category. I can be tight on money and even on occasion think would not life be grand if I had more of it. However, this weekend I think I was pretty free with money, helping out some folks and just doing some nice things in general with funds I had over available over the weekend.
  • Wrath – A second one that I may have avoided, probably even more avoided then greed. Wrath is becoming vengefully angry and some one and acting on it, perhaps even killing or arranging such. As a general rule, there have only been two or three people in my life that have pushed my buttons on things like that. Thank goodness, I don’t have to deal with those folks any longer. In general I am thinking I don’t score this deadly sin very often at all.
  • Pride – I saved this one to last, as it is often historically considered to be at the root of the other six, the grand-daddy of all of them if you will. It is largely defined as just wanting to be better or least perceived to be more attractive than others. It is easy to see how the envy example I give above fits right into this whole pride thing and could very well be the root sin. Anyone who knows me closely, especially on the practice field for jousting or even better when I figure out a tough technology or piece of code, will fully recognize that I can be very prideful at times. Over the weekend, I hate to count the number of times I broke this one. Even when I was getting some exercise and riding downtown, I was thinking, this will help me look better as I finish loosing this weight that gluttony in the past has helped me to gain.