The Capital Vices

A vice is a habitual and firm disposition to do evil. Note that lack of doing good is also evil, which results in a blindness such that a person may not even realize that he is choosing evil. Vice opposes the good of virtue. It prevents the person not only from performing good acts, but leads to still more sins. The vice oriented person tends toward his own selfishness at the expense of others, including God. Such a person does not care to be charitable to others either materially or spiritually (see Corporal Works of Mercy and Spiritual Works of Mercy). The result of a vice filled life is to refuse salvation and choose hell, which is against what God tells us "be perfect, as your Heavenly Father is perfect" (Matthew 5:48). Our Christian duty is to avoid vice and pursue virtue.

Pride Pride is said to be "the beginning of all sin," not as though every sin originated from pride, but because any kind of sin is naturally liable to arise from pride. It scorns subjection to God and chooses to be subject to other creatures or things, therefore pride is vice against the virtues of faith, hope, charity and justice (to God).
Covetousness Covetousness denotes immoderation with regard to riches in two ways. First, immediately in respect of the acquisition and keeping of riches. In this way a man obtains money beyond his due, by stealing or retaining another's property. This is opposed to the virtue of justice. Secondly, it denotes immoderation in the interior affections for riches; for instance, when a man loves or desires riches too much, or takes too much pleasure in them, even if he be unwilling to steal. In this way covetousness is opposed to the virtue of temperance.
Lust Lust is an inordinate desire for venereal pleasure. St. Isidore says  "a lustful man is one who is debauched with pleasures." Venereal pleasures above all debauch a man's mind. Galatians 5:19 says "lust is any kind of surfeit." It is a vice against the virtue of temperance.
Anger Anger is properly the name of a passion. A passion of the sensitive appetite is good in so far as it is regulated by reason, whereas it is evil if it set the order of reason aside. If one desires the taking of vengeance in any way whatever contrary to the order of reason, for instance if he desire the punishment of one who has not deserved it, or beyond his deserts, or again contrary to the order prescribed by law, or not for the due end, namely the maintaining of justice and the correction of defaults, then the desire of anger will be sinful. This type of anger is a sin against the virtue of justice.

Secondly, the order of reason in regard to anger may be considered in relation to the mode of being angry, namely that the movement of anger should not be immoderately fierce, neither internally nor externally; and if this condition be disregarded, anger will not lack sin, which is a sin against the virtue of temperance.

The Apostle says (Ephesians 4:31): "Let all indignation and anger . . . be put away from you."

Gluttony Gluttony is an inordinate desire for food or drink. It is a vice against the virtue of temperance. Drunkenness is a sin of gluttony.
Envy Envy is a discontented sorrow for or grief over another's good, i.e. jealousy. It is a vice against the virtue of charity.
Sloth Sloth is an oppressive sorrow, which so weighs upon man's mind, that he wants to do nothing. Sloth is also a sluggishness of the mind which neglects to begin good, which leads to idleness, drowsiness, uneasiness of the mind, restlessness of the body, instability, loquacity, and curiosity. It is a vice against the virtue of fortitude.

Home ] What's New ] Articles ] Bible ] Canon Law ] Dissent ] Faith ] Indulgences ] Liturgy ] Prayers ] Renew ] Saints ] Teachings ] Links ] About Us ] Reviews ] Contact Us ] Our Lord ] Our Lady ] Table of Contents ]