Monday, 30 May 2016

The Catholic Church Alone. The One True Church of Christ. Part 74.


REV. F. LEWIS, of Granada

Seven Deadly Sins by Procrust on DeviantArt

Q. Which are the seven deadly or capital sins ?

A. Pride, covetousness, luxury, envy, gluttony, anger, sloth.

Q. Why are they called deadly or capital sins ?

A. Because they are the source and root of All other sins.

Q. What is pride; and is it a great sin ?

A. It is an inordinate desire of esteem, and being above others, viz.: To think we have good from ourselves; to think we have good from another, but by our own merits; to pretend to have what we have not. By pretending to have things, so as to despise others, as if they had them not. There is not a sin more grievous or more dangerous; for it is the sin of the fallen angels; and of the first man. It is the sin which we have the greatest difficulty to preserve ourselves from; and the last we overcome. Eccle. x. 7. 1 Pet. v. 5. Isa. xiv. 12, etc. Gen. iii. 5.

Q. How many branches are there of pride?

A. Eight, viz.: Vain-glory, ambition, disobedience, boasting, hypocrisy, contention, obstinacy, and curiosity.

Q. Explain every particular.

A. Vain-glory is a manifestation of a person's own excellency before men: for instance, by expecting to be esteemed for things not worthy of praise, as for wicked things and the like. Secondly, by expecting esteem from those who are not competent judges, as from ignorant people. Thirdly, by expecting esteem, when the motive is bad, as it happens in prayer and alms. In these cases, where the ! the object is mortal, the sin is mortal. Ambition is an inordinate desire of honors. Disobedience is preferring a man's own will to the will of a lawful superior. Boasting is a manifestation of a person's own excellency, by words. Hypocrisy is a dissimulation of holiness, either by words or actions. Contention is properly maintaining what is contrary to truth, by words. Discord is adhering to a man's own opinion, with making a party. Curiosity is a disordinate desire of knowing more than is necessary, or convenient, or profitable.

Q. What considerations will abate pride?

A. The defects of soul and body, ignorance, error, others'. perfections, follies, misfortunes, and to remember that holy lesson of our Saviour Christ, Learn of me, because I am meek and humble of heart, St. Matt xi. 29, and to consider that we are sinful dust, and shall soon return again to dust: and that whatsoever good we have or do, is the free gift of God. Its opposite virtue is humility, which inclines us to conceive a mean opinion of ourselves, Gal. vi. 3, to require neither esteem nor respect of others; to despise no person; and to suffer contempt and disrespect patiently and calmly. St. Luke xxi. 19. This is a virtue so necessary, that no one can be saved without it, according to the express words of our Saviour Christ. St. Luke xviii. 17.

Q. What is covetousness ?

A. It is a disordinate or immoderate desire or love of riches or worldly goods.

Q. When is the love of worldly things immoderate ?

A. When the heart of man is tied to them.

Q. How can we know when the heart is tied to the world?

A. By one of these four signs. First, when a person is overjoyed for possessing, or over-sad for losing, any earthly thing, Ps. li. 9. 2 Cor. vii. 10. Secondly when he acquires or keeps any thing unjustly, Isa. xxxiii. 1. Thirdly, when he seeks greedily after worldly goods, or retains them with too great an affection. 1 Tim. vi. 9. Fourthly, when he is not bountiful to the poor, according to his ability, St. Luke xi. 41.

Q. If this be true, there are but few who are not covetous.

A. Very right; there are but few: for every one is covetous, who is tied to his share of this world, although he came lawfully by it, Jer. viii. 10. Phil. ii. 21.

Q. Can the poor be covetous ?

A. Yes; the poorest person is covetous, if he loves the riches he has not, St. Matt. xiii. 22, or if he thinks it a misfortune for him to be poor, and is impatient in his poverty.

Q. Which are the crimes that usually attend a covetous mind?

A. All sorts of injustices, viz.: Treachery, like Judas, who betrayed our Saviour. Deceit, or fraud. Falsehood, when fair words draw persons on, as in trafficking. Perjury, when a false oath backs their words. Violence, when covetousness induces a person to steal. Solicitude, an unquiet mind, in obtaining and preserving riches. Obdurateness against the poor, in refusing to assist them in their wants.

Q. What considerations are profitable against covetousness, and what is the virtue opposite to it ?

A. To consider that we brought nothing with us into the world, nor shall carry any thing out of it, 1 Tim. vi. 7. That God has promised, if we seek in the first place his kingdom and its justice, that all other things shall be added unto us, St. Matt. vi. 33. To consider the threats pronounced against it in the Scripture. The dangers it exposes men to; the difficulty of being saved; since our Saviour has told us, that it is harder for a rich man to enter heaven than for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, Matt. xix. 24. To consider that amendment is almost impossible. The neglect of spiritual duties. The folly of the vice. The extravagances of heirs. The shortness of this life. The pains of hell, and joys of heaven. The virtue opposite to this vice, is liberality, which weans our hearts from earthly things, and inclines us to share our goods freely, not with the rich, and persons in easy circumstances, but with the poor, for it is much better to give than to take, Acts. xx. 35. And St. Paul says, that God loves a cheerful giver, 2 Cor. ix. 7.

Q. What is luxury ?

A. An inordinate desire of carnal sins, or delights of the flesh; which is an abominable sin, and ought not to be so much as named among Christians, Eph. v. 3.

Q. Are all carnal pleasures inordinate ?

A. All but between man and wife.

Q. When is a person guilty of this odious sin?

A. Not only when he commits the fact, but likewise when he wilfully, with delight or pleasure, Job xxxi. 1, hearkens to, looks upon, or thinks of, any thing whatsoever, which any ways moves him to this detestable sin, Eph. v. 4, 5. Matt. v. 28.