Why the Seven Deadly Sins Are So Deadly

Because they distract us when we are reading or meditating or praying from paying attention to God.  They are deadly because, more often than not, we don't even realize what they're doing.

Gluttony says, "Eat this, it will make you feel better."  And so we stuff down the uncomfortable thought: "I'm unlovable."  And get fat.

Greed says, "Buy something, it will make you feel better."  And so we stuff down the uncomfortable thought: "I'm not worthy."  And fill our homes with clutter.

Lust says: "You would be happy if only you had sex (or a relationship) with him (or her)."  And so we stuff down the uncomfortable thought: "I'm inadequate."  And lose ourselves to another's image of what we should be.

Sloth says: "You can't be expected to concentrate continuously, just take a little break."  And so we stuff down the uncomfortable thought: "I can't do this."  And never accomplish our goals.

Wrath says: "That was so unfair, somebody should be punished for it."  And so we stuff down the uncomfortable thought: "I'm worthless; I'm trouble."  And cut ourselves off from our loved ones and friends.

Envy says: "You would be important, respected, and admired if you had what he or she has."  And so we stuff down the uncomfortable thought: "I'm disposable."  And become blind to all the good things that we do have.

Pride says: "You shouldn't have to do this."  And so we stuff down the uncomfortable thought: "I'm no good unless I'm perfect."  And prove it, because, above all, we want to be right.

Prayer, that is, paying attention to God, is sitting with these uncomfortable thoughts long enough to become aware of them.  At which point, God hastens to our aid and shows us that they are, in fact, lies.  All we have to do then is brush them away, as if they were nothing, indeed, like so many flies.* 

*Hat tip here to Herb Kessler, for his fabulous paper on the Tournus flabellum.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Milo in the Dock

Sola Scriptura**

God's Fools

How to Signal You Are Not a White Supremacist

Consenting Adults