In the Peace Weekly Column the writer brings to our attention the seven capital sins which has always been an important concern in the spiritual life of the sensitive Catholic: pride, avarice, lust, envy, gluttony anger and sloth.
Our ancestors of the faith in Korea were familiar with the book of Diego de Pantoja (1571-1618) Seven Victories over the Seven Capital Sins.
This book gave the antidote for ridding ourselves of the seven capital
sins and was influential in the spiritual life of the first
Christians of Korea. They followed right reason and the laws of nature
in practicing the virtues with little difficulty because of the
Confucian traditions with which they were familiar.
They found in the makeup of Jesus and his public life-- the unlimited gift of
mercy he wanted to give us. In today's world it is difficult to experience and practice mercy.
The writer says he begins with
himself in not being familiar with the capital sins. Pride is see in all
aspects of his life. not only is he stingy but greedy, lazy and quick to
envy and gets angry. I am number one, in the presence of the strong and
influential he is humble but with those who are in his eyes lower in
social status he can be cold, discriminating and not notice them.
Money is a cause of abuse, with a little too much to drink he
can be overcome with false bravery, and consider himself different from
others. But when he comes to his senses he realizes that he is in the service of an idol and in need of mercy.
world everything is controlled by money, and the capital sins are no
longer evil habits but the standard for what makes the world go round.
Living in a society with unlimited competition, not seen as something
bad-- there is a need to trample others-- the capital sins are
The Church itself has become infected with
this kind of thinking. The treatment of the handicapped, the hiring of
irregular workers for the church, are examples of this thinking. We are
told by the higher clergy that to search for peace of mind in our
religion is not a good, and we have 8 out of 10 who do not attend
Mass on Sunday. Catholics are not only at Mass to receive the grace from the
sacraments but also to hear words of consolation from the priests. Reasons for the low Mass attendance need not be spelled out....
Francis is appealing for mercy from all of us. A necessary condition
for this to happen is to rid ourselves of the vices and work with the
seven virtues that have to become part of us. Mercy comes with the disposition of welcoming our brothers and sisters and not money.
need to rid ourselves of discrimination, he concludes, and have a welcoming desire for a new heaven and a new earth, and begin living like