The 7 Deadly Sins and the 7 Contrary Virtues
“It is a great value to know and begin to understand the seven deadly sins. They are more than just sins per se, they are drives or patters of sin and from them issue many other sins. The more we can know and distinguish them the more we can grow in self knowledge. We can begin to understand better how we ‘tick.’ Further, being able to know and name these seven deep drives of sin helps us to know their moves and gain mastery over them. As they stir deep within us we can see evidence of their stirrings and begin to take greater authority over them.” -Msgr. Charles Pope.
To be in communion with God, we must be diligent in fighting against the vices which separate us from Him, which are lust, wrath, gluttony, sloth, pride, greed, and envy. The Seven Contrary Virtues were derived from Psychomachia (“Battle for the Soul”), an epic poem written by Prudentius (c.410), which depicts a battle between good virtues and evil vices. Purity opposes lust, self-control opposes gluttony, charity opposes greed, integrity opposes sloth, forgiveness opposes wrath, kindness opposes envy, and humility opposes pride. Virtues are special graces given by God to the soul for the accomplishment of particular objectives. They exist within the soul and are subject to strengthening or weakening.
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