Thursday, July 15, 2010

Sin and Virtue walk into a bar ...

The embodiments of one of the Seven Deadly Sins and one of the Seven Heavenly Virtues meet at Starbucks. It could be a chance encounter. (Each on their lunch hour :-) Or an arranged meeting. How do they feel about each other and their struggle? Maybe they're good friends when off duty, understanding the necessity of each other. What do they have to say about the other Sins and Virtues?

Over the centuries, the "job descriptions" of each Sin have adjusted with needs and the times. (The Virtues, assembled later, have been a lot more stable.) Some jobs were combined and new ones added. For instance Extravagance, unrestrained excess, became Lust which now is highly focused on sex and the excess part of the job taken up by Gluttony, which once was exclusively about food. Acedia, neglecting to take care of something you should, was given the job of Despair and then rolled into Sloth. (Which, personally, I think makes Sloth's job description too broad and vague and now no one treats Sloth with much respect.)

If you'd like to dig into the original meanings, perhaps bringing all the Sins over the ages together to hash out how they feel about the present line up and the job they're doing, the Seven Deadly Sins at Wikipedia covers it succinctly. (The Seven Heavenly Virtues covers their counterparts.)

The Catholic Church defined the sins and virtues as inverses of each other. You can choose randomly, but here's the order if you'd like to use opposites.

Lust -- Chastity
Gluttony -- Temperance
Greed -- Charity
Sloth -- Diligence
Wrath -- Patience
Envy -- Kindness
Pride -- Humility
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