In my 8 posts about the origins of the 7 deadly sins and overcoming each of the sins in their uniqueness, I thought it only appropriate to add to this the 7 heavenly virtues as stark contrasts to the sins.
History of the Seven Holy Virtues
Although there are various sets of virtues such as spiritual, natural, cardinal and heavenly, amongst many, the focus of this blog post is on the list of heavenly virtues which are in direct contrast to the seven cardinal sins as listed:
|Heavenly Virtue||Cardinal Sin||Latin Virtue|
The 7 contrasting list of holy virtues was defined by Pope Gregory during his revelation of the seven deadly sins. The list of virtues is a counter balance to the sins for people to adopt almost as a measure to avoid the cardinal sins.
1. Chastity: This virtue does not simply focus on the control of sexual misconduct, it also features heavily the act of honesty and purity within the soul to remain clean at all levels including the basic body hygiene, mental thoughts, as well as desires of the soul. This virtue involves a sense of morality and honesty a broad level including to the self as well as to society. Avoiding temptation and intoxication of all types including internal and external influences as it is very unlike the sinful act of LUST
2. Temperance: This virtue focuses on purposeful mindfulness of other people as well as surroundings. There is a focus on self-control by abstinence of quick gratification. There is also a need to keep a balance between the needs of others and your own. It is in stark contrast to the opposing sin of GLUTTONY
3. Charity: This virtue is often confused with the idea of always “giving” to others in charity but does always mean as such – in its broader terms it also connotes generosity and “love” for humankind as opposed to lustful, emotional “love”. Charity can also involve certain levels of self-sacrifice. This virtue focuses on avoiding selfishness as opposed to GREED
4. Diligence: This virtue is concerned with the actions of mankind and work ethics, hence the “hardworking” description of such people. It encourages a good and faithful mind-set in terms of remaining steadfast in your personal belief system and therefore living in a pious way. Having a deep sense of integrity is important as is the the ability to remain resolute in your aims of good ethics. Also remaining alert and active in life’s way as opposed to the sin of SLOTH
5. Patience: This virtue is concerned with general peacefulness, especially in the field of conflict resolution. Therefore it is important to develop the skills and ability to avoid violence, instead indulging in forgiveness and having mercy on other people. It is a virtue which places importance on understanding and a sense of community feeling instead of taking revenge as in the case of WRATH.
6. Kindness: This virtue appears to be self-explanatory but there is a deeper meaning to this word “kindness”. Although focusing on charity and the act of compassion, there is also a focus on inspiring other people in a positive manner. Part of this virtue includes loyalty and empathy and satisfaction. There is a general sense of self-worth which is strength in itself, rather than wanting what others have which only encourages the sin of ENVY.
7. Humility: This virtue promotes selflessness and modesty. It also promotes respect and courage whilst living the humble life. Acts involving bravery and courage strengthens the character and resolution. Humility almost borders on altruism, allowing the self to face up to events in life posing uncertainly and the pressures of experiencing and dealing with fear. This virtue is in direct contrast to PRIDE.
Although the 7 heavenly virtues are originate from a Christian background and therefore connote a religious reasoning, they are nevertheless a very good way of addressing the 7 deadly sins, even in modern times. As such, these virtues are useful in all aspects of living an overall balanced life, and should not simply be confined to the religious sect. These virtues and others like them are adaptable to suit humanity overall no matter what an individual’s background may be.
The Seven Deadly Sins Series
This begins with “Origins of the Seven Deadly Sins”
1. Overcoming Lust as One of the Seven Deadly Sins | 2. Overcoming Gluttony as One of the Seven Deadly Sins | 3. Overcoming Greed as One of the Seven Deadly Sins | 4. Overcoming Sloth as One of the Seven Deadly Sins | 5. Overcoming Wrath as One of the Seven Deadly Sins | 6. Overcoming Envy as One of the Seven Deadly Sins | 7. Overcoming Pride as One of the Seven Deadly Sins |
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