The Seven Deadly Sins

The traditional seven deadly sins are not necessarily sins but are vices that are in opposition to the virtues that give man the ability and desire to make right choices and do good.

It is more accurate to refer to pride, greed, envy, anger, lust, gluttony, and acedia as capital vices.

These vices are called “capital” because they are thoughts and temptations from deep within man that are the source of other vices or serious sin.

Different individuals may be vulnerable to different capital vices depending on their tendencies and backgrounds.

The capital vices become strengthened through habitual repetition but each of these vices has a corresponding virtue that can be developed instead as a spiritual remedy against them.

Vices we should seek to avoid:

Deeply rooted sources of other sins:

Dispositions toward evil actions:

Vices can be classified according to the virtues they oppose, or also be linked to the capital sins which Christian experience has distinguished, following St. John Cassian and St. Gregory the Great. They are called “capital” because they engender other sins, other vices. They are pride, avarice, envy, wrath, lust, gluttony, and sloth or acedia.

Catechism of the Catholic Church 1866

Pulled toward sinful tendencies:

Destructive habits that kill our relationship with God:

Do not love the world or the things of the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, sensual lust, enticement for the eyes, and a pretentious life, is not from the Father but is from the world.

1 John 2: 15-16

The connection between vice and sin:

The roots that sins branch off from:

The Gospel clearly warns us of this difference and the need to keep ourselves distinct from the world. By the world, here, is meant either those human beings who are opposed to the light of faith and the gift of grace, those whose naive optimism betrays them into thinking that their own energies suffice to win them complete, lasting, and gainful prosperity, or, finally, those who take refuge in an aggressively pessimistic outlook on life and maintain that their vices, weaknesses and moral ailments are inevitable, incurable, or perhaps even desirable as sure manifestations of personal freedom and sincerity.

Pope Paul VI, Ecclesiam Suam, 6 August 1964

When a sin becomes an idol:

The Truth, Goodness, and Beauty of the Catholic Church

Jesus is in the Eucharist welcoming you:

Share this page with friends and family to start a conversation about your faith.

Don’t miss a post. Learn more about the Catholic Church and strengthen your Catholic faith.

Find more Fiercely Catholic video issues here.

Subscribe here.

Book a Fiercely Catholic program at your next conference, retreat, or other Catholic event.