The Seven Deadly Sins

Rebellion Against God

Sin is rebellion against God.

CCC 1849 “Sin is an offense against reason, truth, and right conscience; it is failure in genuine love for God and neighbor caused by a perverse attachment to certain goods.”

CCC 1850 “Sin sets itself against God’s love for us and turns our hearts away from it. … Sin is thus love of oneself even to contempt of God.”

We sin only against God. King David wrote, Ps 51:4 “Against Thee, Thee only have I sinned.” Sin separates us from God because He wants what is best for us, while we have chosen what is worst for us. Sin separates us from ourselves because it destroys our self-respect. Sin separates us from the people we love because we can never be at one with them if we hurt or use them. And sin separates us from life because it makes us closed-in and self-centered.

Catholic teaching recognizes two types of actual sin: venial (Latin: venia, pardon) and mortal (Latin: morte, death).

The Four Essential Elements of a Sin

  • A law is involved, such as a moral law.
  • God is offended; the divine dimension is always present when we sin.
  • Sin is disobedience. We resist God’s grace and disobey His commands.
  • The disobedience is deliberate. We know that something is contrary to God’s law but freely disobey anyway.

St. Paul explained sin: Rom 5:12-14 “Therefore as sin came into the world through one man and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all men sinned – sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sins were not like the transgression of Adam.”

The original sin came into the world through Adam.

There are seven capital sins and they are pride, avarice, envy, wrath, lust, gluttony and sloth. All the sins we commit are said to flow from these seven deadly sins.