The Seven Dos and Don’ts

Di luar apa agama dan kepercayaan kita, buat gue ini acuan yang baik dalam menjalani hidup di dunia. So, it’s a note to self, but I hope it can inspire and enlighten others too.

The Seven Heavenly Virtues (derived from the Psychomachia or Contest of the Soul by Aurelius Clemens Prudentius) are:

Love (Amor); Affection
The benevolent affection of God’s creatures; A deep, tender, ineffable feeling of affection and solicitude toward a person; affectionate concern for the well-being of others.

Hope (Spei); Faith
Hope that one will be able to change themselves or their lives for the better; believing that a better or positive outcome is possible even when there is some evidence to the contrary.

Knowledge (Gnaritas); Perception
The perception of fact or truth; clear and certain mental apprehension; awareness, as of a fact or circumstance; aware of the consequence of one’s actions.

Reliability (Firmus); Persistence, Effort
Capable of being relied on; The ability of a person to perform and continue their duties for those who are relying on them; not being lazy and doing what you must for the sake of others or oneself.

Friendship (Amicitia); Forebearance
Forbearance and endurance through moderation. Resolving conflicts peacefully, as opposed to resorting to violence. The ability to forgive; to show mercy to sinners.

Sincerity (Sincerius); Truthfulness
Freedom from deceit, hypocrisy, or duplicity; probity in intention or in communicating; earnestness.

Courage (Fortitudo); Bravery, Modesty
Not afraid to be oneself or do what is right. Giving credit where credit is due; not unfairly glorifying one’s own self. Able to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear.

On the contrary, The Seven Deadly Sins as listed by Pope Gregory the Great and Dante Alighiery in The Divine Comedy are:

Lust (Luxuria)
Lust (or lechery) is usually thought of as involving obsessive or excessive thoughts or desires of a sexual nature. Unfulfilled lusts sometimes lead to sexual or sociological compulsions and/or transgressions including (but obviously not limited to) sexual addiction, adultery, bestiality, rape, and incest. Dante’s criterion was “excessive love of others,” which therefore rendered love and devotion to God as secondary.

Gluttony (Gula)
Derived from the Latin gluttire, meaning to gulp down or swallow, gluttony is the over-indulgence and over-consumption of anything to the point of waste. In the Christian religions, it is considered a sin because of the excessive desire for food, or its withholding from the needy.

Greed (Avaritia)
Greed (or avarice, covetousness) is, like lust and gluttony, a sin of excess. However, greed (as seen by the church) is applied to the acquisition of wealth in particular. St. Thomas Aquinas wrote that greed was “a sin against God, just as all mortal sins, in as much as man condemns things eternal for the sake of temporal things.” In Dante’s Purgatory, the penitents were bound and laid face down on the ground for having concentrated too much on earthly thoughts. “Avarice” is more of a blanket term that can describe many other examples of greedy behavior. These include disloyalty, deliberate betrayal, or treason, especially for personal gain, for example through bribery . Scavenging and hoarding of materials or objects, theft and robbery, especially by means of violence, trickery, or manipulation of authority are all actions that may be inspired by greed. Such misdeeds can include simony, where one profits from soliciting goods within the actual confines of a church.

Sloth (Acedia)
More than other sins, the definition of sloth has changed considerably since its original inclusion among the seven deadly sins. In fact it was first called the sin of sadness or despair. It had been in the early years of Christianity characterized by what modern writers would now describe as melancholy: apathy, depression, and joylessness — the last being viewed as being a refusal to enjoy the goodness of God and the world he created. Originally, its place was fulfilled by two other aspects, acedia and sadness. The former described a spiritual apathy that affected the faithful by discouraging them from their religious work. Sadness (tristitia in Latin) described a feeling of dissatisfaction or discontent, which caused unhappiness with one’s current situation. When Thomas Aquinas selected acedia for his list, he described it as an “uneasiness of the mind”, being a progenitor for lesser sins such as restlessness and instability. Dante refined this definition further, describing sloth as being the “failure to love God with all one’s heart, all one’s mind and all one’s soul.” He also described it as the middle sin, and as such was the only sin characterised by an absence or insufficiency of love. In his “Purgatorio”, the slothful penitents were made to run continuously at top speed.The modern view of the vice, as highlighted by its contrary virtue of zeal or diligence, is that it represents the failure to utilize one’s talents and gifts. For example, a student who does not work beyond what is required (and thus fails to achieve his or her full potential) could be labeled slothful.
Current interpretations are therefore much less stringent and comprehensive than they were in medieval times, and portray sloth as being more simply a sin of laziness or indifference, of an unwillingness to act, an unwillingness to care (rather than a failure to love God and his works). For this reason sloth is now often seen as being considerably less serious than the other sins, more a sin of omission than of commission.

Wrath (Ira)
Wrath (or anger) may be described as inordinate and uncontrolled feelings of hatred and anger. These feelings can manifest as vehement denial of the truth, both to others and in the form of self-denial, impatience with the procedure of law, and the desire to seek revenge outside of the workings of the justice system (such as engaging in vigilantism) and generally wishing to do evil or harm to others. The transgressions borne of vengeance are among the most serious, including murder, assault, and in extreme cases, genocide. Wrath is the only sin not necessarily associated with selfishness or self-interest (although one can of course be wrathful for selfish reasons, such as jealousy, closely related to the sin of envy). Dante described vengeance as “love of justice perverted to revenge and spite”. In its original form, the sin of wrath also encompassed anger pointed internally rather than externally. Thus suicide was deemed as the ultimate, albeit tragic, expression of wrath directed inwardly, a final rejection of God’s gifts.

Envy (Invidia)
Like greed, envy may be characterized by an insatiable desire; they differ, however, for two main reasons. First, greed is largely associated with material goods, whereas envy may apply more generally. Second, those who commit the sin of envy resent that another person has something they perceive themselves as lacking, and wish the other person to be deprived of it. Dante defined this as “love of one’s own good perverted to a desire to deprive other men of theirs.”

Pride (Superbia)
In almost every list pride (or hubris or vanity) is considered the original and most serious of the seven deadly sins, and indeed the ultimate source from which the others arise. It is identified as a desire to be more important or attractive than others, failing to give compliments to others though they may be deserving of them, and excessive love of self (especially holding self out of proper position toward God).

And for ease of understanding, just remember that each of the seven heavenly virtues matches a corresponding deadly sin:
Love >< Lust
Hope >< Gluttony
Knowledge >< Greed
Reliability >< Sloth
Friendship >< Wrath
Sincerity >< Envy
Courage >< Pride

Sources:
Seven Heavenly Virtues from here.
Seven Deadly Sins from here.

7 thoughts on “The Seven Dos and Don’ts

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