I was so impressed by Jim Quigley’s sermon on fortitude last Sunday and especially by his references to the Cardinal Virtues and the Theological Virtues and his mention in his Daily Cup yesterday of the Cardinal Sins, that I just have to jump on the bandwagon. These were very much a part of the teaching I received growing up in the Catholic Church, and it seems to me that I’ve not heard of them much since swimming the Thames. Thank you Jim.
There are traditionally seven Virtues (further categorized into four Cardinal and three Theological) and seven Cardinal Sins. In case you are unfamiliar with the lists: here they are for your future ready reference.
Cardinal Virtues: Prudence, Justice, Fortitude (Courage), Temperance (Moderation).
Theological Virtues: Faith, Hope, Charity (Love).
Cardinal Sins: Pride, Covetousness, Lust, Anger, Gluttony, Envy, Sloth.
You can get a pretty complete education in them, including learning that the Cardinal Virtues originated with Plato, in the Wikipedia entries that will come up by Googleing those terms.
The two cents I want to add is just mention of a couple of books in my library that I commend to you: “The Seven Deadly Sins Today” by Henry Fairlie, and “Disordered Loves: Healing the Seven Deadly Sins” by William Stafford. They merit frequent reading. In checking Amazon to see if they are still available (They are.) my search brought up a couple more that I ordered. (Hmm. Do I need to work more on Gluttony?) “The Seven Deadly Sins: A Visitors’ Guide” and “Glittering Vices: A Look at the Seven Deadly Sins and Their Remedies.” I might report on those at a future date.
Dear Lord, in your mercy, forgive our sins, known and unknown, things done and left undone, and restore us to health of mind and spirit. Amen.
Ron Hicks, Parish Verger, St. Alban’s Episcopal Church, Washington DC, 01-Oct-2013.