Everyone, unfortunately, will see himself described in the pages of this little book, The Seven Capital Sins, since all our sins are traceable to these seven roots: Pride, Covetousness (Avarice), Lust, Anger, Gluttony, Envy and Sloth. The Seven Capital Sins explains the true nature, degrees, acts and family relationships (or connecting links) among these seven vices, and it gives the remedies and safeguards against them.
“True understanding of the nature and effects of the Capital Sins is the first step in combating them. Let us take up arms now and go to the battle! We will be what we will to be!” (Pages 46-47)
The following are excerpts from Chapter 1: ” Pride” from The Seven Capital Sins
Pride was the first sin committed. It was the sin of Lucifer. It was also the root of the Original Sin committed by Adam and Eve. Pride is the greatest of sins because it is the summit of self-love and is directly opposed to submission to God. It is, therefore, the sin most hated by God, and the one He punishes most severely. The punishment of the Angels, of Adam and Eve, of Nabuchodonosor, related in the Book of Daniel (4:27-30), bear witness to this. Pride is likewise the greatest sin because it is the fountainhead of the self-love in which all other sins take root: “From pride all perdition took its beginning.” (Tob. 4:14). There is a species of pride in every sin, whatever may be the individual nature of the sin itself. Pride is the most dangerous of sins, because it blinds our understanding, and unless something finally makes us realize the truth, we are liable to go on, day after day, in a spiritual self-delusion, imagining our acts to be good and virtuous when certain habits actually may be vicious. When we are blinded by pride, we do not consider our talents and abilities as God’s gifts to us, but attribute our good qualities to ourselves, with the right to use them as we see fit. Everybody is infected with the virus of pride! But there is a particular kind of pride in each individual; at least a particular kind dominates, though there may be several of its viruses in the same character.
Remedies for Pride
The only way to get the better of pride is to practice humility. It may sound like a contradiction, but the humble man realizes that he is proud, and earnestly strives to overcome the manifestations ofpride in his life. In striving for humility, we must always have before our eyes the example of Our Lord. We must keep in mind His promises in favor of the humble and the vengeance He reserves for the proud. We must cling to God and do His Will with all our soul. We must have recourse to prayer, again and again asking for this virtue. We must live in the presence of God, practice self-denial and the other Christian virtues, especially patience, forbearance, charity, meekness, submission, abandonment to God and conformity to His Will, sympathy, confidence in God, compunction for sin, modesty. We must not seek honors, but admit our nothingness and lack of virtue. We must be willing to accept humiliations and strive to seek God in all things.