Choose a topic from Part 2A:

84. One Sin as the Cause of Another

1. Covetousness, not as a general inordinateness of desire or asa general tendency to such inordinateness, but as a specialsin, is the root of all actual sins. This special covetousnessis the inordinate desire for riches. Riches (that is, money) open aready avenue to all excesses and sins, and are longed for bysinners. Not money itself, but the loveof money, the desirefor it, is the root of all evil, as St. Paul says (I Tim.6:10).

2. Pride as an inordinate desire to excel (not the pridewhich is an actual contempt of God or an inclination to thiscontempt), is back of the primal covetousness. Pride is thereforethe beginning of all sins. Man wants goods or riches to have someperfection by possessing them, or some excellence, or someoutstanding quality, or some notable enjoyment. Thus, whilecovetousness is the root of evil, pride is the beginning ofsins.

3. Therefore covetousness and pride are fundamental orcapital sins. These sins are like generals in an evilarmy; all the action of the evil warfare stems from them. And thereare also colonels and majors in the evil army; these too are listedwith the capital sins.

4. There are five sins in addition to pride andcovetousness that are rightly reckoned as capital sins. Hence, thecount of capital sins is seven: pride, covetousness, lust, anger,gluttony, envy, sloth.

"What good does it do to speak learnedly about the Trinity if, lacking humility, you displease the Trinity? Indeed it is not learning that makes a man holy and just, but a virtuous life makes him pleasing to God. "
Thomas á Kempis

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"Every man naturally desires knowledge; but what good is knowledge without fear of God? Indeed a humble rustic who serves God is better than a proud intellectual who neglects his soul to study the course of the stars."
Thomas á Kempis

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"God has no need of men."
St Philip Neri

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