"Sin creates [an inclination] to sin; it engenders vice by repetition of the same acts. This results in perverse inclinations which cloud conscience and corrupt the concrete judgment of good and evil. Thus sin tends to reproduce itself and reinforce itself, but it cannot destroy the moral sense at its root."
Para. 1865, Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1994
Inscribed in ancient times at the Oracle at Delphi: "Know thyself." Self-knowledge follows closely behind the knowledge of God, and self-knowledge for anyone means knowledge of sin. "My own heart shows me the way of the ungodly." Scripture says we are all sinners, and we don't mind as long as the sins are nameless and faceless. When we name a sin found in ourselves (by Grace) it is as though we are confronted in the back alleys of our souls with furtive saboteurs and muggers who seek to prevent our union with God. The sudden self-revelation of a serious fault is one thing: the discovery of a deadly sin which we hate very much in others is worse. It is like finding out a spouse is unfaithful, or worse, that we have been blindly unfaithful to the Spouse of our soul.
The following pages on the deadly sins may lead to horrible discoveries. Bear in mind:
Friends will almost never volunteer this information.
If they do, we will not accept it.
God forgives anything, even repeatedly, so do not be afraid.
A combination of good spiritual reading (nothing too recent), nearly constant prayer, and reflection on the repetitive patterns of life works well for naming our sins. Remarks made in job performance reviews and conversations with people who dislike us are especially revealing. Our enemies usually lack the false charity to deny our sins. No wonder we are called to love them.
The human capacity for self-delusion is nearly limitless. We have all seen people claim great spirituality but do evil things and then ignore or rationalize them. Somehow we think we are immune to this phenomenon.
The table below lists The Seven Deadly Sins (vices) in the traditional order with the virtues against which they are sins. The history of this list goes back at least to Pope St. Gregory the Great and St. John Cassian, but while the list itself is not strictly biblical, the Bible proscribes all seven. If one or more of these doesn't seem like a big sin to you, it almost certainly means you have already rationalized it. Work on that one first. By the way, there is no set list of Virtues corresponding to these. I've just listed the ones that made sense at the time.
Vice Virtue against which it sins. Brief description.
Pride (1) Humility
Seeing ourselves as we are and not comparing ourselves to others is humility. Pride and vanity are competitive. If someone else's pride really bothers you, you have a lot of pride.
Avarice/Greed (5) Generosity
This is about more than money. Generosity means letting others get the credit or praise. It is giving without having expectations of the other person. Greed wants to get its "fair share" or a bit more.
Envy (2) Love
"Love is patient, love is kind…" Love actively seeks the good of others for their sake. Envy resents the good others receive or even might receive. Envy is almost indistinguishable from pride at times.
Wrath/Anger (3) Kindness
Kindness means taking the tender approach, with patience and compassion. Anger is often our first reaction to the problems of others. Impatience with the faults of others is related to this.
Lust (7) Self control
Self control and self mastery prevent pleasure from killing the soul by suffocation. Legitimate pleasures are controlled in the same way an athlete's muscles are: for maximum efficiency without damage. Lust is the self-destructive drive for pleasure out of proportion to its worth. Sex, power, or image can be used well, but they tend to go out of control.
Gluttony (6) Faith and Temperance
Temperance accepts the natural limits of pleasures and preserves this natural balance. This does not pertain only to food, but to entertainment and other legitimate goods, and even the company of others.
Sloth (4) Zeal
Zeal is the energetic response of the heart to God's commands. The other sins work together to deaden the spiritual senses so we first become slow to respond to God and then drift completely into the sleep of complacency.
The table below lists The Seven Deadly Sins (vices) in the traditional order with the virtues against which they are sins. The history of this list goes back at least to Pope St. Gregory the Great and St. John Cassian, but while the list itself is not ...[text shortened]... drift completely into the sleep of complacency.
works of mercy :
To feed the hungry;
To give drink to the thirsty;
To clothe the naked;
To harbour the harbourless;
To visit the sick;
To ransom the captive;
To bury the dead.
My question is why change "I was a stranger, and you took me not in" to To harbour the harbourless
And "sick and in prison, and you did not visit me" to "To visit the sick; To ransom the captive; "
I can see good reason why He didn't say " for I was dead and you buried me not".