Se7en Deadly Sins

Today is Mardi Gras AKA Fat Tuesday, so it’s basically that day of “eat, drink, and be merry” before the barren solemnity of Lent, which starts tomorrow. That got me thinking about the seven deadly sins, which are always a source of fascination to me, and of course, that made me think of the movie Se7en, which came out in 1995 and featured Brad Pitt, Kevin Spacey, and Morgan Freeman.

Part of me was disgusted by how graphic the movie was, and part of me loved the premise. A serial killer who punished and murdered people based on which of the seven deadly sins they had let control their lives. The movie really makes you think about the nature of sin and punishment. Yes, it may feel good to be bad, but it’s easy to let the bad things get out of control, and for earthly pleasures to take over your life.

To oppose the seven deadly sins are the seven virtues, which are as follows:

Chastity, as opposed to lust
Temperance, as opposed to gluttony
Charity, as opposed to greed
Diligence, as opposed to sloth
Patience, as opposed to wrath
Kindness, as opposed to envy
Humility, as opposed to pride

Nothing truly worth having ever came easy. We have to work for what we want, push aside temporary desires, and minimize our indulgence in life’s pleasure so we don’t lose track of what is truly important. I feel like that’s a good message right before Lent. The things of this world are fleeting and all will pass away. It might be hard to practice the seven virtues, and easy to fall into the traps of the seven deadly sins, but in the end, the struggle is worth it if we can become better people.

6 thoughts on “Se7en Deadly Sins

  1. Terrific post Maggie. I especially liked your final paragraph. It truly is worth it to practice a delayed gratification especially in this day and age.


  2. Definitely. I also liked your final paragraph. And, like you say, I also think it’s important to try and follow the seven virtues – especially during Lent. If you don’t even try, you’re contradicting yourself by fasting for your religion but then not really following it or it’s virtues. A great post.


  3. Two separate thoughts. One of which is that I should really see that movie. I’ve even mentioned it on my blog, but I’ve never seen it (probably squeamishness:-) ).

    My other thought is that I’m not sure I’ve ever seen the seven virtues listed like that, but this one seems a bit off, at least to me: “Kindness, as opposed to envy” It’s probably my Quaker upbringing, but I think the real opposite of envy is simplicity, knowing that you don’t need the things you’re envying, that you can live quite happily without them, that there is a freedom in not wanting them. In these days, when so many people get frustrated when they don’t have the latest iPhone and iPad and whatnot, that’s good to remember.

    Oh, and I have to mention that one of my big regrets with my second novel was that I had to remove a scene about the seven deadly sins. I really liked the scene, but there ended up not being a place to put it, there was no point where it would have happened as it did. So, I posted it on my blog, like a deleted scene on a DVD:


    • Simplicity does seem like it would be opposition to quite a few of those deadly sins, not just envy. But I see where you’re coming from.


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