Friday, October 28, 2011

Back to Basics: Envy

The second of the seven deadly sins is envy.
Envy, another deadly sin, is the resentment of another person's good fortune or joy. Catholicism distinguishes between two kinds of envy.
  • Material envy is when you resent others who have more money, talent, strength, beauty, friends, and so on, than you do.
  • Spiritual envy is resenting others who progress in holiness, preferring that they stay at or below your level instead of being joyful and happy that they're doing what they're supposed to be doing. Spiritual envy is far worse and more evil than material envy.
Note that some spiritual writers and moralists make a distinction between envy and jealousy. They maintain that envy is the resentment of what others have, such as possessions, talent, fame, and so one, whereas jealousy is the fear of losing what you already have... Jealousy is considered to be as much a sin as envy, because it resembles that deadly sin a whole bunch...

The Church maintains that meekness or kindness can counter envy.
Catholicism For Dummies by John Trigilio
Recommended reading: Back to Virtue by Peter Kreeft. He examines the virtues in depth and also looks specific virtues and Beatitudes as antidotes to each of the seven deadly sins. Not a new concept but one that he writes about superbly (as always).

Next up ... Lust.

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