Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The seven capital sins

Childhood usually goes by slowly and follows us for ever like a shadow. The character was formed in early years as our genes allowed. Our parents and tutors tried to guide us by teaching us virtues, even if they were evil people. They taught us the cardinal and theological virtues and how to beat the seven capital sins.

When time passed I forgot this education, because problably it wasn't useful. To write this post I had to search on Google “cardinal virtues” and I pressed the I'm feeling lucky button. The engine search landed in the religious web page SCTJM which explained with detail some virtues and sins (they didn't explain anything about lust, maybe for inexperience or for embarrassment).

When I was a child nuns taught me the capital sins or its opposite virtues, depending on easiness to explain, but always with a sense of guilt. This put my self-esteem in eternal danger. In this valley of tears, full of sinners, pride was considered as leprosy of the soul.

When I was six, I knew with pain that I was a proud person. A nun slapped me saying “This girl is very proud”. I didn't know what that meant but I thought it was a bad quality. I didn't discern how to correct myself and I was continually slapped by the nuns until they explained to me that humility was the opposite virtue of pride.

When you didn't have anything it was difficult to understood greed. It was easier to explain generosity, its reverse virtue. In illustrations in books a rich child appeared giving money to beggars with a proud attitude. I learned someone couldn't be poor and proud at the same time. I discovered injustice and I knew that it wasn't a capital sin.

Nuns didn't give details about lust. They explained directly chastity. This is a passive virtue: at least doing something undefined you were more virtuous. However, if they didn't explain this virtue well you could fall in sloth that is defeated by diligence.

Anger didn't need theory, I learned it by practise. Every day nuns slapped me because their patience had a limit and it never passed Angelus time (12:00 pm).

Gluttony was inexplicable. How was it possible to feel the food of nuns as a pleasure? In the same way I couldn't considerer temperance as a virtue because not eating had no value, moreover it was punished.

Envy, the most widespread sin, it was encouraged by competivity. Nuns always praised the cleverest, the best, the most religious and the others envied them. The praised were brown nosers and it was difficult to feel charity, then most children were green with envy.

I learned that if you don't bother or prejudice other people, you are on the right path. Moreover, if you help them, then you have high score as a good person. The worst is to push everybody although you are diligent, chaste and you eat like a little bird.

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