• Seven Pillars Of Life

    by Austin Hatem

    in Spirituality (submitted 2011-07-24)

    I'm fairly sure a small number of you are familiar with the seven deadly sins (Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy and Pride). In resistance, within Catholic catechism, there is a much less distinguished list of seven virtues that were shaped to battle these seven deadly sins. Although these merits are typically linked to absolutely Christians and Catholics, I deem that they can be applied and can help anyone no matter their spiritual partiality. These virtues were first penned by the likes of Aristotle and Plato. However, they weren't truly recognized until a lyricist named Aurelius Prudentius (AD 410) wrote a traditional poem known as Psychomachia, which demonstrated the fight of good versus malevolence. The poem was passionately admired and in time laid out the groundwork for our present seven heavenly virtues. I've yet to find a suitable rationalization of each… So I'm going to briefly summarize each virtue and try to show its magnitude in each of our lives.

    Humility: made to combat Pride- A common misconception about humility is that many perceive it as thinking less of yourself, when in reality it is thinking of yourself less. It takes an immense amount of courage to be a truly humble individual … In order to have this virtue you must first examine your true self and then be brave enough to confront and fix the problems you found.

    Patience: made to combat Wrath- Well I'm sure you have heard the words "patience is a virtue", and if you weren't sure where the phrase originate…now you know. Patience is synonymous with peacefulness; a genuinely patient individual is always at peace with their inner being. Patience is an attribute held by leaders… They are unaffected by pressure…Untouched by stress …And always stand strong against adversity… Patience is a difficult virtue to obtain and many believe you either have it or you don't, but I'm confident it's attainable to anyone who cares enough about acquiring it.

    Diligence: made to combat Sloth- "A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, so shall your poverty come like a prowler and your need like an armed man"(Proverb 24:30-34). A possessor of this virtue has a decisive [COLOR=blue !important][COLOR=blue !important]work[/COLOR][/COLOR] ethic, an ardent nature and a whole lot of integrity. The above Bible passage exemplifies what could happen to any who are slothful; here is what it says about those who are diligent… The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied (Proverb 13:4)… A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich(Proverb 10:4)

    [COLOR=blue !important][COLOR=blue ! important]Charity[/COLOR][/COLOR]: made to combat Greed- Charitable people aren't simply benign givers, they are people who sacrifice their own good for the good of others. A truly altruistic individual will give away their last dime because the happiness they derive from being charitable is stronger than the pain being bankrupt brings them. The first step to becoming a charitable individual is getting your priorities straight. Spend some time with your thoughts, develop a vision of what you truly want out of life… a vision that isn't distorted by greed or gluttony… and by the time you have a noble vision that's true to you, you will have already acquired the virtue of charity.

    Temperance: made to combat Gluttony- Temperance is strikingly similar to discipline; discipline however, is often misconceived as being antonymous to freedom…when in reality, discipline leads us to our freedom. Let me ask you this… is the alcoholic really free? Is the drug addict really free? Is the cigarette smoker really free? In my mind, even if they do live in the acclaimed "Land of the Free", they are still enslaved and imprisoned by their addictions and cravings… This is precisely why I see temperance as an essential virtue, freedom without temperance is impossible.

    Kindness: made to combat Envy- When Jesus was asked which commandment was the most prominent he replied "You shall love the Lord your God with your whole heart, your whole mind, and your whole soul. This is the first and the greatest of the Commandments. And the second is like it, you shall love your neighbor as yourself. Upon these two rest the whole law and all the prophets" (Matthew 22:34-40).love is the doctrine of kindness, a kind persons heart is always full of love. They love the world, they love themselves, and most importantly…they love each other.

    Chastity: made to combat Lust- Through a Christian's perspective, chastity usually pertains to abstaining from sexual conduct. This may be a vital aspect, but I prefer to view chastity from wider perspective. In order to acquire this virtue, you must be pure in both thoughts and actions… You must be able to stare temptation in the face and have no problem turning your back… In my mind, this is one of the most intricate virtues to attain, especially considering the temptation the modern age has brought. But of course, refraining from enticement takes discipline, which is something that can be developed.

    About the Author

    Austin Hatem
    Love Yourself...Love Others...Love The World Around You...Carpe Diem
    Comments 1 Comment
    1. Lannah's Avatar
      Lannah -
      This is a lovely meditation! Really enjoyed it and found it uplifting! It's good to see that people still remember our "values and vitues" system!

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