03 February 2012

Seven against Thebes


But these several sins have each their army against us.
For from vainglory there arise

  • disobedience, 
  • boasting, 
  • hypocrisy, 
  • contentions, 
  • obstinacies, 
  • discords, and 
  • the presumptions of novelties. 


From envy there spring:

  • hatred, 
  • whispering, 
  • detraction, 
  • exultation at the misfortunes of a neighbour, 
  • and affliction at his prosperity. 


From anger are produced:

  • strifes, 
  • swelling of mind, 
  • insults, 
  • clamour, 
  • indignation, 
  • blasphemies. 


From melancholy there arise:

  • malice, 
  • rancour, 
  • cowardice, 
  • despair, 
  • slothfulness in fulfilling the commands, 
  • and a wandering of the mind on unlawful objects. 


From avarice there spring:

  • treachery, 
  • fraud, 
  • deceit, 
  • perjury, 
  • restlessness, 
  • violence, and 
  • hardnesses of heart against compassion. 


From gluttony are propagated:

  • foolish mirth, 
  • scurrility, 
  • uncleanness, 
  • babbling, 
  • dulness of sense in understanding. 


From lust are generated:

  • blindness of mind, 
  • inconsiderateness, 
  • inconstancy, 
  • precipitation, 
  • self-love, 
  • hatred of God, 
  • affection for this present world, 
  • and dread or despair of that which is to come. 


Because, therefore, seven principal vices produce from themselves so great a multitude of vices, when they reach the heart, they bring, as it were, the bands of an army after them.


— St. Gregory the Great, Moralia in Job, Book XXXI