Saturday, August 28, 2010

St. Augustine on Envy

Fr. Mark quotes St. Augustine on envy, the diabolical sin, saying:
Envy is one of the seven capital sins. It is a root sin that produces a number of poisonous offshoots. What is envy? It is sadness at the sight of another’s goods, opportunities, talents, or advantages. Envy itself may lurk below the surface but it comes out in sarcasm, in bitter comments, in nasty criticisms.
The Diabolical Sin
Saint Augustine saw envy as the diabolical sin. “From envy,” he says, “are born hatred, detraction, calumny, joy caused by the misfortune of a neighbour, and displeasure caused by prosperity.” How does one know if one is harbouring envy in one’s heart? If when another person is praised or acknowledged you feel a twinge of displeasure, it is rooted in envy. If when another person is given opportunities for personal growth, education, or travel, you feel resentment, it is rooted in envy. If when another person shows the ability to do something well, you can resist the temptation to snipe and criticize, it is rooted in envy. Envy is an insidious sin. In community life it can be deadly, especially when it goes unconfessed and when there is no repentance for it.
Do read the entire article. One wonders how many good works have been hampered by other Christians who were envious, who would not lend a hand, or put obstacles in the way.

5 comments:

Mary333 said...

I always felt bad for Hagar,she got the short end of the stick.
Envy is ugly and I've had to confess all the capital sins at one point or another. Thankfully the Lord rids us of these eventually.[Notice I said eventually:)] I just wish sloth wasn't such a toughy.

elena maria vidal said...

Eventually, yes! Sloth is a tricky one indeed.

Mark said...

My sloth and pride have a daily upfront-even palpable presence. My envy is a much understimated undertow that only flares up appreciably several times a month. St. Augustin is dead-on to point out it's diabolical insidiousness. I can't recall specifically confessing this sin that daily yet so quietly holds sway with me. Yikes! I needed to hear this.

Terry Nelson said...

I should post this as a header on my blog. Envy is definitely an insidious sin.

elena maria vidal said...

Yes, it is!

Related Posts with Thumbnails