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  My Witness

Vol. 15, No. 2, April, 2010

From the Editor
Sr. Jan Nattermann, S.N.C.

Sister Jan Do you know about PALE GAS? Pride, Avarice, Lust, Envy, Gluttony, Anger, Sloth--The 7 Capital Sins. Now PALE GAS sounds familiar, right? Actually, they are not sins until we consent to them. They are called 'capital' because they are the main sins we commit and the main sources from which all sin arises.

They are the 7 chief sins we commit because we have seven distinct weaknesses within our nature. We'll be looking at each of the Capital sins in this and following issues of MY WITNESSES.

The first Capital sin is PRIDE. It is defined as "excessive love of one's own excellence," putting one's self and one's evil inclinations, one's own sinful will and desires, before the will of God. This prideful selfishness verses the will of God is a constant battle.

"Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall" (Proverbs 16:18). This means it is a dangerous thing to think one is strong and can resist temptation; it is then that we fall. Pride blinds our intellect to the truth of things. Pride can take many forms, so that ways of interacting, that we have never considered as a form of pride, we need to reconsider. Pride can be manifest by being over-bearing, critical of others, inconsiderate, engaging in 'pity' parties, self-complacent and the list goes on. The one common denominator in these manifestations boils down to: an inflated opinion of ourselves. This awareness and acknowledgement protects a person from pride. Humility can be practiced by patience, forbearance, kindness, gentleness, being positive, letting go of grudges -- just to name a few, practical ways to help overcome pride.

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