The Poison in the World
Ancient Christians came to understand that there are eight dominant vices that enslave our desires: sloth, lust, gluttony, envy, wrath, greed, and vainglory – with pride being the root of all seven. It is these vices that birthed the self-love that has poisoned the world. Pride comes first, then the seven pile on. The seven give birth to all the other myriad of sins we war against. For example, if we're dominated by greed (source vice) then we'll easily lie or steal (offspring vices) to satisfy our craving for more money or possessions. Just because we become a Christian, doesn't mean these vices magically disappear. They don't. Because each of us has a unique personality, we experience the grip of the vices in different combinations and strengths. It's very difficult to fight your enemy when you can't see him. This is why it's crucial that we recover and understand the vices because they put a name on what enslaves us, offering us a glimpse of what must be mortified. Labeling our enemy is the first step towards growing in the love and freedom we seek.