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SIN. Unit IV: What kind of Person Does the Church Want Me to Become?. The word Jesus used for sin was satah “missing the mark” Translated in the Gospels in Greek, hamartia Originally an archery term, as in “you missed the target, take another shot”

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Unit IV: What kind of Person Does the Church Want Me to Become?

what is a sin

The word Jesus used for sin was satah“missing the mark”

  • Translated in the Gospels in Greek, hamartia
  • Originally an archery term, as in “you missed the target, take another shot”
  • The word “sin” is related to the Latin word sons, “guilty” connecting sin to Roman law, making sin more of a crime that needs some kind of punishment.
what is a sin1

Modern definition of sin:

A sin is any action that alienates or cuts us off from ourselves, others, and God.

types of sin

Original Sin

  • The state of sinfulness into which all human beings are born
  • According to Church teaching, inherited from the first humans, and erased by the Sacrament of Baptism
  • Explains but does not erase sinful tendencies. Humans still sin
  • Humans are good people who do bad things
types of sin1

Mortal Sin

  • A very grave or serious violation of God’s law done willingly and knowingly.
  • Cuts us off completely from God.
  • Can only be forgiven through the Sacrament of Reconciliation
types of sin2

Venial Sin

  • Venial means “forgivable.”
  • A less serious offense
  • Weakens our relationship with God, but does not cut us off.
  • Can be forgiven through any Sacrament, as long as there is true contrition for one’s sins.
other types of sin

Sin of Commission vs. Sin of Omission

  • A sin of commission is doing something sinful; an action.
  • A sin of omission is NOT doing something you could have done, usually for someone’s good; a lack of action.
    • Biblical example: the two men who passed by the beaten man in the story of Good Samaritan.
    • Modern example: passing by a homeless person without offering to help in some way.
other types of sin1

Personal Sin vs. Social Sin

  • Personal sin is an individual act of wrongdoing
  • Social sin is the wrongdoing of an entire community, usually against the common good.
  • Prophets make us aware of our social sin
    • Biblical examples:
      • The prophets of the Hebrew Scriptures; John the Baptist; Jesus—all openly challenged the social sins of their leaders
    • Modern Examples:
      • Sins in the economy (homelessness, Wall Street greed)
      • Sins against humanity (genocide, racism, Katrina victims)
      • MLK Jr., Elie Wiesel—modern-day prophets
social sin

Social Sin in the Church

  • Historically: Anti-Semitism, Anti-Islamism
  • Recently: Sexual Abuse, cover-up of abuse

Social Sin in the U.S.

  • Historically: Slavery, Sexism, Racism
  • Recently:………..?

Is there Social Sin at SMCHS?

  • Is there Racism, Homophobia, Classism, Sexism?
  • How is Bullying a Social Sin?
  • How is Cheating a Social Sin?
the seven deadly sins
The Seven Deadly Sins
  • Originally a list of mortal sins
  • Better understood today as underlying attitudes that can lead to sinful behavior if left unchecked
    • Lust: excessive sexual thoughts
      • Can lead to rape, sexual abuse, stalking, prostitution, porn
        • Can be countered by Chastity
    • Gluttony: overindulgence to the point of waste
      • Can lead to hunger of others, misuse of resources
        • Can be countered by Temperance
the seven deadly sins1
The Seven Deadly Sins
  • Originally a list of mortal sins
  • Better understood today as underlying attitudes that can lead to sinful behavior if left unchecked
    • Greed: excessive acquisition of wealth
      • Can lead to poverty of others, economic woes
        • Can be countered by Charity (caritas, agape)
    • Sloth: excessive indifference, failure to act
      • Can lead to sins of omission
        • Can be countered by Diligence
the seven deadly sins2
The Seven Deadly Sins
  • Wrath: uncontrolled anger or hatred
    • Can lead to rage, physical abuse, murder
      • Can be countered by Patience
  • Envy: excessive desire of what another has
    • Can lead to jealousy, stealing
      • Can be countered by Kindness
  • Pride: excessive love of self
    • Considered the worst of the Seven Deadly Sins because it leads to the others
      • Can be countered by Humility
the virtues

If sinful behavior is humanity’s “bad news”, the good news is that we are capable of virtuous behavior

  • The Catholic Church teaches two main kinds of virtues attainable by every human person.
    • The Three Theological Virtues
    • The Four Cardinal Virtues
the theological virtues

Faith, Hope and Love

  • Help us to become more like God
  • Only attainable through God’s grace
  • Can be asked for in prayer
The Theological Virtues
faith and hope


    • Perfects the mind
    • Enables us to believe that which we cannot understand
  • Hope
    • Perfects the will
    • Enables us to trust in that which we cannot control
Faith and Hope


    • The greatest of the theological virtues
    • Also called charity; agape, caritas
    • Perfects the heart
    • Enables us to love as God loves—universally, unconditionally and completely
      • Love God with your whole heart, mind, soul, strength
      • Love your neighbor
      • Love your enemies
the cardinal virtues

Prudence, Justice, Fortitude, and Temperance

  • Cardinal, from the word cardo, “hinge”
    • The hinges on which all moral life pivots.
  • Help us to become better human beings
  • Can be learned and practiced by anyone
The Cardinal Virtues

The first and most important of the cardinal virtues

  • Focused on the self
  • Defined as “Correct knowledge about what ought to be done and what ought to be avoided”
  • BUT—how do I know I am doing the right thing and not what I want to do?
    • Good counsel: ask God, yourself, and a trusted person

Focused on the relationship we have with others

  • Defined as “the determination to give to others what is rightfully due them.”
    • Morally or legally—an action, a possession, something exacted (such as redress or punishment)
  • Justice helps us moderate between our self-interest and the rights and needs of others

Also called “courage”

  • Defined as “that which allows us to overcome our fear and steady our will in the face of obstacles”
  • Prudence and justice help us decide what should be done, and fortitude gives us the strength to do it.
  • Fortitude is NOT recklessness, rashness, or foolhardiness(which is why it is governed by prudence!)

Also called “restraint” or “moderation”

  • Defined as “moderation in action, thought, or feeling”
  • Temperance has different names depending on which impulse is being restrained
    • Ex. abstinence, to help one refrain from indulgence in alcohol or sex
  • Temperance aids us in the combatting of the Deadly Sins
    • Ex. Proper release of anger works against Wrath, etc.
how do i become a good person

A Good Person

Good Character

Good Habits

Good Actions

Good Thoughts

How do I become a good person?
  • Wehave a natural capacity for good character, but it must be developed through constant practice.
  • Good leaders (parents, teachers, civic leaders) are necessary to guide us in the development of good habits.