What is Sin?

Sin is a deliberate thought, word, deed or omission contrary to the eternal law of God, which is an offense against God and neighbor (Catechism of the Catholic Church [CCC] paragraphs: 1849-1851). Sin can take many forms and vary in severity. Review Habit 14 – Recognize Sin and make deliberate plans to stop sinning for more detailed information. 

What are Vices and Virtues?

Virtues  are good habits (CCC 1803) and Vices are evil habits (CCC 1865). A Catholic man must build the good habits (Virtue, from the Latin, vir, meaning “manliness, moral strength, goodness, valor”) of the moral life and break the bad habits (Vice, from the Latin, vitium, meaning “defect, offense, blemish, imperfection”) which cause him to fall into sin (unhappiness) and risk losing his salvation (happiness). See here for a more detailed discussion on Virtue and Vice

How are Vices and Virtues related?

For every Vice there is an opposing Virtue which is built to defeat the Vice; in essence, a man battles against his bad habits by building good habits to replace the bad habits. 

How can a man determine which Virtues he needs to build?

The perfection of a saint is a life-long process (CCC 2028) and every man remains in the spiritual battle against sin/vice and the building of Virtue throughout his entire life (CCC 405, 409). 

By identifying typical sins through a thorough Examination of Conscience, a man can discover how habitual sins become Vices and realize the Virtues he should focus upon to grow in holiness. See here for an Examination of Conscience based on Sins, Vices and Needed Virtues.

Here is a Master Chart on Sin, Vice, Virtues and the Gifts/Fruits of the Holy Spirit. Examine your conscience by reviewing and identifying your most common sins and then identify and explore the Virtues and Gifts and Fruits of the Holy Spirit you need to battle against those sins/vices.

Sin

Sin/Vice

Virtue

Gift of the Holy Spirit

Fruit of the Holy Spirit

Faith vs. Unbelief
Unbelief
Faith
Understanding
Faithfulness
Joy

Refuse to believe and assent to what the Church teaches in the unchanging and absolute truth of Catholic doctrine. 

Doubt

Neglect, ignore or reject some aspect of Catholic truth.

Incredulity

A Catholic who believes a false doctrine which opposes what the Church teaches.

Heresy

Formally renounce the Catholic faith.

Apostasy

Revolt from the Authority of the Church and attempts to divide the Church.

Schism

Utter evil against God, the Church, the Saints or sacred things.

Blasphemy

Hope vs. Doubt
Doubt
Hope
Knowledge
Faithfulness

To cease to hope that God can and will save a man from his sins and that evil can defeat God’s will. 

Despair

To think that a man’s sins are not sins or to think that God will not hold his unrepented sin against him. 

Presumption

Charity vs. Hatred
Hatred
Charity
Wisdom
Charity
Peace

To fail to be motivated by God’s goodness and power and to fall into the grips of selfishness and inevitably into deathly sin.

Indifference

To fail to see God’s many blessings and to bitterly believe he is a victim who deserves more from God and neighbor. 

Ingratitude

To hesitate or give half-hearted response to God’s charity, rejecting the call to perfection.

Lukewarmness

To feel sorry for one’s self and to be repelled by goodness, instead pursuing laziness or worthless pursuits.

Acedia/Sloth

Fail to see and accept God’s goodness, charity and authority and rebelling against God’s commandments out of love of sin.

Hatred of God

Prudence vs Imprudence
Imprudence
Prudence
Counsel
Goodness

Jump to conclusions without diligently considering what experience from the past might have told him. 

Hastiness/Negligence

Draw Lessons from Experience

Thinking one’s self to be smarter than others and discounting, ignoring and rebelling against the advice of the wise.

Closed Mindedness

Docility

Unwillingness to apply one’s intellect and reason to gain wisdom and see the broader picture in particular circumstances and to apply broader principles to make decisions.

Ignorance

Comprehension

Inability or laziness over time to diligently think about decision-making which triples a man’s ability to make smart decisions quickly. 

Slow-witted

Shrewdness

Fail to use reason and instead is impulsive, flawed and illogical in conclusions, overlying on emotions and passions to make decisions. 

Irrationality

Disciplined Reason

Unwilling due to ignorance or laziness to attempt to look ahead and anticipate predictable reactions to decisions.

Short-sightedness

Foresight

Abandoning or failing to remain vigilant and engaged in how a man’s decisions are playing out in the world.

Lack of followthrough

Circumspection

Fail to think and rashly take unnecessary or unknown risks in the face of danger or become fearful, paralyzed and indecisive in the face of danger

Rashness/Indecisiveness

Cautiousness

Justice vs. Injustice
Injustice
Justice
Piety
Kindness

Worshipping or idolizing evil things (practicing false religions, superstition, idolatry, simony, witchcraft, devil worship, worldly “isms”) or practicing irreligion, the rejection of God and the duty to 

False Religion/Irreligion Religion

 √

Dishonoring parents, disloyalty to one’s friends, mentors and country, and disobedience to rightful authority and just laws.

Dishonor/Disobedience

Piety/Obedience

Disregard or disrespect others by callous words and behaviors which purposefully or ignorantly reject the accepted customs of manners and behaviors of society.

Rudeness

Observance/Courtesy

Self-centered lack of recognition of the blessings from God and others, often with a sense of entitlement, victimhood, and being persecuted. 

Ingratitude

Gratitude

Excusing evil by failing to promote justice out of false mercy or cowardice, or punishing others with cruelty or brutality which exceeds the crime in amount or type, often with self-righteousness or with perverse pleasure at the suffering of others.

False mercy/Cruelty/Brutality

Vindication

Use of lying or cheating to deceive another to lead him into error, deprive him of what is rightfully his (possessions or reputation) or to avoid personal suffering and/or enrich one’s self. 

Dishonesty

Truthfulness/Honesty

Being coldly indifferent to the needs of others or to deprive pleasure or perverse joy by causing discomfort or suffering to others.

Indifference/Meanness

Fraternity/Affability

Hoarding of possessions and power for one’s own selfish pleasure while allowing the needy to suffer. 

Greed/Covetousness

Generosity

Feeling sorrow, anger or covetousness over the good fortune, reputation, the virtues, or the possessions of another.

Envy

Kindness

Failing to live up to commitments and responsibilities, unjustly depriving others of their just due and/or being unwilling to make reparations after harming others.

Unreliability

Responsibility/Duty

Unjust  attacks (Verbal or Physical Assault, Murder) of others out of malice or desire to possess another’s possessions or acting with a false pacifism that fails to  justly protect those in his care or the weak from unjust attack.

Unjust Agression or Pacifism

Defense/Protection

Fortitude vs Lack of Fortitude
Lack of Fortitude
Fortitude
Fortitude
Patience
Gentleness

To foolishly aspire to wild dreams beyond one’s capacity, to seek to do great things for selfish riches and honors, or to desire praise for unworthy things or unworthy people.

Presumption/Ambition/Vainglory

Magnanimity

Being satisfied with achieving less when great accomplishments lie within one’s power, refusing to to sacrifice to support great causes, extravagantly wasting resources to achieve a good or ignoble end.

Littleness/Miserliness/Prodigality

Magnificence

Failing to take proper action to oppose evil or danger out of sinful fear or foolishly putting one’s self or others at unnecessary risk by taking unnecessary risk by taking unreasonably daring, impulsive, and ineffective actions.

Cowardliness/Rashness

Courage

Failing to act justly by giving up due to weariness or difficulty before reaching one’s true limits or to foolishly continue to pursue some end that is unobtainable and should be rightly abandoned. 

Effeminacy/Stubborness

Perseverance

Failing to heroically bear the small and large sorrows that arise in relationships or circumstances in life.

Impatience

Patience

Temperance vs Intemperance
Intemperance
Temperance
Fear of the Lord
Chastity
Self-control
Modesty

Inflating one’s self to be more than one is, failing to be grateful to God and others, obsessing with self-esteem, taking credit where credit is not justly due, seeking attention and applause by vain words, deeds and self-promotion.

Pride

Humility

Feeling or expressing unjust anger out of proportion to an injustice or annoyance, often leading to sinful words, angry emotions and may lead to evil acts of violence out of a desire for revenge.

Wrath/Unrighteous Anger

Meekness

Failing to moderate consumption of food/drink (or drugs, tobacco, etc.) leading to the poor physical and mental health or intoxication and/or excessive attention/finickiness about what to eat or drink. 

Gluttony/Drunkenness

Abstinence/Sobriety

Disordered desire for sexual pleasure, leading to masturbation, viewing of pornography, contraception, fornication, adultery, homosexual acts and other abhorrent sexual acts, and acts of immodesty (lewdness, sexually provocative clothing) which seek to arouse sexual lust in others.

Lust

Chastity

Habitually feeling ungrateful or sorrowful, and failing to do duties to God, family, neighbor, employer, and country, caring mostly for his own disordered pleasure; neglect can lead to a disordered and chaotic lifestyle, spiritual atrophy, poor physical health and hygiene, and mental spiritual physical, mental lethargy or illness.

Sloth

Diligence

Addiction, excessive compulsion or time spent seeking mental stimulation through information or entertainment which is useless, trivial, lewd, morbid or scandalous and detracts from serving God or neighbor or growing in holiness or vocation. 

Sinful Curiosity

Studiousness