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Virtue and Vice, or vice versa


According to the Church, and thus to Western man, the most deadly sins are these. Violations involving them may be great (mortal) or small (venial).

Despair Hatred
Vanity Greed
Anger Gluttony
and of course Pride

In one point of view at least, all these are variations on Pride. Judas's sin of Despair, for example, was in maintaining that his sin was so great that even God could not forgive it, which furthermore presumes that God's power is limited.


The Virtues come in several categories: Moral, Worldly, and Divine.

The chief moral virtues are Prudence, Justice, Fortitude, Temperance, Religion, Obedience, Chastity, and Humility. The first four of these are also called "natural" virtues.

The worldly virtues are Understanding, Wisdom, Knowledge, Prudence, and Art (applied Knowledge).

The divine virtues are Faith, Hope, and Charity.


The Passions are:

  • Joy
  • Despair
  • Sorrow
  • Choler (anger)
  • Fear
  • Hope
  • Boldness
  • Desire
  • Love
  • Eschewing (self-sacrifice)
  • Hatred

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Maryknoll Catholic Dictionary

28 March 2008 mps