- must move secondly the affections, so that a man willingly listens to the word of God, not indeed with a view to his own favor, but in order to draw them to listen to God's word,
- and thirdly, he who preaches must speak in order that men may love that which is signified by the word, and desire to fulfill it.
Our object of discourse is a positive one - the contemplation of sin as a privation of goodness and as the absence of God’s grace is meant to direct our eyes towards the gifts of God and His eternal love which alone can preserve us from being captured by our weaknesses, our inclinations and sins.
We want to encourage you by these sermons about the seven capital and deadly sins, we don’t want to depress you.
- Envy is also sadness or sorrow, but sadness about the goods of and goodness in others. It is “grief over a man's good, in so far as his good surpasses ours”. Sloth and envy are both types of sadness or grief, but envy is a developed form of it in so far as it turns against the fruits of God’s love in others.
- Hatred, finally, is sadness over the blessedness of our neighbor as such, without any comparison, without any other reason than pure denial and malignity. Hatred as capital sin committed by a living person is the last stop on the way to hell, where there is hatred without reason - and without end.
The sinful character of envy comes more clearly to light when we compare it - for example - to zeal:
Whereas the envious man “begrudges” the goods of another and sees them as a threat to his own status, his glory or reputation, the zealous man does not grieve over the goods others possess, but desires to acquire them himself. "The zeal of Thy house hath eaten me up.”
We see here why envy belongs to the deadly sins: Its essential character is directed against the love of God, God Himself, Who is the source of all goodness – in us and in all men. And if envy is sorrow for the increase of God's grace in our neighbor, “it is accounted a sin against the Holy Ghost, because thereby a man envies, as it were, the Holy Ghost Himself, Who is glorified in His works.”
Envy weeps at those who rejoice and rejoices at those who weep. Weeping over our neighbor's good - which is envy, gives rise to joy in his evil.
Of course: Also envy is committed as a grave and mortal sin only if both - our knowledge and our will - fully embrace this sadness over our neighbor’s goods. St. Thomas says: “Nevertheless, in every kind of mortal sin we find certain imperfect movements in the sensuality, which are venial sins: … so in [regard to]… envy we find sometimes even in perfect men certain first movements, which are venial sins.”
What is the remedy against this sin? What can be done if we are tempted by envy? What shall we do if envy is able to resound in us?
“The loving heart of the Redeemer measures and organizes all events in the world. He does all this for the benefit of souls who want to respond wholeheartedly to his divine love. It is there, my dear, that our faults are thorns in our souls. But once removed through voluntary self-accusations, they are subsequently transformed into roses and perfumes. They enter our heart through our malice, but they are thrown out by the Holy Spirit.”
“But that on the good ground are they who in a good and very good heart, hearing the word, keeping it, and bring forth fruit in patience.”