Join Bishop Robert Barron for a deeper look at sin and virtue. This engaging and eye-opening presentation illuminates the seven deadly sins, those great spiritual blocks that inhibit our flourishing in relationship with God and one another. But there’s hope! The seven lively virtues offer antidotes to each sin and help set us on the right path to healing and happiness.
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The seven deadly sins correspond to the seven levels of Dante’s Mt. Purgatory in the Divine Comedy: Pride, envy, anger, sloth, gluttony, avarice, and lust. These common sins are patterns of dysfunction within us that lead to unhappiness. However, Bishop Barron shows us how to work against these seven sinful patterns through a conscious process of opposition, which are the “seven lively virtues." After the last session, participation in the Sacrament of Reconciliation is suggested.
This video-based study program can be experienced individually or in a group. Groups meet for nine 90-minute sessions to explore the seven sins and seven countervailing virtues. Each session includes video viewing and small group discussion of the Study Guide questions. Participants read the commentary in the Study Guide and prepare the questions before the small group discussion.
There are two sets of questions: “Questions for Understanding" based on the video presentation and references from Scripture and the Catechism of the Catholic Church and “Questions for Application" that help you reflect on how the material is relevant to your own life and experience.
This preparation can be done either before or after they view the video, as the Commentary in each lesson is very detailed. The Study Guide was written by Bishop Barron and Catholic author Mark P. Shea.
The Leader’s Kit provides essential resources for lay discussion leaders, including the DVD, study guide, facilitator guide, answer key, and Examination of Conscience guides. Leaders can also register for a free training webinar which teaches the best ways to run an effective Seven Deadly Sins study group.
Lesson One: “Introduction”
- Lesson 1
- Lesson 2
- Lesson 3
- Lesson 4
- Lesson 5
- Lesson 6
- Lesson 7
Introduction: A Deeper Look at Sin & Virtue
God’s economy is different than the world’s – the more you give God’s love and gifts away, the more you get. But we don’t know this because we have forgotten who we are, and how we came into existence through God’s love. This forgetfulness creates fear and fear leads to sin.
Lesson I: Pride & Humility
Pride is the deadliest of the deadly sins. In fact, all sin is in some way a form of pride because sin elevates our ego ahead of all else. The antidote to pride is humility. To learn humility is to learn to live in the reality that each of us is a creature of God called to worship God alone and surrender to him and his plans for us.
Lesson II: Envy & Admiration
Envy is pleasure in the sorrow of another or resentment over their happiness or success. The lively virtue for envy is admiration for all the gifts God has bestowed on each and every person.
Lesson III: Anger & Forgiveness
Because hurt is everywhere, anger is everywhere. Anger is a normal part of human existence and is not sinful unless used for the wrong purposes. The antidote to anger is forgiveness, one of the New Testament’s most central themes.
Lesson IV: Sloth & Zeal
St. Thomas Aquinas defined sloth as “sorrow or indifference to spiritual good.” Sloth is when a human heart becomes bored with and inert to the things of God. It is not the same as mere laziness and its countervailing virtue is zeal.
Lesson V: Avarice & Generosity
Avarice or greed is the unreasonable desire for riches that drives us to love material things more than we love God and our neighbor. Generosity is, not surprisingly, the counter force for those who tend toward avarice.
Lesson VI: Gluttony & Asceticism
Gluttony is an excess of love for food or drink over the love of God. Our culture makes it extremely easy to believe that we should continually indulge our appetites. The antidote to gluttony is asceticism, which creates a “desert environment” within us that helps discipline our lower nature to allow the higher desires to emerge.
Lesson VII: Lust & Chastity
Dante regards lust as the least of the deadly sins, while most people in western culture would regard it as the worst. Lust is the sin of treating another person as a sexual object or as a means to an end. Chastity, meaning “sexual uprightness,” counteracts lust. The chaste person keeps their vows while refusing to use the other, even a spouse, as a sexual object.
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