The seven deadly sins are alive and well today. The Seven Deadly Sins: A Thomistic Approach to Vanquishing Vice and Sin aims to help each one of us do something about that using the wisdom of St. Thomas Aquinas, the earlier great Church Fathers and Doctors he knew so well, and great saints up to our time.
Part I is an examination of the “Family History” of these seven deadly sins, tracing their Scriptural origins and how they transformed from “eight assailing thoughts” to “seven capital vices” to the “seven deadly sins” in chapters on Eastern and Western Catholic thinkers – Evagrius of Pontus, St. John Cassian, Prudentius, St. John Climacus, and Pope St. Gregory the Great, up until the time of their grand synthesis in the works of St. Thomas Aquinas. These sins were called “capital” and “deadly” partly because they give birth to so many other sins, so the reader will meet as well their forty-four death-dealing “daughters.”
Part II lays out the “Battle Plans,” addressing each sin one-by-one, applying insights from the Scriptures and great saints of the Church, examining each sin, every one of each sin’s daughters and varieties, along with a seven-step plan to conquer each sin through a focused examination of conscience, embracing of the sacraments, self-training in observing the psychological steps between the first inklings of temptation to the final consummation of sin, focused prayer, cultivation of particular contrary virtues, immersion in the world of the spirit, and finally and foremost, the imitation of Christ, with particular attention to how each of his “seven last words on the cross” serve to counter each of the seven deadly sins.
The conclusion on “How the Mother of the Virtues Dethrones the Queen of the Vices” examines how to conquer the deadliest sin in the world, a sin that Sts. Gregory and Thomas considered even more deadly than the seven deadly sins, since it can give birth to them all.