The eco-implications of the Seven Deadly Sins

A talk by Bishop Robert Barron provides a primer for Catholic ecologists on what's at the root of our ecological and social ills

One of my fellow RCIA instructors used a video today by Bishop Robert Barron to explore the Seven Deadly Sins and the corresponding Seven Lively Virtues. As I listened, I was reminded how vital it is for the Church to bring her voice into the debates and deliberations about protecting life on Earth.

That's because our Christian journey is ultimately directed toward the striving for personal holiness—disciplining our base natures, and thus nurturing virtuous, self-sacrificing lifestyles. When you and I live and share this good (if difficult) news, we can better go forward in our mission to nurture our corners of creation.

We Catholic ecologists make a profound mistake whenever we focus too much on worldly fixes to worldly problems—on government regulation, international agreements, and educational programs. As important and necessary as all these are, we of all people cannot forget that our worldly problems are rooted in spiritual realities. And governments and secular organizations do not offer the spiritual fixes that we need.

Christ has given His Church—His Body—the unique purpose and ability to bring His presence into our wounded world. Only with God's grace, which flows from He who takes away the sin of the world, can we humans truly avoid the deadly sins and grow in the virtues that foster life.

So I offer below this talk by then Father Barron (which is also available here in a recording from another presentation). It makes for a great Lenten exercise.

Moreover, for us Catholic ecologists it is an especially worthwhile reminder of what and Who we must bring with us as we seek to protect creation. While Bishop Barron's talk does not specifically study environmental issues, it's honest and engaging handling of the twin topics of sin and virtue nevertheless makes clear why you and I had better get serious about our unique mission here on Earth.

About the Blog

Catholic Ecology posts my regular column in the Rhode Island Catholic, as well as scientific and theological commentary about the latest eco-news, both within and outside of the Catholic Church. What is contained herein is but one person's attempt to teach and defend the Church's teachings - ecological and otherwise. As such, I offer all contents of this blog for approval of the bishops of the Church. It is my hope that nothing herein will lead anyone astray from truth.