by Fr Dwight Longenecker (Fr Dwight Longenecker)
All vice ends in violence. Think about it in terms of the seven deadly sins. In one way or another, if the vice is continued it ends in violence, and if in violence then in death.
Take lust, for example. Oh, it seems so harmless–a little fun in the bedroom. A bit of slap and tickle, a bit of a giggle and gasp. Where would the violence be in lust? Look into the Marquis de Sade and see where unbridled lust takes you. Into the whipping chamber, the torture and rape and the sick scenes of sado masochism. Ordinary sex grows dull so the need for excitement and thrill and physical sensation demands…violence.
Pride is only pride because one is better than another. Pride does not just make us want to win. It makes us want to beat the other guy. Pride puts us not just up, but over–over others who are inferior to us. There is not pride unless there is someone to show off to, and the only ones to show off to are those we deem our inferiors, and it only takes a small push for the pride to turn into violence. Just allow the person on top to have his superior position threatened and he will turn and snarl like a cornered animal–even if he does so with a sweet superior smile and a stab in the back.
Envy leads to violence. Easy to see. When I am envious of another I will murder their reputation, tear them down so they cannot be greater than me, destroy them for being superior, and does it end in real, physical violence? Hell hath no fury like a woman–or man–scorned. Let someone get what was ours or what we think is ours and we may plot to destroy them.
Wrath is violence suppressed. Take off the lid and the wrathful will murder.
Greed is economic violence and a kind of theft. The greedy take from the poor and think nothing of it, and it only takes a small step for the greedy to turn violent. Allow the greedy to think that their wealth and status is threatened and they will kill to defend it.
Is the glutton violent? What, a fat and jovial over eater violent? He is violent towards himself. His god is his stomach and should he be deprived of his addiction he will become violent.
Even the slothful is violent, for he is violent against life itself. The slothful kills joy; kills creativity; sloth is a kind of despair which kills the fullness of life. Kills life. Kills.