In your Catechism there is a question: What are the chief sources of sin? Who knows the answer? The chief sources of sin are seven. Pride, covetousness, lust, anger, gluttony, envy, and sloth, and they are commonly called Capital Sins. There are a lot of big words in that answer and I have a slight suspicion that you do not know what they all mean. Maybe this parable will make it clear.
Two ships once went sailing across the sea of life. They were sailing around the world, seeking the golden gate of heaven. The name of the first ship was Badsoul. The admiral was Admiral Satan. Under him he had Helmsman Haughty, Gunner Graball, Lieutenant Lustful, Captain Crabby, Ensign Eatoomuch, Coxswain Greeneye, and Doctor Dodgeit. The ship sailed through life and all went well. They all had a wonderful time. But one day a storm drove them near the reef of damnation. The crew began to cry out to the admiral, "Turn on the searchlight; throw out the anchor; bring out the compass." But Admiral Satan only laughed very cruelly as the ship went over the reef of hell.
The name of the second ship was Goodsoul. The admiral was Admiral Christ. Under Him he had Helmsman Humble, Gunner Generous, Lieutenant Loving, Captain Cheerful, Ensign Eatenuff, Coxswain Kindword, and Doctor Doit. The ship sailed through life and a very happy crew was on it. They worked hard and kept everything shipshape. One day a storm drove them near the reef of damnation. The crew cried out to the admiral for help. "Lord save us, we perish." The admiral gave orders. "Turn on the searchlight, because faith is the searchlight of the soul. Let down the anchor because hope is the anchor of the soul. Bring forth the compass, because charity is the soul's compass." "And rising up He rebuked the wind and said to the sea: 'Peace, be still' and the wind ceased and there was made a great calm." They avoided the reef of damnation and sailed on till they came to the golden gate of heaven and there God was waiting for them.
See if you can recognize the crew of Satan's ship. Are they not the seven capital sins? Pride, covetousness, lust, anger, gluttony, envy, and sloth? You cannot make an image of Christ out of those, can you?
See if you can, recognize the crew of the Goodsoul. Are they not just the opposite virtues to these seven? In sailing your ship through life you must choose either one crew or the other. If you sail with the crew of Satan you will go over the reef of damnation. Only Christ and the crew of the Goodsoul, with their searchlight of faith, their anchor of hope, and their compass of charity, can help you. Your assignment for this week is to learn by heart the names of the seven capital sins: pride, covetousness, lust, anger, gluttony, envy, and sloth.
- Heavenwords, Imprimatur 1941 -