Mad Max and the Seven Deadly Sins

Love Ones, let’s wander back to “petit Correns”, the little French village with the magical doorway, the Porte de Pardon which, when the church it was attached to was originally consecrated, only pardoned “little” or venial sins – ones that didn’t result in eternal damnation. After the fire however, and the church was re-built and re-consecrated, the new Pope in a moment of rash generosity extended the pardon to ALL sins even the deadly ones. People have been porting and pardoning ever since.

But what are these “deadly” sins and how many of them are there?

Mad Max attended a school that held a mandatory public speaking contest once a year, just after the Christmas break. Everyone participated from kindergarten to grade one.

From “shhhh” to “please be quiet” to “Max shut up” was a common progression in our household given that the kid, being hyperactive and attention deprived could never sit still or keep his trap shut for longer than a few seconds. It was perfect. The “speaking” contest harnessed his charismatic personality, gift of the gab, wicked wit and overblown ego. He was quite often in the finals of this highly competitive event judged by a local celebrity and several times won a gold medal for his efforts.

While speaking was something that came naturally to him, writing was not! Christmas holidays were always spent with a degree of anxiety; forcing him to focus on choosing a topic, writing the speech and practicing in front of any poor, unsuspecting guest that would give him the time of day. He spoke on everything from the “Fascism and the Art of Floral Arrangement” to a Shakespearean twist on an “Ode to an Onion”. They were always clever, funny and imaginative. One year he won gold for “The Seven Deadly Sins”. He was of course speaking on a topic he knew a great deal about!

The seven deadly sins are Pride, Envy, Gluttony, Lust, Wrath, Greed and Sloth. Pretty easy for an ADHD teenage to cover all the bases – he even managed sloth (in a hyper kind of way).

Pride is excessive belief in one’s own abilities, especially when it “interferes with the individual’s relationship with God”. Max was delusional – he thought he WAS God – or at least HIS gift to women! He had perfected the teenage swagger and knew how to strut his stuff. Pride involves Vanity apparently and he had that in spades, spending hours in front of the mirror – getting the disheveled look took hours to perfect!

Greed, the desire for material wealth, was something he committed on a regular basis. He treated his Dad like a human bank machine.

Wrath is the manifestation of fury or uncontrolled feelings of anger.  Self-control is not a characteristic of the ADHD mind and Max could get his dander up in a nanosecond or unleash a fiery tantrum at the drop of a hat.

Envy is the desire for something that someone else has. Shoes, belt, wallet, skateboard, car……the list was endless. Gluttony, consuming more than one requires – a no brainer! Lust, an inordinate craving for the pleasures of the body, WooHoo! Champion luster! Sloth is the avoidance of work; – Mad Max was a master of the art!

He treated all 7 as mandatory and sometimes had trouble fitting them all in on a single day but then he discovered that the ramifications for all this deadly behavior were serious and the celestial chastisements severe. He could be “broken”on the wheel, encased in freezing water, dismembered alive, thrown into pits of writhing snakes, boiled in oil, forced to eat rats, toads, and snakes or roasted by fire and brimstone. An imaginative array of “smartener-uppers” and I wished I could have deployed a few of them myself at times.

Now the seven deadly sins it seems, are only the beginning – there’s also the Ten Commandments which of course are quite different and he wasn’t too great on those either….you know, like “honor your mother and father”… and they too pave the way to eternal damnation.

To add to the confusion, in 2008, the Vatican published seven new deadly sins to catch all the perpetrators of the newly emerging temptations of modern life. These “social sins” include “environmental pollution, genetic manipulation, obscene wealth, infliction of poverty, drug trafficking, morally debatable experiments, and violation of the fundamental rights of human nature.” Woa, now we’re getting complicated.

These are not replacements, oh no, but completely new ways to go to hell or at least spend eternity in purgatory, (pleasure-neverland)! While I applaud the global scale and vision of the latest round-up of abominators, it is a rather less sexy list. Where’s the temptation, where’s the agonizing enticement, where’s the moral turpitude? It is interesting to note that most of these new no-no’s are perpetrated by corporations, institutions and governments, including, I would have to say, after seeing St. Peters in the Vatican City, the Catholic church itself (obscene wealth). Could it be that the church is holding these behemoths accountable? What happened to war-mongering, child labor and sexual slavery? Yikes! We’re getting into really heavy stuff here. They make not changing his underwear for a week (sloth) look like small potatoes.

I think when it comes to the 7 deadly sins MOST teenage boys would have a hard time of it. I’m happy to report however, that his commission of the “old” deadly sins is WAY less frequent and that he is very unlikely to commit any of the “new” deadly sins. He may not be perfect, he’s fiercely loyal and kind to a fault – but I do recommend he keeps one eye firmly on that door!

One Response

  1. Denys in Philadelphia Says:

    Loved it.

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