Easter is a highlight in the Christian calendar arousing strong emotions such as grief and ultimately joy due to the events in the life of Jesus.
This period is also synonymous with death and revival and as with some other religions sin is significant; this exemplified in Christianity by the agony of the cross.
Of some interest is the understanding of “the sins of mankind” viewed from an historical viewpoint.
In the 4th century, a hermit named Evagrius formulated a number of moral passages, guidelines for existence which were not labelled sins as such but were adhered to within a constricted lifestyle which later morphed into the 7 deadly sins.
One must bear in mind that the monastic lifestyle of Evagrius in this bygone era was in vast contrast to modern living and the rules easier to enforce.
The moral existence thus proclaimed is just not feasible in today’s world and yet was enforced in those cloistered times. The concept of sin is much watered down today and viewed with far less severity and even with an element of humour!
These 7 sins highlighted below are still considered good guidelines for morality and have to be simplified to merge with modern living due to ongoing pressures and expectations.
In a monastic existence, silence was imperative so little communication existed therefore ANGER would hardly feature and as the lifestyle was so rudimentary, not much existed causing ENVY. Competition was unheard of with no aspirations of becoming a company director or a dignitary!
As for GREED, possessions were of no consequence and food was totally basic, GLUTTONY therefore unheard of.
LUST is often labelled the most “deadly sin” due to sexual connotations. But one can lust for life, for success and fame hardly applicable in those rustic conditions.
PRIDE is often labelled a double edged sword ` being significant in one’s downfall and yet pride in one’s achievements is not to be frowned upon.
With the mundane life of a monk, pride would hardly feature as daily living had many constricts.
Finally, SLOTH can relate to procrastination and inertia probably excusable in a monastery for the pace of life was extremely slow with prayer and contemplation dominating.
In a lighter vein, today’s social media prove that the main vices are ingrained into human nature and still very evident in all forms of behaviour. The digital world would associate greed with LinkedIn, sloth with Netflix, wrath with Twitter, envy with Facebook and pride with Instagram!!
But humour aside, Easter can bridge the chasm between helplessness and despair and awake in one hope, love and gratitude.
The team at Matsimela wish our readers and customers a safe and blessed Easter.