We Catholics have new sins for the 21st century. The old sins -- sloth, envy, gluttony, lust, pride -- have a “rather individualistic dimension,” said Vatican official, Msgr. Gianfranco Girotti, in March, 2009. “The sins of today have a social resonance as well as an individual one,” he said, naming new transgressions for a new age.
“You offend God not only by stealing, blaspheming or coveting your neighbor’s wife,” he said, “but also by ruining the environment, carrying out morally debatable scientific experiments.”
But what about virtues?
Values endure, but nevertheless each age probably brings its own understanding of what traditional virtues mean practically and how they help us to cope with new realities and challenges.
The church’s sacrament of Confirmation, for example, marks spiritual maturity, rooting us more deeply in our relationship with God. It’s seen too as increasing in us the spiritual gifts of the Holy Spirit: wisdom, understanding, counsel, knowledge, piety, fortitude and fear of the Lord.
Here are the gifts of the Spirit recast for today, with a similar eye toward their social resonance.