The Virtuous Circle

Ryan Wiedmaier has created a humorous photo project on the Web called "

Ryan Wiedmaier has created a humorous photo project on the Web called "The Seven Gummie Sins." Using tiny corn-syrup bears, he demonstrates the ancient vices of pride, greed, lust, anger, gluttony, envy, and sloth. You can imagine the contorted positions into which those little bears are forced.

It’s easy to convert the seven deadly sins to pop art - but what about the four cardinal virtues outlined in the Book of Wisdom? "If one loves justice, the fruits of Wisdom’s works are virtues for she teaches moderation and prudence, justice and fortitude, and nothing in life is more useful than these" (8:7).

Moderation or temperance means living a balanced life that allows one to grow in holiness and love. Symptoms of a lack of moderation include taking more than one needs for a moderate life (the United States, for example, lives way beyond its ecological means), overwork (do I need to name names?), and doing things specifically to avoid reality (pre-emptive war and pornography are cases in point, along with overindulging in drugs, alcohol, video games, iPods, TV, and the Internet). Moderation allows pleasures to be sweet and whets our appetite for goodness.

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Sojourners Magazine August 2005
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