Seven Deadly Sins
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We learn how the concept originated - as a way to keep a lustful fourth-century monk from sinning again - and how they were pared down from eight to the seven we recognize today: gluttony, lust, greed, anger, sloth, envy, and pride. For the Catholic faithful they became a guide on the path to heaven. To repeat offenders, they promised damnation in Hell and very specific, very gruesome punishments. Gluttons, for instance, would be force-fed rats, toads and snakes.
The warnings couldn't be clearer: Succumb to any of the seven deadly sins and God's judgment will be severe.