(As published in Artimag, the official magazine of The Philippine Artisan - Taguig)
Envy: The sixth mortal sin
Envy is the sixth of the Seven Deadly sins. And when we talk about Deadly sins, these are sins with high severity; sins that when once committed will put you to eternal damnation. The list never occurred in the bible for it was first identified by St. John Cassian (360 - 435) and later on was refined by Pope St. Gregory the Great (540 - 604). Until now, the impact of this list is still evident notwithstanding changes brought by modern times.
Why Envy is a mortal sin?
According to Wikipedia, envy or also called as invidiousness, is best defined as an emotion that occurs when a person lacks another's (perceived) superior quality, achievement, or possession and either desires it or wishes that the other lacked it. But the question here is why does the church see this state of being as a sinful deed?
The bible answers the question as to why envy is perceived as a mortal sin. What motivated Cain to murder his brother Abel was envy. God looked with favour on Abel and his offerings but not on Cain’s offering. (Genesis 4:4-5) With this, Cain decided to kill his brother.
Another passage attests the fact of envy becoming one of the seven deadly sins. Exodus 20:17 states: