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St. Augustine (who's worth your gander if you’re unfamiliar with: ) wrote extensively about virtues and vices and how they affect our relationship with God.  One of these was “envy.”  In “Saint Augustine’s Prayer Book,” we find the following breakdown (including envy’s subsidiaries, jealousy, malice and contempt):


Envy is dissatisfaction with our place in God’s order of creation, manifested in begrudging his gifts and vocations to others.

Jealousy: Offense at the talents, success or good fortune of others. Selfish

or unnecessary rivalry or competition. Pleasure at others’ difficulties or

distress. Belittling others.


Malice: Ill-will, false accusations, slander, backbiting. Reading false

motives into others’ behavior. Initiation, collection or retaliating of gossip.

Arousing, fostering or organizing antagonism against others. Unnecessary

criticism, even when true. Deliberate annoyance of others, teasing or



Contempt: Scorn of another’s virtues, ability, shortcomings, or failings.

Prejudice against those we consider inferior, or who consider us inferior,

or who seem to threaten our security or position. Ridicule of persons,

institutions, or ideals.


What of the above resonates with you?

How does the Gospel respond?

What might God be inviting you to in these reflections on envy today?

For a more in-depth look here, see The One About Envy



Envy and jealousy can ruin one's life and personality. It can cause misunderstandings and conflicts. - Mallory Fleming

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