In the strict sense, an act of religion offered to God in acknowledgment of His supreme perfection and dominion, and of the creature's dependence upon Him; in a looser sense, the reverence shown to any person or object possessing, inherently or by association, a sacred character or a high degree of moral excellence.
The rational creature, looking up to God, whom reason and revelation show to be infinitely perfect, cannot in right and justice maintain an attitude of indifference.
Even to inanimate objects, which for one reason or another strikingly recall the excellence, majesty, love, or mercy of God, we naturally pay some measure of reverence.
The goodness which these creatures possess by participation or association is a reflection of God's goodness ; by honouring them in the proper way we offer tribute to the Giver of all good.
It is more to be dreaded in that it often cloaks itself as a virtue, or insinuates itself under the pretext of making a decent provision for the future.
In so far as avarice is an incentive to injustice in acquiring and retaining of wealth, it is frequently a grievous sin.
It is clear that adoration in this sense can be offered to no finite object.
Thus far we have spoken of the worship given directly to God as the infinitely perfect Being.Without some measure of this interior adoration "in spirit and in truth " it is evident that any outward show of divine worship would be mere pantomime and falsehood.But equally evident is that the adoration felt within will seek outward expression.It does not see that these things are valuable only as instruments for the conduct of a rational and harmonious life, due regard being paid of course to the special social condition in which one is placed.It is called a capital vice because it has as its object that for the gaining or holding of which many other sins are committed.