Dragons of old were strong, scaly, fierce beasts who beset the people of medieval times by destroying crops, lives, and houses. Many a knight won valor by tracking down and slaying a dragon, thereby freeing an individual or a town from bondage to the beast.
Modern dragons are more subtle. They hide themselves under the disguises of peer pressure and so called "freedom." A modern knight errant can track down these beasts by seeking out oppression, bondage, and injustice. Just as medieval dragons held towns in bondage and oppressed their inhabitants, so modern dragons do the same to individuals.
Any choice that belittles an individual or removes his or her rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is a modern day dragon. The choice is clear. One person's freedom must not enslave another. One's right to happiness must not impede the happiness of another. The code of chivalry must guide all choices and decisions. The moral law as found in the Ten Commandments is the knight's strict code of conduct.
Knights and Maids of Errantry battle the dragons, not with physical weapons, but with spiritual ones of love, encouragement, service, and truth. Often it is more difficult to engage in spiritual battle than to fight with swords. The wounds received are sharper because they cut to the soul. Young knights need courage to engage in spiritual battle today.
THE SEVEN DRAGONS
The seven dragons against which Knights and Maids of Errantry must fight are the Dragons Tristia, Ira, Avarita, Gula, Invidia, Luxuria, and Superbia. They are recognized by their traits and can be conquered with the armor mentioned elsewhere on this site.
The Dragon Tristia (Sloth). Tristia lives in those who feel they can do nothing to change a situation. Tristia allows people to cling to despair and sadness, to feel hopeless, and to prefer to do nothing rather than bring about change for the better. Tristia appears somewhat harmless compared to some other dragons, but she is more dangerous because she is so well disguised. Those who make Tristia their friend will never do anything to change their own situation or those of others. In a world where much good awaits to be done, Tristia is conquered by moral action that seeks to make changes for the good.
The Dragon Luxuria (Lust) works first through the eyes. Luxuria invites a person to desire things and people which are not morally available. He entices those caught by his power to do all they can to use people and things for their own selfish ends, often deceitfully making others think that Luxuria's manipulations are for the good of the other. Luxuria can never be satisfied and always seeks more and different experiences. Beware of looking at impure things or thinking impure thoughts. Luxuria works to bring a person to the point of nurturing other dragons by first nurturing this one.
The Dragon Avarita (Avarice) seeks to possess more and better of everything. Her goal is to accumlate wealth, power, prestige, recognition, possessions. She is a thin dragon because nothing ever fills her belly. Her desire to consume forces all other considerations out of her way. She can be conquered only by giving away one's possesions and one's way of doing things.
The Dragon Gula (Gluttony) consumes more food and drink than he needs. He is a large dragon, always looking for more and never satisfied. He will eat and drink just because food and drink are available. He never thinks of sharing. The Dragon Gula can be overcome only with self restraint. Allow others to choose their foods before you. Eat and drink less than you wish. Let someone else take the last piece.
The Dragon Superbia (Pride) believes that he is master of all and slave to none. All he does is right and all everyone else does is wrong or at least second best. No one is braver, stronger, prettier, wiser, or more virtuous than Superbia, or so he thinks. Superbia is the most dangerous of dragons because, believing he has all the answers, he cannot be taught. Superbia can only be conquered with the sword of humility which will bring Superbia into submission to the will of another.
The Dragon Invidia (Envy) seems small and harmless. He sits off to the side and views what is going on, wishing he were part of the action, wishing that what belongs to others was his. He is a small dragon because he can never grow large as long as he spends his time desiring what is not his. Invidia keeps a person's soul a baby. Fight Invidia by complimenting others on their achievements and possessions and wishing them happiness.
The Dragon Ira (Anger) rages uncontrollably over matters that may not be that important. He reigns by fear and threats and sometimes by violence. His rages can best be deflected by the shield of peace. Continual use of this shield will cause his strength to diminish.
I WILL SERVE
Lord, I will serve as a True and Chivalric Knight. By the power of Your Grace, I will defend the right to life for all people, born and unborn, help and protect the innocent who are violated, abused, and neglected, aid those in distress and despair, and comfort the afflicted.