This month I would like to write about one of the most subtle of vices that can effect our discernment, the sin of sloth. Often this sin doesn’t really make its way on to our radar screen when we examine our consciences. This is because unlike many vices which we know so very well attack with violence on our frontline of defense, sloth sneaks in the back door attacking our very will to fight. Sloth can be defined as a sort of sorrow weighing us down, so that we don’t want to do anything or weariness in work, sluggishness in beginning to do any good (St. Thomas defines it this way in The Summa).
We have all been victims of this in little ways, “it’s too late to go pray anyway…” “I can work on this tomorrow…let’s watch another episode of 24 instead” “the Lord cannot possibly expect me to go that far… its too hard for me.” (I must confess to hours of mindless gazing at many-a blank screen in writing e-letters!) Things with little or no actual value for our lives, TV, video games etc. foster a sort of laziness in doing the good we should. When we listen to the voice of sloth, we are stopped before we ever get started standing at the base of a beautiful mountain to climb but never starting because “it’s too high.” Having taken hold of a soul, even the anthills of resistance to sin and growth in virtue seem like Mount Everest!
Sloth can have a terrible effect on our vocational discernment. For many, the whole prospect of what a call from the Lord might ask of me makes us avoid Him altogether, hiding in TV, video games and countless other distractions (often these thoughts are very far from the truth). Another effect can leave us in a sort of “order of perpetual discernment” out of excessive fear of a “mistake.” Everything can point us in a particular direction, spiritual direction can confirm it and yet we are afraid to make a move at all.
We must remember that God will give us the grace to do whatever He asks of us as well as help us all along the way in doing it. We have to trust Him… and after a little effort at the beginning, we will often be surprised at how easily and quickly we finished. Let’s ask for the grace this month to see those ways where we might have let sloth creep in, and begin to fight against this subtle enemy. I would hate to lose the race because I just never showed up!
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|+ We are now accepting applications from those who are interested in joining us this September!|
Contact us for more info and mark your calendar for the official 2-week visit from June 24 - July 8 .
|+ George Weigel in defense of Pope Benedict - 2nd -|
|+ April 25, 2010, World Day of Prayer for Vocations (excellent message from Pope Benedict)|
|+ March 28, 2010, World Youth Day (another excellent message from Pope Benedict)|
|+ February 2, 2010 World Day of Consecrated Life (yet another excellent message from Pope Benedict)|
+ Salt and Light TV (some really good catholic content)
|+ Life (inspiring new series from The Discovery Channel)|
|+ Tim Hawkins (good christian comedian)|
|+ Outstanding books by Fr. Timothy M. Gallagher, OMV|