My biggest struggle in my faith life is the sin of Sloth. And according to C.S. Lewis, this can be the most deadliest sin of all.
The sin of sloth, as St. Thomas Aquinas put it, is the sluggishness of the mind which neglects to begin good.
To those who know me, this might sound like that doesn't make sense. I'm constantly on the run and working on the next project. As we speak, my calendar for the next month is filled with different colored time slots, each one either being a meeting, event, or work related item and I find my calendar filling up so quickly. I add something to it each day.
And so, how could I possibly be struggling with the sin of sloth?
The way sloth (also known as the evil spirit of Acedia) manifests in my life is through its impact on my prayer life. Because I am always on the run and keep so busy, when I get home and have a moment of silence, all I want to do is rest. With this rest comes watching TV or taking a bath or napping.
What do I really want to be doing?
I have a list of spiritual books I want to finish going through. I want to pray the rosary more. I want to keep up with my spiritual journal. I want to go to adoration or to evening mass. Things that will help me further grow in my Catholic faith.
But I don't. Why? I will make no excuse and say because that's what I choose and instead settle for mediocrity. It's just too much work, it seems like, especially after a busy day.
But I know that's wrong. I have been taking active steps to change that, starting by limiting my schedule. And I know it sounds super busy as I stated above, but it's already gotten much better than it was a couple of months ago.
Overcoming the sin of sloth is a work in progress. But the truth is that there is NOTHING more important than our Catholic faith and our souls. There is NOTHING more important than God. And our lives NEED to reflect that. The more I've reflected on this, the more I felt it in my soul. And the more it has encouraged action within me.
St. John Vianney wrote the following, and I highly recommend that you read this, slowly to really hear what he is saying:
"O my children! how miserable we are in losing, in this way, the time that we might so usefully employ in gaining Heaven, in preparing ourselves for eternity! How many moments are lost in doing nothing, or in doing wrong, in listening to the suggestions of the devil, in obeying him! Does not that make us tremble? If one of the lost had only a day or an hour to spend for his salvation, to what profit would he turn it! What haste he would make to save his soul, to reconcile himself with the good God! And we, my children, who have days and years to think of our salvation, to save our souls–we remain there with our arms crossed, like that man spoken of in the Gospel. We neglect, we lose our souls. When death shall come, what shall we have to present to Our Lord? Ah! my children, hear how the good God threatens the idle: “Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit shall be cut down, and shall be cast into the fire.” “Take that unprofitable servant, and cast him out into the exterior darkness, where there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
What struck me in this passage was the idea of how someone who has lost their lives and did not go to heaven, but were given another day even hour to spend towards their salvation, how they would do everything to make the very best of that day or hour.
And yet we have our whole lives and often choose to settle for mediocrity, without realize just how much greatness God has called us to.
How many times do we choose binge-watching Netflix (hours and hours of it) rather than giving God even thirty minutes of our time in a day? How many times do we rather sit and do nothing productive, simply because we don't feel like it?
This is mediocrity. We are called, however, to be great. And our lives need to reflect that. We need to keep fighting for this greatness!
Perhaps one day we will realize the value of each minute here on earth. Hopefully sooner rather than later. And perhaps then we would use each day gifted to us as a way to glorify God in each moment...
Sisters, please keep me in your prayers as I work on overcoming the sin of sloth. And if you are struggling with it yourself, please be assured of my prayers. With God's grace, we can always overcome.
In Christ, Kasia