Fr. Michael Sliney gives practical tips on how to overcome the vice of sloth in our lives.
by Fr. Michael Sliney, LC | Source: Catholic.net
This week we will focus on the sin or sloth. Bishop Fulton Sheen describes sloth as, “A malady of the will which causes us to neglect our duties. It is physical when it manifests itself in laziness, procrastination, idleness, softness, indifference and nonchalance. It is spiritual when it shows itself in an indifference to character betterment, a distaste for the spiritual, a hurried crowding of devotions, a lukewarmness and failure to cultivate new virtue.” (The Seven Capital Sins, Bishop Fulton J. Sheen, p. 65) A Winning Strategy for Inner Peace and Authenticity:1. Sacraments and Prayer
- Lots of Eucharist and regular Confession (at least once a month): you cannot overcome your laziness without the help of God’s grace.
- Pray a Decade of the rosary every day for a greater diligence.2. “The Charity of Christ urges us on.” (2 Cor. 5: 14):
This personal, passionate, and real love for Christ will be the only motivation strong enough to overcome and overpower this “malady of the will.”
3. Learn to see the difficulties and crosses of everyday life as opportunities to “offer it up” for a good intention:
“There used to be a form of devotion—perhaps less practiced today but quite widespread not long ago—that included the idea of “offering up” the minor daily hardships that continually strike at us like irritating “jabs”, thereby giving them a meaning. Of course, there were some exaggerations and perhaps unhealthy applications of this devotion, but we need to ask ourselves whether there may not after all have been something essential and helpful contained within it. What does it mean to offer something up? Those who did so were convinced that they could insert these little annoyances into Christ's great “com-passion” so that they somehow became part of the treasury of compassion so greatly needed by the human race. In this way, even the small inconveniences of daily life could acquire meaning and contribute to the economy of good and of human love.” (Spe Salvi, Pope Benedict XVI, n. 40)4. Form the habit of doing what “needs to be done” before what you would prefer to do:
Before going to bed, make a concrete schedule of your activities for the next day with times and places, putting your “needs” in front of your “preferences.” 5. To never accept the sophism that you are just fine as you are with no need to change:
Christ himself said: “Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.” We all need to look to Christ as our ideal and change those aspects which are preventing him from loving others through our lives. A week-end retreat (spiritual exercises) is very helpful to create this disposition. 6. Make time for prayer, with an emphasis on visits to the Eucharist:
“For He is in the midst of us day and night; He dwells in us with the fullness of grace and of truth. (68) He raises the level of morals, fosters virtue, comforts the sorrowful, strengthens the weak and stirs up all those who draw near to Him to imitate Him, so that they may learn from his example to be meek and humble of heart, and to seek not their own interests but those of God.” (Mystery of Faith, Pope Paul VI, n. 66,67)Email Fr. Michael at: [email protected].