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Friday, October 23, 2015

Discussing Sloth, One of the Seven Deadly Sins

My husband and I were talking about sloth this morning. The subject originated from the fact that Larry is reading a book on the seven deadly sins combined with a recent conversation among friends where someone described getting away with purchasing an expensive item for a fraction of its cost due to a cashier's error. The person telling the story was describing the behavior of someone else but was there and knew about the event without challenging him to go back and pay the real cost of the item. Now how does a story about theft get us talking about sloth?

Many people (myself included for a long time) don't understand the nature of sloth. It's laziness, of course,
but a lot more. It has to do with carrying out your duties faithfully. In the religious sense, it rises to the duties you owe to God and neighbor. Now, one duty we have is to be honest and treat others justly which is why our discussion on theft led to discussing sloth. Not only did our friend's spouse fail to be honest, but he failed in his duty to the cashier and the store to pay for his purchase. And, sadly, he must pay and, since he didn't pay here, he'll pay when he faces God unless he repented and made reparation in some way, for example, by giving the amount of the stolen merchandise to charity. Chances are he didn't even consider that he was stealing. He saw what happened as his lucky day instead of his unlucky temptation.

But getting back to the deadly sin of sloth, what exactly is my duty to God and neighbor? Obviously we have a duty to obey the commandments and the precepts of the Church. But is performing the minimum enough? If we go to Mass on Sunday and holy days and go to Confession once a year will that suffice? Maybe not. Because how likely am I to continue to do the minimum? If I only hear the scriptures on Sunday and only think about my sins once a year, how likely am I to continue to be faithful? Isn't it more likely that what little I have will be taken from me?

If I never say the rosary or pray because I have more important things to do, how likely am I to continue any prayers at all including Sunday Mass if I want to play golf or am on vacation? Doing the minimum is certainly an indication of spiritual sloth and it is likely to affect my attitude toward all the other deadly sins as well. So today I'm reflecting on what I owe to God. He gave me everything: my life, my health, my husband, my children, my precious grandchildren...everything I have came from Him. My debt is incalculable. If I went to Mass every day, three times on Sunday, prayed the daily 20-decade rosary, did the First Fridays and First Saturdays, spent three hours in adoration every day...I could NEVER repay Him for His goodness to me. So whatever I do I place at the foot of the cross because, while what I do will never be enough, Jesus did it all for me. So it's all about love for Him. And every day I need to give Him everything and recognize that I am a worthless servant who is overwhelmed by the love of my Master despite my unworthiness.

May Jesus Christ be praised now and forever!

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