Unfortunately, today's culture makes the slothful feel right at home. The hidden
persuaders of the advertising and entertainment world always accent what is comfortable
and pleasurable. They have little concern for the "unsearchable riches of
Christ" preached so fervently by the Apostle Paul.
Yet, our Lord has clearly warned that we cannot be His disciples unless we deny ourselves
and take up our cross daily. The slothful person cannot follow Christ because he shuns
self-discipline and is weakened by self-indulgence. What starts off as mere distaste for
spiritual effort quickly becomes a full-blown disgust for any kind of spiritual exercise.
Enough of the disease. What's the cure for spiritual sloth? The spiritual paralysis can
be overcome in only one way-by MANLY RESISTANCE! Some temptations must be overcome by
flight, and others by resistance. For example, thoughts that incite the vice of lust
call for immediate flight; but the temptation to sloth must be met head-on.
The cure of sloth always begins in the mind. More and more meditation on the things of
God is the basic medicine. Prayerful reflection on the beauty and grandeur of our
Christian vocation removes the smog from the mind of the slothful.
An honest and thorough appraisal of one's spiritual state is a second means. This
examination should uncover one's predominant weakness, as well as any carelessness in our
essential spiritual duties. Resolutions should be made. This should be followed by a
Reformation should begin with some small sacrifices. But be faithful and consistent in
their performance. Don't bite off too much at once. Just as exercise restores a lost
muscle tone, a daily sacrifice will restore spiritual vigor and vitality. It will
increase your joy in living too.
Make the offering of the Sacrifice of the Mass the highlight of your week...or your day.
It's your encounter with the crowning achievement of Our Blessed Lord's life. It
channels the power and wisdom of the Cross into your heart and life. Coupled with
fervent Holy Communions it will destroy any spiritual diseases.
If you are suffering from this spiritual paralysis, you don't have to do everything at
once. But you must make a good start-even though it be in small things. Remember that
our Lord said: "He that is faithful in what is least is faithful also in that which
is greater." (Luke 16:10)
By the late Father Kilian McGowan, C.P.