If the Christian walk is boring, chances are, you’re doing something wrong. I imagine if we got a true glimpse of the spiritual world, we’d never leave our rooms, the drama and adventure is so intense. I said before that Christianity is a battle; let me explain. To the casual onlooker, my prayer-time may look like me, in my room, with a slightly furrowed expression, muttering incoherently. But in actual fact, my guardian angel – James – is involved in a furious battle with a demon tempting me into distraction, while saints outside of time hear my temporal pleas and intercede on my behalf to the God of the Universe, who hears and answers me with an undeserved portion of that scandalous commodity known as grace, on which the economy of mercy runs, and the finite and infinite come crashing into each other, and I – in infinitesimal speck, help to make an all-powerful deity’s will done in the world. There is a belief amongst Jews that the very existence of the world is held up by at least 60 holy people praying. This is the stuff of adventure, myth and legend, but while others are still stuck on scholarly study of Perseus born of Danae by the power of Zeus, we have the true Christ, born of the Virgin, by the power of the Holy Spirit. Christianity is the myth fufilled. When we recognize all of this, when we allow ourselves to be overwhelmed by the greatness of the thing, the desires of apathy and spiritual sloth appear as they really are: ridiculous. Sloth treats the world like a second-rate lifetime drama, when it’s actually a first-rate epic.
|Do not let the cuteness fool you. |
This the incarnation of a deadly sin.
In the early church, sloth was probaly the least of folk’s worries. After all, how apathetic can you be when in the process of being fed to a lion? Thus, the motto of the Church was “Go Big or Go Home”, but in Latin. The point is that while there may be an atheist or two in a foxhole, there is no Catholic in one - be he the most anti-clerical, progressive, doubting sonnuva bitch ever to attend mass – who isn’t ringing off Hail Mary’s like an Italian grandma in a head-scarf. Sometimes it takes a crisis to wake us out of spriritual sleep. For me, the most earnest, fufilling and honest Rosary I have ever prayed was when I thought my friend would die from cancer. The best moments of Reconciliation have been moments where I’ve screwed up so badly, I honestly fear being smitten. The times I’ve been truly open to what the Holy Spirit is when my friends truly needed me to be. Simply put, apathy cannot stand up to reality, to the epic of day-to-day existence. So don’t let it. Seek out the crisises and the foxholes in your life, and go about fixing them. Apathy will dissolve into nothing. Or make yourself a crisis. I’m not advocating sinning just so you can come back to God, or killing your in-laws so you can pray for their souls. (Although that might make a great murder-mystery)(IdeaCopyright BadCatholic 2010). I’m advocating caring about something. Start actually caring about the attacks on human life in our country. Start caring about the opressed and martyred Christians in India. Whatever it is, let it fuel your own spiritual life. God isn’t picky; just start praying and he’ll do the rest.
If that doesn’t work, and you’re still finding yourself spiritual apathetic about this faith of ours, I have a solution. Go preach the gospel in Pakistan and Iran. Do it. Pack a Bible and go get martyred. Those lions are still out there, and hungry, we just seem to be better at avoiding them.
I guess I write about this because I am guilty, having slothfully avoided posting for, how long as it been, two weeks? Many apologies. Some good news from my end, I am now officially listed in the Catholic Blog Directory, an event which deserves this tribute.
Sloth is the desire for ease, even at the expense of doing the known will of God. Whatever we do in life requires effort. Everything we do is to be a means of salvation. The slothful person is unwilling to do what God wants because of the effort it takes to do it. Sloth becomes a sin when it slows down and even brings to a halt the energy we must expend in using the means to salvation.