Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Fr. James Farfaglia

9/30/2012 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Don't let sloth ruin your chance of living a life filled with joy.

Constancy in the spiritual life, especially under difficult circumstances, characterizes the existence of the true disciple of Christ.This Sunday's Gospel passage is very demanding. 

Highlights

By Fr. James Farfaglia

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

9/30/2012 (1 year ago)

Published in Living Faith

Keywords: sunday homily, homily, homilies, catholic spirituality, father james farfaglia, striving for holiness, living the gospel, sloth, deadly sins, character, fruits of the spirit, universalcall to holiness


CORPUS CHRISTI, TX (Catholic Online) - Without a doubt, Christianity challenges us every day.    Our entrance into Heaven is not a guaranteed reality.

Self-reflection is necessary in order to find out if there are any particular sins or attachments that might prove to be obstacles to our achieving eternal salvation. 
 
Many people in our present day have experienced profound conversions.  The personal testimonies of life changing experiences bear continual witness to the ever-present action of the Holy Spirit in the lives of all those who are searching for happiness and peace.
 
However, conversion is a daily enterprise.  Every day we are faced with choices and challenges that affect our relationship with the Lord.  It is not easy to be faithful. But God's grace makes discipleship not only possible; it also makes it an amazing adventure.
 
We must not be surprised that Christianity essentially implies a daily, personal struggle.  Commitment and battle go hand in hand.  We have to take very seriously the fact that our human nature is wounded by Original Sin. 

Every day presents a new opportunity to begin again.  God's loving mercy is always available to us through the sacrament of Confession.  It is precisely God's loving willingness to forgive our sins that fills us with the hope of eternal life.

Constancy in the spiritual life, especially under difficult circumstances, characterizes the existence of the true disciple of Christ.

This Sunday's Gospel passage is very demanding. 

"If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off.  It is better for you to enter into life maimed than with two hands to go into Gehenna, into the unquenchable fire.  And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off.  It is better for you to enter into life crippled than with two feet to be thrown into Gehenna.  And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out.  Better for you to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into Gehenna, where 'the worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched'" (Mark 9: 47-49)

Most people in our country are well educated.  It is common that people not only have a high school diploma, they also have a college degree.  Many people continue their education and get a masters degree and some even get a doctorate.

Most people in our country have good jobs.  They are successful and enterprising in their endeavors.   It is safe to say that our country is a nation comprised of a people, for the most part, who are professional in what they do. 

Wouldn't be nice if we were professional in our relationship with Jesus?

Wouldn't be nice if we were to put the same effort that we put into our education and our jobs into our spiritual life?

What is it that keeps people from being professional in their relationship with the Lord?  The answer can be found in one of the seven deadly sins and that sin is sloth. 

Sloth is a disease of the will. 

What happens to the individual ruled by sloth?

People controlled by sloth don't get anything accomplished.   People controlled by sloth are targets for every temptation that the devil has to offer.  They just lie there on the ground like cow manure covered with flies.  Flies can't stick to something that is moving fast.  And people ruled by sloth have a real hard time getting into Heaven.  They are too lazy to live out the demands of the Gospel.   

If sloth is a problem for you, what can you do to get rid of it?

First of all, you have to have purpose in life.  Once you figured out your purpose in life, you can fulfill the duties that are part of your state in life. Are you single?  Are you married?  Are you consecrated to God?  Your state in life carries with it certain duties and obligation.  Fulfill those duties with maturity, coherence, authenticity and perfection.

Secondly, you need to have a strong will.  Remember that sloth has been defined as a disease of the will.  So, it is going to be important to clean up the will by making it strong.  Make your bed with perfection every morning; polish your shoes; dress correctly; be punctual for church and your daily appointments; and keep your room neat and tidy.

A sturdy and consistent spiritual life is essential.  We have to stay connected to the Lord.  He will give us strength and fill us with peace.  The regular use of the sacrament of confession is essential.  We need to stay spiritually alive.  And when it comes to sin, we all get bent out of shape about the bad things that we do, but how many of us are concerned about the good things that we don't do because of laziness, tepidity and apathy?

Here is a challenge for this week.  Do you want your life to change?  Do you want to achieve progress in your spiritual life?  Are you willing to do whatever it takes to get to Heaven? 

Take a few moments in order to analyze your good points and your weaknesses.  Figure out what is your dominant defect.  Develop a plan of action to eradicate that dominant defect from your life and stick to it.

Always make good use of the Sacrament of Confession.  This is your best weapon in your fight against personal sin.  Develop and be consistent with your daily spiritual life. Do not engage in this battle alone.  Ask your spouse for help.  Be accountable to each other.  One of the purposes of marriage is the good of the spouses.  Be accountable to your parish priest.  He is trained to help you.  Let your parish family be a source of inspiration, motivation and accountability.
 
Life is a struggle and it always will be.

We need to be excited about Jesus and his Church.  We need to be excited about getting to Heaven and bringing others with us.  We need to be excited about making this world a better place for everyone.  We need to be professional Catholics.  This is called personal holiness. 

Don't let sloth ruin your chance of living a life filled with joy.

"If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off.  It is better for you to enter into life maimed than with two hands to go into Gehenna, into the unquenchable fire.  And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off.  It is better for you to enter into life crippled than with two feet to be thrown into Gehenna.  And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out.  Better for you to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into Gehenna, where 'the worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched'" (Mark 9: 47-49).

-----

Father James Farfaglia, is a contributing writer for Catholic Online and author of Get Serious! - A Survival Guide for Serious Catholics.  You can visit him on the web at www.fatherjames.org.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for August 2014
Refugees:
That refugees, forced by violence to abandon their homes, may find a generous welcome and the protection of their rights.
Oceania: That Christians in Oceania may joyfully announce the faith to all the people of that region.



Comments


More Living Faith

Friendly overtures to Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) met with mixed response Watch

Image of LCWR presidents welcome the approximately 750 members to the assembly.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Leadership Conference of Women Religious, or LCWR is comprised of Catholic women religious who are leaders of their orders in the United States. The group represents about 80 percent of the 51,600 women religious in the U.S. However, relations between the ... continue reading


POPE: 'It is legitimate to halt the unjust aggressor' Watch

Image of Pope Francis said that

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Answering a wide array of questions, which included the proper response to the persecution of Christians and other religious minorities by fundamentalists of the Islamic State in Iraq, Pope Francis said that "it is legitimate to halt the unjust aggressor." ... continue reading


POPE IN SOUTH KOREA: 'Peace is not simply the absence of war, but the work of justice' Watch

Image of Pope Francis told 200 South Korean government officials that the two Koreas, halved between North and South since the end of the Korean War in 1953,

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis, in his first trip to Asia, addressed South Korean political and civic leaders and encouraged them to stay on a steady course towards social justice and democracy. "Peace is not simply the absence of war, but the work of justice," the Pope said in ... continue reading


Will Suffering, Struggle, Failure and Pain Make us Bitter or Better? Watch

Image of Because of his close communion with Jesus Christ, the Risen One who had called him in the desert, Paul cultivated an interior strength which made it possible for him to walk through the pain, to even embrace the pain, and to experience failure itself as a path to the Cross where he found comfort in the wounded side of Jesus the Savior.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

St. Paul was an extraordinary man and an extraordinary Christian. An Apostle, raised up out of the ordinary course, he accomplished great things for the Lord as he eagerly responded to His calling to build the Church and, through her, to help change the world. A ... continue reading


The Assumption: The Virgin Mary goes before us in the Order of Grace Watch

Image of

By Deacon F. K. Bartels

What God has promised on the last day for those he loves, he has already accomplished in the Virgin Mary. Let us turn to Mary and love her as our spiritual Mother in the order of grace; let us open our hearts to her Immaculate Heart, that she may illuminate her ... continue reading


The Assumption or Dormition of the Mother of the Lord: What Does It Mean? Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

This event is a part of the naturally supernatural  progression in the life of the Blessed Virgin of Nazareth. Her Yes, her Fiat of surrendered love, brought heaven to earth. This exercise of her human freedom, responding to the invitation of God, as sent through ... continue reading


Making bad situations worse in the Middle East

Image of Only by following the non-violent Christ can our world that seems so steeped in violence be converted.

By Tony Magliano

The heart wrenching tragedies throughout the Middle East are not the United States' fault, that is, at least not entirely. The fact that many Sunni Muslims and Shiite Muslims distrust each other, that the Allies established artificial national boundaries to suite their ... continue reading


Pope Francis sends greeting to Chinese president en route to South Korean trip Watch

Image of The Pope's South Korean visit marked the first ever papal flight across China.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

On his way to South Korea, Pope Francis bid China a friendly greeting. "Upon entering Chinese air space, I extend best wishes to your Excellency and your fellow citizens, and I invoke the divine blessings of peace and well-being upon the nation," the Pope said in ... continue reading


Pope Francis Calls for Prayers and Action Watch

Image of

By Joseph J. Klock

In a series of tweets over recent days, Pope Francis has raised an alarm to the international community pleading for us to protect and pray for "all those suffering violence in Iraq," and to live in solidarity with them. VATICAN CITY (Catholic Online) - In a series of ... continue reading


In a New Rome, Let us Imitate the Deacon Named Lawrence through Whom All of Rome Became Christian Watch

Image of I love to tell the story of this Deacon/Martyr named Lawrence who helped to bring the entire pagan Roman Empire to Jesus Christ. It is particularly relevant because we are living in what could be called a modern Rome - the evidence of moral decline in the western culture in which we live and serve grows daily.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

On August 10 in the Roman Catholic Liturgical Calendar we usually commemorate the Deacon named Lawrence. Because of the secular calendar, the day fell on a Sunday and, as has been the case since the first centuries of the Christian Church, every Sunday is a ... continue reading


All Living Faith News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ezekiel 28:1-10
1 The word of Yahweh was addressed to me as ... Read More

Psalm, Deuteronomy 32:26-27, 27-28, 30, 35-36
26 I should crush them to dust, I said, I should wipe ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 19:23-30
23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, 'In truth I tell ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for August 19th, 2014 Image

St. John Eudes
August 19: John Eudes was born at Ri, Normandy, France, on November 14, ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter