Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Fr. James Farfaglia

9/30/2012 (2 years 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 (2 years 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 October 2014
Peace:
That the Lord may grant peace to those parts of the world most battered by war and violence.
World Mission Day: That World Mission Day may rekindle in every believer zeal for carrying the Gospel into all the world.



Comments


More Living Faith

Finding the Path to Peace Through Forgiveness Watch

Image of For he (Jesus) is our peace, he made both one and broke down the dividing wall of enmity, through his Flesh, abolishing the law with its commandments and legal claims, that he might create in himself one new person in place of the two, thus establishing peace, and might reconcile both with God, in one Body, through the cross, putting that enmity to death by it. He came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near, for through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father- St Paul

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

In 1999 I was a part of Project Reconciliation led by a true peacemaker, paralyzed police officer Detective Steven McDonald. This trip was a part of Steven McDonald's mission of preaching peace through forgiveness. It had the goal of helping to heal the wounds ... continue reading


The Parable of the Rich Man: Becoming Rich in What Matters To God

Image of

By Deacon Frederick K. Bartels

What leads to permanent and lasting happiness? As Jesus points out, becoming "rich in what matters to God" is the key. When we place God first, and love our neighbor as another self, we soon begin to experience a perceptible, lasting happiness that is not of this ... continue reading


Pope Paul VI closer to sainthood with beatification by Pope Francis Watch

Image of Pope Paul VI cleaned house, abolishing the pontifical court and simplifying the Curia, the Vatican's administrative arm. Pope Francis is continuing his predecessor's effort to reform to this day.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis cleared the process for sainthood for Pope Paul VI after his beatification over the weekend. Pope Paul VI led the Catholic Church through internal reform during a tumultuous time of social and political change before his death in 1978. LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading


We Need Courageous Bishops: Ignatius of Antioch is a Model Watch

Image of Ignatius of Antioch - I know what is to my advantage. At last I am becoming his disciple. May nothing entice me till I happily make my way to Jesus Christ! Fire, cross, struggles with wild beasts, wrenching of bones, mangling of limbs-let them come to me, provided only I make my way to Jesus Christ. I would rather die and come to Jesus Christ than be king over the entire earth. Him I seek who died for us; him I love who rose again because of us.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

We need Bishops like Ignatius in this new missionary age of the Church. There is a literal assault on marriage and the family in much of the West. Yet, what the Church has to offer on the truth about marriage and the family paves the path to a future of true ... continue reading


Need a chapel? Pope Francis to rent Sistine Chapel for charity Watch

Image of Pope Francis is renting out the Sistine Chapel for charity.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis is renting out the Sistine Chapel for charity. The decision marks the first time that the chapel has ever been rented out for charity. It will be used for a private concert hosted by Porsche. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Vatican has announced ... continue reading


On World Food Day, a reminder of Pope Francis' mission for the Church Watch

Image of It's time to ensure that everybody has enough.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Today is World Food Day and we are all called to do what we can to feed others. This year's World Food Day falls during Pope Francis' 'Week of Action' where all Catholics are called to pray and act to feed the world's hungry. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Today, ... continue reading


Pope Francis: The only thing that counts for Jesus is 'faith working through love' Watch

Image of Pope Francis related former Jesuit leader Father Arrupe's lesson in humility in his recent talk.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis reiterated in his morning homily that faith is not about appearances and superficially following Church laws. The Pontiff said that God wants to see a faith that inspires action and is "working in charity" and making sacrifices for others. LOS ... continue reading


A Meditation on the Sacred Heart of Jesus: My Heart to Gods Heart Watch

Image of

By Andrew M. Greenwell, Esq.

O Sacred Heart of Jesus, O burning furnace of divine Love, you are the symbol and summary of the whole mystery of our Redemption.  O mystery of mysteries, an infinite Love which no vessel can contain emptied itself into a finite human vessel of love-and so became ... continue reading


The next big thing for the Catholic Church is underway -- but you might not have heard about it... Watch

Image of The Church is closing on its goal to eradicate world hunger.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"Raise a voice for the hungry," Pope Francis tweeted in support of his 'Week of Action' to fight world hunger. From October 12-18, the 'Week of Action' is intended to bring awareness to Catholics about world hunger and to motivate them to actually do something about ... continue reading


Archbishop explains why Church will never condone homosexual behavior and that the West is pushing a gay agenda Watch

Image of Archbishop Zbigevs Stankevis.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Homosexual relationships destroy "the identity of the man and the identity of the woman," according to a Catholic Archbishop attending the Vatican's Synod of the Bishops. Archbishop Zbigevs Stankevis, has accused the U.S. and other countries of trying to promote 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, Ephesians 3:14-21
14 This, then, is what I pray, kneeling before the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 33:1-2, 4-5, 11-12, 18-19
1 Shout for joy, you upright; praise comes well from ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 12:49-53
49 'I have come to bring fire to the earth, and how I ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 23rd, 2014 Image

St. John of Capistrano
October 23: St. John was born at Capistrano, Italy in 1385, the son of a ... 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