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 September 2014
Mentally disabled:
That the mentally disabled may receive the love and help they need for a dignified life.
Service to the poor: That Christians, inspired by the Word of God, may serve the poor and suffering.



Comments


More Living Faith

Saint Theresa of The Child Jesus: Love to The End Watch

Image of Saint Theresa of the Child Jesus: The Little Flower

By F. K. Bartels

Then, nearly ecstatic with supreme joy in my soul, I proclaimed: O Jesus, my love, at last I have found my calling: my call is love. Certainly I have found my proper place in the Church, and you gave me that very place, my God. In the heart of the Church, my mother, I ... continue reading


Tough Lessons for Real Life from the Book of Job Watch

Image of Job was right. He was living in the heart of God's will. When Job was stripped of what his fair-weather friends believed were the -proofs- of Gods favor, he found the greatest treasure of all, the beautiful poverty of purified Love. He found the richness reserved for those who love God for God's sake. Jobs fair-weather friends told him that his loss and difficulties were his fault, but Job knew better. In his unwavering hope in God's love and mercy we find the example of purified, living faith.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

When Job was stripped of what his fair-weather friends believed were the -proofs- of Gods favor, he found the greatest treasure of all, the beautiful poverty of purified Love. He found the richness reserved for those who love God for God's sake, for Love's ... continue reading


Interesting facts about the 400 years old Bom Jesus Church in India, the final resting place of St. Francis Xavier Watch

Image of The Basilica of Bom Jesus Church is more than 400 years old.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Located in Old Goa, India, the Basilica of Bom Jesus is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The foundation stone was laid on 24th November 1594, and completed on 15th May 1605. It was raised to the status of a minor Basilica in 1946 and is considered to be one of the ... continue reading


Bombing Islamic State is fueling the violence

Image of Civilians inspect the rubble of a building destroyed by Allied airstrikes in Syria. We cannot bomb our way into the hearts of people.

By Tony Magliano

We need to do something! With the barbaric Islamic State now controlling large portions of Iraq and Syria, and inflicting rape, torture and even beheading on those who do not conform to their fundamentalist interpretation of Islam, it is imperative that they must be ... continue reading


Pope Francis to try case of pedophile archbishop in Vatican court Watch

Image of Former archbishop and ambassador Josef Wesolowski is under  arrest at the Vatican.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Vatican will try one of its own for child abuse. After decades, possibly centuries of abuse and cover up, the use of the Church has a cover for pedophiles has finally ended. Former ambassador, Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski will now face trial for abusing boys he met ... continue reading


Pope Francis says to listen to God's word and put it into practice Watch

Image of During his homily at daily, the Pope urged Christians to read God's word faithfully and to truly listen with our hearts to what He has to say.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

According to Pope Francis, living the Christian life is simple: listen to God's word and put it into practice. "These are the two conditions in order to follow Jesus, hear the word of God and put it into practice. This is the Christian life, nothing more," the ... continue reading


Pope Francis appoints five women to major theological council Watch

Image of Pope Francis, who has been critical on the Catholic Church's failures to adequately include women in theological discourse, has appointed five to a major theological council that is charged with aiding the pope and others with theological policy.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The International Theological Commission, established in 1969 to study doctrinal issues faced by the Catholic Church and to help the pope and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, has just received five new female members, raising the number of female ... continue reading


Pope Francis asks new bishops to avoid self-promotion, to love their congregations instead Watch

Image of Pope Francis meets with bishops for an audience. The Holy Father had important advice for a group of new bishops yesterday.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis has admonished a new generation of bishops against seeking promotion and instead asked them to look after and love their congregations. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - During an address at the Vatican yesterday, Pope Francis spoke to 138 ... continue reading


POPE IN ALBANIA: Pope Francis denounces religious militants during one-day trip Watch

Image of On his first trip as pope to a European country outside of Italy, Pope Francis made no direct reference to Islamic State militants who have seized territory in Syria and Iraq.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In his one-day trip to the chiefly Muslim nation of Albania, Pope Francis soundly denounced religious militants, declaring that no one act as the "armor of God." LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "Let no one consider themselves the 'armor' of God while planning ... continue reading


If Christ Has Not Been Raised Our Preaching and Our Faith is Empty Watch

Image of We too,you and me, will be raised from the dead. Only then will our redemption be complete. We are works in progress. However, that new life can begin even now for those with eyes of living faith, hearts filled with His presence, and minds renewed by the Light of the Truth which Jesus has fully revealed and imparts to those who love and follow Him.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

When we learn to embrace the implications of that empty tomb, and allow grace to work within us, we are made ready for eternity - by living differently every day. The Resurrection provides a framework, a hermeneutic, a lens of meaning, for everything that happens ... 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, Job 9:1-12, 14-16
1 Job spoke next. He said:2 Indeed, I know ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 88:10-11, 12-13, 14-15
10 Do you work wonders for the dead, can shadows rise ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 9:57-62
57 As they travelled along they met a man on the road ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 1st, 2014 Image

St. Therese of Lisieux
October 1: Generations of Catholics have admired this young saint, called ... 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