“Reflect that your guardian angel does not always move your desire for an action, but he does always enlighten your reason. Hence, in order to practice virtue, do not wait until you feel like it, for your reason and intellect are sufficient.” –St. John of the Cross.
Recently, (now don’t judge), I’ve fallen prey to the idea that because I’ve been going to mass and adoration, I should automatically receive the ability to get over certain wounds, fears, hurts, and pain. And as much as God’s grace WILL heal those feelings and hurts, it takes a lot of work on my part too.
Sometimes I wonder why I’m not able to heal from certain happenings, and why I care about people who don’t care about me, or things that are not a part of God’s will for me. I’ve had some awesome consolation and peace from God so when that is absent, my sloth makes me feel idle and numb to life.
[In my sloth] While I’m still working hard and pushing myself in my faith, how can I be so distant from God, life, and hope?
Thanks to my reason and God-given intellect, I have the ability to make SMART, rational decisions that are not solely led by my emotions. (Cause’ if you know me, you know my emotions get me in trouble). And my emotions not only get me in trouble, they make me MISERABLE inside. This misery, I discerned, is a self-induced feeling of emotional sloth.
I was driving home from mass the other day and left upset that I didn’t get an abundance of graces. More or less, it was as if I went to mass “expecting” The God of the Universe to bow down to ME (yikes). As I left in a “sloth,” wondering why I didn’t get consolation after mass, in anger I shut off the radio and wanted to scream. After a breath and a snap back to reality, I realized “I am not alone” by Kari Job was playing on the radio. And God was basically saying, “stop thinking so much of yourself and OPEN your eyes. I am all around you.”
( He actually should have said, “My daughter, get over yourself.” )
I couldn’t feel anything, but intuitively I KNEW God was doing His part. He always is in our lives, it is us who don’t have the eyes to see it. God is screaming at me and telling me everything’s okay, and He’s gifting me SO many blessings (through people, my job, the guy who held the door for me at Wawa) but I’m not letting myself embrace it. I’m dwelling on those hurts so much so that they are stopping me from the joy He wants me to experience.
God is revealing His love for us through other people, but we’re too stubborn to let them in and love us. God is placing His goodness ALL around us, and we might just be too caught up in our pity parties to see it. (Harsh statement, but I’m doing it too).
God doesn’t need us–we need Him. God is perfect on His own, He doesn’t need us to attend mass, go to adoration, or prayer–we need it. The church has always taught that we can’t earn our salvation through our own efforts or deeds. Redemption is a free, undeserved gift offered to us through Jesus Christ. Therefore, we must actively accept this gift.
I imagine meeting God after I die and Him saying “why should I let you in my kingdom?” I have to say, “Because you’re son died for me to receive my room in this palace.” God’s response? “Prove it?”
–and it won’t be proven by the way I spent my days “floating” through life waiting for God to heal me, cure me, and “do the work for me,” it will be through my efforts to busily engage in doing the Lord’s will for me.
The spiritual duties of Jesus were never about Himself, and that’s how he reached ULTIMATE fulfillment. The Catechism defines sloth as “a form of depression due to lax ascetial practice, decreasing vigilance, and carelessness of heart.”
Reach out to a friend, pray for that friend, contemplate life, consider how God wants to use you, go after that cute girl you talk to in mass, visit your grandparents, pray for your vocation, read the Bible, watch talks and learn about the faith, call up some friends and play kickball, anything to express and practice charity and goodness.
Placing ourselves in His presence and contemplating His goodness (so that we may imitate it) changes us, changes what we see, and what we seek.
“Remember, you will be faulted not because you are ignorant against your will but because you neglect to seek out what it is that makes you ignorant.” –St. Augustine
When we make our problems and issues more important than God’s goodness and power, we place ourselves on the pedestal God should be on. And if we just let ourselves mosey on through the motions of life and never cease to redeem or let God mold us and change us–through virtuous living–we cultivate habits of spiritual laziness.
Even worse, we don’t tap into the spirit of the living God that dwells and shines SO deep within our hearts.
And it’s kind of a big deal that we have that gift.
Not exercising this offends God, and increases the likelihood that we won’t blossom into the men and women God is calling us to be.
So, like me, you have a choice; place God’s omnipotence and will ahead in your life through ongoing prayer, courage, energy, strength, self-surrender, virtue, and selflessness, OR holding back to the God of the Universe and stay revolved around your own desires, habits, and pleasures.
“Idleness begets a life of discontent. It develops self-love, which is the cause of all our miseries and renders us unworthy to receive the favors of Divine Love.” –St. Ignatius of Loyola
So the answer I found to the statement above (the title of the article)