I’ve been considering my lack of enthusiasm lately. While we are coming out of a pandemic, and while my life looks drastically different than it did at the start of it, there has been a nagging feeling in me that is concerned with my defiance to participate in life outside the comforts of my computer and television. I think about my life before all of the shutdowns, how active I was, and compare it to today while though I am doing really well in some areas, better than ever in fact, simply going out and being social is a real struggle for me.
As I’ve been contemplating areas in my life that I would like to heal or improve upon, I decided to look at the sin of sloth. While my health and wellness studies took me to a beautiful direction of self-compassion, I have been spending time looking at the harsher realities of sin / maladjusted coping mechanisms which interfere dramatically in my life. Though this defect hasn’t been something I have much related to before, I considered how it might be a problem in my life today.
While a part of me feels freed from toxic Christianity, another part of me can’t deny certain chronic hardships that show up in my life that seem to simply be a byproduct of my background and the world around me. And though I don’t like to look at this world as fallen or corrupted, I do want to be honest about needing a solution through a sick system. I think in the past that solution was being social and active, and so I’m realizing my desire to isolate doesn’t alleviate or inspire me, it’s just immediate relief to a problem that I’m suspecting I created in my own mind.
I therefore decided to open up my Catechism and look up sloth. What I read inspired this post. Sloth / acedia is said to be caused by laxed ascetical practice, decreased vigilance, and carelessness of heart. As I review my behaviours lately, I can identify with all of these factors. I find it paradoxical that my sloth has been a result of finding myself in a place of comfort and privilege, but it ended up leading me to a place of spiritual impoverishment and loneliness.
I have learned another valuable lesson about sin and why we call these specific types deadly. They are so cunning, they sneak up on us and we don’t even recognize them until our lives start manifesting their consequences. I am grateful that I challenged myself, that I considered what I am not happy with in my life, and what I need to do to get back to a place of true satisfaction and connection.
While the world I live in is no longer hostile, I still must take the necessary steps every day to maintain inner peace and continue growing. This means that I have to look at the more subtler traits in my life that, when left unchecked, require investigation to understand where the derailment occurred. I enjoy the time I get to spend on my spiritual fitness, so that I can enjoy my material life to the best of my ability. I find the work worth it.