THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS EXPOUNDED.
SIX VOLUMES IN ONE
BY THE DISTINGUISHED EXPONENTS OF CATHOLICISM
REV. HENRY DODRIDGE, D. D.
REV. HENRY EDWARD MANNING, D. D.
REV. F. LEWIS, of Granada
REV. STEPHEN KEENAN
REV. BERNARD VAUGHAN, S. J.
REV. THOMAS N. BURKE, O. P.
A. It is an unwillingness, or laziness of the mind to perform those duties which are required to save man's soul.
Q. When is a person guilty of sloth? A. First, when he does not take proper care of his own serious affairs; 1 Thess. iv. 11. 1 Cor. xiv. 38. Secondly, when he does not take pains to know the things which every Christian is obliged to know; or when he acts not according to his knowledge, nor reaps any profit from it. Thirdly, when he neglects the obligations of his state and calling, and is given to idleness, etc. 1 Tim. v. 13. Fourthly, when he spends his time in insignificant and frivolous affairs: such as unprofitable discourse, visits, plays, etc. Fifthly, when he neglects the service of God, and uses no diligence to overcome his failings, or to advance in virtue.
Q. Is sloth a great sin?
A. Yes, certainly it is a deadly sin; for our Saviour assures us, that every tree that yieldeth not good fruit, shall be cut down and cast into the fire. St. Matt. vii. 19. And again, cast, says he, the unprofitable servant into utter darkness where there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. St. Matt. xxv. 30. Hence> an idle life is quite contrary to the gospel, which prescribes a watchful, laborious, and penitential life; it requires self-denial, forsaking the world, crucifying the flesh, abounding in every good work, the working our salvation with fear and trembling: Phil. ii. 12. Not to be weary in doing good; Gal. vi. 9, to walk circumspectly; to understand what is the will of God; to redeem time; to walk worthy of our vocation; Eph. v. 16. Wherein is sufficiently condemned an idle life, which exposes persons to many temptations and dangers, and brings them under the guilt of many sins, and the neglect of the greatest duties, in making this life £ sacrifice to self-love, in wasting their time, their money, etc. For all which they stand accountable to Almighty God, and so should fly idleness, as the broad and large way that leads to perdition.!
Q. Which are the effects of sloth?
A. Tepidity, which is a coldness in devotion: pusillanimity, which is a cowardice to undertake what a person has in his power, or is able to perform: aversion for spiritual things : weariness of life: distrust of God's mercy: inconstancy, or a want of resolution to prosecute every Christian duty.
Q. Which are the remedies against sloth; and by what virtues is it overcome ?
A. To consider the labors of Jesus Christ, of his apostles, martyrs, confessors, virgins, etc. To consider the easiness of spiritual duties, and with what diligence men labor for temporal advantages. That every one is to account for the time he loses. That heaven is only bestowed upon laborers. To pass no day without doing some good action. To call to mind frequently, the words of the prophet Jeremiah, chap, xlviii. 10. Cursed is he who does the work of God negligently. Now the chief virtues that are opposite to sloth, are diligence, which makes us careful and zealous in performing our duties, both to God and man; as also devotion, which is a sincere endeavor, and pious zeal for the service of good, and for everything that regards our duty and calling. St. Mark, xii. 33.