“Trouble” was afoot yesterday, as my favorite Priest came to visit our parish yesterday as he does once a month or so for our Youth Mass. And as I always do when he visits us, I went to confession. (forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?p=7024628#post7024628 and forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?p=7024726#post7024726 details some previous confessions with him).
It was another great confession, this time only lasting about thirty minutes or so. During the confession I brought up something which him and I talked about at a previous confession, something that I’ve identified as a struggle; sloth. That is, an excess of laziness.
Now, I have said before on these forums that I have ADHD, which means I get distracted very easily. In fact, I should be doing work right now but I am instead writing this. The question is it my ADHD that causes me not to do things or is it the sloth? Because I look in my life and I see a lot of times where it isn’t the ADHD, it’s me being too lazy. Praying for example, could be both. I cannot focus during prayer, even when I want to. In fact, the only time I truly can focus on prayer is while doing music (which, thank God, is a form of prayer). But when I lie down before bed at night, is it ADHD or laziness which prevents me from praying? Both, but I know for sure there are times it is sloth.
Keep in mind this is not the same as my wife, who battles depression. Depression robs her of motivation and energy, and affects her brain chemistry in a harsh way. Her, she cannot choose her state, her brain is wired that way by default and needs to be treated accordingly. Myself though, my brain functions at a rapid pace. If anything, I should never be slothful, I should always be moving and active because that is what stimulates my mind and is how I am wired. And more often then not when dealing with things and with people, this is what happens, This is evident when I set down, as while I am sitting I cannot stop moving. You see further evidence with this writing; I should be working AT WORK right now, but I am writing. Yet when it comes time to do certain things, this is often not the case; sloth wins the day and I don’t feel up to doing anything. You know, an easy way this is from the Devil is that it directly counters how my mind is structured. He knows my mind is wired to operate in a certain way (fast paced, no attention span) so what does he do? Inflict me with sloth. Add in physical problems that limit my physical activity and then we have lots of inner conflicts. Tricky dude, that Devil.
Several times while talking to Father I have expressed my frustration with sin, in that I do things I know are wrong yet I do them anyway. That I want to fight these things but they often get the better of me. This brings me into conflict with myself, and obviously harms my relationships with others (and especially God). But sloth is a different beast. It’s one which cannot be approached in the same way. You attack and fight your sins by acknowledging them, but you cannot treat sloth the same way. As I told Father yesterday;
“Alright, I’m slothful right now. I should probably do something about tha…….meh, whatever. I’ll do it later or whatever”.
You see? Acknowledging the sloth does not offer the same window as does acknowledging it’s there. Knowing the sloth is there often isn’t very helpful, because you still need to fight the lethargy.
So Father told me something, I believe from St. Therese, who said something to the extent of; “if you do not have the energy or motivation to even pick up a piece of string from the ground yet you do so, the graces you receive will be exponential” (I’d love the exact quote of someone knows it).
So he challenged me to do this; he said if you don’t feel like doing something fight it and do it anyway and watch the blessings come down. Related to this; he gave a GREAT homily about tithing at Mass and spoke of how we do not tithe for the Church, we actually tithe for ourselves. He spoke to the parish as a whole, then he specifically directed some comments to the youth telling them about the importance of tithing and that it’s never too early to start. I’ve never been big on tithing, I’ve never did it before. But before I got this job I promised God I would do it; 10% of my money is His and will be used to build His Church. So I’ve started; two of the youth who used to be involved at Life Teen at my parish have since moved on to do Missionary work. One is doing University Campus ministry in another province with C.C.O. (and I’ve known him since he was in Grade EIGHT), the other is working out of C.C.O.'s headquarters. Both have to fundraise their salaries for the year. So, based on my relationships with them, I decided to use half of the 10% on them. My issue now is I have no yet set up the paperwork for the other 5%. You see, if I use the envelopes I will forget to bring it some week, or I will misplace the envelopes. ADHD does that, it’s why I don’t carry or ever buy an agenda. So I need to set up direct withdrawals from my back account, yet that requires effort.
So I need to make the effort, and take to heart what St. Therese said. I need to lift up the string from the ground. To do this I am going to get the tithing figured out. And I’ve decided to read more mystic writings of the Church. Typically I read the more apologetics/instructional writings due to my work with youth/RCIA stuff, but the mystics still need to be explored.
Times like this I know through the grace of God and the power of the Sacraments I can fight this. Hopefully the momentum continues throughout the week.
I also should figure out where I should be posting this stuff. I’m unsure of “TC” is the proper section or not. I just know a few of the people who post here so I figured I’d share it with you all.