7 Deadly Sins - Day 4
Formal Thoughts / Definition
Sloth (Latin, Socordia) can entail different vices. While sloth is sometimes defined as physical laziness, spiritual laziness is emphasized. Failing to develop spiritually is key to becoming guilty of sloth. In the Christian faith, sloth rejects grace and God.
Sloth has also been defined as a failure to do things that one should do. By this definition, evil exists when good men fail to act.
Over time, the "acedia" in Pope Gregory's order has come to be closer in meaning to sloth. The focus came to be on the consequences of acedia rather than the cause, and so, by the 17th century, the exact deadly sin referred to was believed to be the failure to utilize one's talents and gifts. Even in Dante's time there were signs of this change; in his Purgatorio he had portrayed the penance for acedia as running continuously at top speed.
Sloth is defined as spiritual or emotional apathy, neglecting what God has spoken, and being physically and emotionally inactive. Sloth can also indicate a wasting due to lack of use, concerning a person, place, thing, skill, or intangible ideal that would require maintenance, refinement, or support to continue to exist.
Religious views concerning the need for one to work to support society and further God's plan and work also suggest that, through inactivity, one invites the desire to sin. "For Satan finds some mischief still for idle hands to do." ("Against Idleness and Mischief" by Isaac Watts).
In the Philokalia, the word dejection is used instead of sloth, for the person who falls into dejection will lose interest in life. Laziness is not considered becoming in many traditional customs.
"Failing to develop spiritually is key to becoming guilty of sloth"...I honestly never thought of sloth in that way. I have always thought of sloth more in the idle hands/being lazy form. Thinking of it as a development of spirituality makes me know I need to focus more effort on overcoming this sin.
365 day challenge - day 156