The mystery blogger going by the pseudonym Reginald de Piperno defines Sloth thoroughly and with lots of good sources.
He says, “So sloth isn’t simple laziness – a vice in itself – but rather, it is a sorrow or sluggishness about doing good that prevents one from doing it.”
Here’s an ongoing case study from my own life.
My grandparents are dying – Pop is in a home and Granny is in her apartment. My grandfather was the only one at our summer home who woke up as early as my brother and me, so when we went with him to the grocery to get a paper, he would buy us a “secret” breakfast cookie at the bakery counter. My Grandmother and I were Gin Rummy buddies and would play and talk for hours when it rained.
After high school, I got busy and they got tired, so we only saw each other at Holidays. Then they couldn’t make it to holidays, so I took my son to see them once a year. Now Pop doesn’t know anyone anymore and Granny is blind.
I tell myself have nothing to say to a person so close to death. I tell myself it doesn’t matter because they have lots of grandchildren and children and are surrounded by others who love them more. I convince myself I am doing my grandfather a favor because he would be confused by my visit.
Truth is, I am ashamed to see them now because I know I have sinned by staying away. I am afraid they would not forgive my ongoing sloth. I also know I will feel uncomfortable by their physical decay. So, I know what’s right, what God would have me do, but I stay away.
There it is. Sloth.