Catechesis on vices: the “noonday devil”

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In his weekly catechesis, Pope Francis cautioned against a powerful enemy whose strategy is discreet but destructive: sloth. He pointed out that it is often called the “noonday devil” because it comes following the fatigue that leads us to see everything as gray, monotonous and boring. “It can induce us to abandon the good path we have embarked on, and even lead us to lose the meaning of existence itself,” he said.

SUMMARY OF THE POPE'S CATECHESIS IN ENGLISH:

Dear brothers and sisters,

In our reflections on the vices and virtues, we now consider acedia or sloth. In English, it's associated with laziness, it is above all a deep spiritual apathy, manifested by discontent and aversion to attentive prayer and growth in our relationship with God. According to the monastic tradition, this “noonday devil” is best overcome by the patience of faith. This includes accepting the poverty or dark night of faith, which then enables us, by God’s grace, to sense the divine presence and to continue to reach out to God. The saints themselves show us that perseverance in time of temptation leads us to set practical goals, however small, for our daily life and moves us to lean on Jesus, who always remains with us.

I extend a warm welcome to the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, especially the groups from England, Wales, Nigeria, Korea and the United States of America. As we begin this season of Lent, I invoke upon all of you the joy and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ. God bless you!

JRB
TR: KG

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