Be a Professional Catholic

Most people in our country are well educated. It is common for people not only to have a high school diploma, but also a college degree. Many people continue their educations and get masters degrees and some even get doctorates.

Most people in our country have good jobs. They are successful and enterprising in their endeavors. It is safe to say that our country is a nation comprised of a people, for the most part, who are professional in what they do.

As we usher in a new year, wouldn’t be nice if we were professional in our relationships with Jesus? Wouldn’t be nice if we were to put the same efforts we put into our educations and our jobs into our spiritual lives?

What is it that keeps people from being professional in their relationship with the Lord? The answer can be found in one of the seven deadly sins and that sin is sloth.

Sloth is a disease of the will.

What happens to the individual ruled by sloth? People controlled by sloth don’t get anything accomplished. People controlled by sloth are targets for every temptation the devil has to offer. They just lie there on the ground like cow manure covered with flies. Flies can’t stick to something that is moving fast. And people ruled by sloth have a really hard time getting into Heaven. They are too lazy to live out the demands of the Gospel.

If sloth is a problem for you, what can you do to get rid of it?

choose.jpgFirst of all, you have to have purpose in life. Once you have figured out your purpose in life, you can fulfill the duties that are part of your state in life. Are you single? Are you married? Are you consecrated to God? Your state in life carries with it certain duties and obligation. Fulfill those duties with maturity, coherence, authenticity and perfection.

Second, you need to have a strong will. Remember that sloth has been defined as a disease of the will. So, it is going to be important to clean up the will by making it strong. Make your bed with perfection every morning; polish your shoes; dress correctly; be punctual for church and your daily appointments; and keep your room neat tidy.

A sturdy and consistent spiritual life is essential. We have to stay connected to the Lord. He will give us strength and fill us with peace. The regular use of the sacrament of confession is essential. We need to stay spiritually alive. And when it comes to sin, we all get bent out of shape about the bad things that we do, but how many of us are concerned about the good things that we don’t do because of laziness, tepidity and apathy?

Here is a challenge for the new year. Write out a personal program for self-improvement. Take a few moments to analyze your good points and your weaknesses. Figure out what you can do to make this new year the best year of your life. Develop a business plan for your spiritual life and stick to it.

Life is a struggle and it always will be, but I have never had a problem with sloth. In fact I would prefer to have dinner with a bunch of atheists rather than a bunch of apathetic and spiritually dead individuals. At least the discussion with the atheists would be exciting and engaging. We need to be excited about Jesus and His Church. We need to be excited about getting to Heaven and bringing others with us. We need to be excited about making this world a better place for everyone. We need to be professional Catholics. This is called personal holiness.

Don’t let sloth ruin your chance of living a life filled with joy. Happy New Year!


Fr. James Farfaglia is the pastor of St. Helena of the True Cross of Jesus Catholic Church in Corpus Christi, TX. His Sunday homilies and blog can be found at You can contact Father James at

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  • noelfitz

    A brilliant article. It provides food for thought and action. Thank you so much, Fr Farfaglia.

    However one could be very active and devote all one’s efforts to one’s professional career and not be slothful, yet neglect the development of one’s Faith.

    The ideas in this article correspond to those of St Josemaria Escriva.

    God bless,


    In necessariis, unitas; in dubiis, libertas; in omnibus, caritas.

  • HomeschoolNfpDad

    Noel, recall Father’s proffered definition of sloth: “Sloth is a disease of the will.” Under this definition, I believe that someone who is “very active and devote[s] all one’s efforts to one’s professional career” is slothful. Such a person has a defect of the will. Clearly it is not due to laziness but rather to a disordered application of the will, in which the person demonstrates that his career is important but his faith is not. Any person capable of working hard at his career is also capable of working hard at his faith. The disorder of the will is to refrain from applying one’s energy (so clearly demonstrated while at work) to the problem of growing in holiness.

    That is sloth, even if it is not generalized laziness.