Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Slumber of Sin - Absence of Zeal

Frequently after our Baptism, especially if our Baptism occurred as an infant or in childhood, we will fall into what Saint Theophan calls the "Slumber of Sin".

"For the most part, the word of God depicts the sinner, who is faced with the necessity of renewal in repentance, as being submerged in deep slumber.  The distinguishing characteristic of such people is not always outright depravity, but rather the absence in the strictest sense of inspired, selfless zeal for pleasing God, together with a decided aversion for everything sinful.  devotion is not the main concern  of their cares and labors; they are attentive about many other things, but are completely indifferent to their salvation, and do not sense what danger they are in.  The lead the good life and lead a life that is cold in faith, though it be occasionally righteous and outwardly irreproachable."
Saint Theophan (Path to Salvation, p. 95)

How critical it is to have this zeal that Saint Theophan talks about.  With it we are transformed and filled with unlimited energy to do His will.  Without it we are only going through the motions of a righteous life.  Doing good sometimes but mostly erring based on self-centered needs and desires.  The person who lacks grace "dwells on himself, and makes self the main goal of his life and activity.... He busies himself with various occupations in which he hopes to find a way to quench his unquenchable thirst."

As we examine our lives do we find ourselves busy with many activities yet sense an inner emptiness?  Do we find ourselves with many cares and troubled by many things?  Do we profess to have the confidence in our current life that this is what is proper, that we have all we want and do not see any need for change?

Saint Theophan says,
The sinner is like a person who is sunk in a deep slumber.  Just as a person who is fast asleep will not stir and get up on his own in spite of approaching danger unless someone comes and rouses him, so will the person who is sunk in the slumber of sin not come to his senses and awaken unless divine grace comes to his aid. (Path to Salvation p 101)

1 comment:

  1. Thank you father for your reminder fo how zeal may affect us in differing ways. I have subscribed to your blog and find it a warm welcome in the mornings.

    Fr. Matthias David Moore, OCCA