Stress and Sloth

Stress, overwork, stretching our mental and physical resources too thinly, too fast, or too often is a common characteristic of modern life. It is also an easy way of avoiding doing what we should be doing. Doing too much can be a form of sloth. If stress could be measured, it would be by the distance we have allowed to develop between our selves and ourselves, between body and mind, grace and nature, our work and Gods work. It is often also related to a sense that what we are doing in the world, even successful and acclaimed work, is useless and meaningless. If we are not doing what we love, what we should be doing, everything we do will feel compromised or guilty.

Laurence Freeman, O.S.B.


“[Living with disabled persons] I discovered something which I had never confronted before, that there were immense forces of darkness and hatred within my own heart. At particular moments of fatigue or stress, I saw forces of hate rising up inside me, and the capacity to hurt someone who was weak and was provoking me! That, I think, was what caused me the most pain: to discover who I really am, and to realize that maybe I did not want to know who I really was. I did not want to admit all the garbage inside me. And then I had to decide whether I would just continue to pretend that I was okay and throw myself into hyperactivity, projects where I could forget all the garbage and prove to others how good I was.”
Jean Vanier