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Don't lose your zeal to spiritual sloth, says Pope

In his homily for daily Mass in the chapel of the St. Martha Residence on Tuesday, Pope Francis warned the congregation that they should not give up their spiritual zeal and replace it with spiritual sloth. "This is the disease of sloth, the acedia of Christians. This attitude that is crippling the apostolic zeal, which makes Christian people stand still and at ease,” the Pope said, reflecting on the Gospel for Tuesday, where Jesus brought healing to a paralyzed man on the Sabbath and was questioned and persecuted for doing so.

Pope Francis has warned against what he is calling "spiritual sloth."
Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images

The Pontiff discussed the spiritual sickness of the Pharisees who criticized Jesus for healing on the Sabbath, and said that many Christians today suffer from the same bitterness. “I think of many Christians, of many Catholics," the Holy Father reflected, “yes, they are Catholics, but without enthusiasm, even embittered.” The Pope warned against the prevalent attitude of many who say “I go to Mass every Sunday, but better not get mixed up in things – I have faith for my health, I do not feel the need to give it to another...’” Francis further explained that this kind of an attitude is exactly the spiritual sloth that Christians need to avoid, saying that people who embrace this mentality fail to live out the light of Christ in their lives. “They do not bother to go out to proclaim the Gospel! They are anesthetized,” the Pope preached, saying that those who suffer from spiritual sloth are very often sad because “they are people without light – real downers, and this is a disease of us Christians.”

The Pontiff again warned of those who call themselves Christian but "are not useful," and who, rather than promoting the Gospel are "out for themselves."

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