St. Thomas calls the cardinal sin sloth “a sadness arising from the fact that the good is difficult.” Sloth paradoxically affirms a person’s belief that a choice is good simultaneously as it underlies his or her resistance to making the choice.
It’s “chastity is good, but…”
“Prudence is good, but…”
It’s believing in the existence of the merit of a choice, but not making it because making it would require you to transcend an urge, for instance, or to defeat a fear.
Maybe we believe chastity is good, but we think we can’t not go with significant others where chastity says we shouldn’t (physically, emotionally) — that if we don’t, we won’t know enough about him or her, or grow enough together.
We believe prudence is good, but we think we can’t not immediately be more than friends with a person as soon as we are aware of attraction — that if we don’t, we might never get to, that we’ll have squandered the shot at ever being more than his or her friend.
As if the God who invites us to virtue isn’t involved.
As if it’s outside the realm of providential possibility for our chastity to authenticate our love, or for our prudence to provide us with space to become who we need to be for a relationship with somebody to work, or with time to learn enough about him or her to discern whether dating is smart.
“Virtue is good, but…” is a distraction.
It’s a lie that, once believed, pulls us off the path that makes Christlike love possible. Today, let’s tell ourselves the truth.
Virtue is good.