From Alexander Schmemann's "Great Lent", straight to the depths of my soul:
"The basic disease is sloth. It is that strange laziness and passivity of our entire being which always pushes us "down" rather than "up" - which constantly convinces us that no change is possible and therefore desirable. It is in fact a deeply rooted cynicism which to every spiritual challenge responds "what for?" and makes our life one tremendous spiritual waste. It is the root of all sin becuase it poisons the spiritual energy at its very source."
The first step to healing is proper diagnosis. I see myself clearly in this little paragraph, and as I went on reading this morning, the next few paragraphs were even more startling. I am far more sick than I thought, spiritually speaking, but then deep down I knew that. The next word that comes up is "faint-heartedness". And oh, my, yes I am. This pregnancy has brought that straight to the top. One of the gifts of this pregnancy is that I am finding it impossible to look aside from my fears and weaknesses, they are right at the top, all the time. Lent is here, at the perfect time to tend to me, thank the Good Lord. The medicine today is simple, the prayer of St. Ephrem the Syrian:
O Lord and Master of my life!
Take from me the spirit of sloth,
faint-heartedness, lust of power and idle talk.
But give rather the spirit of chastity,
humility, patience, and love to Thy servant.
Yea, O Lord and King!
Grant me to see my own errors
and not to judge my brother;
For Thou art blessed unto ages of ages. Amen.