Friday, August 21, 2009

Prayer for the Evening: Dialogue "The Sluggard In His Bed"

Depression is a coarse blanket...it hides a multitude of sins. And by hides I mean it is thick and full of shit, because it is not depression at all, but sin that I am wrapped in! The Deceptive Diagnosis: When Sin Is Called Sickness. In this case, at least, I would agree with the authors.

As long as I kept silent, my bones wasted away; I groaned all the day.
For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength withered as in dry summer heat.
Then I declared my sin to you; my guilt I did not hide.

I said, "I confess my faults to the LORD," and you took away the guilt of my sin.

But this sin, so vile and deadly, you keep me to wrestle with...you do not take it from me, for I will not hand it over. For only in putting in is one able to take out. Oh Lord! Save me from this sloth! I cry from the water. But I will not swim; I will not move my arms lest I exert myself.

The sluggard loses his hand in the dish; he is too weary to lift it to his mouth.

My studio is a room and a bed. Like an adulterous woman, it is always there to tempt me. "A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the arms to rest." I go to lie with no woman but with myself and my leisure. I have no TV, no entertainment...why not sleep? I have made it my recreation, and it has taken on a life of its own, given birth to sin, and to sin death.

The door turns on its hinges, the sluggard, on his bed!

Weariness is a constant companion, but it is one I have let fester. Lord, let us cut to the chase. I am a slothful man, and I am bound towards poverty and death. I hardly eat any more because cooking is too much effort. I waste away in my sin. My muscles are flabby, my will is weak. Everything is effort, and so strong the aversion to it.

Laziness plunges a man into deep sleep, and the sluggard must go hungry.

I have been blind until now in my sin, but I see it for what it is and lay it before you. I am full of sloth. I am like a building overtaken by a vine, the life and light choked out by sin which has taken full root and has not been cut back.

I passed by the field of the sluggard, by the vineyard of the man without sense;
And behold! it was all overgrown with thistles;
its surface was covered with nettles, and its stone wall broken down.
And as I gazed at it, I reflected; I saw and learned the lesson:
A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the arms to rest--
Then will poverty come upon you like a highwayman, and want like an armed man.


Lord, as in all things, I need your grace. If it be your will, take this sin, this sloth, from me. If it be from your hand that I am to wrestle with it, give me the strength to endure. I will go to you in Confession tomorrow, since my sin is mortal, and has broken me from your grace, and dealt me death instead. I am lost without you, and have put comfort and easy living before you. Please give me the motivation to work hard, or, at least, not to avoid hard work, and my prayers, and those things that are pleasing to you. Do not let me hide behind my illness to cover my sin. Help me to tell the difference between depression and sloth. Help me work back into spiritual health, for I am not well. I have let the vines of sin and laziness grow for too long. You have said that those who do what you say are your friends, and I am not worthy to be called your friend. I praise you Father for revealing my sin, and bringing to light that which has filled me with darkness, so that I may confess it to you, and hide behind it no longer. Bring me back to life. Amen.

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