Make every effort and be hard working, so when your enemy attacks you, he will find you busy away from him, not finding room for him in your heart. Being idle is fatal venom; it is the moth for virtue, and the mother of all heresies and the evil fantasies.
It is the virus of all evil and sin, which brings temptations and causes the vile thoughts. Laziness eliminates the strength of the soul and causes restlessness and rejection from the spiritual deeds, and it weakens the fervent worship, which results usually from putting off the fervent of the spirit and the earthly deeds, and forgetfulness of the beneficence of heaven.
Be alert and prevent all what causes restlessness and idleness in your soul, lest it weakens your strength and departs from worship. Put your matters in orders always, according to wisdom. Do not leave what you started, and look always to Jesus to grant you strength in your work and in your purpose. Put before your eyes the glory of heaven awaiting you.
Cure your laziness by chanting, praying and contemplating in the good of heaven and the struggle of the saints. Be aware of leaving your work, and be sure that our enemy comes sometime in the illusion of good, and reminds us with the good works we are supposed to do, or thoughts to leave our works! The stagnant water spoils because it is not moving, like iron if neglected, rusts.
So is the case when one does not move, one dies, and if one does not put his mind to work, troubles and doubts dwell in it, and becomes like a deserted castle where “wild beasts of the desert will lie there, and … will be full of owls; ostriches will dwell there, and wild goats will caper there … also … the raven shall dwell in it, and the hyenas will howl in their citadels, and jackals in their pleasant palaces” (Isaiah 13:2, 221; 34:11).
If temptations multiply and evil replenish, do not refer that to your idleness or laziness, but protect the door of your soul, and do not leave it open so evil thoughts will not enter in it.
Let your mind always be occupied by the heavenly, thinking of the spiritual. You have to rest from work, but do not over do it so your mind gets empty and void of everything, thus, fly in your fantasy and become involved in your desires, and build palaces on the sand. Control your thoughts and limit it in God.
Train yourself to contemplate in virtue, and work for all the likes.Archdeacon Habib Guirugis
This was part of a lesson given to St Barbara & St Noufer Coptic Orthodox Church Sunday School Yr 10-12 on 15/08/2010.