Fr. Paul D. Scalia: Blessed Are the Woke of Heart

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*Image: You Could Not Watch One Hour with Me (Vous n’avez pu veiller une heure avec moi) by James Tissot, c. 1890 [Brooklyn Museum]

Fr. Paul D. Scalia, The Catholic Thing, Nov. 28, 2021

Fr. Paul Scalia is a priest of the Diocese of Arlington, VA, where he serves as Episcopal Vicar for Clergy and Pastor of Saint James in Falls Church. He is the author of That Nothing May Be Lost: Reflections on Catholic Doctrine and Devotion and the editor of Sermons in Times of Crisis: Twelve Homilies to Stir Your Soul.


Fr. Paul D. ScaliaDrowsiness can be a dangerous thing. At work it can lead to a deadly typo, an ill-advised email, or a calculation error. It can also put us in physical danger. Hence the rumble strips on the side of the highway and the warning label on medicines: May cause drowsiness and dizziness; do not operate heavy machinery while taking this medication.

That’s just physical drowsiness. Today our Lord speaks of a different, more dangerous drowsiness, that of the heart: Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life. In Scripture, the heart indicates more than just an organ or the place of emotions. It describes the innermost dimension of the person, where thoughts, choices, and – most of all – love reside. This drowsiness, then, is a lethargy of the intellect and will, of the capacity to love. Its dangers resemble those of physical tiredness but are far more deadly. It ultimately brings the danger of becoming a spiritual zombie: walking around and functioning, but really being dead inside. …

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