This is a continuation of the 73 Steps to Spiritual Communion with God. The previous posts are below and in the archives to the right. This is the 38th step:
(38) Not to be slothful (cf Rom 12:11).
The scripture passage that St. Benedict quotes from St. Paul's Letter to the Romans. I expected it to be the passage "if a man doesn't work, he shouldn't eat," but its not that. The passage he quotes is "Never flag in zeal, be aglow with the Spirit, serve the Lord."
Again, like in all previous counsels the motivation to not be slothful is to be animated by God's Holy Spirit. How do we receive this Spirit, by serving the Lord (I like to think of this as "working for the Lord").
Just as one might take a job with a certain company and enjoy certain benefits that the company offers, so too for the person who "works" for the Lord. The chief benefit that God provides to those who serve Him is that He gives them the power to fulfill the job. He also fills His workers with the desire and zeal to do the work.
Being lazy, or slothful is a sign that we have turned in on ourselves again; that we are "serving" ourselves and our own desires. So it is easy to see how this would stop us from being in communion with God.
What then of all the lazy Christians? Remember Benedict wrote these counsels for monks, men who had left everything to follow Christ in the life of the Monastery. But as Jesus prophesied the the "love of many will grow cold," so too in religious life, people can lose sight of the great need that they have for God and start slacking off in prayer.
Which brings us to the greatest danger of being slothful--neglecting prayer. Communicating with God is essential if we are to live--we must never give up prayer.