When people think of sloth, modern society often only thinks of the term as meaning laziness and procrastination. But over a long period of time, sloth had actually gained a more complicated meaning to its original definition. Sloth was meant to be the illness of the demon in the early Christian monasticism; so, Evagrius of Pontus, a Christian monk and ascetic (ca. 345-399), described sloth as “the most troublesome of all” of the eight of demonic thought. The sin of sloth is a kind of sadness sin, which is generated by the frustration of wishes (Crislip 1). He could not accept this feeling of sadness that could not be explained logically and intellectually (Azzone 19). This concept has come down from over a few centuries.
Sloth is the worst sin because it hurts oneself. From a psychological point of view, sloth is a major depression that has presents symptoms of a highly prevalent, disabling, and lethal psychiatric condition (Azzone 16). Ultimately, it can lead to suicide. Daisy Waugh, in her essay Sunday Times, defined the malice of sloth that lies not merely in the neglect of duty but in the refusal of joy (Mcinerny 43).
Azzone, Paolo. "Sin Of Sadness: Acedia Vel Tristitia Between Sociocultural Conditionings And Psychological Dynamics Of Negative Emotions." Journal Of Psychology & Christianity 31.1 (2012): 16-30. Academic Search Premier. Web. 6 Oct. 2014.
Crislip, Andrew. "The Sin Of Sloth Or The Illness Of The Demons? The Demon Of Acedia In Early Christian Monasticism." Harvard Theological Review 98.2 (2005): 143-169. Academic Search Premier. Web. 6 Oct. 2014.
McInerny, Daniel. "Sloth: The Besetting Sin Of The Age?." Logos: A Journal Of Catholic Thought & Culture 12.1 (2009): 38-61.Academic Search Premier. Web. 6 Oct. 2014.