Procrastination

Saint Augustine of Hippo from a 19th-century engraving

Saint Augustine of Hippo from a 19th-century engraving

“I was sure that it was better for me to give myself up to your love than to give in to my own desires. However, although the one way appealed to me and was gaining mastery, the other still afforded me pleasure and kept me victim. I had no answer to give to you when you said to me, ‘Rise, you who sleep, and arise from the dead, and Christ will enlighten you.’ When on all sides you showed me that your words were true, and I was overcome by your truth, I had no answer whatsoever to make, but only those slow and drowsy words, ‘Right away. Yes, right away.’ ‘Let me be for a little while.’ But ‘Right away—right away’ was never right now, and ‘Let me be for a little while’ stretched out for a long time.” – (St. Augustine, Confessions.)

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Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins – (Matthew 25: 1-13) 1

tenvirg2“Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3 Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, 4 but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5 But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.

6 “And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming;[a] go out to meet him!’ 7 Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 9 But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ 10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut.

11 “Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ 12 But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’

13 “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.”

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To procrastinate over repentance, amending our lives and turning to God is playing with fire. In our short time on Earth, each day we have been blessed with is a gift. We have Free Will and can choose how to use this gift. St Augustine of Hippo knew how hard it can be to leave behind a sinful life of self-indulgence and sexual immorality. But through prayer and willpower he found the grace to straighten out his life and embrace the Faith. Once made, he never looked back. His conversion brought him immense peace of heart and great joy, leading him on to become one of the Church’s greatest saints. Now, with loving care, he advises us:

“God has promised forgiveness to your repentance, but He has not promised tomorrow to your procrastination.”  

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