February 8, 2008


In the Book of Revelation we read: "'To the angel of the church in Laodicea, write this: " 'The Amen, the faithful and true witness, the source of God's creation, says this: 'I know your works; I know that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either cold or hot. So, because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth'" (NAB, 3:15-16).
1. Warm is one, once started, who perseveres with fervor in the service of God. Cold is one who never had any fervor or never started in the service of God. Lukewarm is one who, at one time, received gifts and graces from God, and then out of negligence became lax in his devotion and went backward, or started in an imperfect way to serve God, and never changed to a noticeable fervor.

2. The lukewarm person is like water which is barely warm though once exposed to cold it becomes as icy as it seemed to be when it was far away from the cold.

3. Lukewarmness is a heresy which has spread all over the world. It’s not persecuted by inquisitors but is embraced by the Devil.

4. Lukewarmness is a poisonous fruit of self love, destruction of holy customs, foundation of vices, ruin of the world, open door to hell, closed door to heaven, mother of defects.

5. It is no less scandalous for the lukewarm person to speak of the highest perfection than of a heresy.

6. Lukewarmness is a blindness of the mind, because the lukewarm person is always distracted and deprived of interior reflection.

7. Lukewarmness is found more where it should not be; that is, in those who should be true and fervent servants of God.

8. Lukewarm is the one who, with confidence and certainty, rests in the midst of danger and is not afraid to fall where there is a very obvious precipice.

9. A sign of lukewarmness is like having skin of leather, difficult to understand and penetrate to the bone marrow.

You have not yet seen, a lukewarm person who knows what mystical theology is, except very superficially at the exterior. Although he may possess philosophical and legal theology and might debate with arrogance about many things, he lacks experience of knowing Christ and true virtues.

11. The lukewarm one is the ruin of the fervent, cheater of the virtuous, and the welcomer of good comrades. In short, the army of the lukewarm is under the banner of the infernal Devil.

12. In his confusion, the lukewarm one boasts about the crowns of his predecessors. As successor to the death of just ones, he decorates their tombs and he boasts to be their disciple while unworthily enjoying their goods. And doing so, he perpetuates the beliefs of the Scribes and Pharisees who were admonished for this by Christ.

13. For appearances the lukewarm one seems to care for divine worship, but only for the external ceremonies and done routinely.

14. The lukewarm person seems to have zeal for the honor of God, yet it is more than true, that when he sees a truly virtuous person he starts to deride him.

15. The lukewarm one says, “I would endure anything for Christ, provided I would know that I am pleasing to Him.” He does not realize that whatever happens is all His providence.
15. The lukewarm one says, I would endure anything for Christ, provided I know that I am pleasing to Him. He does not realize that whatever happens is all God’s providence.

16. The lukewarm one says, I would endure death for Christ, yet he does not want to suffer a minimal derision, and if somebody should say a wrong word to him, he gets irritated. How then will he endure grave things if he is so irritated by a minor one?

17. We read in Daniel the prophet that iniquity is carried on by the oldest and by those who governed the people. We can say the same of lukewarmness.

18. The lukewarm one delights in games, fables, novels, and vanity. If you should see such a person, run away from him.

19. The mother of lukewarmness is ingratitude toward divine favors. Its companion is sensuality, curiosity, and distraction. The nurse is confidence in divine bounty, through his good deeds with the conviction that this is enough to avoid grave sins, as if lukewarmness was not a grave sin. Its dearest daughter is lady hypocrisy that is covered with the appearance of truth but interiorly is putrid.

20. If you are not quick in getting rid of lukewarmness, you will find it very difficult to return to the first fervor. Lukewarmness, more than all spiritual illnesses, is very far from healing.

21. If you cannot retrieve the lost fervor right away, do not be discouraged. Although the sanctity of the lukewarm one is impossible for man, it is not difficult for God.

22. The fear of God, when it becomes binding and the diffidence for oneself excludes lukewarmness, but the best remedy is to avoid conversation with the lukewarm and converse with the fervent instead.

23. If you want to start to avoid lukewarmness, use the hammer of fear against blind confidence [in yourself]. If you want to see progress in removing it, desire virtue in itself without any consideration for reward, but if you want to kill it completely, desire all insults and evils for the love of Christ.

24. The one who, day by day, does not deliberately try to improve radically should know that he will fall into lukewarmness. He should make a stronger resolution to change.

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