Fill in the blank: Time is _________.
I expect most Americans would automatically answer, "Time is money." But Jesus and subsequent Christian tradition fill in the blank differently.
In Dante’s Purgatorio, those who are being purged of their sloth exhort one another with: “Faster! Faster! We have no time to waste, for time is love. Try to do good, that grace may bloom again." Purgatorio, Canto XVIII, 103 – 105
To waste time is to waste the opportunity to love. That, in brief, is the sin of sloth.
Jesus said, “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." John 13:34-35
Isaac of Nineveh (7th c.):
“The fruit of living in love is life from God, and one who lives in love smells the air of resurrection, while still in this world. Love is the kingdom. The Lord gave his apostles the mysterious promise that they would eat of it in his kingdom. For it is said: ‘That you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom’ (Luke22:30) And what can this mean, if not love? This is the ‘wine’ that makes ‘glad the heart of man’ (Psalm 53:15) blessed is the one who drinks that wine!”
A prayer of St. Bridget of Vadstena, Sweden (1303-1373):
Kindle in my heart
the fire of your love
so that all therein
which is against
your will is swept
away as ashes in
the blowing wind