'...As the body is developed by exercise and is strengthened by fatigue, whilst it is rendered effeminate by inaction and loses its vigor in a state of immobility, so in like manner the soul is enervated by idleness, loses its energy, and languishes in a state of inaction. When in this sad condition, the heart is dried up, the imagination wanders, the mind goes astray by occupying itself with useless thoughts. We look upon as a happiness all the means of which we can make use for getting rid of time of which we do not know what to do, and in consequence we take our weary idleness into dangerous society, and indulge in foolish conversations, which are sometimes free and devoid of decency. We use and absorb our faculties in vain curiosity, in frivolous reading, in reveries, and henceforward there is no counting upon virtue. We are accessible to all kinds of temptations, impressionable to all kinds of vices. The demons, who know this well, seize upon these wretched moments, and come in crowds to tempt the soul. There are the demons of pride and self-love, the demons of impurity and sensuality, the demons of cupidity and the love of riches, who all join together in making the assault, and we succumb. It was this which made Cassian say that for one demon who tempts the man that works there are a thousand who besiege an idle man (Cassian, Lit. Book 10,100:19). In presence of these facts, who is there that will not understand the obligation laid upon us of spending time well and never giving up the smallest portion of it to idleness? What reproaches have we not to address to ourselves on this subject! What moments have we not lost in idleness! Let us regret this sorrowful past of ours and let us resolve to make a better use of time in the future.'
Read the whole meditation here.