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Acedia


“We all make leaps of faith. We put our life on the line. We make decisions and choose direction in our lives. We choose to go to school. We choose to live a holy life. We may have chosen again to return to church, or have become a convert. We choose to get married. We choose to become a priest or a religious. All these life decisions are choices of faith. They are life changing and life directing. The first year or two or three are great. They are exciting, rewarding, give us purpose and direction. They form us. They challenge us. They keep us focused. And then slowly and even sometimes imperceptibly we start to become bored, loose this sense of purpose and direction, want more excitement…The spiritual fathers called this the noon day demon.” (Father John Zeyack)

“The noonday devil is the demon of acedia, the vice also known as sloth. The word “sloth”, however, can be misleading, for acedia is not laziness; in fact it can manifest as busyness or activism. Rather, acedia is a gloomy combination of weariness, sadness, and a lack of purposefulness. It robs a person of his capacity for joy and leaves him feeling empty, or void of meaning.” (Dom Jean-Charles Nault)

"In this hyped-up world, broadcast and Internet news media have emerged as acedia's perfect vehicles, demanding that we care, all at once, about a suicide bombing, a celebrity divorce and the latest advance in nanotechnology…But the ceaseless bombardment…makes us impervious to caring." (Kathleen Norris)

Accidie (also spelled acedia) is often translated as sloth…it is a kind of restlessness, boredom, and sense of discouragement in the spiritual life…The demon of acedia – also called the noonday demon is the one that causes the most trouble of all... Accidie is the doubt that creeps in about our call in life. It is a form of deep anxiety that paralyzes us. Often we think, “I could be more holy if only my life weren’t filled with distractions.” This tempting thought of waiting until life has all the right circumstances is an example of acedia. The only cure for acedia is to stay with one’s practice; to return again and again to prayer.” (Evagrius, Christine Valters, Paintner)

"The boundaries between depression and acedia are notoriously fluid; at the risk of oversimplifying…I would suggest that while depression is an illness treatable by counseling and medication, acedia is a vice that is best countered by spiritual practice and the discipline of prayer." (Kathleen Norris)

#FatherJohnZeyack #DomJeanCharlesNault #KathleenNorris #ChristineValtersPaintner #StEvagrius

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