Monday, May 25, 2009

acedia

i just discovered a new word, or at least was reminded of a word i once knew and forgot: acediaacedia is sometimes more commonly referred to as sloth, or laziness, particularly as it applies to apathy and inactivity in the practice and pursuit of virtue. it has also been referred to as ennui or boredom. as one of the latin seven deadly sins, mediaeval theologians identified it as particularly dangerous, and we can see today that as a psychological and spiritual condition it is epidemic. it manifests itself in a broad and complex range of psychological, emotional and somatic conditions and behaviours. aquinas acquaints it with "the sorrow of the world". it is a weight. it is the opposite of joy.

why do i bring this up? because i struggle with it. as an artist and as someone seeking the kingdom. more than i'd care to admit. various monastic orders consider it demonic. whether you name it apathy, indifference, [spiritual or mental] sloth, accidie or boredom, it results in a spiritual paralysis of the powers of the soul. there is an absolute indifference to prayer and fasting and, in general, an inertia about the keeping of the commandments of the gospel. since man is a psychophysical being, spiritual slothfulness is reflected in the body too. it is a psychophysical paralysis. and i am too often paralyzed.

let me share with you this: i am easily distracted, whether by work, ideas, entertainment, or worse. 

there are many things i need to do - things i must do. i need to be more disciplined. i need to (re)focus. i need to remember the dream. i need to wake up the feelings i've forgotten. i need to act. 

i suppose this is where community comes in. life happens and it can be wearing. we need the encouragement and challenge of others. the sharing of hopes and dreams. and fears. the shared resources and wisdom of friends and family. i am thankful for the communities i belong to. i cherish them. i need them.

(this should have been posted months ago)

5 comments:

Jack said...

"I must be..." is always dangerous. You are. Trying to "be" someone else is foolishness. (Trying to "be yourself" is, of course, even worse. I think selfishness is the root of that "inertia.")

Garry said...

thanks for posting this...
your fellow occasionally spiritally paralyzed acedia addict,
g

hvt said...

O Lord, Your peace is guarding my heart, yet there is laziness in my mind. Please show me the way of escape from the sloth that is ever threatening. Oh, show me how to battle this enemy that is seeking to dismay me in my walk with You. “Rise up, O my soul, in the name of Jesus! Stand bravely upon His promises! Wait…and watch patiently for your Redeemer! He will not disappoint you!”
Bless me, Lord, with Your blessings of life and renewal. Restore unto me what the canker-worm has eaten. Find joy and refreshing in the territory of my being, O Lord. Be honored, and exalted, and glorified in me.
“Rise up, O my soul, in the name of Jesus! Possess the land His death has purchased for you! Joy, and victory, and honor await all who will believe His Word, and dare to walk therein! Bring honor to your King in your believing! Trust Him implicitly! Take hold of the horns of His promises!”

techne said...

thanks hvt but it's really not as dramatic as all that...

hvt said...

:-) Wasn't meant to be dramatic.