an exploration of the arts, faith and whatever else crosses my mind
Monday, May 25, 2009
i just discovered a new word, or at least was reminded of a word i once knew and forgot: acedia. acedia 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.