Faithful Not Successful

4 tips for fighting back against acedia

Acedia: It’s one of those obscure theological ideas, plucked from the annals of the Desert Fathers, that seems wholly inapplicable to our modern lives. In fact, though, it’s a near-constant spiritual battle that is uniquely pertinent to the days we are living through … even if you don’t happen to be a third-century hermit.

Image: Woman holding her face in one hand with bored expression, face bathed in bluish light, surrounded by dark background

The Catechism (2733) defines acedia (often translated roughly as “sloth”) as “a form of depression due to lax ascetical practice, decreasing vigilance, carelessness of heart.” Inwardly, we begin to neglect spiritual good for its own sake—acedia dulls our senses to the joy of God’s gifts and causes us to turn away from the good. Outwardly, that neglect of the good leads to active sin: sloth, restlessness, a short temper.

If that doesn’t sound like life in quarantine, I don’t know what does. (No? Just me?) 

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