It is an acedia day with me.
It is the kind of day on which I cannot separate the good from flawed human efforts. The sort of day in which hypocrisies stand startlingly bare. I find it almost impossible, through my own efforts, to attribute benign motives to anyone. The range of human behavior, stripped of grace, stands forth in all its pettiness.
"Stripped of grace," I think, is key. We are dependent on God's grace to be able to see the world in its full array of glory. When we withdraw ourselves from the grace, or, for a period, we feel that that grace is withdrawn from us, how contemptible life becomes.
And without a doubt there are people who behave contemptibly. But when even innocent things become appalling to me -- Good grief, can that pregnancy announcement be one bit cheesier? -- I have to pull back and examine myself, not the world around me. When I can't view the world with charity anymore, the problem is not with the rest of creation, in which God has put so much good, but with my soul.
I think that it is a mercy that God only reveals to me the state of my own soul, and then imperfectly, as through a glass. Because of that, it's imperative that I treat others with the same mercy I hope to have extended to me. When I feel the grip of acedia, there's nothing wrong with retreating for a while, and acknowledging that the world is the Lord's. I change nothing by my words or actions, and acting under my own steam, I may do more damage than good. St. Therese said, "O blessed silence, which gives so much peace to the soul!"
Lord, give me the gift of silence, when I can find no other gift.
Two Poem Drafts
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