Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The Noonday Devil: Acedia, the Unnamed Evil of our Times

I thought I was going to write about Acedia, but instead I got pregnant. So, take and read yourself! I'm giving away two copies of The Noonday Devil: Acedia, the Unnamed Evil of our Time.



I discussed this book in this post:

I know the signs and effects of acedia -- it's a subject I've written about a slew of times since 2007 -- but this was a more in-depth analysis than I'd read before. And it was good to be reminded of the five principal manifestations of acedia:
  • a certain interior instability
  • an exaggerated concern for one's health
  • aversion to manual work
  • neglect in observing the rule
  • general discouragement
and the five principal remedies:
  • tears
  • prayer and work
  • the antirrhĂȘtic method, or contradicting temptation as Christ did in the desert
  • meditation on death, and 
  • perseverance
I may have checked off very few boxes on the depression and anxiety inventories, butmy funk in June is almost exactly described by the five indications above. There was a serious spiritual component, attack-level, if you will, to my weakness, such that I felt that I couldn't even ask for people's prayers because I didn't feel free to do so. And oddly enough, although The Noonday Devil has a chapter on acedia in the different states of life, few bits of the marriage section resonated at all with me, but the section on acedia in the monastic life was relevant in almost every particular. Perhaps as is fitting for a Benedictine abbot, Dom Nault writes about issues in marriage in a general vocational way (fidelity, sexual integrity, openness to life), but he writes about the challenges of the monastic life from a very day-to-day`operational perspective. My home is my cloister, and my temptations are those of the monk confined to his monastery, committed to a stable existence, and yet weary of the demands that stability puts on him. 

Leave a comment to enter, and I'll have the kids pull names from the hat on Saturday morning.

16 comments:

M said...

I think I really need to read this, thanks for doing a giveaway!

Rebekka said...

That list cracks me up in a woeful way, because it is just so apt.

suzanne gutierrez said...

This has been my last year entirely-- starting to come out of it, but my poor husband has been taking the brunt....

Unknown said...

I find myself acedia curious...must know more! Jennifer Schmidt

Darren said...

I am very interested in this book.

Anonymous said...

Pretty sure this was me most of this year... Gail Egan

Claire said...

Thanks for the giveaway! This sounds like it would be more helpful to me than the Kathleen Norris book.

Nicole said...

Interested...

Agnes said...

I was alrady interested in this - seems like I have to be on the lookout for this temptation. I don't think I have read anything in detail on the subject.

Kelly said...

Count me in. I was just looking at this book two weeks ago!

Heather said...

I think this is one of my struggles, so I'd really like to read this!

TS said...

Hey, wow, congrats on your pregnancy!

I find in myself definitely an exaggerated concern for my health and I tend to an aversion to all forms of work, not manual in particular.

Christy from fountains of home said...

Thanks for the chance to win, and if I do I will be forced to stop being acedia-filled and finally read this book!

Congrats on expecting! Lucky #7!

Sharon Reiser said...

You have moved me from lurker to commenter! (If I had more time...and a book on the subject...I might ponder whether that relates to acedia.)

Cecilia said...

I recently read this book from the library (which they had to borrow from another library) and would love to own a copy. I'm also a married mom and found the monastic application much more relevant than what he said about marriage, esp. being past childbearing years.

Emily said...

Okay, you've piqued my curiosity greatly. I am also on the lookout for a book that will encourage my brain to wake up and think .I have not read in a few moths, and someone told me to read "Vinegar Girl" by Ann Tyler. I couldn't finish it, and was horrified that this is what we've come to-that we'd call mediocrity like that a "great read". So I am reading Sara Teasdale's love poems instead. They make me cry and I love it when poems make me cry.