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
and the five principal remedies:
- general discouragement
- prayer and work
- the antirrhêtic method, or contradicting temptation as Christ did in the desert
- meditation on death, and
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.