My friend Susan Cushman posted that she has had a visit from her old friend “Acedia”. I had to do a little research on the word Acedia. I was familiar with the word, but not its exact meaning. I though it might be some sort of skin rash. (My attempt at humor) But not so. Acedia … “describes a state of listlessness or torpor [inactivity], of not caring or not being concerned with one’s position or condition in the world. It can lead to a state of being unable to perform one’s duties in life. Its spiritual overtones make it related to but distinct from depression. Acedia was originally noted as a problem among monks and other ascetics who maintained a solitary life.” (Wikipedia).
Such an interesting state of being. I suppose we all have a visit from that state of being from time to time. And it’s not always a bad thing. in the West, we tend to think that we need to constantly be on the move, we are human doings instead of human beings. But perhaps Acedia is God’s way of slowing us down, of forcing us to meditate on the moment. This has given me some sermon material – this Sunday the Gospel is about the Kyphotic woman, and her healing. She had become a spiritual “pretzel”. I’m thinking that’s what aceticism can do to one – bend us in ways we don’t think we can go, but we do. Susan had lots more to say on this matter. Check out her other blog posts above.