Social Distancing and Acedia

For those of us who are now under the advisory to quarantine or isolate or practice social distancing, we are now finding ourselves in entirely novel territory. Where once we thought nothing of bouncing around from place to place and store to store we are now to practice some discipline about our comings and goings. For many of us this may create a torpor or laziness which often, unbeknownst to us, comes out as an agitation or restlessness. That agitated boredom we feel which results in us doing lots but accomplishing nothing is what the fathers knew to be Acedia. Those interested can read more here: Adam, Eve, and Acedia: Despondency and Me

Today let us be encouraged to continue our struggle and fight against the urges of acedia to ‘run away’ or ‘change scenery’. Let us use this adverse circumstance to strengthen the fight against this deadly passion,

“The time of tempta­tion is not the time to leave one’s cell, devising plausible pretexts. Rather, stand there firmly and be patient. Bravely take all that the demon brings upon you, but above all face up to the demon of acedia.” Evagrius, Praktikos 28

 

“When the spirit of acedia rises up against you, do not leave the house and do not shirk the battle.” Evagrius, To the Monks 55.

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