“Acedia, it seems, is my companion in good times and bad. No matter what happens in my life, or how I am feeling, it is my primary temptation. The desert monks would recognize in my annual Advent blahs a textbook case of the struggle with acedia, when prayer seems not only a useless activity but also an impediment to freedom. This is truth as the devil tells it, using the lure of being free to be myself to enslave me in a sterile narcissism. For acedia is not merely a personal vice. Left unchecked, it can unravel the great commandment: as I cease to practice my love of God, I am also less likely to observe a proper love of my neighbor or myself.”
Kathleen Norris

From her wonderful book called Acedia & Me I’ve collected a few other quotes that I thought memorable and put them together in a post I’ve entitled “Sloth.”


I am in the process of reading the same book at the moment and I find it engaging and compelling.

If you go to the family life forum I have a short quote from her (Kathleen Norris) on repentance and reading the psalms.


I too have read her books with gratitude

the best advice I ever received on sloth-acedia was a spiritual director who told me to see my doctor to rule out clinical depression. did not really have that as it turned out but was reacting badly to some medications, which were changed to very good effect spiritually and every other way

You remind me of a story about my mother-in-law. She was showing all the signs of clinical depression, was in and out of the hospital, many doctor’s appointments, feeling down, crying all the time etc. Then one day the furnace repairman was at her house and noticed her gas fireplace was completely out of adjustment, and was filling the house with unsafe levels of carbon monoxide.

I kid you not.

He adjusted the fireplace properly and the symptoms disappeared.

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