Sunday, 1 November 2015


I mentioned the other day (here) that I have started reading Abbot Jamison's Finding Happiness. Yesterday, I read the chapter on Acedia, and it really hit home. Fr Jamison mentions that the Eight Thoughts of Cassian and the Desert Fathers were reduced to Seven Deadly Sins: and that it was Acedia that was dropped from the list.

That is a great shame: Acedia,  according to Fr Jamison, is spiritual carelessness, and is an evil to which we should pay especial attention in our time, as it is so prevalent that we risk not seeing it at all.

And then he writes: 'Gossip and idle curiosity are top of the list of things to avoid: these activities waste our time, distracting us from more generous or thoughtful conversation or reading. Celebrity news magazines would be a good example of this; they do no apparent external harm but are a complete waste of internal time and space. So cut out reading rubbish and allow reading time to become spiritual reading.'

My version of 'Celebrity news magazines', is probably 'idle internet browsing.' 

I had a somewhat restless night (post hoc, but not, I think, propter hoc), and by the morning had composed this limerick:
I pointlessly browsed Wikipedia And self-diagnosed: "It’s Acedia! I spend nights and days Online, in a haze, Especially on social media."
So I will be attempting to exercise vigilance in my use of social media: not eschewing them altogether - I think Twitterangelus a good thing, and I learn a lot from, for example, Fr Hunwicke. I even think my blogging may serve some good ends. But I will try to refrain from 'gossip and idle curiosity.'

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