I have simply don’t understand the person who, by choice, have used the either a television or the internet to be the primary vehicle for spiritual renewal. Just in these weeks of social distancing, I find myself loosing my enthusiasm.
I learned a new word today, “acedia”. It means a state of listlessness, of not caring or not being concerned with one’s position or condition in the world. In ancient Greece akidía literally meant an inert state without pain or care. It is taking a nap in the sunshine instead of personal bible study. It is making the statement of, “once a week is enough to satisfy my soul” or “I go to church on Easter and Christmas” or “I’ll will use the internet as the filler of my soul”. Thomas Aquinas once said of acedia as a “sadness at an interior or spiritual good.”
So how do we avoid acedia? We have thousands of distractions in our lives. Every one would pull us imperceptibly away from what we should be doing. First, simplify your surroundings; activation of your will to turn off some of the things which distract. Second, covenant to persistence; I know what I have to do and I will do it. Third, set time limits; I will work on this task, effort or deed for a set time. Fourth, set task accomplishment steps; you can’t do it all at once, break each down. Lastly, celebrate small victories; take a moment to feel good about getting it done.