Thought for the Week, April 2 2021

Father Tony Wood.
Father Tony Wood, St Kieran's RC Church.

Want to read more?

At the start of the pandemic in March we took the decision to make online access to our news free of charge by taking down our paywall. At a time where accurate information about Covid-19 was vital to our community, this was the right decision – even though it meant a drop in our income. In order to help safeguard the future of our journalism, the time has now come to reinstate our paywall.

However, rest assured that access to all Covid related news will still remain free.

To access all other news will require a subscription, as it did pre-pandemic.

The good news is that for the whole of December we will be running a special discounted offer to get 3 months access for the price of one month. Thank you for supporting us during this incredibly challenging time.

 

We value our content and access to our full site is only available on subscription. Your subscription entitles you to 7-day-a-week access to our website, plus a full digital copy of that week’s paper to read on your pc/mac or mobile device In addition your subscription includes access to digital archive copies from 2006 onwards.

Already a subscriber?

 

Subscribe Now

I discovered an article on acedia recently and I was intrigued by the concept – the more I read, the more I recognised the reality of this ancient wisdom, recorded by fourth century monk Evagrius the Solitary.

Acedia is described as listlessness, torpor or not caring about things. It is not depression; it is more subtle and has spiritual overtones – I would say it is most profoundly a spiritual phenomenon.

Looking into it, I clearly identified aspects of it in myself today! It appears to be the most ‘underdiagnosed’ and unacknowledged spiritual illness of this age.

I found that Pope Francis also came across it. Commenting in the context of healing the paralytic by the pool, he said the ‘first illness’ is the one afflicting the paralysed man. He had ‘resigned himself to it,’ the Pope said, ‘perhaps saying to himself: “Life is unfair, others are more fortunate than I am”. There is a plaintive tone in this way of speaking … there is resignation but there is also bitterness.’

He added that it is an attitude reminiscent of ‘many [Christians] who lack enthusiasm and who are bitter’, who repeatedly say to themselves: ‘I go to [church] every Sunday but it is better not to become involved! I believe for my own sake, but I don’t feel the need to give it to others: each one peacefully at his own home.’

These people, the Pope added, also take the attitude that ‘if you do something well in life, they’ll reprove you: so, it’s better not to take the risk’.

Good Friday, Easter Sunday – excellent days to take the risk and resolve to do something well in life, to set sensible goals to be better than I am now. But really, any day is a good day to do that.

Father Tony Wood, St Kieran’s RC Church.