Thursday, February 19, 2009
A new book I am reading...Acedia & Me: A Marriage, Monks, and a Writer's Life
I just got the new Kathleen Norris book, Acedia & Me: A Marriage, Monks, and a Writer's Life and love it. Before this book of hers, I read Cloister Walk which I also like. I love books that make you think about life and spirituality and contemplation and quietness and prayer.
In this new book, Kathleen talks about Acedia, a term monks have used to describe a state of apathy and depression. She writes in a narrative style that interweaves her own experience of the spiritual life as well as and that of others’ reflections and thoughts on faith.
One thing that stands out is the idea of boredom and how we abhor the term. I know I have told my children you should not be bored or I will find something for you to do. But, actually, boredom is not in and of itself a bad thing, Norris points out. Boredom is a type of stillness and it takes stillness at times to draw closer to God. In our ever hectic chaotic lives, we want to fill every moment with something to do and somewhere to go and to be entertained, but that leaves little room for contemplation and prayer. Precisely, the point Norris is making. Wow, in our modern world of being plugged in 24/7, this hits home. We have tried to make it a practice to not use our computers on Sundays. To call the 7th day a day of rest in practice in our family. I have to work at it. To not go to the computer. But, how can I tell me children not to plug in on Sundays if I do not have the discipline to stay away as well.