ACEDIA: A common malady of the soul manifesting itself in despondency, depression, listlessness, a particular distate for spiritual things, and a distaste for life in general without any specific reason.
THURSDAY OF THE TWENTY–FIFTH WEEK OF THE YEAR II
MEMORIAL OF SAINT LORENZO RUIZ AND COMPANIONS, MARTYRS
Psalm 89:3-4, 5-6, 12-13, 14-17
All Is Vanity
The beginning of the book of Ecclesiastes is dismal and pessimistic. “Vanity of vanities, vanity of vanities! All is vanity” (Eccl 1:2). Qoheleth looks around and sees the same old things interminably recycled. He sounds jaded, bored, and depressed. “All things are full of weariness; a man cannot utter it; the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing” (Eccl 1:8). Qoheleth —his name means “the preacher in the assembly”— is hardly a bearer of good cheer and glad tidings. “The fate of the sons of men,” he says, “and the fate of beasts is the same, as one dies, so dies the other” (Eccl 3:19).
Nothing New Under the Sun
In the monastic life, especially