Acedia Me A Marriage Monks and a Writer's Life MOBI

Acedia Me A Marriage Monks and a Writer's Life [Reading] ➹ Acedia Me A Marriage Monks and a Writer's Life By Kathleen Norris – Thomashillier.co.uk Acedia me a marriage monks and a writer’s life Acedia me a marriage monks and a writer’s life Norris Kathleen Year Publisher New York Riverhead Books Language english File EPUB KB Send to Kindle o Acedia me a marriage monks and a writer’s A Marriage Epub Ü life Acedia me a marriage monks and a writer’s life Norris Kathleen Year Publisher New York Riverhead books Language english File EPUB KB Send to Kindle or Email Please login to your account first; Need help? Please read our short guide how to send a book to Kindle Save for later You may be interested in Powered by RecMe The Cloister Walk Norris Kathleen Acedia Me A Marriage Monks And A Writer's Acedia Me ePUB ½ Life livre Achetez le livre Couverture souple Acedia Me A Marriage Monks and a Writer's Life de Kathleen Norris sur Indigoca la plus grande librairie au Canada L’expdition domicile et la cueillette en magasin sont gratuites pour les commandes admissibles Acedia me eBook by Kathleen Norris Acedia me by Kathleen Norris Share your thoughts Complete your review Tell readers what you thought by rating and reviewing this book Rate it You Rated it Star I hated it Stars I didn't like Me A Marriage PDF/EPUB æ it Stars It was OK Stars I liked it Stars I loved it Please make sure to choose a rating Add a review Reuired Review How to write a great review Do Say what you Download Book Acedia Me A Marriage Monks and a Writer ACEDIA ME A MARRIAGE MONKS AND A WRITER S LIFE HARDBACK book Riverhead books United States Hardback Book Condition New x mm Language English Brand New Book View our feature on Kathleen Norris s Acedia Me Me A Marriage Monks and PDF/EPUB or Kathleen Norris s masterpiece a personal and moving memoir that resurrects the ancient term acedia or soul weariness and brilliantly explores its relevancy Acedia Me A Marriage Monks and a Writer's Life Get this from a library Acedia me a marriage monks Me A Marriage Monks and PDF/EPUB or and a writer's life Kathleen Norris Kathleen Norris's masterpiece a personal and moving memoir that resurrects the ancient term acedia or soul weariness and brilliantly explores its relevancy to the modern individual and culture Acedia Me A Marriage Monks and a Writer's Life Acedia me Paperback A Marriage Monks and a Writer's Life By Kathleen Norris Riverhead books pp Publication Date March Other Editions of This Title Digital Audiobook Hardcover List Price Individual store prices may vary Description The extraordinary New York Times bestselling masterpiece from one of the most elouent Book Review Acedia Me A Marriage Monks and Acedia Me A Marriage Monks and a Writer’s Life is the story of one woman’s journey through suicide depression and particularly acedia I got drawn into the story by the distinction between acedia and depression I wanted to understand if what we were seeing in our world today was not depression but was instead something called “acedia” Along the twisting road that Acedia Me Acedia Me by Kathleen Norris | Review | Acedia may be an unfamiliar term to those not well versed in monastic history or medieval literature But that does not mean it has no relevance for contemporary readers I believe that such standard dictionary definitions of acedia as 'apathy' 'boredom' or 'torpor' do not begin to cover it and while we may find it convenient to regard it as a primitive word for what we now term Acedia Me A Marriage Monks and a book by Kathleen Norris in her newest book Acedia and Me A Marriage Monks and a Writer's Life demonstrates a similar intuition as she probes the little known temptation acedia which although its usage has all but ceased in the English language is alive and well in our consumer culture What is acedia? Well considering that Norris devotes a page appendix to laying out definitions and Acedia A Modern Study | Citydesert Kathleen Norris “Acedia Me A Marriage Monks and a Writer's Life“ Riverhead Hardcover “Kathleen Norris’s masterpiece a personal and moving memoir that resurrects the ancient term acedia or soul weariness and brilliantly explores its relevancy to the modern individual and culture Kathleen Norris had written several much loved books yet she couldn’t drag herself Acedia me a marriage monks and a writer’s life Acedia me a marriage monks and a writer’s life Norris Kathleen Year Publisher New York Riverhead books Language english File EPUB KB Send to Kindle or Email Please login to your account first; Need help? Please read our short guide how to send a book to Kindle Save for later You may be interested in Powered by RecMe The Cloister Walk Norris Kathleen Acedia Me A Marriage Monks and a Writer's Life livre Achetez le livre Couverture souple Acedia Me A Marriage Monks and a Writer's Life de Kathleen Norris sur Indigoca la plus grande librairie au Canada L’expdition domicile et la cueillette en magasin sont gratuites pour les commandes admissibles Acedia me eBook by Kathleen Norris Acedia me by Kathleen Norris Share your thoughts Complete your review Tell readers what you thought by rating and reviewing this book Rate it You Rated it Star I hated it Stars I didn't like it Stars It was OK Stars I liked it Stars I loved it Please make sure to choose a rating Add a review Reuired Review How to write a great review Do Say what you Download Book Acedia Me A Marriage Monks and a Writer ACEDIA ME A MARRIAGE MONKS AND A WRITER S LIFE HARDBACK book Riverhead books United States Hardback Book Condition New x mm Language English Brand New Book View our feature on Kathleen Norris s Acedia Me Kathleen Norris s masterpiece a personal and moving memoir that resurrects the ancient term acedia or soul weariness and brilliantly explores its relevancy Acedia Me A Marriage Monks and a Writer's Life Get this from a library Acedia Me A Marriage Monks and a Writer's Life Kathleen Norris Kathleen Norris's masterpiece a personal and moving memoir that resurrects the ancient term acedia or soul weariness and brilliantly explores its relevancy to the modern individual and culture Acedia Me A Marriage Monks and a Writer's Life Acedia me Paperback A Marriage Monks and a Writer's Life By Kathleen Norris Riverhead books pp Publication Date March Other Editions of This Title Digital Audiobook Hardcover List Price Individual store prices may vary Description The extraordinary New York Times bestselling masterpiece from one of the most elouent Book Review Acedia Me A Marriage Monks and Acedia Me A Marriage Monks and a Writer’s Life is the story of one woman’s journey through suicide depression and particularly acedia I got drawn into the story by the distinction between acedia and depression I wanted to understand if what we were seeing in our world today was not depression but was instead something called “acedia” Along the twisting road that Acedia Me Acedia Me by Kathleen Norris | Review | Acedia may be an unfamiliar term to those not well versed in monastic history or medieval literature But that does not mean it has no relevance for contemporary readers I believe that such standard dictionary definitions of acedia as 'apathy' 'boredom' or 'torpor' do not begin to cover it and while we may find it convenient to regard it as a primitive word for what we now term Acedia Me A Marriage Monks and a book by Kathleen Norris in her newest book Acedia and Me A Marriage Monks and a Writer's Life demonstrates a similar intuition as she probes the little known temptation acedia which although its usage has all but ceased in the English language is alive and well in our consumer culture What is acedia? Well considering that Norris devotes a page appendix to laying out definitions and Acedia A Modern Study | Citydesert Kathleen Norris “Acedia Me A Marriage Monks and a Writer's Life“ Riverhead Hardcover “Kathleen Norris’s masterpiece a personal and moving memoir that resurrects the ancient term acedia or soul weariness and brilliantly explores its relevancy to the modern individual and culture Kathleen Norris had written several much loved books yet she couldn’t drag herself Acedia Me A Marriage Monks and a Writer’s Life Acedia Me A Marriage Monks and a Writer’s Life Kathleen Norris Kathleen Norris’s masterpiece a personal and moving memoir that resurrects the ancient termacedia or soul weariness and brilliantly explores its relevancy to the modern individual and culture Kathleen Norris had written several much loved books yet she couldn’t drag herself out of bed in the morning couldn’t Acedia Me A Marriage Monks and a Writer's Life An examination of acedia in the light of psychology spirituality the healing powers of religious practice and Norris's own experience Acedia Me is both intimate and historically sweeping brimming with exasperation and reverence sometimes funny often provocative and always insightful Acedia Me A Marriage Monks and a Writer's Life Acedia Me is a wonderful inspiring story of depression and the slow steady upward climb to wellness and happiness Two uick caveats first Mrs Norris describes her path through the lens of her religion Catholicism If you are pathologically opposed to Christianity then you will not find reading this book either pleasant or helpful Second this is a book that centers around Acedia me a marriage monks and a writer’s life Acedia me a marriage monks and a writer’s life Norris Kathleen Year Publisher New York Riverhead books Language english File EPUB KB Send to Kindle or Email Please login to your account first; Need help? Please read our short guide how to send a book to Kindle Save for later You may be interested in Powered by RecMe The Cloister Walk Norris Kathleen Acedia me by Kathleen Norris About Acedia me The extraordinary New York Times bestselling masterpiece from “one of the most elouent yet earthbound spiritual writers of our time” San Francisco Chronicle Kathleen Norris had written several much loved books yet she couldn’t drag herself out of bed in the morning couldn’t summon the energy for her daily tasks Even as she struggled Norris recognized her Acedia Me A Marriage Monks and a Writer's Life In Acedia Me A Marriage Monks and a Writer's Life Norris tells the story of her own personal struggle with spiritual fatigue interspersed with wisdom about acedia from sages ancient and modern She surmises it has dogged her since her socially awkward teenage years throughout her vocation as a poet and during her marriage especially as she served as caregiver to her ill husband in Acedia Me A Marriage Monks and a Writer's Life Buy Acedia Me A Marriage Monks and a Writer's Life by online on ae at best prices Fast and free shipping free returns cash on delivery available on eligible purchase Acedia and Me Spectrum A review of Acedia and Me A Marriage Monks and a Writer’s Life by Kathleen Norris Acedia in case you didn’t know is a word that fourth century Christian monks used to describe a temptation that’s difficult to translate into modern English The word has been used in lots of ways and contexts since although it’s fallen out of common use it’s closely allied to though not Acedia A New Word For Me – Climb to the Stars Acedia me A Marriage Monks and a Writer’s Life by Kathleen Norris LA Times article Sixth Battle of Acedia Meaninglessness – A Mid Life Opportunity by Pavel Somov next on my reading list I’d like to uote the really helpful comment on the first Fighting the Noonday Demon Kathleen Norris on Norris’s book Acedia me includes a treasure chest full of reflections many her own on what ought to be done to combat this ancient vice revisited As one prone to acedia myself but perhaps no than the average suburban American I’m not fit to advise But as one looking for practices myself I’ll call to note some of the ancient practices made present and some things that.


10 thoughts on “Acedia Me A Marriage Monks and a Writer's Life

  1. Cindy Rollins Cindy Rollins says:

    Since so many people are reading this now I thought I would pull my old blog reviews out of storage and place it here Post 1 Acedia Me A Marriage Monks and a Writer's LifeDante's Inferno Canto 7Once we were grimAnd sullen in the sweet air above that tookA further gladness from the play of the sun;Inside us we bore acedia's dismal smokeWe have this black mire now to be sullen in I have never read Kathleen Norris before and I am pretty sure I would not have enjoyed reading her in the past but people change and circumstances change and I found myself very much needing this book and very happy that I providentially picked it up while browsing the shelves at the libraryThe subtitle of the book is A Marriage Monks and a Writer's Life which makes this book a memoir but also a description of a little acknowledged sinAcedie could be called the absence of caring that might come on the heels of great personal changes Norris says But the word transition cannot convey my struggle with the rigors of grief a residual exhaustion from years of steadily increasing adversity and the promptings of acedia to respond to all of this by not caringIn spite of our very different lives Kathleen and I seem to share a temperament She finds solace in metaphor and the Psalms just like me Perhaps acedie is the uniue sin of the overly passionate I cannot help but think of the line from Yeats The best lack all conviction while the worst are full of passionate intensity Acedie is where passion meets no conviction at all a thunderstorm of faithI have faced this malady several times in my own life The first time it took me uite by surprise After facing melanoma with surprising faith and hope I spent the year after the battle feeling as if nothing mattered at all My own cure came from the parable of the talents in the Gospel of Matthew Acedie is the buried talent a sort of hyper Calvinism Since I know God is big and I am small what's the use of trying If this sounds a bit ridiculous to you then you probably will not enjoy Kathleen's bookMy second bout with this sin was when my oldest son joined the Navy I had spent 19 years raising him with passion and purpose never once seeing the Navy as the end goal The fact that I was not in control of the outcome of my children's lives was a revelation and a serious setback in my own passion and purposefulness I think homeschooling moms are generally full of passionate conviction which may make them vulnerable to the sin of acedieOver the course of the last year and a half acedie has loomed large in my life While my faith in Christ has never wavered my understanding of the church and tradition has suffered I have felt the sting of realizing that Christians talk too much and do too much and care too little This has left me teetering on the edge of bitterness And for someone who already knows all the 'right' answers that is a dangerous place Acedia and Me has been a foothold on my way back to normalcyPhysically the breakdown in my immune system has caused me to get mono a disease that has a uniue effect on the spleen It is interesting to note that the spleen is metaphorically the 'get up and go' of the body Acedie is the breakdown of the spiritual spleenSince we are living in tough times I am guessing that many of you may be rethinking much of what you have always believed in the face of unexpected circumstances This book may be the spiritual encouragement you need to face the trials that God has set before youAs I was standing on the side of a hot Tennessee highway last week two hours from home with a flat tire and a broken jack and 2 scared little boys for a brief second I thought This is the last straw the tiny thing that breaks me and then I thought of the Proverb that says If you faint in the day of adversity how small is your strength Well my strength is incredibly small but the strength available to me in Christ is without measure and there it was growing in my heart on the side of the road So we just got into the car prayed and sat and waited and a TN State trooper drove up and showed us how to fix the jack and a few minutes later we were on the road again And then we got a good meal at a sit down restaurant and then we were safely home Post 2 uotesChapter XV in Kathleen Norris's Acedia and Me is a list of commonplace book uotes that Kathleen has collected her whole lifeKathleen uotes such wide ranging books as Pierre by Maurice Sendak and even our old friend Leisure The Basis of CultureHere are a few of the uotes that I found most helpfulGK Chesterton Orthodoxy Perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony It is possible that God says every morning Do it again to the sun; and every evening do it again to the moon It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately but has never gotten tired of making themPossibly Paul Tillich Boredom is rage spread thinFernando Pessoa Tedium is not the disease o f being bored because there is nothing to do but the serious disease of feeling that there's nothing worth doingIan Fleming From Russia with Love Just as at least in one religion accidie is the first of the cardinal sins so boredom and particularly the incredible circumstance of waking up bored was the only vice Bond utterly condemnedClaude J Peiffer OSB Monastic Spirituality Acedia is a formidable adversary because on purely natural grounds its arguments are unassailableVaclav Havel Letters to Olga The tragedy of modern man is not that he knows less and less about the meaning of his own life but that it bothers him less and lessThomas L Friedman in Singapore and Katrina uoting Janadas Devan of Straits Times It is not only government that doesn't show up when it is starved of resources and leached of all its meaning Community doesn't show up either sacrifice doesn't show up pulling together doesn't show up 'we're all in this together' doesn't show up


  2. Willie Krischke Willie Krischke says:

    Norris says in the introduction to this book that she's been working on it for a long long time gathering materials reading and writing I suspect that what she was waiting for consciously or intuitively was an organizing structure She never found itAcedia Me is full of lots of wisdom and reflection on the spiritual problem of depressionapathyboredomdistraction as well as a smattering of wonderful uotes and stories from church literature that has been largely forgotten by the church and stories about her husband's illnesses and her own battles with depression etc and uotes from modern authors about society's ills and anything else that managed to fall into her file marked Acedia over the yearsThe problem is that it's barely organized at all And at 327 pages it's an awful lot of unorganized notes and thoughts Some things repeat almost verbatim; often variations on the same theme are twenty pages apart It gets kind of hard to keep plugging through after the first hundred pages or so; while new stuff does turn up now and then maintaining a sense of progression through the book is almost impossibleThere is an awful lot of great stuff here Norris has diagnosed a problem in society and written some excellent words of insight and reflection about itToo bad she never found that organizing structure


  3. Tim Tim says:

    After digesting this book for a couple weeks I realize the analogy is that like the Slow Food movement this book is meant to be read slowly in small doses and savored inbetween The title for that matter gives no real clue as to what it contains especially the word AcediaSo what does it mean? Acedia a tendency a demonic attack a spiritual manifestation a temptation a sin that tends to cause apathy in the face of a call to action bitterness in the face of conditions that call for thankfulness a withdrawal when the person or others need connection boredom instead of appreciation for a routine etc etc The author Kathleen Norris seems to spend half of the book circling the term describing what it is not what is similar how the early church monastics viewed and dealt with it and how today's psychotherapists psychiatrists and pharmacologists have touched upon it She circles describes retreats then returns If the tracing of this phenomenon was the only theme of the book I would have lost interest but Norris weaves her search and reflections with much practical aspects of her life of writing and all its challenges and an even personal reflection on her marriage commitment and grace given through its many decades Her relationship with her husband becomes poignant as he eventually dies from illness after a number of health crises Her insights through his slow decline complete with the ups and downs of gratefulness and depression are rich and demanding And she ties in life's trials and our responses with the challenge of acedia The book is dogeared in so many places a book that really should be read again but two examples give a flavor Pg 42 in nurturing a marriage over the span of 30 years and in keeping to the discipline of writing and revising for even longer I have often found myself watering dead wood with tears and very little hope I have also been astonished by how those tears have allowed life to emerge out of what had seemed dead Page 245 referring to Oregon poet Stafford Writing is like fishing Stafford would say A nibble will always come but all too often we dismiss the little nudge as not worthy of the great works we vaingloriously imagine we will write In a similar way we block our spiritual progress The message of salvation that begins as a whisper is easily missed in the noise of passions such as envy pride anger and acedia


  4. Kate Kate says:

    Reread pp 1 80David enjoyed a passage I had found in Louise Bogan's memoirs in which she writes of seeing out the window of a psychiatric ward a woman hanging clothes and of 'wishing that I too could hang out clothes in a happy normal way' When she walked with other patients at 'the hour when children begin to scent supper' she observed an air of despondency came over the group The women 'knew the hour in their bones It was no hour to be out taking an aimless walk' 81I am so glad that the therapists of my maturity and the saints of my childhood agree on one thing Bogan 81'Stand up take your mat and walk'? What kind of answer is that? To a sick person a depressed person that is precisely what is not possible And don't try to say as Jesus does that it's my faith that makes me well That's just plain discouraging if I take it to mean as far too many have that my lack of faith keeps me ill Surely we can drop that particular bludgeon from our theological arsenal 83This gives hope that there is a faith for those of us who like Miss Dickinson may 'believe and disbelieve a hundred times an Hour which keeps Believing nimble' 83Evagrius speaks of the vital importance of recognizing and distinguishing between the different types of bad thoughts and warns that we must 'take note of the circumstances of their coming which are the vexations which yield readily and which are the resistant?' The reason for this careful self observation Evagrius says is that we need 'effective words against them that is to say those words which correctly characterize the demon present And we must do this before they drive us out of our own state of mind' 89To help monks struggle against the 'bad thoughts' Evagrius compiled and extensive Antirrheticus a list of Scripture passages appropriate to resist each temptation 89Were I to approach an abba or an amma asking for a 'word' to help me cope with the assaults of acedia on my soul I would likely be reminded that if I am especially susceptible to acedia it is because I harbor within myself the virtue of zeal 96My energy levels are set on high or low I can happily juggle any number of activities or do very little Over the years I have learned to live with the flow And that is part of the problem Hasidic rabbi Hanokh said 'The real exile of Israel in Egypt was that they had learned to endure it' 96 98 those afflicted with depression are often ambivalent about it as no one is ambivalent about physical illness Joyce Carol Oates 98 many people are conflicted about a state in which the ploys they've used to color things in their favor are stripped away and they sense that they are witnessing the world as it is The light may be harsher than we would like but at least it forces us to see 98From his extensive research Andrew Solomon reports evidence that depressed people have a realistic view of the world than others For all of that Solomon reminds us that 'major depression is far too stern a teacher you needn't go to the Sahara to avoid frosbite 98Solomon cannot help respecting that which gave him knowledge of 'my own acreage the full extent of my soul' When he asserts that 'the opposite of depression is not happiness but vitality' he is echoing the existential monastic view that the opposite of acedia is an energetic devotion When I'm at my worst mired in torpor and despair simply recalling this can give me hope 99Acedia is a particularly savage enemy because it is not content with just a part of us Evagrius writes that 'the other demons are like the rising or setting sun in that they are found in only a part of the soul The noonday demon however is accustomed to embrace the entire soul and oppress the spirit' 99 100Often my first act of recovery is doing something as menial as dusting a bookshelf or balancing my checkbook If I am tempted to devalue such humble activities I remember that acedia descended on Anthony as soon as he went to the desert but when he prayed to be delivered from it he was shown that any physical task done in the right spirit could free him 100What heals acedia is staunch persistence Decide upon a set amount for yourself in every work and do not turn aside from it before you complete it 100I remained prone to acedia to what the early monk John Climacus termed a slackness of the mind and a hostility to vows taken' 102Constantly drawing on my capacity for zeal meant that I could ignore the tendency to acedia that remained dormant within me I could put off giving the devil his due 102 I noticed that David was in poor spirits and asked whether he would like me to stay with him that night He replied uietly 'That would be nice' His tone signaled to me inwardly he was shouting 'Don't leave me alone' 109Acedia which is known to foster excessive self justification as well as a casual yet implacable judgmentalism toward others readily lends itself to instant indignation and denunciation 115Anger over injustice may inflame us but that's a double edged sword If our indignation feels too good it will attach to our arrogance and pride and leave us ranting in a void And if develop full blown acedia we won't even care about that 116 117 a great heart is needed against acedia lest it swallow up the soul Chaucer 116'What everyone does not believe in as nearly as I can tell is forgiveness' It reuires creativity to recognize our faults and to discern virtues in those we would rather disdain Forgiveness demands close attention flexibility and stringent self assessment Kiezer 117 recall the literal meaning of the third commandment against blasphemy In Hebrew it is an admonition against offering nothingness to God 126 inadeuate thought and speech always translate into inadeuate action Alasdair MacIntyre 126In a series of talks in the 1960s Thomas Merton foresaw our contemporary world as one dimensional a world in which 'all words have become alike To say God is love' he commented 'is like saying Eat Wheaties There's no difference except that people know they are supposed to look pious when God is mentioned but not when cereal is' 128In this hyped up world broadcast and Internet news media have emerged as acedia's perfect vehicles demanding that we care all at once about a suicide bombing a celebrity divorce and the latest advance in nanotechnology But the ceaseless bombardment of image and verbiage makes us impervious to caring 128 129Acedia has come so far with us that is easily attaches to our hectic and overburdened schedules We appear to be anything but slothful yet that is exactly what we are as we do and care less and feel pressured to do still 130Wasserstein asks 'are these hyperscheduled overactive individuals really creating anything new? Are they guilty of passion in any way? Do they have a new vision for their government? For their community? Or for themselves? 130 131We might look for guidance to those earlier desert dwellers who had no word for depression but whose vocabulary did include words for accidie discernment faith grace hope and mercyThey gave one another good counsel Perform the humblest of tasks with full attention and no fussing over the whys and wherefores; remember that you are susceptible at the beginning of any new venture to being distracted from your purpose by such things as a headache an intense ill will toward another a neurotic and potent self doubt To dwell in this desert and make it bloom reuires that we indulge in neither guilt nor vainglorious fantasizing but struggle to know ourselves as we are 132 there is a grief that comes from the enemy full of mockery which some call accidie 132 the early Christian monks who named zeal the best weapon in the psyche's toolbox for contending with acedia 134If the early monks paid close attention to themselves it was only because they knew that rigorous self analysis was an indispensable spiritual practice Change was the point of discipline and they nailed narcissistic self definition correctly as vainglory To people schooled in religion that has often seemed to define sin as a grocery list of dos and don'ts these monks can seem 'rather casual about morality' They were not at all concerned 'that people should behave correctly according to the rules but rather that people should be able to see their situation clearly for what it is and so become free from the distorting perspective which underlies all our sins' Tugwell 135


  5. Melinda Melinda says:

    Sept 2014After re reading this bookI would move this book up to a 4 12 star so am rounding up Very worthwhileJuly 20102010 Review This is another of Kathleen Norris' books published in 2008 so the most recent of the books she's written I read The uotidian Mysteries first then this book then her others in random order The text of The uotidian Mysteries is actually about a chapters worth of material in Acedia and Me so you see some of the same material over againAs I mentioned before reading Kathleen Norris' books is rather like peeling an onion She discusses many of the same issues in her books but from slightly different perspectives While I have read her other books with interest Acedia and Me is a very sober book that brings many of the issues she has discussed elsewhere into stark focus The subtitle is A Marriage Monks and A Writer's Life This is where the onion layers all peel back and we cry with her over the very open and honest journey she takes with her husband that ultimately ends in his death after years and years of illness and depression and discouragement While she talks of illness and depression in her other books here she delves deeply into them and studies and examines them in light of the struggles of her own marriage her husband's illnesses and eventual death her difficulties in writing and the struggles of her own search for God's truthAcedia from the title is defined by the author as at its Greek root it means the absence of care The person afflicted with acedia refuses to care or is incapable of doing so When life becomes too challenging and engagement with others too demanding acedia offers a kind of spiritual morphine you know the pain is there yet can't rouse yourself to give a damn Acedia and depression at first sound synonymous but again the author offers up her distinction I would suggest that while depression is an illness treatable by counseling and medication acedia is a vice that is best countered by spiritual practice and the discipline of prayerKathleen has the temperament that tends toward melancholy and depression She married a man who also had this personality trait David her husband grew up in a devout Roman Catholic family but became disenchanted with the emotional non rational faith of his Roman Catholic mother and left Roman Catholic church to delve into mathematics and rational sciences after his mother's death A poet with scientific leanings he also began to bear in his body the results of his depression and melancholy Kathleen became interested in her Christian faith as she rediscovered the words and poetry of the Bible She began pursuing the spiritual practice of the Liturgy of the Hours as practiced by Benedictines A Presbyterian Christian poet married to a lapsed Roman Catholic poet they began years of grindingly difficult cycles of illness depression recovery David was off put by Kathleen's returning Christian faith yet he was genuinely thankful for her faith in Christ Woven all through this book is the spiritual remedy for Kathleen's spiritual struggle with acedia It is reading the Bible regularly and aloud primarily through the practice of the Liturgy of the Hours and prayer Her struggles are real and she writes very powerfully about them Her tenacity to cling to the words of the Bible is also very powerful The Desert Fathers and Mothers believed the words of the Bible were and are true and thus they had the power to change you Kathleen believes this also and demonstrates that while her remedies do not remove the thorn in the flesh they are effective in allowing her to have a marriage she and her husband considered to be a blessing work that she delighted in and confidence that she was working towards an eternal goal worth attainingI recommend this book It was encouraging for me to read not because I read it and 'felt better at the end' because everything ended up so tidily and nice It was encouraging because life is messy and life is hard and while Christ does redeem and save us we still have to live each day of our lives in often difficult circumstances that do not clean up well For her to have fought for so many years with her depression to have struggled and worked and wept and rejoiced with her husband through all the years of illness and disease and to come out on the other side and say I am thankful to God for his blessings that is true testimony that the remedy of spiritual practice and the discipline of prayer does indeed work


  6. D.M. Dutcher D.M. Dutcher says:

    An erudite if rambling book that tries to combine the writer's life with meditations on the concept of Acedia Acedia unfortunately seems to be hard for her to define it's a habit of mind that combines a sort of fatalistic resentment of things with laziness and that affects people who are drawn to the monastic life I don't want to do anything and I don't careMixed in with this are biographical snapshots of her life Her husbands slow hidden sink into depression her life as a young woman going back to a school union These are little moments of beauty because Norris is an elegant masterful poet When she concentrates on these the book shinesHowever the bulk of it is wrestling with the noonday demon the ghost of Acedia and it is too transparent to pin down Even as a concept as she mentions several times it disappears from usage and from dictionaries as a word That drags the book down If it had been a slim biography it would be fascinating but unfortunately it feels like an aimless ramble Or a wrestling match trying to use words to banish the demon at her heels However I still enjoyed it and The Cloister Walk is also excellent


  7. Jen Jen says:

    FABULOUS I'd forgotten how much I'd enjoyed Kathleen Norris before I found this book in a thrift store Then it turned out the local library had the audiobook version with a cd that included a pdf of many of the uotes This book helped me think through some topics Here are some of my favorite uotesmaking your bed is a form of showing hospitatlity to yourselfphysical work is the best way to fight acediaYou struggle with apathy because you have a great capacity for zealonly worry about fighting it acedia specifically but any problem today and NOT tomorrow alsoa refusal to suffer pain is also a refusal to love It may be that people were created to care but that does not mean it comes naturallycaring can seem like weakness Kathleen NorrisWhat is integrity? Abba Poeman replied Always to accuse oneself Kathleen NorrisIt is not sincerity it is Truth which frees us because it transforms us It tears us away from our inmost slavery To seek sincerity above all things is perhaps at bottom not to want to be transformed Henri de Lubac Page 130 We appear to be anything but slothful yet that is exactly what we are as we do and care less and feel pressured to do still We may well ask If we are always in motion constantly engaged in self improvement and even trying to do good for others how can we be considered uncaring or slothful? Wendy Wasserstein “When you achieve true slothdom you have no desire for the world to change True sloths are not revolutionaries but the lazy guardians at the gate of the status uoAre these hyperscheduled overactive individuals really creating anything new? Are they guilty of passion in any way? Do they have a new vision for their government? For their community? Or for themselves?” She suspects that “their purpose is to keep themselves so bus so entrenched in their active lives that their spirit reaches a permanent state of lethargiosis”Whatever you do repeatedly has the power to shape you has the power to make you over into a different person even if you're not totally 'engaged' in every minutepage 272 While we are tempted to “think sadness is a mood an emotion” he told them in truth it is “a passion which easily leads to sin” Merton’s admonition that “the causes of our sadness are not to be soughtin other people but in ourselves” is an essential for surviving in the rock tumbler of relationship whether one is within a place of business a monastery or a marriage “It takes real courage” Merton insists “to recognize that we ourselves are the cause of our own unhappiness” The trick is to maintain a nuanced view as we attempt to discern what trouble we have caused and are responsible for and what is truly beyond our controlin dishwashing I approach the moral realm; there are days when it seems a miracle to be able to make dirty things cleanI may intellectually assent to the notion that such utilitarian chores can open my heart to the world and appreciate Gerard Manley Hopkins’s observation that “it is not only prayer that gives God glory but work Smiting on an anvil sawing a beam whitewashing a wall driving horses sweeping scouringTo go to communion worthily gives God great glory but to take food in thankfulness and temperance gives Him glory too To lift up the hands in prayer gives God glory but a man with a dung fork in his hand a woman with a slop pail give Him glory too He is so great that all things give Him glory if you mean they should” It is all for the glory of God and how we perform those often dispiriting duties from the changing of a baby’s diaper to the bathing of an aged parent reveals what kind of God we worship That faith and love operate best through the humble means of boring everyday occupations is a thoroughly biblical perspective for its stories repeatedly remind us that God’s attention is fixed on what we regard as unimportant and unworthy The Scriptures depict God not as a Great Cosmic Cop eager to catch us in minor transgressions but as a creator who loves us enough to seek us in the most mundane circumstances of our lives We are asked to remember that we are refreshed each day like dew laden grass that is “renewed in the morning” Psalms 905 Or in personal and also theological terms “Our inner nature is being renewed every day” 2 Corinthians 416 In this light the apparently ludicrous attention to detail in Leviticus where God is involved in the minutiae of daily life right down to cooking and cleaning might be seen instead as the love of a God who desires to be present to us in everything we do ”everyday he made a new beginning”260 Our Lord tells us to pray for today and so he prevents us from tormenting ourselves about tomorrow This is not an easy prayer when I am tempted to give up on both today and tomorrow


  8. Rosana Rosana says:

    I was disappointed with this book It was just too uneven of a book with moments when it really picked up my interest and passages that spoke to my heart only to fade in a few pages to the repetitious descriptions of acedia At times I just wanted to scream at her go back and rewrite it all as essays I really wanted to hear about her experience as a teenager about marriage death and spiritual growth But she insisted on linking it all under the theme of acedia and too often it felt manufactured To add to it she seemed very intended in using every single reference ever made about acedia over the past 1500 years Now some of the uotations were fitting and very interesting – Dante’s Inferno for instance – but the overabundance thinned their impact However I am still going to give her 3 stars because when I look back at the book it has so many dog eared pages and underlined uotes yes I do deconsecrate books this way I have to admit that it did convey many snippets of truth and wisdom It is too bad that they seemed misplaced though


  9. Susan Susan says:

    Oh this latest from K Norris is her best yet at least to my brain A little known to the modern world wave of thoughtbehavior called Acedia is its focus Here Norris has spared no effort during the book's incubation over the last 20 years at yanking Acedia out from its sly hiding places in her own life and subjecting it to a lasery investigation This investigation includes the testimonies of men and women who fled the cities in the early Christian era for the purpose of creating labs out of their own body minds What they found was the '8 classic bad thoughts' which when allowed to fester and grow can and will derail the basic sanity and goodness in any human being Turns out Acedia is the slipperiest of 'the usual suspects'This one's a keeper for anyone's crucial collection of First Aid texts; both psychologically sophisticated and eminently practical


  10. Jason Pettus Jason Pettus says:

    Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography cclapcentercom I am the original author of this essay as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted here illegallyChristian author Kathleen Norris has long been fascinated by the ancient psychological condition known to monks as acedia and which was actually one of the original Seven Deadly Sins back when they were known at the beginning of Christianity as the Eight Bad Thoughts But what exactly is it? Long thought as the pre Enlightenment version of depression combined with sloth Norris' book length analysis of the term along with a detailed memoir of her personal experience with the subject shows that it's actually a much complicated thing an emotional state that we would do good in our modern secular times to once again start to identify and treat a sort of apathy about the world combined with restlessness which then outwardly manifests itself not only in ways similar to clinical depression but also with a marked increase of boredom and desire for escapism and a greater fear than normal of commitment Although she goes out of her way to assure nervous readers that she doesn't mean for acedia to completely replace modern clinical depression as a concept she does make a compelling argument for the idea that many modern people are getting misdiagnosed these days as clinically depressed when in fact they're acedic reuiring a whole different treatment than simply mood altering drugs like those with legitimate chemical imbalances; and ironically this treatment tends to mirror many of the daily routines of the ancient monks who first identified and battled with this intellectual's disease including such activities as contemplation and meditation regular periods of silence and solitude and a forced concentration on small daily rituals whether you feel like completing them or not all of which are not coincidentally missing and from most modern lives It's a dense book but a highly rewarding one that will have you thinking in a completely different way about mental illnesses versus simple maladjustments and it comes highly recommended to anyone interested in contemplating issues purely of the mindOut of 10 92


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