April 24

When the vice of acedia (lack of care; boredom, apathy) has got hold of an unhappy man’s mind, it breeds detestation of the place of his habitation…it will not let him rest…he complains and sighs…it inflicts him with weariness of body, and such appetite for food…then again, he looks anxiously about him and sighs…thus, as if beset by an unreasonable confusion of mind, he is, as it were, filled with a dark mist, and rendered useless and unprofitable…whenever acedia in any manner begins to get the better of a man, it either makes him stay idle and overcome…or drives him out…it makes him wander…with no other end in view than to find somewhere, on any pretext, an opportunity of obtaining a meal….

The blessed Apostle, as a true physician of the soul…does all he can to forestall [acedia] with the salutary remedies of his precepts….”But concerning brotherly love…study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your hands…” (1 Thessalonians 4:9-11)…”study to be quiet”–that is to say…be not disturbed with the variety of gossip which arises from the projects and tales of the idle, and ye shall not involve others also in a like disturbance. And “do your own business”, not by your inquisitiveness into worldly affairs, and by prying out the way of life of this man or that; giving your diligence to the amendment of your own conduct, or to the pursuit of virtue, rather than carping at [others]. “Work with your hands”…for no one can be either restless, or busied in other men’s affairs, save one who is not content to be diligent in the work of his own hands.

~St John Cassian

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