I get three words a day emailed to me from different sources. Most of the time I don’t read them right away, because I have other things to do; I file them in a folder in my email and look at them every once in a while. But this word of the day caught my eye. It’s such a perfect word to describe that “blah” feeling that strikes every one of us at one time or another. Say this word out loud, and you hear the groan your sinful nature puts up when it’s time to read your Bible or go to church. “Ugh, not that again? Man! Let’s do something else, anything else! Uhh!” Some also call it malaise, which is another fine word, or ennui (both are also words I like), but this word, acedia, sums that feeling up so perfectly. It’s a dangerous feeling, because it leads you to feel like you already have everything you need and you don’t need to study anymore, don’t need to learn anymore, don’t need to strive and grow and continue in the faith you were given. Luther has sharp words for those who are surfeited by this feeling in the Large Catechism, especially. (Stay tuned — those will be coming up in a future post.)
Word of the Day for Sunday, July 18, 2010
acedia \uh-SEE-dee-uh\, noun:
2. Laziness or indifference in religious matters.
His tales give the impression of a man cursed with an incurable disenchantment with life, a malady about midway between acedia and ennui.
— James Norman Hall, Under a thatched roof
Five thousand people yawning in their cars, intimidated by the cops and bored to acedia by the chant of the politicians.
— Edward Abbey, The monkey wrench gang
Acedia is a simple derivation from the Greek akēdeia, “indifference.”