The missing Deadly Sin

The Seven Deadly Sins are derived from the Eight Thoughts of John Cassian, the monk who, in the Fourth Century, systematically recorded the teachings of the Desert Fathers and Mothers. He described how monks and nuns were always afflicted by Eight Thoughts or Demons. The transformation from Eight Thoughts to Seven Sins begins with Pope Gregory the Great in the Sixth Century. Gregory began this process by removing one vice from the list: acedia, a Greek word which can be translated as spiritual apathy. The disappearance of acedia from ordinary people’s vocabulary deprived Western culture of the ability to name an important feature of the spiritual life, namely, loss of enthusiasm for the spiritual life itself. While the word has disappeared, the reality of spiritual carelessness is strongly present in our culture.

From: Spiritual Apathy: The Forgotten Deadly Sinhere

I wonder what would have happened if acedia had been made a ‘sin’ in it’s own right by the Catholic Church, and if spiritual awareness of God would be different now to what it actually is today.

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6 Replies to “The missing Deadly Sin”

  1. Sadly this loss this spiritual “acedia” is now both in the East and West. I have noted this with the Orthodox also. It is now a real problem with both modernism and postmodernism in the whole Church! And really part of this is our loss of a Christian world view. Strange, but the early Methodists were considered “enthusiasts”. How far away that has gone, sadly.
    Fr. R.

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