September 9, 2008
ACCIDIE – n. spiritual or mental sloth.
More commonly referred to these days as simply sloth, accidie was apparently common among monks in the 5th century A.D. and needed to be protected against. Who knew? The following are excerpts from St. John Cassian’s The Training of a Monk and the Eight Deadly Sins. Thanks St. J!
“[Accidie] is akin to dejection, and is especially trying to solitaires, and a dangerous and common enemy to dwellers of the desert; and especially disturbing to a monk about the sixth hour (midday), like some fever which seizes him at stated times, bringing the burning heat of its attacks on the sick man at usual and regular hours.”
“[Accidie] produces dislike of the place, disgust with the cell, and disdain and contempt of the brethren who dwell with him or at a little distance…”
I think it would suck to be a monk.