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Saturday, August 29, 2015

"The Noonday Devil" by Jean-Charles Nault, O.S.B. A Review.

The Noonday Devil: Acedia, the Unnamed Evil of Our TimesThe Noonday Devil: Acedia, the Unnamed Evil of Our Times by Dom Jean-Charles Nault
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This intriguing read on the subject of acedia is written primarily from within monasticism, and for monastics. It includes an interesting historical trek through Benedict, Evagrius, John Cassian, Gregory the Great and Aquinas; and stops at the dead-end concocted by William of Ockham.

Acedia, that "Noonday Devil," of which I have written before, is a broad vice that shows itself in loss of heart and motivation, discouragement, despair, perpetual need for activity and change, and so forth. It affects people in the middle of the day and the middle of life. And the "chief remedy for acedia is found in the joy of the gift" (201), which is the joy of God himself.

"The Noonday Devil" is a very Roman Catholic book written by the Abbot of Saint-Wandrille. It will not likely resonate with many, or most Protestants, Reformed or Evangelicals, though it should! If read with a discerning eye even the staunchest non-Catholic reader will find that acedia is a vice that needs to be dealt with. It is a book worth reading.


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