(cough) my gosh!
I’ve been coughing like a vampire. Right? Because vampires are in coffins— dumb.
Dumb! Stupid! Hi my name is Fr Mike Schmitz and this is Ascension Presents. So, I know that lot of us … a lot of people struggle with procrastination and when I say procrastination you probably know what I know. It’s that procrastination does not mean I am doing nothing. Procrastination doesn’t mean I am doing nothing. Procrastination means I am doing everything except for the one thing I am supposed to be doing. Doesn’t it? Right, that’s it. If that’s you, then you are struggling with something that’s bigger than simple procrastination You’re struggling with something that virtually every Christian has struggled with all the way back to the time of Jesus and from then on. In the early Church, so after, actually maybe 300 years after Christ, in the early Church, you had some people when Christianity became like the religion of the Roman Empire you had some people who were called to enter into the wilderness literally who go into the desert and live in a little hut. They were hermits and they just devoted their lives to penance and they devoted their lives to prayer, and those desert fathers and mothers, they call them desert fathers and mothers, they discovered what they
originally termed like the seven deadly sins, right? So you have gluttony, and you have lust, and you have anger, and you have greed, all these kinds of things, like the seven deadly sins. The desert fathers and mothers would say
that you know, in the course of your Christian life, in the course of being out there in the desert virtually, you know, everyone’s gonna experience
some of the deadly sins. But there was one of the deadly sins,
one of those things that comes against every person that came against every one of them and
that was what they called acedia, A-C-E-D-I-A, acedia. And later on, Saint Thomas Aquinas called it sloth or slothe. They called it the noon day devil.
Why would they call the noonday devil? Imagine living in a hut in the desert. So you get up in the morning and you do your morning routine, it’s cool in the morning, it’s nice out, but all of a sudden, at ten o’clock or so the sun’s
right above and from that roughly ten o’clock until two o’clock it seems like the sun’s not moving, the cool of the morning has passed,
and night’s not here yet where you get to have your meal and you
get to kind of relax. It’s just stay in your hut and pray. And it seems like nothing’s changing,
nothing’s happening. This is essentially the—I mean, if you really want to get down to it— this is a microcosm of a midlife crisis. I mean think about it, if you’re in your mid-life, what happens? The eagerness, the excitement, all the anticipation, the hope, the promise of youth is gone. And yet the rest and the fruits and like that ability to enter in to a certain kind of a sage stage in your life is not yet here. But I’m right in the middle of this, and I just want a different life than the life I have right now. This is the deadly sin so many people come against in their midlife—it’s the noonday devil—acedia. Now, when St. Thomas Aquinas started calling it slothe, What happened was, people would say, “Oh, slothe is kind of a slowness to respond to the things of God.” Right? So I’m called to pray, and I just didn’t really want to do it. Or I’m called to enter into God’s joy of just following after him, but I kinda don’t want to do it.
And so we saw it as like laziness. But acedia is different,
it’s more precise. It’s not laziness. A person can be a workaholic and still have slothe,
still have acedia. Because why? Go back to the beginning of this video. Procrastination comes from not from doing nothing It comes from “I want to do everything except for the one thing I’m supposed to be doing.” That’s what the desert fathers and mothers called “acedia.” I mean, I’m supposed to be sitting here in the hut but I have all these thoughts, like, “Maybe I should go back into the city and serve the poor. But I’m supposed to be here. I’m supposed to be here, but maybe I should go and gather firewood. I’m supposed to be here, but maybe I should go and do something else.” And the temptation is: I want to do anything but the one thing I’m supposed to be doing. Is that you right now? Because a lot of times in the Christian life, that’s where we find ourselves. I’m doing all this stuff. I’m praying all these prayers. I’m doing all this activity. The question we have to ask is: What is it that I’m supposed to be doing? Because I could stop or pause and just pump the breaks for a second and say: Am I doing all this stuff, all this extra activity in lieu of, or in place of, the one thing I should be doing? You know, at some point in our lives,
everyone of us gets to a season where we want to bolt, where we want to take off.
We just want to run. That’s called acedia. What the desert fathers and mothers said in that moment. In that moment: the remedy for acedia is God’s love. (Laughs) I know, that might sound … that might seem simplistic, but it’s not. The remedy for acedia is the Incarnation. The remedy for acedia is looking at Jesus Christ,
who in every step of his life is saying “yes” to his Father. “Yes” to this moment. “Yes” to dinner with his friends. “Yes” to dinner with sinners. “Yes” to traveling from this place to that place. “Yes” to this trial, “yes” to the Father’s will, even though he prayed that the cup would pass by him. “Yes” even to his crucifixion and death. “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” The answer to acedia is looking at Jesus and saying, “OK, what held him to the Cross—we know this—what held him to the Cross was not the nails.
What held him to the Cross was his love.” What is holding your life in place? What’s helping you stay in your hut when you want to be doing anything except for the one thing you’re supposed to be doing? It’s not the nails, it’s not the bondage, it’s love. The answer to acedia is, “How can I love well in this moment, in this place, as Christ loved?” Fight against the demon of acedia. Fight against that temptation to run off and abandon the people that you love the most, that you’re called to love the most. Fight that temptation to run off and do anything but the one thing you’re supposed to be doing. And do it with love. Fight with love! From all of us here at Ascension Presents, my name’s Father Mike. God bless! Wha-cha-ba! Wha-cha-ba! (snap, snap, snap!)