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Kathleen Norris Cloister Walk And Thomas Merton's The Intimate In

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Throughout the duration of our lives, we will be presented with many obstacles that deter our path. Whether these are minor setbacks, such as failing an exam, or major detours like the death of a close family member, the means by which we handle these obstacles is critical to our procession through the journey of life. For some, addressing the problem head-on is the most plausible solution, while for others, a more timid and timely approach is utilized. No matter how we solve these problems, re-energizing and directing our focus to the big-picture is always the goal. Accomplishing this daunting task however, is much easier said than done. Elements of acedia, as addressed by Kathleen Norris’ Cloister Walk and Thomas Merton’s The Intimate…show more content…
The meaning behind this quotation is simple: the choices we make everyday will affect the process in which we discern our purpose in life. This is specifically seen in situations of ritual, routine, and depression. When these instances occur, we are often called to focus on finite details rather than recognizing the beauty of God’s bigger plan for our lives. In relation to vocation, we would recognize these instances as situations in which we focus on the destination rather than the journey, however the goal of spirituality is to complete the opposite: a focus on the journey, not the destination. In summating all of these negative influences into one group, we recognize the use of the phenomenon of acedia will explain how these influences shape our vocational…show more content…
She says, “Acedia is a hatred of life itself” (1). In her memoir, The Cloister Walk, Norris goes on to state, “I recognize in all of this the siege of what the desert monks termed the ‘noonday demon.’ It suggests that whatever I am doing, indeed my entire life of ‘doings,’ is not only meaningless, but utterly useless” (131). In analyzing her original definition of acedia, Norris herself explained that to fall victim to acedia, one doesn’t need a traumatic experience of occur. The simple routine of daily life shows a core relation to the elements expressed by acedia. Those suffering from acedia are constantly bothered by a lack of motivation, drive, and purpose in the everyday tasks of their lives. While recognizing the presence of acedia is certainly important, the recognition that it presents a choice is even more relevant to conquering it. A state of acedia is by no means permanent based on the actions we choose to pursue. In recognizing the negativity, sorrow, and despair that acedia has in life, we are able to center our energy toward mastering it and regenerating a new directionality and purpose in
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