In Acedia & Me, the acclaimed author Kathleen Norris explicates and demystifies the forgotten but utterly relevant concept of acedia, a term that has often been understood as spiritual sloth, but really signifies the serious malady of being unable to care. With great insight and candor, Norris explores acedia through the geography of her life as a writer; her marriage and the challenges of commitment in the midst of grave illness; and her keen interest in the monastic tradition.
"excellent but not for the faint of heart"
How can an understanding of celibacy strengthen a marriage? How does the mundane task of doing laundry become as sacred as ritual? Let Kathleen Norris explain. For over 10 years, thoroughly Protestant Norris has been an oblate at a Benedictine monastery. During this period, she has gained tremendous insight into the languages, customs, ceremonies, and sexuality of the men and women who have chosen the cloistered life.
When poet Kathleen Norris was a child, the words judgment, prayer, salvation, sinner, and even Christ all formed what she calls religion's "scary vocabulary" - words that intimidate and alienate people from their faith. As an adult, Norris set out to reclaim her religion, redefining these words using her own experience. In Amazing Grace, she shares her wisdom, challenges our fear of difficult theological ideas, and offers an illuminating perspective on the vocabulary of faith.
After spending her high school years in Hawaii, Kathleen Norris was woefully unprepared for Bennington College in the 1960s, with its culture of drugs, sex, and bohemianism. But it was also at Bennington that she discovered her great love of poetry, which carried her to New York City at a time when a new generation of poets was emerging and shaking up the establishment of time and place.