At the Christian Century lecture in September, about 200 people gathered for a festive evening to meet author Kathleen Norris. Her topic that evening was not exactly festive, however. She spoke personally, thoughtfully and deliberately about sloth and its spiritual expression, acedia (see her article in this issue).
I’ve been thinking about her presentation for months now and realized that the ancient church was right in thinking sloth is serious business, serious enough to be one of the seven deadly sins. I recall that the church’s General Confession used to say, “We confess our sinful nature, prone to evil and slothful in good.” I always thought “slothful in good” was a very helpful phrase.