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Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. XI:
The Works of John Cassian.: Chapter III. Of the different ways in which accidie overcomes a monk.

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter III.

Of the different ways in which accidie overcomes a monk.

And so the wretched soul, embarrassed by such contrivances of the enemy, is disturbed, until, worn out by the spirit of accidie, as by some strong battering ram, it either learns to sink into slumber, or, driven out from the confinement of its cell, accustoms itself to seek for consolation under these attacks in visiting some brother, only to be afterwards weakened the more by this remedy which it seeks for the present. For more frequently and more severely will the enemy attack one who, when the battle is joined, will as he well knows immediately turn his back, and whom he sees to look for safety neither in victory nor in fighting but in flight: until little by little he is drawn away from his cell, and begins to forget the object of his profession, which is nothing but meditation and contemplation of that divine purity which excels all things, and which can only be gained by silence and continually remaining in the cell, and by meditation, and so the soldier of Christ becomes a runaway from His service, and a deserter, and “entangles himself in secular business,” without at all pleasing Him to whom he engaged himself. 966



2 Tim. ii. 4.

Next: Chapter IV. How accidie hinders the mind from all contemplation of the virtues.

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