Make no promises. Tell no lies

This blog has been AWOL for quite some time, and it is not the first time. But this

Botticelli Sleeping Apostles

time I am not going to promise to be a more faithful blogger. That, clearly, has been an epic fail. I don’t know what my problem is. It isn’t writer’s block. I have written hundreds and hundreds of articles. They just never made it out of my head. Of course they were profoundly perceptive. Heh.

I am not depressed—just suffering from inertia. Confession. I have always been a bit lazy. But now I am downright paralyzed.  Thankfully I can summon up the energy to do my job.

What worries me most is that I have, for lack of a better word, the Spiritual blahs. I don’t think that it is a case of acedia or spiritual sloth:

“Acedia is a word of Greek origin that means, literally, “without care.” In the Latin tradition of the seven deadly sins, it comes down to us as tristitia or otiositas, sadness or idleness. But citing synonyms and translations will not do. For the monastic tradition, acedia or sloth is a complex spiritual state that defies simple definition. It describes a lassitude and despair that overwhelms spiritual striving. Sloth is not mere idleness or laziness; it involves a torpor animi, a dullness of the soul that can stem from restlessness just as easily as from indolence. Bernard of Clairvaux speaks of a sterilitas animae, a sterility, dryness, and barrenness of his soul that makes the sweet honey of Psalm-singing seem tasteless and turns vigils into empty trials. Medieval English writers often speak of acedia as wanhope, a waning of confidence in the efficacy and importance of prayer. For Dante, on the fourth ledge of purgatory, those afflicted by acedia are described as suffering from lento amore, a slow love that cannot motivate and uplift, leaving the soul stagnant, unable to move under the heavy burden of sin.

Across these different descriptions, a common picture emerges. The noonday devil tempts us into a state of spiritual despair and sadness that drains us of our Christian hope. It makes the life of prayer and charity seems pointless and futile.” Go to this First things article to read more.

Whew. I care. I still have reason for my hope. Prayer is certainly not pointless and futile.

But I don’t think that I am experiencing a dark night of the soul either. I fall far too short of the glory of God. Darn.

But my prayer life is going downhill fast. It is a battle. Perhaps the noonday devil is making his preliminary attack, and I am on the edge of the cliff.

Of course I could just stop whining, get off my hind quarters, and with God’s grace..


About Susan Kehoe

I am the wife of a Catholic deacon living in Des Moines Iowa. My husband Larry was ordained in 2006. We have two children and five grandchildren.. Our daughter and her family live in Ireland, and our son and his family live in Franklin Massachusetts.
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3 Responses to Make no promises. Tell no lies

  1. Christine says:

    Susan, I am so with you on this one! My husband’s teacher, Deacon Tim Elliot shamed me a few weeks ago to update my postings since he had my website linked to our Diocese website. I guess he didn’t want to look bad.

    It seems like I just don’t have anything spiritually enlightening to write at this moment… too preoccupied with face painting!

    God Bless,

    aka (


  2. Susan Kehoe says:

    Hi Christine,
    It is good to know that I am not alone.
    God Bless,


  3. Virginia says:

    Like spiritual moths sometimes we need to shake off our sloth & move closer to The Light (or ask for some Spiritual Caffeine? : ) Your post totally resonates (why is it that with deeply spiritual books in piles everywhere, I end up spending hours reading mystery & mayhem books from the Library? even if the sleuth is a nun in the latest series… : )

    I have So Enjoyed your blog – ‘specially the humor you sneak in between the lines. Thank you for writing & sharing your life as a Deacon’s Wife!

    grace, peace & strategic spiritual moths – Virginia : )


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