Day 29 – Let Freedom Ring: Freedom from Acedia

Day 29 – Let Freedom Ring: Freedom from Acedia

Let Freedom Ring: Freedom from Acedia

My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
At a word from You the devil and his minions flee in terror.
You are the source of all truth. You are the source of all strength.
By the power of your Cross and Resurrection, we beseech You, O Lord
To extend Your saving arm and to send Your holy angels
To defend us as we do battle with Satan and his demonic forces.
Exorcise, we pray, that which oppresses Your Bride, The Church,
So that within ourselves, our families, our parishes, our dioceses, and our nation
We may turn fully back to You in all fidelity and trust.
Lord, we know if You will it, it will be done.
Give us the perseverance for this mission, we pray.

Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception…pray for us
St. Joseph…pray for us
St. Michael the Archangel…pray for us
(the patron of your parish )… pray for us
(your confirmation saint)…pray for us


“Freedom from Acedia” by Fr. Rick Heilman

Recently, I wrote a reflection on pride. I said, “Pride is the Biggie,” because it’s “the sin that is most at work to divide and destroy our culture.” Although I believe that to be true, I would say the most dominant sin that characterizes our culture today is acedia. Acedia has been referred to as the “noonday devil.”

“Acedia” originates from the Greek, akèdia, meaning “lack of care.” It’s a kind of indifference or a “lack of spiritual energy,” which is a phrase from the book by Jean-Charles Nault, O.S.B., The Noonday devil: Acedia, the Unnamed Evil of Our Times. Nault, the abbot of the Benedictine Abbey of Saint-Wandrille in France, is one of the world’s experts on acedia. I recall the acclaim this book had in 2015, and I ordered it right away. I highly recommend it.

Nault references how it came to be called, “the noonday devil.” In the writings of Evagrius of Pontus (345-399, one of the Desert Fathers), he explained that acedia manifests itself as a temptation for the monk to depart his cell. This temptation is often worst around midday, hence the “noonday devil.”

The reasons for abandoning his cell could all be reasonable or even noble: He may want to work on his health, or he is just seeking a change of scenery, or maybe he wants to visit family, or he believes he could help more people outside his cell. Therefore, acedia doesn’t necessarily always have to do with laziness. It could be manifested in activism.

Acedia can often be associated with “spiritual instability,” a kind of restlessness. So, the soul may find itself horrified by its commitments, even abhor the spiritual life. The soul finds itself stuck in a kind of spiritual malaise which prevents it from advancing in the spiritual life.

St. Thomas Aquinas said of acedia that it is a “sadness about spiritual good.” It’s a sadness of even the ultimate good of union with God. How can that be? St. Thomas says that man can become sad at the prospect of union with God because it requires him to give up goods to which he is attached.

Once someone detaches from their call to advance in the spiritual life, they can become satisfied with what St. Thomas calls a mere “animal beatitude.” In other words, we demote ourselves to mere animals, aimlessly feeding the flesh with all its lust and wants. Once this fails, and it usually does, we are left to fall into a nihilism, or even a hatred of being.

For a soul adrift in acedia, and therefore unstable with loss of meaning and purpose in life, he is left to vacillate between reducing himself to just another animal species, or worse, a blight on an otherwise perfect natural world. Is this sounding familiar yet? It should be; it is pervasive thought in a world becoming more and more disconnected from God.

How did we get here, and how do we get out of this epidemic of acedia in our culture, and even in our Church? I continue to believe we Catholics deserve much of the blame. Why? This is where I point to a previous reflection I gave on lukewarmness. Recall it was Pope St. Pius V who went so far as to say, “All the evil in the world is due to lukewarm Catholics.”

If we are the one true Church founded by Jesus Christ – and we are – then we were called to lift the world out of the emptiness of acedia that leads to believing we are mere animals. Yet, for more than 50 years, we have been peddling a weak and watered-down religion; a religion that denies the power of God; a religion of “activism” that seems to abhor the call to advance in the spiritual life. It almost seems like the proponents of this modern-day Catholic religion were (and are), themselves, plagued with acedia. Some even militate against a restoration of sacred beauty and sacred worship. “It’s too much,” they proclaim. “People won’t like our Church if we promote all the ‘sacred stuff.’” In essence, they are saying, “We need to be a ‘Church of Acedia’ in order to reach those caught in acedia.” And so, the acedia is left to spread like a virus.

In Paul’s letter to Timothy, he warned about just such a time as ours: “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people” (2 Timothy 3:1-5).

Thank God, many are talking about the need for us to repent. But repent from what? We must repent from creating a Church that has the “form of godliness but denies its power.”  This renewed faith and trust in the power of God, and worshiping as though we actually believe in it, is the antidote for our global pandemic: acedia.


Prayer of Reparation

My Lord and my God, we have allowed the temptation of the devil to move our hearts toward fearfully allowing the spread of acedia throughout our nation and the Catholic Church. We have fallen into this widespread acedia when we have not lived up to the call of our baptism to, day-by-day, deepen our love and faith in You. We have been too easily swayed by the poor example of the Catholic acedia, in churches everywhere, and have not encouraged a deeper sense of supernatural faith. In our weakness, we have allowed the ancient foe to advance. We turn to You Lord, in our sorrow and guilt, and beg Your forgiveness for any of our own acedia or our lack of resolve to lift souls out of this spiritual malaise. We beg for the grace of Your goodness to build up within us the strength and endurance to be this visible light of fervent faith in You. We know Lord, if You will it, it will be done. Trusting in You, we offer our prayer to You who live and reign forever and ever. Amen.


Prayer of Exorcism

Lord God of heaven and earth, in Your power and goodness, You created all things. You set a path for us to walk on and a way to an eternal relationship. By the strength of Your arm and Word of Your mouth, cast from Your Holy Church every fearful deceit of the devil. Drive from us manifestations of the demonic that oppress us and beckon us to acedia. Still the lying tongue of the devil and his forces so that we may act freely and faithfully to do Your will. Send Your holy angels to cast out all influence that the demonic entities in charge of acedia have planted in Your Church. Free us, our families, our parish, our diocese, and our country from all trickery and deceit perpetrated by the devil and his hellish legions. Trusting in Your goodness Lord, we know if You will it, it will be done, in unity with Your Son and the Holy Spirit, One God forever and ever. Amen.


Litany of St. Joseph

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.

God the Father of Heaven,
Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit,
Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God,
Have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Illustrious son of David, etc.
Light of the patriarchs,
Spouse of the Mother of God,
Chaste guardian of the Virgin,
Foster-father of the Son of God,
Watchful defender of Christ,
Head of the Holy Family,
Joseph most just,
Joseph most chaste,
Joseph most prudent,
Joseph most valiant,
Joseph most obedient,
Joseph most faithful,
Mirror of patience,
Lover of poverty,
Model of workmen ,
Glory of domestic life,
Guardian of virgins,
Pillar of families,
Solace of the afflicted,
Hope of the sick,
Patron of the dying,
Terror of demons,
Protector of Holy Church,

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us.

He made him the lord of His household,
And prince over all His possessions.

Let Us Pray.
O God, Who in Thine ineffable providence didst choose Blessed Joseph to be the spouse of Thy most Holy Mother, grant that as we venerate him as our protector on earth, we may deserve to have him as our intercessor in Heaven, Thou Who livest and reignest forever and ever. R. Amen.


Daily Checklist

__ Prayer for Freedom from the Devil
__ Daily reflection and prayers
__ Litany of the day
__ Pray a Rosary
__ Divine Mercy Chaplet
__ Spiritual or corporal work of mercy
__ Fast/abstain (according to level)
__ Exercise (according to level/ability)
__ Refrain from conventional media (only 1 hr. of social)
__ Examination of conscience (confession 1x this week)


More Information

To see the Goals, Methods and Levels of “Let Freedom Ring,” go HERE.

For those enlisted in the US Grace Force, you will receive, by way of email, the daily prayers and reflections for “Let Freedom Ring: A 40 Day Tactical Training for Freedom from the Devil.” 

You can enlist in the United States Grace Force HERE (please recruit family and friends!)

Information on the United States Grace Force can be found HERE

We highly recommend ordering the book (recently published), authored by Fr. Bill Peckman, Fr. James Altman and Fr. Rick Heilman. This amazing book will be a great tool for easy access, highlighting and bookmarking as you traverse through this 40-day challenge with tens of thousands of other special forces prayer warriors!

You can order the book at