The “noble power” of a free will partakes of something even greater than hope, and that is grace. The kingdom of God within us in not something we gain through training, wit, or skill. It comes to use as pure gift, and we are free now, as in Dante’s time, to nourish it, curb it,or ignore it. Given the power and resilience of this grace, it is a terrible irony that the despairing so often feel rejected by a distant and uncaring God. When we are convinced that we are beyond the reach of grace, acedia has done its work.
John Climacus speaks of it as “a voice claiming that God has no mercy and no love for [us].”
-Kathleen Norris, Acedia & Me, p.205