Book II: Chapter 10
My vision of the past continued – fresh off a success at resisting the Room of Greed, Miriam (and I) eagerly took on the next room.
I could sense Miriam’s confidence growing now and at first it seemed that her faith was justified — for not much was happening inside the room called Acedia first.
We saw examples of overwhelming laziness and indifference. Some people were simply unwilling to take action – either to help themselves or others no matter the potential reward or danger. Others had fantastic talents that were readily apparent, yet they too refused to act in order to share their gifts. Potential was left untapped. Grace left undone. And although unfortunate, Miriam was unaffected — in fact she almost allowed herself to be amused.
For my part, I was content to just let my mind languish for a bit. I actually began to feel a kind of peace – I must say, it was pretty nice.
However, we both failed to notice when the allure of the room began to <change>.
Soon we began to witness examples of melancholy, apathy, and depression. We saw others trapped in a world of joylessness — refusing to allow themselves to enjoy the Goodness of God. (I felt myself drawn to this crowd).
We began to feel a sense of spiritual apathy – with images of the faithful being discouraged from their religious work.
- Elijah being hunted down by a murderous king.
- David pursued by Saul.
- My friend John the Baptist left for dead in Herod’s dungeon.
- Then, even myself abandoned by Christ!
Tristitia (Sadness) was confronting us — for Acedia was historically more defined by spiritual discontent than by mere physical laziness – yet too late did we remember this important fact!
I could tell that Miriam felt an uneasiness of spirit and she began to grow restless, but I paid little attention to her because of a sudden I could sense my very soul being sucked into the room.
Miriam tried to remove herself from the room… but I wouldn’t let her take us out.
I forcefully resisted her in the spirit world — for now I realized that I didn’t want to ever leave!
Panicked, Miriam called upon God to help her.
But no deliverance came.
And I rejoiced as Doubt (in the form of my spirit) assaulted her.
Do you really love God with all her heart? I shouted at her as a mysterious voice from within the Room.
With all your mind?
With all your strength?
With all your soul?
I tried to trick Miriam into remaining here forever.
In the past, I knew her answers to all my questions had been “YES!”, but using the power of this room, I convinced Miriam that now she didn’t know for sure. I told her that her love for God was trickling away – that which had ever sustained her was seemingly insufficient… draining… absent.
What good is your mission? I asked. If The Scriptures are truly divine, do they really need YOUR actions to be fulfilled? Surely, if they were true, then God would fulfill them regardless of what YOU do? Haven’t you worked long enough? Two millennia? Certainly you deserve a chance to rest for a bit!
I could sense Miriam’s desire to allow herself to perhaps just sit down and rest a bit.
No, to lie down. I encouraged. To sleep.
To be. Yes, to just Be.
Suddenly The Blackness engulfed us…
(Was this The End I had for so long been hoping for?)