Just in case you are feeling restless, excitable and cannot pay attention to your work about midday, I have an explanation to you. It’s the “noonday demon”. You probably may not have heard about this particular demon, but he exits.
The early Fathers of the church, who were the early Christian leaders about 1700 years ago often referred to it as a spiritual disorder. They described a sadness that can beset a person for no apparent reason. The Catholic Encyclopaedia describes it as “an inability to work or pray”.
Throughout the ages many have studied it and written about it. In our times books are still being written about it. An important Catholic writer, Thomas Merton, is one example.
- The man with the inferiority complex
- The Positive Meaning of Sickness and Suffering
- Predicting Divorce
Today some people say that it’s just a form of depression which strikes at certain times of the day. But I am not talking about psychological conditions here, but rather spiritual ones. Both unfortunately are related however.
Everyone can experience this condition, but spiritual writers seen to suggest that older adults are the most prone.
St John of the Cross, states that this demon is associated with boredom. In other words “a lack of focus.”
The reason most people stop praying or doing things for God is that they get tired of it and just lose interest.
There is absolutely no doubt that the real demon, not just the one that shows up around lunch time is absolutely committed to destroying our faith and our association with God. The reason most people stop praying or doing things for God is that they get tired of it and just lose interest. The demon wants us to slowly but surely “grow out of love” with those whom we should love, God, amongst them.
Our Catechism “Christ our Pashka” teaches us that from the moment of our baptism, every Christian enters into spiritual combat. St Paul tells us (Eph. 6:12) that our struggle is not only against flesh and blood, but against the “spiritual forces of evil.” This is serious!
We know how we stop going to church, stop praying, stop helping those in need, how we turn focus on ourselves rather than on God who is the real author of our life.
Our Catechism further tells us that the way to combat these temptations, not to want to do anything useful, is to pray, to fast and to give alms (donations). These are the keys for staying in focus on our personal vision in our search for God.
We all know that this is true. We know how we stop going to church, stop praying, stop helping those in need, how we turn focus on ourselves rather than on God who is the real author of our life.
Bishop Peter Stasiuk C.Ss.R. AM
This article was published in The Church and Life Newspaper, September 2017