The pandemic and its resultant isolation have an effect on the psychological life of most of us. There are plenty of things out there about the effects on sleep, dreams, depression, and aspects of mental health. Spiritual well-being has also experienced an impact. I found help on the practice of the spiritual life in an unexpected source.

A year or so ago, a friend recommended a small book called Thoughts Matter – The Practice of the Spiritual Life, by Mary Margaret Funk, O.S.B. This Benedictine prioress brings us back to John Cassian, a fourth-century monk. He invited his early Christian readers to seek God by knowing and stabilizing their thoughts.

Funk claims that “a mind at peace, stilled, available for conscious thinking at will is of major value for those of us who confront chaos, confusion, noise, and numbness.” Cassian and Funk help us see that all our random thoughts are clustered into several areas: food, sex, things, anger, dejection, acedia (or spiritual apathy), vainglory, and pride.

Praise the Lord

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