The following is a chapter from a forthcoming book on fatherhood and mentoring by Jason Craig.
“My father, in all his teaching,” said John Stuart Mill, “demanded of me not only the utmost that I could do, but much that I could by no possibility could have done.” Fatherhood fully realized communicates meaning, purpose, and the call to greatness. Without meaning and purpose a deep boredom sets in. The last chapter explained that it is not merely vice or sin that is dragging down our youth, but it is a dangerous sloth, a sort of hatred of things of the soul that reveals itself in sustained but pointless activity and a disregard for the nobility or fullness of life. “Whatever,” it shrugs in indifference, and indifference is the opposite of love, not hate.
This boredom and sloth (acedia) is the reversal of St. Paul’s problem; “my spirit is willing but my flesh is weak” is turned into “my flesh is willing but my spirit is weak”.
Cardinal Oullett linked acedia (sloth) with a rejection of being a son of God:
Weariness, melancholy, feeling overworked, discouragement, instability, activism, boredom, or depression: these various manifestations of the “noonday devil” [acedia or sloth] are enough to convince us of the relevance of an evil that caused man to lose his relish for life… Left to his own devices, man ultimately despairs of ever being able to find a meaning for his existence and runs the risk of sinking into mediocrity that is just the symptom of his rejection of his own greatness as an adopted son of God. (Marc Cardinal Oullet, emphasis added).
Young people are fed a constant diet of secularism (God’s not allowed), relativism (truth’s not allowed), and materialism (transcendence’s not allowed). There is really nothing left but a life of self-gratification, or to make