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“I will tell you a true story. When I was a deacon many years ago, we met for daily matins at 6:00 am every day. We had a young man in our community who was unemployed and in a public way vowed that he would attend morning matins to pray. However, after a couple of weeks, he slowly stopped attending. A friend of mine asked him why, and he said, “6:00 am is just too early. I just can’t do it.” It was only a few weeks later that this young man got a great job. It was a union job with great pay and amazing benefits. The job was much more than the young man had ever hoped for. It was a job driving a bread delivery truck, and the work day started at 3:00 am. Suddenly, getting up early was not so hard. It seems the difficulty of any discipline depends a great deal on how important you really think that discipline is.” (Fr. Michael Gillis)

“Freedom without responsibility is not freedom. Only when you are prevented from doing what you want to do can you understand freedom. But when you say, “I want to do everything I want,” you are not free. Think about Genesis, the first book in the Bible.  When God created man, he did not understand what freedom was until God told him, “you cannot touch this tree—it is the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” So if God created man to be free, then ask yourself why He gave him a limit—“do not touch this.” Without this limit, man cannot understand what freedom is. Freedom is just a word if you do not have restrictions. So freedom without discipline is not freedom. And many in America think that they do not have to respect anyone and that they are free to do everything. This is not freedom.” (Archimandrite Roman Braga)

“...without discipline and discernment through obedience to Christ, freedom from law is slavery to sin…unceasing prayer is a proper goal, for spiritual growth comes through such discipline.” (Orthodox Study Bible, 1 Corinthians 6:12,1 Thessalonians 5:15)

“Entrusting ourselves to the Crucified and Risen Lord requires engaging in a persistent struggle to reorient the deepest desires of our hearts for purification and fulfillment in Him. That is especially difficult in a culture that worships at the altar of the isolated individual and celebrates passions, such as pride, anger, lust, and greed, that pose grave obstacles to embracing our true life together in God. To grow in loving communion with Christ and one another requires daily vigilance against temptations so appealing that they have become second nature to us, as well as constant commitment to basic disciplines of the Christian life that open us to receive His gracious healing of our souls.” (Fr. Philip LeMasters)

“…when practiced in their proper manner, all Christian disciplines are not efforts to efface our humanity but to become truly human, to be more fully alive as the icon of the Logos. The image of being transformed into the image of Christ is misunderstood when it is treated in a moralistic manner, “What would Jesus do?” Mere behavior is not the same thing as true union and transformation. We are to become like Christ, not simply act like Christ. This is the true tendency to Beauty that marks us all.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“As training prepares an athlete, so spiritual discipline prepares a Christian to exercise faith and enter the Kingdom…A balanced spiritual diet must include healing times of self-examination, repentance, and confession as part of our disciplines for spiritual growth.” (Orthodox Study Bible, 1 Corinthians 9:24-27, OCPM 8/25/2016)

“Inner spiritual discipline will create a clear sense of purpose and humility in your own heart.” (Father Barnabas Powell)

"Now, the Lord is not telling me to neglect prayer and fasting. What He is, however, telling me, is that whatever external discipline I practice, I should all the time be focusing on the renewal of my heart in His Spirit; on my inner disposition to Him, myself, and others." (Sr. Dr. Vassa Larin)

“As Christians, we don’t have to be motivated by fear, but we should seek discipline out of love for God." (Nabeel Qureshi)

“Like the Pharisee in “The Pharisee and the Publican (Luke 18:9-14), we must make sure our discipline is not self-serving but a means to draw closer to God…What is the problem with self-reliance on discipline? It is self-imposed and not derived from God. It arises from pride, and has no intention to “put to death your members which are on earth.” Self-imposed religion encourages self-esteem and obstructs the Holy Spirit Who alone gives humility. Self-imposed discipline may appear similar to life-giving Christian asceticism, but the two are utterly contrary from their foundations.” (Sacramental Living Ministries, Dynamis 10/30/2012)

“Discipline means “to teach and to train…Cultivating a healthy spirit requires devoting time each day to the spiritual disciplines of Scripture memory, Bible reading, and praying.” (Life Application Study Bible, Proverbs 3:11-12, Donna Partow)

“We live in a society that devalues quiet and discipline… Self-control is often frowned upon in today’s society. Exercising the ability to be or do whatever a person wants is seen as the way to live. It is in church that children are taught not only how to exercise discipline, but also why it is important.” (Christianna Dorrance)

“…traditions only make sense only when they have the Gospel as their reference. If we forget that these traditions are given to us to help us lay hold of Christ, then they appear to be superfluous and the disciplines they encourage us to do seem to serve no real purpose. We start to evaluate the discipline by the values of the dominant culture -- by a cost-benefit calculus, rather than seeing them as ways to morally reorient ourselves towards Christ.” (Rev. Johannes L. Jacobse)

“The modern pastorate is defined by an ever-increasing need for personal discipline. We can no longer count on society to keep us within the margins of morality. Rather, our popular culture is distinctly anti-spiritual and anti-God. We must now work harder than ever to hold on to what little faith we have.” (Bishop Joseph)

“Disciplined people can do the right thing at the right time in the right way for the right reason.” (John Ortberg)

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