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“ASCETICISM (from Gr. askesis, “athlete”) A spiritual struggle—the crucifixion of the desires of the flesh––through a life of prayer, fasting, and self-denial. Through asceticism the Christian fights temptation to sin and thereby grows in spiritual strength…asceticism is not only for monasteries, but also for the world…Regular reading, study, and reflection on God’s Word in the Bible is an essential part of Christian ascetic life.” (Orthodox Study Bible, St. Porphyrios the Kapsokalivite, Father Thomas Hopko)

“Asceticism is at the root of the Christian faith. God gave Adam and Eve and ascetic command designed for their well-being and growth…to fast from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil…when they broke this command, essentially abandoning ascetism for self-indulgence, they found themselves separated from God. As laypeople, we often do the same not understanding ascetism and self-denial are a universal means of spiritual growth and communion with God that is for all Christians…This ascetic ethos of the Church applies equally for all people and is exemplified in monasticism." (Sacramental Living Ministries, Archimandrite Sergius)

“If you love true knowledge, devote yourself to the ascetic life…the ascetic life to the everyday person who works a job, has a family and is in the so called “real world” looks different than from a monastic but the discipline of participating in the life of Christ remains the same – daily prayer, going to church, regular fasting…doing the things that move us toward God, denying the things that move us away from God." (St. Mark the Ascetic, Sacramental Living Ministries)

“St. Paul notes that “faith works through love” (Gal. 5:6). This describes the very heart of the ascetic life. Only love extends itself in the self-emptying struggle against the passions without becoming lost in the solipsism of asceticism for its own sake. It is love that endures the contradictions of reality without turning away or reducing them. And it is love that finally comprehends the reality hidden within the contradictions that confront us.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

"One could say the whole battle of Christian life, the very purpose of asceticism, is to acquire divine love." (Archimandrite Vassilios Papavassiliou)

#OrthodoxStudyBible #StPorphyriostheKapsokalivite #FatherThomasHopko #SacramentalLivingMinistries #ArchimandriteSergius #StMarktheAscetic #FatherStephenFreeman #ArchimandriteVassiliosPapavassiliou

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