These thoughts of an esteemed theologian, Olivier Clement seem worth sharing on season of Lent:
“Asceticism can only be understood in the perspective of the resurrected, liturgical body. Asceticism signifies the effort to strip away our masks, those neurotic identities that usurp our personal vocation. It is an effort based not on will-power, but on a ceaseless abandonment of oneself to grace…. Asceticism is the struggle, the self-abandonment of openness and faith, which allows the Spirit to transform the anonymous body of our species into a body of ‘language’ that expresses both the person and communion among persons. Thanks to this ascetic struggle, we are gradually transformed from an acquisitive body, that treats the world as its prey, into a body of celebration, that unites itself to the ecclesial liturgy and thereby to the cosmic liturgy.”
Olivier Clement (1921-2009) was a French Eastern Orthodox theologian 1921-2009. He was a Professor at St.Serge in Paris and the author of many books and articles and was the editor of the magazine Contacts.