Asceticism: Unfinished Business

I realized after my previous post that I hadn’t made clear what I meant by connecting blogging and asceticism, nor did I make it clear that I intend to read the rest of Fagerberg’s book in the hopes that it will provide some fodder for reflection (and therefore blogging) about the liturgy.

As for asceticism and blogging, I think the point that I need to make is that my goal is not so must realizing blogging as an ascetic practice (though I suppose it could be that) as it is recognizing the virtues that are most readily promoted by blogging, and the spiritual dangers I will be most likely to face. In making myself aware of the associated virtues and vices, I will hopefully make myself more capable of building up the former and avoiding the latter. Fagerberg’s close study of the ascetic tradition of Eastern Christianity apparently made for slow going: constantly encountering warnings against writing for the wrong reasons apparently discourages one from writing at all.

I’ve not dedicated to the study of the Eastern Fathers even a tiny fraction of the time Dr. Fagerberg has, so it’s not really fair of me to act as if my writing is inhibited to nearly the extent that his has been (apparently the book has been in the works for the better part of a decade). Nonetheless, I want to make it clear that, if I’m going to blog at all, it will be because I’m trying to understand blogging as a way for me to build virtue, and what little guidance I’ve gleaned from Fagerberg’s discussion of the Eastern Fathers has helped me to see a path forward. If I blog, it is not because think I have the solutions to the issues I discuss, but because through thoroughly laying out my own perspective and subjecting it to scrutiny, I can refine my thought process and my writing style.

It’s a bit odd that I end up taking the warnings of the Eastern Fathers as encouragement, but I would like to think that it is typical of how I think about things about which I am unsure: once I have discerned the truth at the heart of the issue, I am more confident in letting that core truth manifest itself in my approach to that issue. I suppose it’s not THAT uncommon when it comes to thought processes, but I’d like to hold myself to that basic structure in my next post or two.

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