An Introduction to the Spiritual Disciplines
A great introduction to spiritual disciplines written from the site The Art of Manliness.
Spirituality without discipline moves in hapless fits and starts; it is sporadic, dependent on fluctuating feelings and external circumstances. It requires little to no effort, but also produces little to no sustained growth, and thus little to no fruit.
This is as true for the “spiritual but not religious” as for those who do consider themselves religious, or at least nominally adopt the trappings of a faith. They may go to church every week, maybe even pray every night, but their spirituality has been almost completely stagnant for years. They go through the motions, but don’t really discipline themselves, and thus only produce the barest of fruit. They’re like the people above who “work out” without real purpose, and without putting forth much effort. They may be getting a tad healthier, but their physiques look exactly the same as they did two years ago when they first joined the gym.
For the soul to strengthen, it has to be trained in a consistent, deliberate way. Just like your physical muscles, it needs something to push against, it needs resistance. If you really want your spirit to be able to soar to adventurous heights and explore the profoundest of depths, if you really want it to possess power — if you really want it to be free — it paradoxically needs some structure. It needs discipline.
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