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Word Power: Ascetic

From time to time, I come across words that I fathom what they mean, but that I don't actually know.  So I consult one of my favorite books, The Dictionary, to learn something new.  

This afternoon I was catching up on my daily scripture reading when I found today we commemorate the life and ministry of John of Damascus, a priest.  In Lesser Feasts and Fasts, it recalls John "entered the monastery of St. Sabas near Jerusalem.  There he devoted himself to an ascetic life and to the study of the Fathers".  I learned John of Damascus is the author of one of my favorite Easter hymns, "Come ye faithful, raise the strain".

Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1) - Cite This Source - Share This
as·cet·ic      [uh-set-ik] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–noun
1.a person who dedicates his or her life to a pursuit of contemplative ideals and practices extreme self-denial or self-mortification for religious reasons.
2.a person who leads an austerely simple life, esp. one who abstains from the normal pleasures of life or denies himself or herself material satisfaction.
3.(in the early Christian church) a monk; hermit.
–adjective Also, as·cet·i·cal.
4.pertaining to asceticism.
5.rigorously abstinent; austere: an ascetic existence.
6.exceedingly strict or severe in religious exercises or self-mortification.

[Origin: 1640–50; < Gk askétikós subject to rigorous exercise, hardworking, equiv. to aské- (see askesis) + -tikos -tic]

as·cet·i·cal·ly, adverb

—Synonyms 3. anchorite, recluse; cenobite. 5. strict, frugal, plain. 6. fanatic.
—Antonyms 5. self-indulgent.
Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1) Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.
   
I seek to serve in the ministry, however I am human and I am man.  The ascetic life is not for me.  

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Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
romelover
Dec. 5th, 2007 08:52 am (UTC)
"one who abstains from the normal pleasures of life"
Uh, NO, my beloved, says the wife.
seekingservant
Dec. 5th, 2007 11:55 am (UTC)
Heart of my Heart
Sweetheart, Love of my life, you are most normal and extraordinary pleasure of my life. I could not truly live as God intended if you were not in my life. I love you dearly, more and more each day, forever and for always. AMEN.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )