13 дек. 2007 г.

Chapter9 - "The Spirit of the Disciplines" by Dallas Willard

I will skip theory for now due to lack of time and get back to it later. Now practical issues.

Some main disciplines for the spiritual life

A discipline for the spiritual life is nothing but an activity undertaken to bring us into more effective cooperation with Christ and His Kingdom. Grace (charis) is a gift (charisma). When we understand it, we see that to grow in grace is to grow in what is given to us of God and by God. The disciplines are then the means to that grace and to those gifts. Spiritual disciplines are only activities undertaken to make us capable of receiving more of his life and power without harm to ourselves or others.

When through spiritual disciplines I become able heartily to bless those who curse me, pray without ceasing, to be at peace when not given credit for good deeds I’ve done, or to master the evil that comes my way, it is because my disciplinary activities have invardly poised me for more interaction with the powers of the living God and his Kingdom.

I am to come up with a list of my own disciplines and do not assume that my list will be right for others.

Some well-known practices will be on every list. Other activities are rarely thought of as disciplines. Yet others for ages served as spiritual disciplines but are now largely forgotten, for example: peregrinatio - voluntary exile; “watch” - where one rejects sleep to concentrate on spiritual matters. The keeping of a journal or spiritual diary serves many as a vital discipline, though it probably would not show up on any “standard” list. Physical labor has proven to be a spiritual discipline, especially foro those who are also deeply involved in solitude, fasting, study and prayer. (1Thes 4:11-12)

Unusual activity that can be an effective spiritual discipline is to do grocery shopping, banking and other business in the poorest areas of the city. It has an immense effect on our understanding of and behaviour toward our neighbors, of what it is to love and care for our fellow human beings.

To be continued...
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