Lauralea and I will be at a retreat for a day next week and as preparation we were asked to take a Sacred Pathways Assessment.
"Just as people have different personality temperaments, they also have different spiritual temperaments or preferred ways of approaching God for worship and discipleship. "
The results were interesting. Turns out I'm an Ascetic, go figure.
Loving God in Solitude and Simplicity
DESCRIPTION “Ascetics want nothing more than to be left alone in prayer. Take away the liturgy, the trappings of religion, the noise of the outside world. Let there be nothing to distract them ”? no pictures, no loud music ”? and leave them alone to pray in silence and simplicity.
Ascetics live a fundamentally internal existence. Even when they are part of a group of people, they might seem to be isolated from the others. ...uncomfortable in an environment that keeps them from ”?listening to the quiet".”?
“It is in these dark, intense, lonely times that ascetics" souls awaken.”?
“Ascetics live strict lives of self-denial so that they would be free to contemplate God.”?
“True ascetics are strict with themselves but treat others with supernatural gentleness.”?
“...modern ascetics...don"t have time to find a desert to express our faith; inner detachment allows us to find a lonely desert in the midst of the busiest city.”?
“He (St. Francis) devoured fasting as a man devours food. He plunged after poverty as men have dug madly for gold.”?
An ascetic will need to be intentional in seeking out other Christians with whom to fellowship. We need feedback from our brothers and sisters to be able to see ourselves clearly.
Actually it was very helpful in understanding some things I have been struggling with.