Saturday 14 April 2007

A true road

The advent of calendars with photographs of priests who look like models is not something for us to be too flippant about. Priests rarely get a good press from the pagan media and if we want to see priests in a good light then we must look beyond the images which our culture promotes.
The Linacre Institute for Bioethics recently published a book - After Asceticism - you can read about it here.

You might find the style of writing here rather abrubt but the writer is concerned to speak about the value of asceticism in the Christian Life. Whilst clergy are the primary focus of this article, the basic notion is that any man or woman who wishes to remain true to God requires some asceticism in order to do so.

What is most revealing in this article is that the writer has identified how traditional ascetical discipline in the Christian Life has been outmoded in favour of a therapeutic mentality - an emotional quest for "self-definition or self-actualisation, without regard to an objective philosophical, religious or moral truth". I find that I can easily "pamper" myself, especially after periods of business or intense work, and that I fail to see what real value "pampering" has for me, and even worse, I have forgotten the place of asceticism in my life. Whilst the whole area of clergy, sexuality and sexual abuse (which is what this book is taking about) is a very complex one, I am glad that such a book has been written and I intend to read it. The renewal of the priesthood is a very great goal for anyone to be involved with.


Anonymous said...

Father, I used to get that calendar, but simply because it was a calendar of Priest...not how they looked, but because I wanted to be reminded of the Priesthood when I looked for dates on the calendar.

But I suppose I am an exception in those who have purchased that calendar.

Fr Richard Aladics said...

The point of this posting is to alert readers to this unexpected and prophetic book - "After Asceticism".