I need to put some kind of cover over my floor lamp. I can smell the bugs that come to close to the alluring light, and it is not a pleasant smell. Makes me want to stand outside for a while and bask in cleaner, less crematory air.
There is a paragraph in one of the orthodox writers I am reading (I’m too lazy to check and see which one right now) who mentions an ascetic and a contemplative component to a full Spiritual life, corresponding essentially with a life of discipline and a life of consideration. Some come to the contemplation through the asceticism, some come to the asceticism through the contemplation.
I’m certainly of the latter, finding discipline only after increasingly considering the goal. Fortunately, for me, the writer noted this was the more effective path, though he didn’t say why. I would guess it is because in having contemplation first everything is always considered through the lens of the end, rather than having the end considered through the lens of the duties. Disciplines can become themselves the goal if not careful. But, of course, these two are inextricably linked.
I’m not sure why I note this now, only it keeps coming to my mind, maybe because there are times in which I berate myself for my lapses of discipline, and think that I am not taking advantage of the time like I should. I am, only I approach it differently than someone who looks only to the specific actions of a spiritual life. I tend to be more fluid in reaction and response, though the dangers of that are not hard to find.
God does indeed work in everyone’s life differently, and to pattern one after another is the sure way to miss the work of the most creative Spirit.
Not an excuse, however, to drop the ball with discipline, I still need to work on it, even if contemplation comes easier these days.