Faith comes not through pondering but through action. Not words and speculation but experience teaches us what God is. To let in fresh air we have to open a window; to get tanned we must go out into the sunshine. Achieving faith is no different; we never reach a goal by just sitting in comfort and waiting, say the holy Fathers. Let the Prodigal Son be our example. He arose and came (Luke 15:20).
~ Tito Colliander (Way of the Ascetics) as posted on 1053 Lenten Study: ON A RESOLUTE AND SUSTAINED PURPOSE.
What is ascetic?
characterized by or suggesting the practice of severe self-discipline and abstention from all forms of indulgence, typically for religious reasons : an ascetic life of prayer, fasting, and manual labor | a narrow, humorless, ascetic face.
a person who practices such self-discipline and abstention.
self-discipline does not happen by talking about it. it comes by practicing it. one does not become a better golfer or tennis player or cook or mother by merely 'talking' about how to be better. one improves by 'doing'.
it takes action.
words of wisdom.
Kerygma and Diakonia.
This brings me to the last emphasis in our pause: the Church as mission to proclaim this Word in and to the world, which, as was said above, is included in what we mean by the declaration of the Lordship of Christ. It would appear that the Church goes about being this mission in the world in two ways: first, by articulating through verbal signs the gospel message (kerygma) and, secondly, by performing acts of concerned, involved service (diakonia). Yet these two aspects of the outreach of the Church, the word and the act, cannot finally be distinguished. There is abundant New Testament evidence of their utter interpretation. Together and never separately, they constitute the proclamation of the Church in and to the world.
~Bishop James K. Mathews (from Jesus is Lord)
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror 24and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.
~ James 1:22-25 (NIV)
You can no more show me your works apart from your faith than I can show you my faith apart from my works. Faith and works, works and faith, fit together hand in glove.
~ James 2:14-26 (The Message)