Daily Reflection for August 14, 2019

Abba Agathon also said, ‘A person is like a tree, bodily asceticism is the foliage, interior vigilance the fruit. According to that which is written, “Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit shall be cut down and cast into the fire” (Matt. 3.10) it is clear that all our care should be directed towards the fruit, that is to say, guard of the spirit; but it needs the protection and the embellishment of the foliage, which is bodily asceticism.’

The goal is never asceticism for its own sake, but rather the interior dispositions and knowledge such detachment may bring.