Everyday Asceticism: Some Pauline Beatitudes

In honor of St. Thecla, whose memory we commemorate today, I took the morning to reflect on some interesting beatitudes from the ancient Christian text of the Acts of Paul and Thecla. Excerpt:

[T]hink of all the things that stress people out. I remember being single and I know that singleness comes with a lot of stress of its own; please don’t mistake my meaning. But still, now I worry about keeping my job, paying my bills, maintaining my house, being a good husband, being a good father, and so on. These things are all wonderful and ascetic in their own ways (rightly done), but they are not the same as praying all day or helping the needy.

The chaste, by contrast, are empowered to devote far more time to these things that ought to hold a central place in life of all Christians. It is a life where one does not need to put oneself through the great ascetic exploit of going camping to notice the voice of God in the flowers or a stream or the clouds. Perhaps the statement “for unto them God shall speak” means audible words, but we need not read it that way. God is always speaking, but we are not always listening.

Read the whole post here.