Exercising One’s Faith

The Greek word “askesis” is equivalent to the English word “exercise.”  The English word athlete comes from this same Greek word “askesis.”  It is transliterated into English as “ascetic” or “asceticism.” With this in mind, we can realize that the following two sentences use the same terms in much the same way, although it seems they have a very different force. The first is a common American Evangelical platitude:

In order for one to have faith, a person must exercise it.

The other comes from the Introduction to Archimandrite Sophrony’s book St. Silouan the Athonite:

Faith entails ascetic striving.

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