The Ascetic Christian
“If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”
—St. Luke 9:23
The eleventh-century theologian Nicetas Stethatos taught that there are three different types of natures in mankind. The first lives for himself, even if it harms others. The second desires good for others and for himself. The third lives to please God, even at the expense of harming himself. The first man he considered to be base. The second he called the natural man. The third, a spiritual man.
Unfortunately, the spiritual person as so defined is not the role model we see in most of Christendom. We are lead to believe that asceticism& . . .
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