Daily Riches: Asceticism (Kathleen Norris)

“Asceticism … is a way of surrendering to reduced circumstances
in a manner that enhances the whole person.

It is a radical way of knowing exactly who, what, and where you are,
in defiance of those powerful forces in society –
alcohol, drugs, television, shopping malls, motels –
that aim to make us forget.”
Kathleen Norris

“Then Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan River. He was led by the Spirit in the wilderness where he was tempted by the devil for forty days. Jesus ate nothing all that time and became very hungry.”   Luke 4:1,2

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • At the start of his ministry, Jesus was “led by the Spirit” into an extreme ascetic experience. What was the reason for this? Think about it in light of what Kathleen Norris says.
  • What forces do you notice in your life that make you “forget exactly who, what, and where you are?”
  • How can you voluntarily “reduce your circumstances” (or accept reduced circumstances) in order to “enhance” your whole self and be better grounded?

Abba, whether I choose less (things, activity, talk) or less is chosen for me (opportunity, health, affirmation), I pray that you would work in that empty space to teach me “who, what and where” I am.


For More: Dakota: A Spiritual Geography by Kathleen Norris


The “Daily Riches” from RicherByFar are for your encouragement as you seek after God, and as he seeks after you. My goal is to provide you with something of uncommon value each day in less than 200-300 words. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it with others. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

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