Ascesis is man’s struggle to keep the commandments of Christ. It encompasses not only his bodily and spiritual effort, but also the method by which he passes through the three stages of the spiritual life, namely: purification of the heart, illumination of the nous, and theosis. Thus, it is an essential tool for one’s sanctification. According to St. Gregory Palamas, it is primarily “the evangelic life which is based on repentance.
It is man’s preparation for his union with Christ.”
From the book
Councels from the Holy mountain
Selected from the letters and homilies of Elder Efraim of Arizona
Selection of passages from the book by Silviu Podariu
Elder Efraim of Arizona-† Ascesis