On the Mysteries and Asceticism

Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlachos of Nafpaktos

The cure and deification of man is achieved, on the one hand, by the sacramental life, and on the other hand by the ascetic life which we live in the Church. I want to particularly emphasize that the Holy Fathers of the Church teach that man’s salvation is a combination of sacraments and asceticism. We cannot understand the sacraments without asceticism in Christ, and we cannot live a real ascetic life without the sacraments of the Church… In our time a great deal is being said about the sacramental life, the eucharistological life is being much emphasized.  This is very good. But, unfortunately, the ascetic tradition of the Church is being overlooked. (The Mind of the Orthodox Church, pp. 147-148)