Asceticism

Merriam-Webster.com

as·​cet·​i·​cism | \ ə-ˈse-tə-ˌsi-zəm  \

Definition of asceticism

1: the practice of strict self-denial as a measure of personal and especially spiritual discipline the condition, practice, or mode of life of an asceticrigorous abstention from self-indulgence

Sacrifice, renunciation, asceticism, fasting, returning again to God … : these are inclinations fueled as much by instinct as by religious idealism. — Joyce Carol Oates

Crossing the Atlantic in a small sailboat is an exercise in asceticism, a test of what the human psyche can do without. — Sarah Ballard

2: austerity in appearance, manner, or attitude

His neatly trimmed white beard and runner’s physique suggest the asceticism of a mathematics professor, while his questioning mind signals a mistrust of surface impressions. — Bruce Schoenfeld

In contrast to the chaste asceticism of earlier modernist office towers, the AT&T Building incorporated traditional symbols of imperial power (Roman vaults and arches), prestige (a Chippendale-inspired silhouette), and old money (a huge golden statue in the lobby, which once stood on top of the old AT&T Building).— Witold Rybczynski


Etymonline.com

From asceticism:

1640s, from ascetic (adj.) + -ism. Sometimes also ascetism (1830).

From ascetic:

[adjective] 1640s, “practicing rigorous self-denial as a religious exercise,” from Latinized form of Greek asketikos “rigorously self-disciplined, laborious,” from asketes “monk, hermit,” earlier “skilled worker, one who practices an art or trade,” especially “athlete, one in training for the arena,” from askein “to exercise, train,” especially “to train for athletic competition, practice gymnastics, exercise,” perhaps originally “to fashion material, embellish or refine material.”

The Greek word was applied by the stoics to the controlling of the appetites and passions as the path to virtue and was picked up from them by the early Christians. Figurative sense of “unduly strict or austere” also is from 1640s. Related: Ascetical (1610s).

[noun] 1650s, “one rigorous in self-denial,” especially as an act of religious devotion; 1670s, Ascetic, “one of the early Christians who retired to the desert to live solitary lives of meditation, self-denial, and prayer,” from ascetic (adj.).


Discussion/Explanation

Definition #1 fits best with its use within Christianity.

The earliest Christian monks were a solitary sort referred to as the ascetics because of their choice to shove off the world and spend time in isolation (often in remote locations).

These early individuals did not typically stay there forever. It was from among these ascetics that many of the early church leaders where chosen. This behavior meant they simply could not stay out in the remote wilderness any longer.

Later monastics became something quite different as they were specifically named orders focused around particular ideals–mostly under the Roman Catholic church (though not all).

Quote 44 – John 3:1-21

Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know You are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs You are doing if God were not with him.

In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”

“How can a man be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!”

Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You should be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

“How can this be?” Nicodemus asked.

“You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? I tell you the truth, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven–the Son of Man. Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in Him may have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stand condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”

John 3:1-21 – NIV

Psalm 119:73-88

Today – Hebrew letters Yodh (pronounced like yohd, the vowel has more of an “oh” sound ) and Kaph (like the work cough)

These are covered in verses 73 to 80 and 81 to 88 respectively.

Yodh

English

Your hands made me and fashioned me;
Give me understanding, that I may learn Your commandments.
74 May those who fear You see me and be glad,
Because I wait for Your word.
75 I know, O Lord, that Your judgments are righteous,
And that in faithfulness You have afflicted me.
76 O may Your lovingkindness comfort me,
According to Your word to Your servant.
77 May Your compassion come to me that I may live,
For Your law is my delight.
78 May the arrogant be ashamed, for they subvert me with a lie;
But I shall meditate on Your precepts.
79 May those who fear You turn to me,
Even those who know Your testimonies.
80 May my heart be blameless in Your statutes,
So that I will not be ashamed.

NASB

Hebrew

 יָדֶ֣יךָ עָ֭שׂוּנִי וַֽיְכוֹנְנ֑וּנִי הֲ֝בִינֵ֗נִי וְאֶלְמְדָ֥ה מִצְוֺתֶֽיךָ׃

 יְ֭רֵאֶיךָ יִרְא֣וּנִי וְיִשְׂמָ֑חוּ כִּ֖י לִדְבָרְךָ֣ יִחָֽלְתִּי׃

 יָדַ֣עְתִּי יְ֭הוָה כִּי־צֶ֣דֶק מִשְׁפָּטֶ֑יךָ וֶ֝אֱמוּנָ֗ה עִנִּיתָֽנִי׃

 יְהִי־נָ֣א חַסְדְּךָ֣ לְנַחֲמֵ֑נִי כְּאִמְרָתְךָ֥ לְעַבְדֶּֽךָ׃

 יְבֹא֣וּנִי רַחֲמֶ֣יךָ וְאֶֽחְיֶ֑ה כִּי־תֽ֝וֹרָתְךָ֗ שַֽׁעֲשֻׁעָֽי׃

 יֵבֹ֣שׁוּ זֵ֭דִים כִּי־שֶׁ֣קֶר עִוְּת֑וּנִי אֲ֝נִ֗י אָשִׂ֥יחַ בְּפִקּוּדֶֽיךָ׃

 יָשׁ֣וּבוּ לִ֣י יְרֵאֶ֑יךָ ׳וְיָדְעוּ׳ ״וְ֝יֹדְעֵ֗י״ עֵדֹתֶֽיךָ׃

 יְהִֽי־לִבִּ֣י תָמִ֣ים בְּחֻקֶּ֑יךָ לְ֝מַ֗עַן לֹ֣א אֵבֽוֹשׁ׃

WLC

Kaph

English

My soul languishes for Your salvation;
I wait for Your word.
82 My eyes fail with longing for Your word,
While I say, “When will You comfort me?”
83 Though I have become like a wineskin in the smoke,
I do not forget Your statutes.
84 How many are the days of Your servant?
When will You execute judgment on those who persecute me?
85 The arrogant have dug pits for me,
Men who are not in accord with Your law.
86 All Your commandments are faithful;
They have persecuted me with a lie; help me!
87 They almost destroyed me on earth,
But as for me, I did not forsake Your precepts.
88 Revive me according to Your lovingkindness,
So that I may keep the testimony of Your mouth.

NASB

Hebrew

כָּלְתָ֣ה לִתְשׁוּעָתְךָ֣ נַפְשִׁ֑י לִדְבָרְךָ֥ יִחָֽלְתִּי׃

 כָּל֣וּ עֵ֭ינַי לְאִמְרָתֶ֑ךָ לֵ֝אמֹ֗ר מָתַ֥י תְּֽנַחֲמֵֽנִי׃

 כִּֽי־הָ֭יִיתִי כְּנֹ֣אד בְּקִיט֑וֹר חֻ֝קֶּ֗יךָ לֹ֣א שָׁכָֽחְתִּי׃

 כַּמָּ֥ה יְמֵֽי־עַבְדֶּ֑ךָ מָתַ֬י תַּעֲשֶׂ֖ה בְרֹדְפַ֣י מִשְׁפָּֽט׃

 כָּֽרוּ־לִ֣י זֵדִ֣ים שִׁיח֑וֹת אֲ֝שֶׁ֗ר לֹ֣א כְתוֹרָתֶֽךָ׃

 כָּל־מִצְוֺתֶ֥יךָ אֱמוּנָ֑ה שֶׁ֖קֶר רְדָפ֣וּנִי עָזְרֵֽנִי׃

 כִּ֭מְעַט כִּלּ֣וּנִי בָאָ֑רֶץ וַ֝אֲנִ֗י לֹא־עָזַ֥בְתִּי פִקֻּודֶֽיךָ׃

 כְּחַסְדְּךָ֥ חַיֵּ֑נִי וְ֝אֶשְׁמְרָ֗ה עֵד֥וּת פִּֽיךָ׃

WLC