CHRISTIAN ASCETICISM -revisited
There is probably no area in spirituality more difficult to discuss than asceticism. The specialty of Christian asceticism is that it includes anthropology, by which it avoids all one-sidedness, suspicion and curtailment. It sees man as a unity of body and spirit in all his aspects, for the grace of God speaks to the whole Man in all his aspects.
There are two types asceticism; positive and negative. Seeking the advancement of the positive power is more important than fighting against evil power. The negative emotions like guilt, self-tormenting, etc. should not over take the positive emotions like love, affection, happiness, joy etc.
The integration of the person is a major field for the exercise of asceticism, which includes soul, mind, body, the intellectual, the affective etc. but the traditional asceticism neglected this aspect.
Ultimately we can say Christian asceticism must be a sharing in the asceticism of Christ.
Dr. Felix Podimattam is one of the best-known moral theologians in India and outside. Besides his full time job as a professor, he finds time to write books at an amazing rate. He has authored 65 books. Besides his Master’s degree in Political Science from the University of Mysore, he holds a Licentiate in Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, and subsequently a Doctorate in Moral Theology from the Alphosian Academy, Rome, His post-doctoral studies were pursued in Washington, DC, U.S.A. At Present he is professor of moral theology at St. Francis Theological College, Kottayam, Kerala.