That the spiritual habits and disciplines of the Christian aim at such formation, the cultivation of virtue and the pursuit of holiness, ought to be obvious; when a Christian abstains from some evil act, it is for reason of the deformity such an act would introduce into his being. Moreoever, when, say, an Orthodox Christian observes the fasting season of Lent, he does so as an act of piety and obedience, yes, but also because, given his beliefs, it is an eminently rational or logical thing for him to undertake. If one believes that human nature is pulled hither and tither by the stimuli of pleasure and pain, and thereby rent into pieces, dominated by multitudinous passions attached to sensible and imaginary things, then not only petition for mercy but abstention from objects and acts that enkindle the passions becomes a logical and spiritual therepy for the disorder of one’s being. One’s travail is not an ordeal of the intellect alone, but is existential, involving the whole of one’s being; one must then not only refrain from an excess of attachment to things intellectually, but actually, for what inner detachment can a man cultivate if he never really detaches himself from the pursuits, the inordinate loves of things, that disorder him? ~Maximos (Jeff Martin), Enchiridion Militis
Jeff brings together a number of connected strands (I think successfully) over at EM: crunchy conservatism, the disciplines of Lent, Orthodox anthropology and the latter’s antithesis in the autonomous and consumerist models of the modern individual man. He also cites approvingly from Claude Polin, an editor of Chronicles, towards the end of the post, so that there is practically something for everyone.