Practicing the Discipline of Place

Here’s one small quote (from one small section) arising from a rhapsodic essay (one that deserves to be read and reread) from tNP’s interminable traditionalist, Fr Jape.

It is the idea that to suffer one’s place and one’s people in the particularity of its and their needs is the only true basis for finding love, friendship, and an authentic, meaningful life. This is nothing less than the key to the pursuit of Christian holiness, which is the whole of the Christian adventure: live in love with the frailty and limits of one’s existence, suffering the places, customs, rites, joys, and sorrows of the people who are in close relation to you by family, friendship, and community–all in service of the truth, goodness, and beauty that is best experienced directly. The discipline of place teaches that it is more than enough to care skillfully and lovingly for one’s own little circle, and this is the model for the good life, not the limitless jurisdiction of the ego, granted by a doctrine of choice, that is ever seeking its own fulfillment, pleasure, and satiation. The Puritan heritage of America has long chafed against this discipline as it necessarily limits one to a small field of action in a world with seemingly little hope for eschatological fulfillment. Thus have American Evangelicals historically pined after their great mission of “giftedness” and “calling,” forsaking that foolishness of the Gospel of our Lord which has ever lain at their doorstep, in need of nurturing care.

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