Adapted from: Handbook to Spiritual Growth
THE GOAL OF SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINES
Anything, when left to itself, tends to decline and decay. The second law of thermodynamics, which says that the quantity of useful energy in any closed system gradually diminishes, can be broadly applied to other systems, from information theory to relationships. Without an infusion of ordered energy, entropy (a measure of randomness and disorder) increases. In the case of objects and relationships, an infusion of directed intentionality and effort is necessary to sustain order and growth.
The spiritual disciplines—such as solitude, silence, prayer, study, meditation, fasting, chastity, secrecy, confession, fellowship, celebration, service, and witness (among many others)—can enhance our character, our thinking, and our practice. No one consistently practices all of these disciplines, and some are less meaningful for some people than for others, but fidelity to the disciplines that we most need will keep us on the path and bring repeated times of personal renewal. These disciplines are not ends in themselves but means to the end of intimacy with Christ and spiritual formation.