Disciple and discipline

I read somewhere (I think it’s on the Benediktus XVI book) that being a disciple involves discipline. It might seem obvious, but at that time it really struck me as I think I haven’t really been responsible in my duty as a student or a disciple in my study. Humans are perhaps wired for repeated learning. Learning process takes a very long time and a talent remains a talent only if it is practiced. Otherwise, sooner or later we will find ourselves losing it. Perhaps that’s why one of the imageries of Christian discipleship in Paul is an athlete, as training and conditioning are essentials for them. If the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, well, they need to pray. There is no nonsense of instantaneous ability to pray whatsoever. And, indeed, it cuts against the grain of the more prevailing mood today as we are more obsessed in acquiring our goals instantly, be it wealth, pleasure, knowledge, or power (as I am with instant noodle). We must, then, speak of spiritual formation not as a fixed end of exhibiting God but as a continual process of inhabiting God.


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