Saint Patrick's Church Schola

Lenten 2006 Class -- Classical Spiritual Disciplines

Monday, April 03, 2006

Celebration of Discipline -- Chapter 5

The Discipline of Study

In chapter five Foster examines the discipline of study. He lifts up study as an important and essential discipline.

Foster defines study as, "a specific kind experience in which through careful observation of objective structures we cause thought processes to move in a certain way." The outcome of this process is that habits of thought are ingrained in our minds.

Foster outlines four steps to study:
1. Repitition -- this regularly channels the mind in a specific direction.
2. Concentration -- this centers the mind
3. Comprehension -- i.e., understanding what is studied
4. Reflection -- applying and noting the significance of what is studied

After these initial points abot the nature of study Foster examines the study of books and the study of "non-verbal" books.

A couple of things struck me in the chapter.
1. Foster puts Bible study and reading books right up there as central disciplines. I have to admit that I never tend to think of these as disciplines. Perthaps this is because I am a paid holy man and do this kind of stuff for work.
2. By the way -- I have read "How To Read a Book." I highly recommend it.
3. A question Foster speaks to -- but which I would value discussing is: How do we integrate study into our lives? There is a lot to do already. Any thoughts?

The floor is officially open for comments.


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