Find accurate definitions of over 5,000 Catholic terms and phrases (including abbreviations). Based on Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.
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Spiritual effort or exercise in the pursuit of virtue. The purpose is to grow in Christian perfection. Its principles and norms are expanded in ascetical theology. (Etym. Greek askētikos, literally, given to exercise; industrious; applied to hermits who strictly exercised themselves in religious devotion.)