Basil situates the ascetic life firmly in the context of salvation history. It is not just a case of the individual realising the potential of the seeds of divine love within himself and ascending from the earth to heaven, the Christian’s personal spiritual drama is played out as part of the great dramatic story of God’s dealing with the human race.

Augustine Holmes OSB. A Life Pleasing to God. The Spirituality of the Rules of St Basil. London, DLT, 2000. 81.