Real Life Minute:
It’s popular in our society to take things like the spiritual disciplines and turn them into a program of “self-improvement.” St. Gregory of Nyssa, however, points out that we can only be truly “improved” through the grace of God:
For truly the assistance which God gives to our nature is provided to those who correctly live the life of virtue. This assistance was already there at our birth, but it is manifested and made known whenever we apply ourselves to diligent training in the higher life and strip ourselves for the more vigorous contests.
Remember with everything you do that you’re not improving yourself—you’re opening yourself to God’s transforming work in you.