I…stumbled onto a basic truth of asceticism: that it is not necessarily a denigration of the body, though it has often been misapplied for that purpose.  Rather, it is a way of surrendering to reduced circumstances in a manner that enhances the whole person.  It is a radical way of knowing exactly who, what, and where you are, in defiance of those powerful forces in society — alcohol, drugs, television, shopping malls, motels — that aim to make us forget. (Kathleen Norris, Dakota: A Spiritual Biography, p. 23)