The Ladder of Divine Ascent
"This series is a testimony to the Spirit breathing where He wills." America John Climacus: The Ladder of Divine Ascent edited and translated by Colm Luibheid and Norman Russell notes on translation by Norman Russell, preface by Kallistos Ware "Prayer is the mother and daughter of tears. It is an expiation of sin, a bridge across temptation, a bulwark against affliction. It wipes out conflict, is the work of angels, and is the nourishment of everything spiritual." John Climacus (c. 579-649) The Ladder of Divine Ascent was the most widely used handbook of the ascetic life in the ancient Greek Church. Popular among both lay and monastics, it was translated into Latin, Syriac, Arabic, Armenian, Old Slavonic, and many modern languages. It was written while the author (who received his surname from this book) was abbot of the monastery of Catherine on Mount Sinai. As reflected in the title, the ascetical life is portrayed as a ladder which each aspirant must ascend, each step being a virtue to be acquired, or a vice to be surrendered. Its thirty steps reflect the hidden life of Christ himself. This work had a fundamental influence in the particularly the Hesychastic, Jesus Prayer, or Prayer of the Heart movement. Pierre Pourrat in his History of Christian Spirituality calls John Climacus the "most important ascetical theologian of the East, at this epoch, who enjoyed a great reputation and exercised and important influence on future centuries."
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A rich collection of desert wisdom, with poignant parables and proverbs. It gives a vivid glimpse into early monastic life and the spiritual endeavor in climbing up the ladder... each step has its own texture to consider.
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accept achieved angels anger ascetic asked become beginning blessed body bring brother called cause Christ comes complete death demons devil dispassion divine enemy everything evil experience eyes fact faith fall father fear fight fire gift give glory gluttony hand happen hard heart heaven hold holy hope human humble humility Jesus John John Climacus judge judgment keep kind Ladder leads light living look Lord matter means mind monastery monastic monk mourning nature never obedience once one's ourselves pass passions person practice praise pray prayer pride reason received remembrance seen sense sins sleep solitary someone sometimes soul speak spiritual stand Step stillness struggle superior surely talk teaching tears tell things thoughts tion true turn vainglory vices virtues watch wish