John Climacus, fully Saint John Climacus, aka John of the Ladder, John Scholasticus and John Sinaites

John
Climacus, fully Saint John Climacus, aka John of the Ladder, John Scholasticus and John Sinaites
c. 579
649

Christian Monk at the Monestary on Mount Sinai, Author of famous book, "The Climax" or "The Ladder of Perfection"

Author Quotes

After a long spell of prayer, do not say that nothing has been gained, for you have already achieved something. After all, what higher good is there than to cling to the Lord and to persevere in unceasing union with Him?

Do not try to be verbose when you pray, lest your mind be distracted in searching for words. One word of the publican propitiated God, and one cry of faith saved the thief. Loquacity in prayer often distracts the mind and leads to fantasy, whereas brevity makes for concentration.

In all your undertakings and in every way of life, whether you are living in obedience, or are not submitting your work to anyone, whether in outward or in spiritual matters, let it be your rule and practice to ask yourself: Am I really doing this in accordance with God's will?

Repentance lifts a man up. Mourning knocks at heaven's gate. Holy humility opens it.

There are many ways of piety and perdition. That is why it often happens that a way that is unsuitable for one just fits another; and the intention of both is acceptable to the Lord.

You will know that you have this holy gift (of humility) within you and not be led astray when you experience an abundance of unspeakable light together with an indescribable love of prayer.

After God, let us have our conscience as our mentor and rule in all things, so that we may know which way the wind is blowing and set our sails accordingly.

Do you fast? Prove it by doing good works. If you see someone in need, take pity on them. If you see a friend being honored, don’t get jealous of him. For a true fast, you cannot fast only with your mouth. You must fast with your eye, your ear, your feet, your hands, and all parts of your body.

It happens. I do not know how, that most of the proud never really discover their true selves. They think they have conquered their passions and they find out how poor they really are only after they die.

Repentance raises the fallen, mourning knocks at the gate of Heaven, and holy humility opens it.

Those who submit to the Lord with simple heart will run the good race. If they keep their minds on a leash, they will not draw the wickedness of the demons onto themselves.

All creatures have received from the Creator their order of being and their beginning, and some their consummation too. But the end of virtue is endless. For the Psalmist says: Of all perfection I have seen the end, but Thy commandment is exceeding spacious and endless. If some good ascetics go from the strength of action to the strength of divine vision, and if love never faileth, and if the Lord will guard the coming in of your fear and the going out of your love, then the end of love will be truly endless. We shall never cease to advance in it, either in the present or in the future life, continually adding light to light. And however strange what I have said may seem to many, nevertheless it shall be said. According to the testimonies we have given, I would say, blessed father, even the spiritual beings [i.e. the angels] do not lack progress; on the contrary, they ever add glory to glory, and knowledge to knowledge.

Even a small thing can be not small to the great; but to the small, even great things are not altogether perfect.

It is necessary most of all for one who is fasting to curb anger, to accustom himself to meekness and condescension, to have a contrite heart, to repulse impure thoughts and desires, to examine his conscience, to put his mind to the test and to verify what good has been done by us in this or any other week, and which deficiency we have corrected in ourselves in the present week. This is true fasting.

Run from places of sin as from the plague.

Those who wish to learn the will of the Lord must first mortify their own will. Then having prayed to God with faith and guileless simplicity, and having asked the fathers or even the brothers with humility of heart and no thought of doubt, they should accept their advice as from the mouth of God, even if their advice be contrary to their own view, and even if those consulted are not very spiritual. For God is not unjust, and will not lead astray souls who with faith and innocence humbly submit to the advice and judgment of their neighbor. Even if those who were asked were brute beasts, yet He who speaks is the Immaterial and Invisible One. Those who allow themselves to be guided by this rule without having any doubts are filled with great humility.

An angel fell from Heaven without any other passion except pride, and so we may ask whether it is possible to ascend to Heaven by humility alone, without any other of the virtues.

Exile means that we leave forever everything in our own country that prevents us from reaching the goal of piety. Exile means modest manners, wisdom which remains unknown, prudence not recognized as such by most, a hidden life, an invisible intention, unseen meditation, desire for humiliation, longing for hardship, constant determination to love God, abundance of love, renunciation of vainglory, depth of silence.

It is not the self -critical who reveals his humility ( for does not everyone have somehow to put up with himself? ). Rather, it is the man who continues to love the person who has criticized him.

Seeking for what is beyond us may have perilous results. The Lord's judgment about us is unfathomable. By His special providence, He often chooses to hide His will from us, knowing that, even if we were to learn it, we should disobey it, and should thereby receive greater punishment.

To admire the labors of the saints is good; to emulate them wins salvation; but to wish suddenly to imitate their life in every point is unreasonable and impossible.

And there are men who wear out their bodies to no purpose in the pursuit of total dispassion, heavenly treasures, miracle working, and prophetic ability, and the poor fools do not realize that humility, not hard work, is the mother of such things.

Faith is the wing of prayer, and without it my prayer will return to my bosom. Faith is the unshaken stance of the soul and is unmoved by any adversity.

It is sheer lunacy to imagine that one has deserved the gifts of God. You may be proud only of the achievements you had before the time of your birth. But anything after that, indeed the birth itself, is a gift from God. You may claim only those virtues in you that are there independently of your mind, for your mind was bestowed on you by God. And you may claim only those victories you achieved independently of the body, for the body too is not yours but a work of God.

Some people living carelessly in the world have asked me: ‘We have wives and are beset with social cares, and how can we lead the solitary life?’ I replied to them: ‘Do all the good you can; do not speak evil of anyone; do not steal from anyone; do not lie to anyone; do not be arrogant towards anyone; do not hate anyone; do not be absent from the divine services; be compassionate to the needy; do not offend anyone; do not wreck another man's domestic happiness, and be content with what your own wives can give you. If you behave in this way, you will not be far from the Kingdom of Heaven.’

Author Picture
First Name
John
Last Name
Climacus, fully Saint John Climacus, aka John of the Ladder, John Scholasticus and John Sinaites
Birth Date
c. 579
Death Date
649
Bio

Christian Monk at the Monestary on Mount Sinai, Author of famous book, "The Climax" or "The Ladder of Perfection"