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

A person is at the beginning of a prayer when he succeeds in removing distractions which at the beginning beset him. He is at the middle of the prayer when the mind concentrates only on what he is meditating and contemplating. He reaches the end when, with the Lord, the prayer enraptures him.

Do not be over-complicated in the words you use when praying, because the simple and unadorned lisping of the children has often won the heart of their Heavenly Father.

Humility is the only thing that no devil can imitate. If pride made demons out of angels, there is no doubt that humility could make angels out of demons.

Prayer is the future gladness, an endless work, a wellspring of virtues, a source of grace, hidden progress, food for the soul, an illumination of the mind, an axe against despair, a proof of hope, sorrow done away with, the wealth of monks, the treasure of anchorites, the reduction of anger, the mirror of progress, a demonstration of success, evidence of one's condition, the future revealed, and a sign of glory.

The man who seeks a quid pro quo from God builds on uncertainty, whereas the man who considers himself a debtor will receive sudden and unexpected riches.

When you are going to stand before the Lord, let the garment of your soul be woven throughout with the thread of wrongs suffered but forgotten. Otherwise, prayer will be of no benefit to you.

A proud monk needs no demon. He has turned into one, an enemy to himself.

Do not be surprised that you fall every day; do not give up, but stand your ground courageously. And assuredly the angel who guards you will honor your patience, While a wound is still fresh and warm it is easy to heal, but old, neglected and festering ones are hard to cure, and require for their care much treatment, cutting, plastering and cauterization. Many from long neglect become incurable. But with God all things are possible.

I consider those fallen mourners more blessed than those who have not fallen and are not mourning over themselves; because as a result of their fall, they have risen by a sure resurrection.

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 all bodiless beings. Prayer is future gladness, action without end, wellspring of virtues, source of grace, hidden progress, food of the soul, enlightenment of the mind, an axe against despair, hope demonstrated, sorrow done away with. It is wealth for monks, treasure of hermits, anger diminished. It is a mirror of progress, a demonstration of success, evidence of one’s condition, the future revealed, a sign of glory. For the man who really prays it is the court, the judgment hall, the tribunal of the Lord — and this prior to the judgment that is to come.

The memory of insults is the residue of anger. It keeps sins alive, hates justice, ruins virtue, poisons the heart, rots the mind, defeats concentration, paralyses prayer, puts love at a distance, and is a nail driven into the soul.

Without humility, there is no way of conquering anger.

A servant of the Lord is he who in body stands before men, but in mind knocks at Heaven with prayer.

Do not become conceited when you have prayed for others and have been heard, for it is their faith which has been active and efficacious... Every virtuous act that we do, and this is particularly true of prayer, should be done with great sensitivity.

If pride turned some of the angels into demons, then humility can doubtless make angels out of demons. So take heart, all you sinners.

Pride is utter poverty of soul disguised as riches, imaginary light where in fact there is darkness.

The sun shines on all alike, and vainglory beams on all activities. For instance, I am vainglorious when I fast; and when I relax the fast in order to be unnoticed, I am again vainglorious over my prudence. When well-dressed I am quite overcome by vainglory, and when I put on poor clothes I am vainglorious again. When I talk I am defeated, and when I am silent I am again defeated by it. However I throw this prickly-pear, a spike stands upright.

Wrath is a reminder of hidden hatred, that is to say, remembrance of wrongs. Wrath is a desire for the injury of the one who has provoked you. Irascibility is the untimely blazing up of the heart. Bitterness is a movement of displeasure seated in the soul. Anger is an easily changeable movement of one’s disposition and disfiguration of soul.

A victim of sensuality who had overcome his weakness told me once that within people of this kind there flourishes a yearning for bodies, a shameless, and terrible spirit that asserts itself at the very heart’s core. Sheer physical pain burns so fiercely in the heart that it is like being scorched by an open fire. The sufferer finds that because of this he has no fear of God, he spurns the thought of punishment, turns away from prayer, and the sight of a corpse moves him no more than if it were a stone. He is like someone out of his mind, in a daze and he is perpetually drunk with desire for man or beast. And if a limit were not placed on the activities of this demon, no one would be saved, no one who is made of clay mingled with blood and foul moisture.

Do not say that you are collecting money for the poor; with two mites the Kingdom was purchased.

If there is a time for everything under heaven, as Ecclesiastes says, and by the word ‘everything’ must be understood what concerns our holy life, then if you please, let us look into it and let us seek to do at each time what is proper for that occasion. For it is certain that, for those who enter the lists, there is a time for dispassion and a time for passion (I say this for the combatants who are serving their apprenticeship); there is a time for tears, and a time for hardness of heart; there is a time for obedience, and there is a time to command; there is a time to fast, and a time to partake; there is a time for battle with our enemy the body, and a time when the fire is dead; a time of storm in the soul, and a time of calm in the mind; a time for heartfelt sorrow, and a time for spiritual joy; a time for teaching, and a time for listening; a time of pollutions, perhaps on account of conceit, and a time for cleansing by humility; a time for struggle, and a time for safe relaxation; a time for stillness, and a time for undistracted distraction; a time for unceasing prayer, and a time for sincere service. So let us not be deceived by proud zeal, and seek prematurely what will come in its own good time; that is, we should not seek in winter what comes in summer, or at seed time what comes at harvest; because there is a time to sow labors, and a time to reap the unspeakable gifts of grace. Otherwise, we shall not receive even in season what is proper to that season.

Repentance is the renewal of baptism. Repentance is a contract with God for a second life. A penitent is a buyer of humility. Repentance is constant distrust of bodily comfort. Repentance is self-condemning reflection, and carefree self-care. Repentance is the daughter of hope and the renunciation of despair. A penitent is an undisgraced convict. Repentance is reconciliation with the Lord by the practice of good deeds contrary to the sins. Repentance is purification of conscience. Repentance is the voluntary endurance of all afflictions. A penitent is the inflicter of his own punishments. Repentance is a mighty persecution of the stomach, and a striking of the soul into vigorous awareness.

The work of prayer is one and the same for all, but there are various and many different kinds of prayer. Some converse with God as with a friend and master, interceding with praise and petition, not for themselves but for others. Some strive for greater (spiritual) treasures and glory and for confidence in prayer. Others ask for complete deliverance from their adversary. Some beg to receive some kind of rank; others for complete forgiveness of debts. Some ask to be released from prison; others for remission from offences.

You cannot discover from the teachings of others the beauty of prayer. Prayer has its own teacher in God, Who 'teaches us knowledge' and grants prayer to those who pray.

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?

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"