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

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.’

To judge others is a shameless arrogation of the Divine prerogative; to condemn is the ruin of one's soul.

As bodily food fattens the body, so fasting strengthens the soul. Imparting it an easy flight, it makes it able to ascend on high, to contemplate lofty things, and to put the heavenly higher than the pleasant and pleasurable things of life.

Fight to escape from your own cleverness. If you do, then you will find salvation and uprightness.

Just as darkness retreats before light, so all anger and bitterness disappear for the fragrance of humility.

Some, I know not why (for I have not learned to pry conceitedly into the gifts of God) are by nature, I might say, prone to temperance, or stillness, or purity, or modest, or meekness, or contrition. But others, although almost their own nature itself resists them in this, to the best of their power force themselves; and though they occasionally suffer defeat yet, as men struggling with nature, they are in my opinion higher than the former. Do not boast, man, of the wealth you have obtained without labour. For the Bestower, foreseeing your great hurt, and infirmity, and ruin, at least saves you to some extent by those unmerited gifts.

Try not to talk excessively when you pray, lest your mind be distracted in searching for words. Talkative prayer often distracts the mind and leads to fantasy, whereas brevity makes for concentration. If during your prayer some word evokes delight or compunction within you, linger over it... However good you may be, do not be forward in your dealings with God.

As with the appearance of light, darkness retreats; so, at the fragrance of humility, all anger and bitterness vanishes.

Fire and water do not mix, neither can you mix judgment of others with the desire to repent. If a man commits a sin before you at the very moment of his death, pass no judgment, because the judgment of God is hidden from men. It has happened that men have sinned greatly in the open but have done greater deeds in secret, so that those who would disparage them have been fooled, with smoke instead of sunlight in their eyes.

Let them take courage who are humbled by their passions. For even if they fall into every pit and are caught in every snare, when they attain health they will become healers, luminaries, beacons and guides to all, teaching about the forms of every sickness and through their own experience saving those who are about to fall.

Someone told me of an extraordinarily high degree of purity. He said: A certain man, on seeing a beautiful woman, thereupon glorified the Creator; and from that one look, he was moved to the love of God and to a fountain of tears. And it was wonderful to see how what would have been a cause of destruction for one was for another the supernatural cause of a crown. If such person always feels and behaves in the same way on similar occasions, then he has risen immortal before the general resurrection.

Until we have acquired genuine prayer, we are like people teaching children to begin to walk. Try to lift up, or rather, to enclose your thought within the words of your prayer, and if in its infant state it wearies and falls, lift it up again. Instability is natural to the mind, but God is powerful to establish all things…. What higher good is there than to cling to the Lord and to persevere in unceasing union with Him?

Before all else, let us list sincere thanksgiving first on the scroll of our prayer. On the second line, we should put confession and heartfelt contrition of soul. Then let us present our petition to the King of all. This is the best way of prayer, as it was shown to one of the monks...One word of the tax collector appeased God, and one cry of faith saved the thief.

Fire and water do not mix, neither can you mix judgment of others with the desire to repent. If a man commits a sin before you at the very moment of his death, pass no judgment, because the judgment of God is hidden from men. It has happened that men have sinned greatly in the open but have done greater deeds in secret, so that those who would disparage them have been fooled, with smoke instead of sunlight in their eyes

Let us charge into the good fight with joy and love without being afraid of our enemies. Though unseen themselves, they can look at the face of our soul, and if they see it altered by fear, they take up arms against us all the more fiercely. For the cunning creatures have observed that we are scared. So let us take up arms against them courageously. No one will fight with a resolute fighter.

The beginning of prayer is the expulsion of distractions from the very start with a brief prayer; the middle stage is concentration on what is being said or thought; and its conclusion is rapture in the Lord... Faith gives wings to prayer, and without it no one can fly upward to heaven...

We must carefully consider whether our conscience has ceased to accuse us, not because we are good, but because it is immersed in evil. A sign of deliverance from our falls is the continual acknowledgment of our indebtedness.

A chaste man is someone who has driven out bodily love by means of divine love, who has used heavenly fire to quench the fires of the flesh.

Before gazing at the sun of humility we must let the light of meekness flow over us.

He who has put a stop to anger has also destroyed remembrance of wrongs; because childbirth continues only while the father is alive.

Like the sun's rays passing through a crack and lighting up the house, show up even the finest dust, the fear of the Lord on entering the heart of a man show up all his sins.

The first step toward freedom from anger is to keep the lips silent when the heart is stirred; the next, to keep thoughts silent when the soul is upset; the last, to be totally calm when unclean winds are blowing.

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"