Category Archives: St. John Climicus (of the Ladder)

St. John Climacus: The memory of insults is the residue of anger. . . .

Icon of St. John ClimicusRemembrance of wrongs is the consummation of anger, the keeper of sins, hatred of righteousness, ruin of virtues, poison of the soul, worm of the mind, shame of prayer, stopping of supplication, estrangement of love, a nail stuck in the soul, pleasureless feeling beloved in the sweetness of bitterness, continuous sin, unsleeping transgression, hourly malice.

This dark and hateful passion, I mean remembrance of wrongs, is one of those that are produced but have no offspring. That is why we do not intend to say much about it.

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

+ St. John Climacus, Ladder of Divine Ascent, Step 9.2-4

St. John Climacus: Let your prayer be completely simple. . . .

Icon of St. John of the Ladder“Let your prayer be completely simple. For both the publican and the prodigal son were reconciled to God by a single phrase.”

— St. John Climacus, Ladder of Divine Ascent, Step 28.5

St. John Climicus: . . . Remember thy last end, and thou shalt never sin.

Icon of St. John Climicus“It is impossible, someone says, impossible to spend the present day devoutly unless we regard it as the last of our whole life. And it is truly astonishing how even the pagans have said something of the sort, since they define philosophy as meditation on death.

This is the sixth step. He who has mounted it will never sin again. Remember thy last end, and thou shalt never sin [Ecclesiasticus/Wisdom of Sirach 7:36].”

— St. John Climicus, Ladder of Divine Ascent, Step 6.24

St. John Climicus: If you want to overcome the spirit of slander . . .

Icon of St. John Climicus“He who wants to overcome the spirit of slander, should not ascribe the blame to the person who falls, but to the demon who suggests it. For no one really wants to sin against God, even though we do all sin without being forced to do so.”

+ St. John Climicus, Ladder of Divine Ascent, Step 10.5

St. John Climacus: Do not say, after spending a long time in prayer . . .

Icon of St. John Climicus“Do not say, after spending a long time in prayer, that nothing has been gained; for you have already gained something. And what higher good is there than to cling to the Lord and persevere in unceasing union with Him?”

+ St. John Climacus, Ladder of Divine Ascent, Step 28.29

St. John Climacus: . . . silencing the lips when the heart is excited. . . .

Icon of St. John Climicus“The first stage of this tranquility consists in silencing the lips when the heart is excited. The second, in silencing the mind when the soul is still excited. The goal is a perfect peacefulness even in the middle of the raging storm.”

— St. John Climacus, Ladder of Divine Ascent, Step 8.4

St. John Climicus: Some people with a hot temper do not worry . . .

Icon of St. John Climicus“Some people with a hot temper do not worry about it and ignore the remedies that would heal them. They forget, unfortunately, what is written:’ Surely anger kills the fool, and jealousy slays the simple,’ (Job 5:2).”

— St. John Climacus

St. John Climicus: Do not be surprised that you fall every day . . .

Icon of St. John Climicus“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 honour 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 [Matthew 19:26].”

+ St. John Climicus, Ladder of Divine Ascent, Step 5.30

St. John Climacus: If the Holy Spirit is peace of soul . . .

Icon of St. John Climicus“If the Holy Spirit is peace of soul, as He is said to be, and as He is in reality, and if anger is disturbance of heart, as it actually is and as it is said to be, then nothing so prevents His presence in us as anger.”

— St. John Climacus, Ladder of Divine Ascent, Step 8.14

St. John of the Ladder: At no time do we find God revealing . . .

Icon of St. John Climicus“At no time do we find God revealing the sins which have been confessed to Him, lest by making these public knowledge, He should impede those who would confess and so make them incurably sick.”

— St. John of the Ladder, To the Shepherd, PG 88, 1196B

St. John Climacus: An angel fell from Heaven without any other passion . . .

St. John Climicus“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.”

+ St. John Climacus, Ladder of Divine Ascent, Step 23.12

St. John of the Ladder: A discerning man, when he eats grapes . . .

St. John Climicus“A good grape-picker, who eats the ripe grapes, will not start gathering unripe ones. A charitable and sensible mind takes careful note of whatever virtues it sees in anyone. But a fool looks for faults and defects. And of such it is said: ‘They have searched out iniquity and expired in the search.’

Do not condemn, even if you see with your eyes, for they are often deceived ”

— St. John of the Ladder, Ladder of Divine Ascent, Steps 10.16-17

St. John Climicus: When people begin to praise us . . .

St. John Climicus“When our praisers, or rather our seducers, begin to praise us, let us briefly call to mind the multitude of our sins, and we shall find ourselves unworthy of what is said or done in our honor.”

+ St. John of the Ladder, Ladder of Divine Ascent, Step 22.42

St. John Climicus: Fire and water do not mix . . .

St. John Climicus“Fire and water are incompatible; and so is judging others in one who wants to repent. If you see someone falling into sin at the very moment of his death, even then do not judge him, because the Divine judgment is hidden from men. Some have fallen openly into great sins, but they have done greater good deeds in secret; so their critics were tricked, getting smoke instead of the sun.”

+ St. John Climicus, Ladder of Divine Ascent, Step 10.8