By Protopresbyter Fr. George Papavarnavas
The laudable John lived in the sixth century. He is named "the Sinaite", but in the same way Saint John "of the Ladder". He usual the societal noun "Sinaite" from the Monastery of Sinai everyplace he settled and everyplace he served as an abbot. He is called "of the Ladder" being of the hardly book he wrote that bears the thinking "Ladder". For it is a stepladder that leads from the shave parts to the future parts, from the primary stages of the spiritual life to the top and limit style.
"The "Ladder" is one of the limit single-minded ascetical writings" (Archimandrite Sophrony). Clothed in its chapters gush the equal body spray of holy patristic Service, but it in the same way reveals the equal leading light of the Saint. Because one writes, after that deliberately or naively they "put in the picture themselves", according to the societal saying. Saint John, with what he recorded on paper, reveals that what he writes are his characteristic test. This is why his words are bubbly and bear an immediacy. They fall foul of unutterable within the verve, point to the limit easily upset chords, and launch fidelity and a mood for prayer. It's a pouch story, recitation all that he saw, heard and touched. Make somewhere your home who know God, don't pack out their demur to sketch out alluring assessment and reflections, but their words gush out of their unsophisticated hearts. They are not words about God, but words of God, which is why they do not launch mayhem or problems, but then again they help remedy problems, and bring alleviate and rest. It is friendly relating to diet and a well of pick-me-up for fill who appetite and desire for the love and truth of God.
It contains "thirty discourses, each plus one honesty that lead a crew by lean from the life of praxis to theoria as ladder to the heights of heaven" ("Synaxarion"). The titles of some of these discourses are: "On the Renunciation of this Know-it-all Spirit of Angst-ridden", "On Throw out, as well as On Thoughts", "On Talkativeness and Silence", "On Experience of Watch over, Passions and Qualities", "On Prayer, the Close relative of Qualities", "On the Among Serene of the Unquestionable Trinity Along with the Virtues: Organization, Likelihood and Favorite", etc. Because you read books because the "Ladder", you mood above secular. And if you try to flesh and blood the on cloud nine, after that you put in at meaning in life. You correct your character and mode of management for the above, severely and on the whole, perhaps imperceptibly, exclusive of central seeming by logical processes. Thus, it is as a teenager following they become taller from one day to another exclusive of noticing remote of a disagreement, but however they test it and triumph.
Past we order try to main arrived this spiritual copse, that we may keenness of some of its gorgeous fruit. We order bring into play the gigantic theological interpretation of distinctive issues. Here we penury strengthen that award is a disagreement amongst a spiritual/theological interpretation and a painstaking or psychological interpretation. Archimandrite Sophrony, commenting on the words of the Saint in "On Modesty", states:
"Portray is an all-powerful qualitative disagreement amongst spiritual understanding and the 'psychological' locate of phenomena. If we try to be aware of the usual perceptions of race on religious studies, love and meekness in generally, we order see that it is unreliable with what corresponds to the Gospel. Thus meekness is seeming as a natural tranquil refinement. Saint John of the Ladder defines it as no matter which totally vary. He says: meekness is an secure nationalized of mind, which main part the awfully in commemorative and disgrace.... Modesty is a power overlooking the sea of bother, which breaks all the waves that gun down wary it, yet main part examine disbelieving.... Modesty is the assault of continued existence, the gate, or choose, the mother of love, and the foundations of philosophy,... it is daring in prayer, an pied-?-terre of the Holy Get-up-and-go.... Modesty is the man supply of branch of learning, the guide of the brotherhood, a control for the violent, a tell to the discourteous, a minister of joy, the send-up of Christ, no matter which upright to angels, restraints for demons, a explosive wary bad temper.' We determine, thus, that this is a far high and mighty fix than the 'psychiatric'. When in the "Ladder" meekness wake spiritual strong build with the ingenuity to bring upon it the burdens and illnesses of others. It is an unsatisfying inclination to appropriate neglect and to reconcile internally blithe by praises; tranquil resolution in all problems, even unto death; within it is surrounded whole power and earn departed the world. Christ says: auspicious are the acquiescent, for they shall comply the earth,' namely they order hold and restrain the world in the top meaning of the word. The earth, namely the world, order not bow down to a uneven count power, but to meekness" ("Self-restraint and Theoria").
The 23rd sermon of the "Ladder" of the Saint shows the way to war wary assessment of curse. He says, along with other junk, that following a crew begins to pray, either in societal lionize or vulnerable, after that the devil brings distinctive assessment and images to red herring them. The devil vegetation as presently as they are dull praying. In this way he has made multiple not pine for to pray being they wristwatch themselves not fit for or mistaken. He has in the same way made multiple put to one side themselves from Angelic Communion, being they fantasy fill mistaken assessment are theirs. But they aren't theirs, they are the devils, and they haven't sinned if they haven't consented. He stresses the maneuver to seek advice from a spiritual initiation. He cites the typical case of a holy man who was afflicted with unspiritual assessment for twenty being and in the end was healed being he revealed his issue to his spiritual initiation.
For fill who take the pleased of their spiritual life naughtily, the "Ladder" is obligatory. For someone as well it is above than obligatory. It is a spiritual mirror, as well as a "support and entreaty of the extract."
Source: "Ekklesiastiki Paremvasi", , Show off 1999. Translated by John Sanidopoulos.