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Author Topic: Ladder of Divine Ascent  (Read 1487 times) Average Rating: 0
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GabrieltheCelt
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« on: September 02, 2007, 02:08:25 AM »

Have any of y'all read the Ladder of Divine Ascent? I forgot I owned a copy until a friend recently returned it to me. I've skimmed through it, but not to any great extent. I've heard my priest recomment it for Great Lent; what do y'all think? Wait til Lent?
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FrChris
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« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2007, 08:43:07 PM »

I'd read it now, the spiritual benefits will come immediately.

The Ladder was my second 'Orthodox' book, after the Bible. I still have my tattered copy in my office, right next to my St. Maximos and St. Gregory Palamas works.
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Jakub
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« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2007, 09:29:56 PM »

I usally read this and The Life of Antony during the Lenten season...

james
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« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2007, 10:46:50 PM »

I found the Ladder to be a little difficult to get through....mostly because I am spiritually immature but also not as well read in ascetic writings.  I recommend Ascending the Heights (a layman's guide to the Ladder of Divine Ascent) by Father John Mack.  This book was much easier for me to read and distilled all the steps up the ladder and applies them to people living "in the world" who are not monastics.  It still contains many direct quotes from St. John Climacus.
 
A quick selection from the introduction follows:
   According to St. John, the goal of our life, which is the goal to which the Ladder will lead us, is Christocentric:  to follow Christ, to become like God, to imitate and resemble Him in His divine love.  This is dramatically demonstrated in the most famous icons of St. John Climacus.  St. John is most often shown at the bottom of a ladder, pointing people up.  Jesus is shown at the top of the ladder, with His arms outstretched ready to receive those who ascend.  Demons are attacking those who are climbing the ladder, trying to pull them down to hell. 
   The message is clear:  In order to ascend to heaven, it is necessary for us to fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith.  We will never make it to God if we fix our eyes on the method, on the rungs of the ladder.  This will only lead us to despair, and/or a rigid legalism which will rob us of our joy.  We must look to Jesus.  We must keep our eyes on the Kingdom and view all of our struggles in its everlasting Light.


Obviously St. John's Ladder of Divine Ascent is a book that is extremely edifying and valuable.  My suggestion is that you may want to start with the above book first.  Good luck and God bless you on your ascent.
Juliana
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GabrieltheCelt
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« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2007, 10:54:44 PM »

A big 'ol thanks to all y'alls very helpful comments here. I really appreciate them!  Wink
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« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2012, 01:33:03 PM »

Holy Transfiguration Monastery's edition is back in print.

http://www.bostonmonks.com/product_info.php/cPath/75_105/products_id/569
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