Author Topic: Ladder of Divine Ascent... Ascetic Discipline  (Read 3090 times)

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Offline ignatius

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Ladder of Divine Ascent... Ascetic Discipline
« on: January 12, 2010, 04:31:19 PM »
For Great Lent my Orthodox Priest is giving a series of teachings on John Climacus' Ladder of Divine Ascent for the Laity. My guess is it's modeled on Fr. John Mack's book entitled Ascent of the Heights...

What if any critique of this work do those of you who Orthodox have with this work. Is John Climacus a Saint in Orthodoxy? Any feed back is welcome.

Thanks.
St Basil the Great (330-379 A.D.): “I think then that the one goal of all who are really and truly serving the Lord ought to be to bring back to union the churches who have at different times and in diverse manners divided from one another.”

Offline ignatius

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Re: Ladder of Divine Ascent... Ascetic Discipline
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2010, 05:16:36 PM »
I just noticed that John Climacus is a Saint.
St Basil the Great (330-379 A.D.): “I think then that the one goal of all who are really and truly serving the Lord ought to be to bring back to union the churches who have at different times and in diverse manners divided from one another.”

Offline Justin Kissel

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Re: Ladder of Divine Ascent... Ascetic Discipline
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2010, 12:52:47 AM »
St. John is indeed a saint, and highly respected (though perhaps that's redundant... what saints aren't highly respected? But I think you know what I mean). I read The Ladder years ago, but I don't recall much from it  :-\ 
« Last Edit: January 13, 2010, 12:54:08 AM by Asteriktos »

Offline ignatius

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Re: Ladder of Divine Ascent... Ascetic Discipline
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2010, 01:02:04 AM »
St. John is indeed a saint, and highly respected (though perhaps that's redundant... what saints aren't highly respected? But I think you know what I mean). I read The Ladder years ago, but I don't recall much from it  :-\ 

Thanks for sharing your thoughts Asteriktos,

So So sorry for your recent loss, friend. We all spend so much time on these forums and all too often we forget that those we are talking to are flesh and blood 'real' people, with 'real' lives. I'm so pleased to have known you and shared even a little bit of your life with us. Peace Brother and Hope.

I have The Ladder and Fr. Mack's Book as well. I'm planning on attending this series of lectures by the Father. I hope that they will be fruitful for me as I engage in the rigor of Great Lent.
St Basil the Great (330-379 A.D.): “I think then that the one goal of all who are really and truly serving the Lord ought to be to bring back to union the churches who have at different times and in diverse manners divided from one another.”

Offline Orthodox11

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Re: Ladder of Divine Ascent... Ascetic Discipline
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2010, 01:03:50 AM »
The Ladder of Divine Ascent is arguably one of the most important books in Orthodox spirituality. During Great Lent, it is read daily as part of the divine services, and it is often referred to as the Gospel of Monasticism.

Offline Alveus Lacuna

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Re: Ladder of Divine Ascent... Ascetic Discipline
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2010, 04:03:57 AM »
Is John Climacus a Saint in Orthodoxy? Any feed back is welcome.

He is one of the most important saints in Orthodoxy.  Get this version of the book; it is perfection:

http://www.thehtm.org/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=75_105&products_id=569&osCsid=a6052f5f7386b89e408e81ab23805544

The artwork and presentation throughout are stunning.  No other edition of this classic in English even compares.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2010, 04:04:25 AM by Alveus Lacuna »

Offline Gebre Menfes Kidus

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Re: Ladder of Divine Ascent... Ascetic Discipline
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2010, 04:49:44 AM »
Forgive my ignorance, but is St. John Climacus considered a Saint by the OO Churches? Not that it would preclude me from reading this work. I have been reading bits of the Philokalia, which I understand to be more of an EO work than an OO work. (My EOTC Priest was not familiar with it.) But anyway, just curious. The Ladder looks so very interesting.

Thanks.

Selam
""Love is a dangerous thing. It will crush you if you trust it. But without it you can never be whole. Love crucifies, but love saves. We will either be saved together with love, or damned alone without it."    Selam, +GMK+

Offline ignatius

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Re: Ladder of Divine Ascent... Ascetic Discipline
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2010, 10:04:54 AM »
Is John Climacus a Saint in Orthodoxy? Any feed back is welcome.

He is one of the most important saints in Orthodoxy.  Get this version of the book; it is perfection:

http://www.thehtm.org/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=75_105&products_id=569&osCsid=a6052f5f7386b89e408e81ab23805544

The artwork and presentation throughout are stunning.  No other edition of this classic in English even compares.

Yes I have the 'older' green one from them and yes they have wonderful products. I love their icons.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2010, 10:06:06 AM by ignatius »
St Basil the Great (330-379 A.D.): “I think then that the one goal of all who are really and truly serving the Lord ought to be to bring back to union the churches who have at different times and in diverse manners divided from one another.”

Offline Alveus Lacuna

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Re: Ladder of Divine Ascent... Ascetic Discipline
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2010, 02:06:02 PM »
Yes I have the 'older' green one from them and yes they have wonderful products. I love their icons.

It seems odd that you would have asked if he is a saint in Orthodoxy if you already owned a version of this work published by an Orthodox monastery that's full on icons and such.

Offline Orthodox11

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Re: Ladder of Divine Ascent... Ascetic Discipline
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2010, 02:19:25 PM »
Forgive my ignorance, but is St. John Climacus considered a Saint by the OO Churches? Not that it would preclude me from reading this work. I have been reading bits of the Philokalia, which I understand to be more of an EO work than an OO work. (My EOTC Priest was not familiar with it.) But anyway, just curious. The Ladder looks so very interesting.

He lived after the schism of 451, and was therefore a Chalcedonian. However, he is venerated as a Saint by the Armenian Church (although I'm not sure he's officially in their Synaxarion), and there are ancient translations of the Ladder into Armenian which show that it has been a work of great importance also among OO believers.

Offline ignatius

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Re: Ladder of Divine Ascent... Ascetic Discipline
« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2010, 02:21:45 PM »
Yes I have the 'older' green one from them and yes they have wonderful products. I love their icons.

It seems odd that you would have asked if he is a saint in Orthodoxy if you already owned a version of this work published by an Orthodox monastery that's full on icons and such.

Well, I would only ask that you please note, it was only a lapse of memory and I quickly posted that I had remembered that he was a Saint. Also, I wasn't saying that I like 'an' icon of Saint John Climacus... I was pointing out that I like the icons at www.thehtm.org.

I have a very nice library of religious books and I don't have the opportunity to pour over them as I would like so my mind slips now and again.
St Basil the Great (330-379 A.D.): “I think then that the one goal of all who are really and truly serving the Lord ought to be to bring back to union the churches who have at different times and in diverse manners divided from one another.”

Offline Alveus Lacuna

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Re: Ladder of Divine Ascent... Ascetic Discipline
« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2010, 03:26:25 PM »
Well, I would only ask that you please note, it was only a lapse of memory and I quickly posted that I had remembered that he was a Saint. Also, I wasn't saying that I like 'an' icon of Saint John Climacus... I was pointing out that I like the icons at www.thehtm.org.

I have a very nice library of religious books and I don't have the opportunity to pour over them as I would like so my mind slips now and again.

I wasn't concerned; just confused.  Thanks for clarifying.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2010, 03:26:48 PM by Alveus Lacuna »

Offline Gebre Menfes Kidus

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Re: Ladder of Divine Ascent... Ascetic Discipline
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2010, 07:51:10 PM »
Forgive my ignorance, but is St. John Climacus considered a Saint by the OO Churches? Not that it would preclude me from reading this work. I have been reading bits of the Philokalia, which I understand to be more of an EO work than an OO work. (My EOTC Priest was not familiar with it.) But anyway, just curious. The Ladder looks so very interesting.

He lived after the schism of 451, and was therefore a Chalcedonian. However, he is venerated as a Saint by the Armenian Church (although I'm not sure he's officially in their Synaxarion), and there are ancient translations of the Ladder into Armenian which show that it has been a work of great importance also among OO believers.

Thanks. I will try to get this book for my Lent reading.

Selam
""Love is a dangerous thing. It will crush you if you trust it. But without it you can never be whole. Love crucifies, but love saves. We will either be saved together with love, or damned alone without it."    Selam, +GMK+

Offline bogdan

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Re: Ladder of Divine Ascent... Ascetic Discipline
« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2010, 08:22:20 PM »
I would recommend that, if any new Orthodox choose to read The Ladder, that they do so under their spiritual father's supervision. My spiritual father said he will not allow me to read it for at least a few more years, because it's very difficult and has been known to drive people to despair, or into an unhealthy semi-monastic state (remember that it was written for monastics, not lay people).

Especially for those who are new to Orthodoxy and have not developed their spiritual muscles (or are still dealing with convertitis), the book can be too much to handle.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2010, 08:29:01 PM by bogdan »

Offline Iconodule

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Re: Ladder of Divine Ascent... Ascetic Discipline
« Reply #14 on: January 13, 2010, 08:23:24 PM »
I was reading through a copy of this while staying at St. Tikhon's monastery last week, and I couldn't put it down, so I got a copy before I left. I also think St. Nicodemos Handbook of Spiritual Counsel is a good companion.

Offline Gebre Menfes Kidus

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Re: Ladder of Divine Ascent... Ascetic Discipline
« Reply #15 on: January 13, 2010, 08:46:10 PM »
I would recommend that, if any new Orthodox choose to read The Ladder, that they do so under their spiritual father's supervision. My spiritual father said he will not allow me to read it for at least a few more years, because it's very difficult and has been known to drive people to despair, or into an unhealthy semi-monastic state (remember that it was written for monastics, not lay people).

Especially for those who are new to Orthodoxy and have not developed their spiritual muscles (or are still dealing with convertitis), the book can be too much to handle.

OK. Thanks. Sounds like I need to hold off on it then.

Selam
""Love is a dangerous thing. It will crush you if you trust it. But without it you can never be whole. Love crucifies, but love saves. We will either be saved together with love, or damned alone without it."    Selam, +GMK+

Offline Orthodox11

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Re: Ladder of Divine Ascent... Ascetic Discipline
« Reply #16 on: January 13, 2010, 08:51:41 PM »
OK. Thanks. Sounds like I need to hold off on it then.

Consulting your spiritual father is probably a good idea when it comes to any spiritual reading. But this is the first time I've heard of anyone being discouraged from reading the Ladder. All the clergy I've ever come across heartily recommend it to everyone.

Offline Alveus Lacuna

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Re: Ladder of Divine Ascent... Ascetic Discipline
« Reply #17 on: January 15, 2010, 01:14:06 AM »
All the clergy I've ever come across heartily recommend it to everyone.

Our local Serbian priests are just so thrilled whenever a parishioner might be interested in reading anything church-related, it's impossible for me to imagine them discouraging a reading of any Orthodox materials outside of services.

Offline HandmaidenofGod

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Re: Ladder of Divine Ascent... Ascetic Discipline
« Reply #18 on: January 15, 2010, 02:19:48 AM »
OK. Thanks. Sounds like I need to hold off on it then.

Consulting your spiritual father is probably a good idea when it comes to any spiritual reading. But this is the first time I've heard of anyone being discouraged from reading the Ladder. All the clergy I've ever come across heartily recommend it to everyone.

It can be a bit much for a newbie to Orthodoxy, so consulting one's SF is definitely a good idea.

On the whole though, it's an excellent book and well respected in the Church.
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Offline Alpo

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Re: Ladder of Divine Ascent... Ascetic Discipline
« Reply #19 on: January 15, 2010, 04:54:03 AM »
I would recommend that, if any new Orthodox choose to read The Ladder, that they do so under their spiritual father's supervision. My spiritual father said he will not allow me to read it for at least a few more years, because it's very difficult and has been known to drive people to despair, or into an unhealthy semi-monastic state (remember that it was written for monastics, not lay people).

Especially for those who are new to Orthodoxy and have not developed their spiritual muscles (or are still dealing with convertitis), the book can be too much to handle.

Ha! And I'm just reading it. Does this mean that I can't become a Fool-for-Christ-Gregorian Calendarist-Gaycult-WR Hermit?! This is so wrong!
« Last Edit: January 15, 2010, 04:55:17 AM by Alpo »

Offline Ortho_cat

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Re: Ladder of Divine Ascent... Ascetic Discipline
« Reply #20 on: January 15, 2010, 07:43:08 PM »
I would recommend that, if any new Orthodox choose to read The Ladder, that they do so under their spiritual father's supervision. My spiritual father said he will not allow me to read it for at least a few more years, because it's very difficult and has been known to drive people to despair, or into an unhealthy semi-monastic state (remember that it was written for monastics, not lay people).

Especially for those who are new to Orthodoxy and have not developed their spiritual muscles (or are still dealing with convertitis), the book can be too much to handle.

I'm laying off of similar ascetic spirituality books for this very reason. Too much, too soon.

Offline bogdan

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Re: Ladder of Divine Ascent... Ascetic Discipline
« Reply #21 on: January 15, 2010, 09:10:00 PM »
OK. Thanks. Sounds like I need to hold off on it then.

Consulting your spiritual father is probably a good idea when it comes to any spiritual reading. But this is the first time I've heard of anyone being discouraged from reading the Ladder. All the clergy I've ever come across heartily recommend it to everyone.

Oh definitely, it is an Orthodox staple. He just wants to ensure that I can handle milk (i.e., saying my prayers consistently) before I fill my mind with epic ascetical struggles. But everyone is different, that is why we have SF's. :)

Offline CBGardner

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Re: Ladder of Divine Ascent... Ascetic Discipline
« Reply #22 on: February 08, 2011, 08:06:21 PM »
I would recommend that, if any new Orthodox choose to read The Ladder, that they do so under their spiritual father's supervision. My spiritual father said he will not allow me to read it for at least a few more years, because it's very difficult and has been known to drive people to despair, or into an unhealthy semi-monastic state (remember that it was written for monastics, not lay people).

Especially for those who are new to Orthodoxy and have not developed their spiritual muscles (or are still dealing with convertitis), the book can be too much to handle.

Ha! And I'm just reading it. Does this mean that I can't become a Fool-for-Christ-Gregorian Calendarist-Gaycult-WR Hermit?! This is so wrong!
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Offline Hinterlander

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Re: Ladder of Divine Ascent... Ascetic Discipline
« Reply #23 on: September 17, 2012, 02:31:02 PM »
Holy Transfiguration Monastery's edition is back in print.

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