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Author Topic: The Ladder of Divine Ascent  (Read 185 times) Average Rating: 0
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seaale
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« on: May 01, 2014, 11:21:32 PM »

I just got a copy of "The Ladder of Divine Ascent" by someone who knows that I've taken an interest in monasticism. I'm curious to know what others have thought of it or if there are any other good reads out there. Thanks!
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methodius
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« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2014, 12:49:18 AM »

it's v-e-r-y heavy.
for a similar work, much more readable, try 'Orthodox Spirituality'; by Fr. Dumitru Staniloae.
Fortunately there is an English translation - unless you can read Romanian - in which case you don't need the translation.

Its, been decades since I last read Thomas Merton's Seven story Mountain but as I recall it is along the same lines. Latin pov, of course.

For someone living in the world (as opposed to a monastery, reading 'The Ladder...' profitably would take several years. And then you'd have to go back and start all over again.

Anyway, they all deal with theosis - which is after all the whole point of Christian life.

I think you can download F.r Staniloae's book: it's not easy finding a copy for sale. (I got one by trying Amazon.ca - sheer luck there was one available.
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seaale
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« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2014, 01:33:47 AM »

Thank you, Methodius. This has me more intrigued about the Divine Ascent, but I'll also see if I can find Orthodox Spirituality, too.
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Justin Kissel
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« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2014, 01:37:47 AM »

A monastic text many like is "The Arena" by St. Ignatius Brianchaninov, and a text along the same lines but geared more towards people in the world is "Way of the Ascetics" by Tito Colliander.
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« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2014, 02:14:28 AM »

I find the Ladder of Divine Ascent to be an extraordinary work.  While it can be very heavy, it can also be remarkably pastoral and helpful.  It should be read with a discerning eye though, as certain sections (Step 5 being perhaps the most notable) are overwhelming or too foreign to our sensibilities. 

I like the texts that Asteriktos recommended as well, but I really love the Ladder.  I hope you find it similarly beneficial.
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Nicene
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« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2014, 03:23:26 AM »

I've only read the first step. The book is primarily aimed at monastics so that should always be in mind. In the introduction to the edition I have by Met Kalistos Ware he warns about this as well, explaining that John Climacus did not think Salvation for the non monastic an impossibility but clearly this text was aimed not towards those living in the world but those in the monastery.

I'm going to read it slowly and carefully and with much guidance, much like I read only certain parts of the Philokalia.
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« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2014, 11:26:57 AM »

Unseen Warfare as edited by Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain and revised by Theophan the Recluse
http://www.svspress.com/unseen-warfare/
The Art of Prayer: An Orthodox Anthology
http://www.amazon.com/The-Art-Prayer-Orthodox-Anthology/dp/0571191657

I've read both these books and are great complements to The Ladder of Divine Ascent.
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