Climacus Condensed  

Posted by Joe Rawls in

St John Climacus (7th century) was abbot of St Catherine's monastery in the Sinai. He is most famous for his Ladder of Divine Ascent which I have talked about in an earlier post. During Lent the Ladder is read by all Orthodox monks and many Orthodox laypeople. It is not what you would call marshmallow spirituality. He pulls few punches and can be quite off-putting, if the truth be told. However, he grows on one with repeated readings.

I recently came across a tool for the better appreciation of the Ladder in A Spoken Silence, an interesting new blog of Jon Mark Hogg, an Orthodox layman from San Angelo, Texas. Jon has summarized each of the 30 chapters of Climacus' work in a short phrase expressing the chapter's focus. The complete post is dated March 1; I reproduce the list below for your ongoing Lenten edification.


1. Renounce the world.

2. Live a life of detachment.

3. Live like an exile and a pilgrim.

4. Live a life of obedience.

5. Live a life of repentance.

6. Live with the remembrance of death.

7. Live in joy-making mourning.

8. Live meekly and free from anger.

9. Do not remember wrongs.

10. Do not slander.

11. Remain silent.

12. Do not lie.

13. Do not dwell in despondency.

14. Conquer your stomach.

15. Live chaste and pure.

16. Do not love money and resist avarice.

17. Give up possessions.

18. Avoid insensibility.

19. Deprive yourself of sleep.

20. Use your body in the spiritual struggle.

21. Flee cowardice.

22. Flee vainglory.

23. Flee pride and unclean thoughts.

24. Live meekly and simply.

25. Destroy the passions.

26. Grow in discernment.

27. Be still.

28. Pray with mind, soul, and body.

29. Attain to dispassion and perfection.

30. Unite in love with the Holy Trinity.

This entry was posted on Saturday, March 6, 2010 at Saturday, March 06, 2010 and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


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