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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Give your stomach satisfying and digestible food

Venerable John Climacus ~ The Ladder of Divine Ascent
Step 14 ~ On Gluttony

¶12. [Evagrius] says: ‘When our soul desires different foods, then confine it to bread and water.’ To prescribe this is like saying to a child: ‘Go up the whole ladder in one stride.’ And so, rejecting his rule, let us say: When our soul desires different foods, it is demanding what is proper to its nature. Therefore, let us also use cunning against our unscrupulous foe. And unless a very severe conflict is on us, or amends for falls, let us for a while only deny ourselves fattening foods, then heating foods, and only then what makes our food pleasant. If possible, give your stomach satisfying and digestible food, so as to satisfy its insatiable hunger by sufficiency, and so that we may be delivered from excessive desire, as from a scourge, by quick assimilation. If we look into the matter, we shall find that most of the foods which inflate the stomach also excite the body.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Satiety in food is the father of fornication

Venerable John Climacus ~ The Ladder of Divine Ascent
Step 14 ~ On Gluttony

¶5. Satiety in food is the father of fornication; but affliction of the stomach is an agent of purity.
¶6. He who fondles a lion often tames it, but he who coddles the body makes it still wilder.

Gluttony is hypocrisy of the stomach

Venerable John Climacus ~ The Ladder of Divine Ascent
Step 14 ~ On Gluttony

¶2. Gluttony is hypocrisy of the stomach; for when it is glutted, it complains of scarcity; and when it is loaded and bursting, it cries out that it is hungry.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Spiritual heroes come to light at the time of despondency

Venerable John Climacus ~ The Ladder of Divine Ascent
Step 13 ~ On Despondency

¶12. Spiritual heroes come to light at the time of despondency, for nothing procures so many crowns for a monk as the battle with despondency.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

A courageous soul resurrects his dying mind

Venerable John Climacus ~ The Ladder of Divine Ascent
Step 13 ~ On Despondency

¶9. Each of the other passions is destroyed by some particular virtue. But despondency for the monk is a general death.
¶10. A courageous soul resurrects his dying mind, but despondency and sloth squander all his riches.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Despondency is a paralysis of soul

Venerable John Climacus ~ The Ladder of Divine Ascent
Step 13 ~ On Despondency

¶2. Despondency is a paralysis of soul, an enervation of the mind, neglect of asceticism, hatred of the vow made. It calls those who are in the world blessed. It accuses God of being merciless and without love for men. It is being languid in singing psalms, weak in prayer, like iron in service, resolute in manual labour, reliable in obedience.

Friday, March 28, 2014

He who is drunk with compunction cannot lie

Venerable John Climacus ~ The Ladder of Divine Ascent
Step 12 ~ On Lying

¶14. He who has become merry with wine involuntarily speaks the truth on all subjects, and he who is drunk with compunction cannot lie.
The twelfth step. He who has mounted it has obtained the root of every good.

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