Pages

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Struggles of those in obedience

Venerable John Climacus ~ The Ladder of Divine Ascent
Step 4 ~ On Obedience

¶58. The devil battles with those in obedience, sometimes to defile them with bodily pollutions, and make them hard hearted, and sometimes make them more agitated than usual. At other times, he makes them dry and barren, sluggish in prayer, drowsy and benighted, in order to tear them away from their struggle by making them think they have gained nothing by their obedience, but are only backsliding. For he does not allow them time to reflect that often providential withdrawal of our imagined goods or blessings leads us to the deepest humility.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

How obedience leads to humility

Venerable John Climacus ~ The Ladder of Divine Ascent
Step 4 ~ On Obedience

¶55. I once asked one of the most experienced fathers, and pressed him to tell me how humility is obtained by obedience. He said: ‘The obedient man who has discernment, even if he raises the dead and receives the gift of tears and freedom from conflict, will still think that it is the prayer of his spiritual father that has done it, and he remains foreign and alien to vain presumption. For how could he possibly pride himself on what is done, as he himself admits, by the help of his father, and not by his own effort?’
¶56. But the practice of the above virtues is unknown to the solitary. For his rigours have brought him conceit and suggest to him that his achievements are due to his own effort.
¶57. He who lives in obedience has eluded two snares and remains eternally an obedient servant of Christ.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Obedient even when our spiritual father is absent

Venerable John Climacus ~ The Ladder of Divine Ascent
Step 4 ~ On Obedience

¶54. When in the absence of the superior we imagine his face and think that he is always standing by us, and avoid every meeting, or word, or food, or sleep, or anything else that we think he would not like, then we have really learnt true obedience. Base-born children regard the absence of their teacher as a joy, but legitimate ones think it a loss.

LinkWithin