St. John Climacus - The Rungs of His Ladder of Divine Ascent


By St. John of the Ladder

Commemorated on the Fourth Lord's Day of the Great Fast


Step 1. On renunciation of the world
Step 2. On detachment
Step 3. On exile or pilgrimage
Step 4. On blessed and ever-memorable obedience
Step 5. On painstaking and true repentance
Step 6. On remembrance of death
Step 7. On joy-making mourning
Step 8. On freedom from anger and on meekness
Step 9. On remembrance of wrongs
Step 10. On slander or calumny
Step 11. On talkativeness and silence
Step 12. On lying
Step 13. On despondency
Step 14. On that clamorous mistress, the stomach
Step 15. On incorruptible purity and chastity
Step 16. On love or money, or avarice
Step 17. On non-possessiveness (that hastens one Heavenwards)
Step 18. On insensibility
Step 19. On sleep, prayer, and psalmody with the brotherhood
Step 20. On bodily vigil and how to use it to obtain spiritual vigil.
Step 21. On unmanly and puerile cowardice
Step 22. On the many forms of vainglory
Step 23. On mad pride and unclean blasphemous thoughts
Step 24. On meekness, simplicity and guilelessness
Step 25. On the destroyer of passions, most sublime humility
Step 26. On discernment of thoughts, passions and virtues
Step 27. On holy stillness of body and soul
Step 28. On holy and blessed prayer
Step 29. Concerning Heaven on earth, or Godlike dispassion and perfection
Step 30. Concerning the linking together of the supreme trinity among the virtues  

* * *

"The lessening of evil breeds abstinence from evil; and
abstinence from evil is the beginning of repentance; and
the beginning of repentance is the beginning of salvation; and the beginning of salvation is a good resolve; and
a good resolve is the mother of labors. And
the beginning of labors is the virtues; and
the beginning of the virtues is a flowering, and
the flowering of virtue is the beginning of activity. And
the offspring of virtue is perseverance; and
the fruit and offspring of persevering practice is habit, and
the child of habit is character.  And
good character is the mother of fear; and
fear gives birth to the keeping of commandments in which I include both Heavenly and earthly.  And the keeping of the commandments is a sign of love; and
the beginning of love is an abundance of humility; and
an abundance of humility is the daughter of dispassion; and
the acquisition of the latter is the fullness of love, that is to say, the perfect indwelling of God in those who through dispassion are pure in heart, for they shall see God.
And to Him the glory for all eternity. Amen"

(from Step 27)

from Bishop Basil