The Ladder of Divine Ascent

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Saint John Climacus
Publication Data: Boston MA: Holy Transfiguration Monastery, 2012
Format: hardcover
Number of Pages: 286
Dimensions (l × w × h): 24.9 cm × 15.5 cm × 2.1 cm
Additional Information: two-color printing, black-and-white and full-color illustrations
ISBN: 978‒0‒943405‒03‒2

Revised Edition

Saint John Climacus

“[Saint John...] was surnamed ‘of the Ladder’ (Climacus) because he wrote an immortal work, the Ladder of Divine Ascent. In this work, we see how, by means of thirty steps, the Christian gradually ascends from below to the heights of supreme spiritual perfection. We see how one virtue leads to another, as a man rises higher and higher and finally attains to that height where there abides the crown of the virtues, which is called ‘Christian love.’ Saint John wrote his immortal work especially for the monastics, but in the past his Ladder was always a favorite reading in Russia for anyone zealous to live piously, though he were not a monk. Therein the Saint clearly demonstrates how a man passes from one step to the next. Remember, Christian soul, that this ascent on high is indispensable for anyone who wishes to save his soul unto eternity.”
—“A Sermon of Metropolitan Philaret, On the Sunday of Saint John of the Ladder”


   Editor’s Foreword
   Epistle of Saint Gregory the Great to Saint John Climacus
   Sermon of Metropolitan Philaret
   Life of Abba John by Daniel, monk of Raithu
   About Abba John of the Ladder, Abbot of Mount Sinai
   Letter of Abba John, Abbot of Raithu to the admirable John, Abbot of Mount Sinai
   Letter of Reply to Abba John of Raithu
   STEP 1 On renunciation of the world
   STEP 2 On detachment
   STEP 3 On exile or pilgrimage
      Concerning dreams that beginners have
   STEP 4 On blessed and ever-memorable obedience
      About a thief who repented
      About Isidore
      About Laurence
      About the steward
      About Abbacyrus
      About Macedonius the archdeacon
      Again about the steward
      About Saint Menas
      About Saint Acacius
      About John the Sabbaite, or Antiochus
   STEP 5 On painstaking and true repentance which constitutes the life of the holy convicts; and about the Prison
   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, to which the corruptible attain by toil and sweat
   STEP 16 On love of money, or avarice
   STEP 17 On non-possessiveness (that hastens one Heavenwards)
   STEP 18 On insensibility, that is, deadening of the soul and the death of the mind before the death of the body
   STEP 19 On sleep, prayer, and psalmody with the brotherhood
   STEP 20 On bodily vigil and how to use it to attain spiritual vigil, and how to practise it
   STEP 21 On unmanly and puerile cowardice
   STEP 22 On the many forms of vainglory
   STEP 23 On mad pride, and, in the same Step, on unclean blasphemous thoughts
      Concerning unmentionable blasphemous thoughts
   STEP 24 On meekness, simplicity, and guilelessness which come not from nature but from conscious effort, and about guile
   STEP 25 On the destroyer of the passions, most sublime humility, which is rooted in spiritual perception
   STEP 26 On discernment of thoughts, passions, and virtues
      On expert discernment
      Brief summary of all the aforementioned
   STEP 27 On holy stillness of body and soul
      Different aspects of stillness and how to distinguish them
   STEP 28 On holy and blessed prayer, the mother of virtues, and on the attitude of mind and body in prayer
   STEP 29 Concerning Heaven on earth, or Godlike dispassion and perfection, and the resurrection of the soul before the general resurrection
   STEP 30 Concerning the linking together of the supreme trinity among the virtues
   A Brief Exhortation Summarizing all that has been said at length in this book
   To the Shepherd
   General Index
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