How to live the solitary life in the world – John Climacus

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Some people living carelessly in the world have asked me: ‘We have wives and are beset with social cares, and how can we lead the solitary life?’ I replied to them: ‘Do all the good you can; do not speak evil of anyone; do not steal from anyone; do not lie to anyone; do not be arrogant towards anyone; do not hate any one; be sure you go to church; be compassionate to the needy; do not offend anyone; do not wreck another man’s domestic happiness; and be content with what your own wives can give you. If you behave in this way you will not be far from the Kingdom of Heaven.’

[John of the Ladder, The Ladder of Divine Ascent]

Three simple stages of prayer – John Climacus

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Before all else, let us list sincere thanksgiving first on the scroll of our prayer.  On the second line, we should put confession and heartfelt contrition of soul.  Then let us present our petition to the King of all.  This is the best way of prayer, as it was shown to one of the brethren by an angel of the Lord.

[John of the Ladder, The Ladder of Divine Ascent]

Grow in spirituality step by step – John of the Ladder

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To admire the labours of the saints is good; to emulate them wins salvation; but to wish suddenly to imitate their life in every point is unreasonable and impossible.

[John Climacus, Ladder of Divine Ascent]

Stop reading this blog now, GO PRAY – Mar Ephraim, John Climacus and Mar Isaac

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Virtues are formed by prayer. Prayer preserves temperance, suppresses anger, restrains pride and envy, draws down upon the Holy Spirit into the soul and raises man to heaven.

[Mar Ephraim the Syrian, Moore, Orthodox Prayer]

Prayer is by nature a dialogue between man and God. It unites the soul with its Creator and reconciles the two. Its effect is to hold the world together.

[John of the Ladder, Ladder of Divine Ascent]

We must also know, beloved brethren, that every secret converse, every good care of the intellect directed toward God and every meditation upon spiritual things is delimited by prayer, is called by the name of prayer, and under its name is comprehended; whether you speak of various readings, or the cries of a mouth glorifying God, or sorrowing reflection on the Lord, or making bows with the body, or psalmody in verses, or all other things from which the teaching of genuine prayer comes. From genuine prayer, the love of God is born, for love comes of prayer.

[Mar Isaac the Syrian, Homily 63, Ascetical Homilies]