Gleanings from Orthodox Christian Authors and the Holy Fathers


2 Entries

Having resolved to run our race with ardor and fervor, let us consider carefully how the Lord gave judgment concerning all living in the world, speaking of even those who are alive as dead, when He said to someone: Leave those in the world who are dead to bury the dead in body. His wealth did not in the least prevent the young man from being baptized. And so it is in vain that some say that the Lord commanded him to sell what he had for the sake of baptism. This is more than sufficient to give us the most firm assurance of the surpassing glory of our vow. St John Climacus, "The Ladder of Divine Ascent", Step 2: On Detachment (Boston: Holy Transfiguration Monastery, 1978)

If we have taken up the solitary life, we certainly ought not to abhor our own relations or our own places, but we ought to be careful to avoid any harm that may come from these. Here, as in everything, Christ is our teacher. It often looked as if He were trying to rebuff His earthly parents. Some people said to Him, "Your mother and your brothers are looking for you," and at once Christ gave an example of detachment that was nonetheless free from any harsh feelings. "My mother and my brothers are those who do the will of my Father in heaven." So let your father be the one who is able and willing to labor with you in bearing the burden of your sins, and your mother the compunction that is strong enough to wash away your filth. Let your brother be your companion and rival in the race that leads to heaven, and may the constant thought of death be your spouse. Let your longed-for offspring be the moanings of your heart. May your body be your slave, and your friends the holy powers who can help you at the hour of dying if they become your friends. St. John Climacus, The Ladder of Divine Ascent, 3

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