Gleanings from Orthodox Christian Authors and the Holy Fathers

exile

4 Entries

Exile means that we leave forever everything in our own country that prevents us from reaching the goal of piety. Exile means modest manners, wisdom which remains unknown, prudence not recognized as such by most, a hidden life, an invisible intention, unseen meditation, desire for humiliation, longing for hardship, constant determination to love God, abundance of love, renunciation of vainglory, depth of silence. St John Climacus, "The Ladder of Divine Ascent", Step 3: On Exile or Pilgrimage (Boston: Holy Transfiguration Monastery, 1978)



Run from places of sin as from the plague. For when fruit is not present, we have no frequent desire to eat it. St John Climacus, "The Ladder of Divine Ascent", Step 3: On Exile or Pilgrimage (Boston: Holy Transfiguration Monastery, 1978)

There is such a thing as exile, an irrevocable renunciation of everything in one's familiar surroundings that hinders one from attaining the ideal of holiness. Exile is a disciplined heart, unheralded wisdom, an unpublicized understanding, a hidden life, masked ideals. It is unseen meditation, the striving to be humble, a wish for poverty, the longing for what is divine. It is an outpouring of love, a denial of vainglory, a depth of silence. St. John Climacus, The Ladder of Divine Ascent, 3 early seventh century

Those who have come to love the Lord are at first unceasingly and greatly disturbed by this thought, as if burning with divine fire. I speak of separation from their own, undertaken by the lovers of perfection so that they may live a life of hardship and simplicity. But great and praiseworthy as this is, yet it requires great discretion; for not every kind of exile, carried to extremes, is good. St John Climacus, "The Ladder of Divine Ascent", Step 3: On Exile or Pilgrimage (Boston: Holy Transfiguration Monastery, 1978)





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