MEMORIAL TO A MONK WHO JOYFULLY DIED AND WHO NEVER JUDGED ANYONE IN HIS LIFE

March 30

From the Prologue

This monk was lazy, careless, and lacking in his prayer life; but throughout all of his life, he did not judge anyone. While dying, he was happy. When the brethren asked him how is it that with so many sins, you die happy? He replied, "I now see angels who are showing me a letter with my numerous sins. I said to them, Our Lord said: `stop judging and you will not be judged' (St. Luke 6:37). I have never judged anyone, and I hope in the mercy of God that He will not judge me." And the angels tore up the paper. Upon hearing this, the monks were astonished and learned from it.

HYMN OF PRAISE

SAINT JOHN OF THE LADDER (CLIMACUS)

As a kind of torch on Sinai, the Mount,

John was glowing in heavenly light

Subduing the body, subdued his thoughts,

Thirty steps, he numbered toward victory.

Miraculous strategy, wonderful tactic

As a legacy, to the spiritual warrior he gave

The spiritual warfare, who desires to learn

And in this warfare to gloriously conquer.

"The Ladder," all miraculous, by the Spirit written,

After the dreadful strife was ended,

When John the Victor, the world from himself shed,

As a precious gift, to the brethren he brought it.

An epic poem, that is the soul of man,

When from dust, toward heaven it desires to climb,

An awesome epic poem of struggle and suffering,

A sparkling epic poem of faith and hoping.

This, John, to us gave, illumined by God,

Weapons, all-glowing, to you and to me.

And now before the Lord, John prays

That the Lord be pleased to send us help

When, to Him, by the Ladder we climb.

That to us, His hand He extends, that we

May to Him arrive.





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