Going Into Exile

The second step on St. John of the Ladder’s (John Climacus) ladder of divine ascent is going into exile.

He was writing to monk who were leaving the city life and heading out to the desert. John was the abbot at the monastery at the base of Mount Sinai. I’ve been there. Climbed the mountain. Great experience. I was not in exile like the early Hebrews or the early monks were.

Going into exile means many things.

We can leave behind our status. Not dwell on accomplishments. Or job title. Or our wealth. If not physically, we can not dwell on them. Not brag. Just live one day at a time in the spirit.

We can take a periodic exile to a forest or beach or monastery or hotel. Get away for a day or several. I know a guy who flies to a place in Hawaii once or twice a year to just think.

We can clear our calendar periodically and take a Sabbath.

Just to spend time alone with God.

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