The Ladder of Divine Ascent

Spiritual Formation lies at the heart of my interests. Union with God as the goal of the contemplative life was where I started and what drew me to this essential book of monastic life for 1,500 years–The Ladder of Divine Ascent by St. John of the Ladder, aka John Climacus.

Spiritual Formation and the pursuit of the Spiritual Disciplines (aside from occasional rants) compose the foundation of this blog. But these can become too inward looking causing people to withdraw from the world. But reaching out to others is the opposite side of the same coin. It takes both sides to make the coin whole. (You could make an entire philosophical inquiry on that thought.)

However, let us sum up John’s thoughts in this outline. It’s worth putting in Evernote and scanning periodically.

The Break with the World

1. Renunciation

2. Detachment

3. Exile

The Practice of the Virtues (Active Life)

Fundamental Virtues

4. Obedience

5. Penitence

6. Remembrance of Death

7. Sorrow

The Struggle Against the Passions

Passions that are predominantly Non-physical

8. Anger

9. Malice

10. Slander

11. Talkativeness

12. Falsehood

13. Despondency

Physical and Material Passions

14. Gluttony

15. Lust

16-17. Avarice

Non-Physical Passions

18-20. Insensitivity

21. Fear

22. Vainglory

23. Pride

Higher Virtues of the Active Life

24. Simplicity

25. Humility

26. Discernment

Union with God (transition to Contemplative Life)

27. Stillness

28. Prayer

29. Dispassion

30. Love

One Response to “The Ladder of Divine Ascent”

  1. josephruizjr Says:

    Thanks Gary, an excellent reminder I will put in Evernote

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