holy father of the desert, John Climacus, loving God from his youth,
took up the monastic life, and through it came to divine vision. He
lived and struggled for a whole lifetime on the God-trodden Mountain of
Sinai, having entered the monastic struggles while in his teens. For
forty years, he lived as a hermit at Thola, about five miles fom the
Later he became the abbot of Mount Sinai. During this time, John wrote down his God-revealed spiritual insights in his book, The Ladder of Divine Ascent, or "Klimax" in Greek. It is from this treasury of spiritual wisdom that this desert father got his surname, Climacus.
In this God-inspired book, he has written observations and teaching which are taken from his long experience as an ascetic and struggler against the passions. They are observations of a veteran of many wars, of a struggler in God and victorious spiritual soldier who himself mounted the ladder of spiritual ascent, reached the summit, and entered into the cloud of unknowing, being propelled by the love of God.
And for the love of his neighbour, he left behind him this Ladder of Divine Ascent,as Elias of old left his mantle. But whereas Elias did not leave us his chariot to mount to the heavens, this holy one John left us the means whereby we also migh climb with labours, vigilance, and prayers, and reach holiness in this life, and the ineffable beauty of Heaven after our death.
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