Climbing the Ladder of Divine Ascent

On the 4th Sunday of Great Lent we commemorate St. John Climacus, author of the book THE LADDER OF DIVINE ASCENT.  The imagery of a ladder connecting earth to heaven is an ancient image found both in the Old (Genesis 28:10-17) and New (John 1:43-51) Testaments.  It is an imagery that was popular with the monastic authors of the Church as well.  Here is one of the sayings from the Desert Fathers:

“He also said:

‘At first when we were brought together with each other we used to speak of [spiritual] benefit, confirming each other. We became as choirs, choirs [of angels] and we were going up to heaven. But now we meet together and come to slandering one another – and down we go.’”

(Megethius in Give Me a Word: The Alphabetical Sayings of the Desert Fathers, p 206)