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Monday, April 11, 2016

The "Ladder" of St. John of Sinai, a Book for all Christians

In 2006, Archimandrite George Kapsanis, the late Abbot of Gregoriou Monastery at Mount Athos, spoke about St. John of Sinai and his book the Ladder to his monks in the Dining Room. Among the things he said were the following:

- The monk should have the book of the Ladder under his pillow.

- To observe the words of this book does not only belong to monks, but it belongs to each Christian, because every Christian should be a struggler and ascetic. The monk should not work at his ascetic life randomly, but scientifically.

- Just as a monk must serve our good, most good and all good God and King, according to Saint John, so also should every Christian, I believe, lead a life in Christ.

- God should be preferred in the lives of all, monks and those in the world.

- I remember Elder Auxentios of Gregoriou from around 1981, who whenever someone chanced to meet him in the narrow walkway of Gregoriou Monastery, whether it was a young monk who asked for his advice, or a layman, you would hear his deep voice offer the same advice, "Say the prayer, say the prayer," and he would leave.

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