Sunday, March 22, 2015

St. John Klimakos (of the Ladder) on Joy-making Mourning

St. John Klimakos (of the Ladder), Abbot of Mount Sinai (source)
St. John Klimakos (of the Ladder) on Joy-making Mourning*
"He who is clothed in blessed and grace-filled mourning as in a wedding garment knows the spiritual laughter of the soul."

"My friends, God does not ask or desire that man should mourn from sorrow of heart, but rather that, out of love for Him, he should rejoice with spiritual laughter.  Remove the sin, and the tear of sorrow is superfluous for your eyes.  What is the use of a bandage when there is no wound?  Before his transgression, Adam had no tears, just as there will be none after the resurrection, when sin will be abolished; for pain, sorrow and sighting will then have fled away."
"When our soul leaves this world we shall not be blamed for not having worked miracles, or for not having been theologians, or not having been rapt in divine visions.  But we shall certainly have to give an account to God of why we have not unceasingly mourned.**"
*Note: The English translation "Joy-making Mourning" is the rendering of the single Greek word "Harmolype", which is a beautiful and profound description of true Christian repentance.
**Note: The Ladder of Divine Ascent of course was written for a primarily monastic audience, but the advice and passions and virtues described are common and applicable to both married and monastic alike. See this article for more details.
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

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