ClimacusHe who loves the Lord has first loved his brother, because the second is a proof of the first.

One who loves his neighbour can never tolerate slanderers, but rather runs from them as from fire.

He who says that he loves the Lord but is angry with his brother is like a man who dreams that he is running.

The power of love is in hope, because by it we await the reward of love.

Hope is a wealth of hidden riches. Hope is a treasure of assurance of the treasure in store for us.

It is a rest from labours; it is the door of love; it is the superannuation of despair; it is an image of what is absent.

The failure of hope is the disappearance of love. Toils are bound by it. Labours depend on it. Mercy encircles it.

A monk of good hope is a slayer of despondency; with this sword he routs it.

Experience of the Lord’s gift engenders hope; he who is without experience remains in doubt.

Anger destroys hope, because hope does not disappoint (Romans 5:5), but a passionate man has no grace [or “an angry man is not beautiful” (Proverbs 11:25)].

Love bestows prophecy; love yields miracles; love is an abyss of illumination; love is a fountain of fire—in the measure that it bubbles up, it inflames the thirsty soul.

Love is the state of angels. Love is the progress of eternity.

Tell us, fairest of virtues, where thou feedest thy flock, where thou restest at noon (Song of Songs 1:6).

Enlighten us, quench our thirst, guide us, take us by the hand; for we wish at last to soar to thee.

Thou rulest over all. And now thou hast ravished my soul. I cannot contain thy flame. So I will go forward praising thee.

Thou rulest the power of the sea, and stillest the surge of its waves and puttest it to death.

Thou hast humbled the proud—the proud thought—like a wounded man.

With the arm of thy power thou hast scattered thy enemies (Psalm 88:9-10), and thou hast made thy lovers invincible.

John Climacus (c.575-c.650): The Ladder of Divine Ascent, step 30, 25-36, translated by Archimandrite Lazarus Moore (Harper & Brothers, 1959) @ Prudence True.