Two bits from The Ladder
- 8.) Let us pay close attention to ourselves so that we are not deceived into thinking that we are following the strait and narrow way, when in actual fact we are keeping to the wide and broad way. The following will show you what the narrow way means: mortification of the stomach, all-night standing, water in moderation, short rations of bread, the purifying draught of dishonour, sneers, derision, insults, the cutting out of one's own will, patience in annoyances, unmurmuring endurance of scorn, disregard of insults, and the habit, when wronged, of bearing it sturdily; when slandered, of not being indignant; when humiliated, not to be angry; when condemned, to be humble. Blessed are they who follow the way we have just described, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
16.) Longing for God extinguishes longing for our parents. And so anyone who says he has both is deceiving hinself. He should listen to him who says, 'No one can serve two lords.' 'I have not come,' says the Lord, 'to bring peace on earth (that is love of parents for sons, and love of brothers for brothers who have resolved to serve Me), but war and a sword' in order to separate lovers of God from lovers of the world, the lovers of material things from lovers of spiritual things, the lovers of fame from the humble-minded. For strife and seperation delight the Lord when they spring from love for Himself.
St. John Igumen of Sinai in The Ladder of Divine Ascent; pgs;13 & 17
Holy Transfiguration Monastery, Boston 1991
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