St John of the Ladder, the 4th Sunday of Great Lent

Today, we observe the the Fourth Sunday of Great Lent and our Byzantine Catholic Church commemorates our Father among the saints, John Climacus of the 7th century. He is also called St. John of the Ladder. In addition to the commemoration made today his other feast day is March 30.

As you know, he is called Climacus due to his authorship of the great spiritual work, The Ladder of Divine Ascent. In this work, St. John posits describes how we can ascend to God, like the Ten Commandments or the Eight Beatitudes tells us how we will find order in our lives. Chaos –disorder– will never lead us to God but to further chaos and anxiety. Thus, the book outlines 30 steps of the spiritual life as rungs of a ladder leading to heaven. As we climb and gain a new understanding of what it means to live the virtuous life through God’s help and grace, we ascend further towards the Kingdom of God. You can understand why The Ladder of Divine Ascent is required reading for the season of Lent. Hence, now is an excellent time to approach the priest to receive the graces attained in the sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession of sins).

St. John’s commemoration on one of the Sundays of Lent is given to us, after the Sunday of the Holy Cross, as a bearer and proponent of Christian asceticism. The ascetic example of the great Saint John inspires us in our Lenten journey.

Sister Vassa explores in this video the meaning of remembering St. John Climacus: