Read chapter 18 of this manual, ''On Insensitivity,'' and experience honest terror; or chapter 28, ''On Prayer,'' and be reminded how limited and solitary our conception of prayer is, when we come across the following: ''Prayer is by nature a dialog and a union of man with God. Its effect is to hold the world together (emphasis ours)... prayer is the mother and daughter of tears...'' The work of the seventh-century abbot of St. Catherine's Monastery on Mt. Sinai, The Ladder
is probably the single most important text in the spiritual literature of Eastern Christendom. Read in monastic refectories and churches every year during Lent, The Ladder
is a text of utmost seriousness and earnestness. Psychological subterfuge and self-delusion are surgically stripped away, leaving the reader two choices: run away or repent. Introduction by Bishop Kallistos Ware.
An Eighth Day View:
John Climacus (c. 579-649) was abbot of the monastery of Catherine on Mount Sinai. His Ladder was the most widely used handbook of the ascetical life in the ancient Greek Church.