IOCC – 29/3/2020
Strength for the Journey.
In these difficult times, we continue our journey toward Pascha with our fourth Lenten reflection.
You offer the teachings of your God-given book, O wise John … it is a ladder from the earth unto Heaven that confers glory on the souls that ascend it and honor you faithfully. —Kontakion of the saint
The great ascetic St. John of the Ladder offers an example of both the spiritual struggle and the spiritual humility we must engage in on the way toward salvation. His best-known work, The Ladder of Divine Ascent, depicts the effort needed on that path.
St. John saw clearly, by God’s grace, that the Christian life is a journey; we take steps to mute the distractions of this world in order to cling more closely to God alone. This happens with steps, never in a sudden accomplishment. Fasting, prayer, and almsgiving are lifelong disciplines. They also help keep us from pride; like St. John, we too must pursue humility before Almighty God.
During Great Lent we are asked to course-correct, coming back to the true path: the Church reminds us to direct our attention away from the things that weigh us down, placing our focus deliberately, once again, on the goal of serving our merciful and holy God.
This week’s reflection is written by Rev. Fr. Louis J. Noplos, St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Baltimore, MD.