He Wrote on the Walls

24. The foul fiend whispered praise into the heart of an ascetic who was striving for blessed humility, but by divine inspiration he contrived to conquer the guile of the spirits by a pious ruse. He rose and wrote on the wall of his cell the names of the highest virtues in order, that is: perfect love, angelic humility, pure prayer, inviolable chastity and others like these. And so when thoughts of vainglory began to praise him, he said to them: ‘Let us go and be judged.’ Then, going to the wall, he read the names and cried to himself: ‘When you possess all these, then you will know how far you still are from God!’

 

THE LADDER OF DIVINE ASCENT, St. John Climacus , Translated by Archimandrite Lazarus Moore (Harper & Brothers, 1959), Step 25 On the destroyer of the passions, most sublime humility, which is rooted in spiritual feeling.

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