He who learns must suffer, and, even in our sleep, pain that we cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, and in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God. - Aeschylus

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Praying with Icons: The Ladder of Divine Ascent

O how I long to see Your face in the Beatific Vision,
great Lord of Hosts!  And yet in my weakness, I can
hardly take up my cross for a day before falling into
sin again, though I take up my cross each time anew.

Grant me by Your grace, Lord, that I might climb up
the ladder to Heaven, ascending by divine assistance
as I confess my sins, eat Thy flesh, and drink the cup
of Your blood, poured out for the forgiveness of sins.

O how the Evil One longs to yank me from the rungs
of the ladder of divine ascent! And yet the archangels
watch over me, the successors of Your Holy Apostles
shepherding me along with all Your Saints and angels.

Grant me by Your grace, Lord, that I might behold an
endless vision of the heavenly household; Father, Son,
and Holy Spirit in the glory of the life of Love divine,
in perfect communion, the undivided God who is One.

Note:  The above is an image of an icon I purchased from legacyicons.com, and it is a replica of an icon at Mount Sinai where Abba John Climacus lived and worked with his fellow monks to ascend the ladder to Heaven.

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