Let us charge into the good fight with joy and love without being afraid of our enemies. Though unseen themselves, they can look at the face of our soul, and if they see it altered by fear, they take up arms against us all the more fiercely. For the cunning creatures have observed that we are scared. So let us take up arms against them courageously. No one will fight with a resolute fighter.
Satiety in food is the father of fornication; but affliction of the stomach is an agent of purity.
The effect of hunger is vague and indefinite; but the effect of thirst is intense and obvious to all, and indicative of blazing heat. So one who yearns for God says: My soul thirsts for God, the mighty, the living God.
Excerpts from The Ladder of Divine Ascent by Saint John Climacus, Revised Edition translated and © Holy Transfiguration Monastery, all rights reserved.
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