The Ladder of Divine Ascent
is an ascetical
treatise on avoiding vice and practicing virtue so that at the end, salvation
can be obtained. Written by Saint John Climacus
initially for monastics
, it has become one of the most highly influential and important works used by the Church as far as guiding the faithful to a God-centered life, second only to Holy Scripture
There is also a related icon known by the same title. It depicts many people people climbing a ladder; at the top is Jesus Christ, prepared to receive the climbers into Heaven. Also shown are angels helping the climbers, and demons attempting to shoot with arrows or drag down the climbers, no matter how high up the ladder they may be. Most versions of the icon show at least one person falling.
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