Recent Comments

Liturgy at the Chapel of Saint John Climacus

We celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the Chapel of Saint John Climacus for his feast day.

At the head of the valley leading to the chapel. Two boys ran eagerly ahead. Their mothers and other pilgrims followed patiently behind.

A massive outcrop of granite with a garden below, just at sunrise.

Lighting the lamps and candles for the service.

The icon of Saint John was adorned with flowers.

Father Michael reading the Gospel. ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matthew 11:28-30)

Icon of Saint John Climacus

The icon of Saint John Climacus, created at the Sacred Monastery of Pantokratoros in Rafina, Greece, in 1974.

The saint is holding a scroll with a quotation from The Ladder of Divine Ascent,

Εἴ τις δάκρυον ψυχικὸν ἐκτήσατο, τούτῳ πᾶς τόπος εἰς πένθος ἀρμόδιος.

He who has obtained heartfelt tears will find any place convenient for mourning. (Step 7.12)

The Church of Saint John Climacus

The church of Saint John Climacus, constructed a short distance below the cave of the saint.

A New Day

Sunrise at the chapel of Saint John Climacus.

Until the Day Dawn

Καὶ ἔχομεν βεβαιότερον τὸν προφητικὸν λόγον ᾧ καλῶς ποιεῖτε προσέχοντες ὡς λύχνῳ φαίνοντι ἐν αὐχμηρῷ τόπῳ ἕως οὗ ἡμέρα διαυγάσῃ καὶ φωσφόρος ἀνατείλῃ ἐν ταῖς καρδίαις ὑμῶν.

We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts. (2 Peter 1:19)

The Cave of Saint John Climacus in the Distance

Οὗτος ἑκκαίδεκά που τυγχάνων ἐτῶν τῇ τοῦ σώματος ἡλικίᾳ, προσήνεγκεν ἑαυτὸν τῷ Χριστῷ θυσίαν εὐάρεστον καὶ δεκτήν, ἐν τῷ Σιναίῳ ὄρει τὸν μοναδικὸν ζυγὸν ὑποδύς, καὶ ἀπ᾿ αὐτῆς, οἶμαι, τῆς τοῦ ὁρωμένου χωρίου διατριβῆς, πρὸς τὸν ἀόρατον Θεὸν ἰθυνόμενός τε καὶ ποδηγούμενος.

When he was sixteen years old in his natural age, this blessed man offered himself to Christ as a well-pleasing and acceptable sacrifice. He took up the monastic yoke in Mount Sinai, and, I think, by the visible nature of the place itself, he was impelled and guided towards the invisible God.

The Entrance to the Cave of Saint John Climacus

Saint John Climacus spent forty years living as a solitary, before being elected Abbot of Sinai.

Προσευχή ἐστι, κατὰ μὲν τὴν αὐτῆς ποιότητα, συνουσία καὶ ἔνωσις ἀνθρώπου καὶ Θεοῦ· κατὰ δὲ τὴν ἐνέργειαν, κόσμου σύστασις, Θεοῦ καταλλαγή.

Prayer, by reason of its nature, is the converse and union of man with God, and by reason of its action upholds the world and brings about reconciliation with God.

(The Ladder of Divine Ascent, 28.1)

Pear Blossoms

A pear tree blooms in a small desert garden.

Agape Vespers

A beautifully embroidered cover for the reliquary of Saint Catherine. The photograph was taken during the Agape Vespers, when we light all of the icon lamps.

Christ is Risen

Νυνὶ δὲ Χριστὸς ἐγήγερται ἐκ νεκρῶν ἀπαρχὴ τῶν κεκοιμημένων ἐγένετο.

But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. (1 Corinthians 15:20)

And as firstfruits, then the token and guarantee of a greater ingathering.