The Advent Reading So Far: The Ladder, Steps 6-10

4 December 2007

In the course of reading Climacus’ Ladder, I was surprised by how often he used sports metaphors in the first few steps. Races, stadia, prizes, contests: all are used to discuss what the Christian is doing.

Interestingly, in Steps 6-10 such metaphors fall away, and Climacus begins to emphasize compunction more. He also seems to say that some virtuous things , like patience and meekness, can simply be veneers.

What I’m taking away from Climacus this week is that what seems to be virtuous can sometimes be inwardly vicious and vice versa. The one constant that Climacus seems to be urging is that we are honest with ourselves about whether we are simply superficially good or actually, interiorly good. If we lack a true inner conversion, Climacus urges us to pray, mourn for ourselves, and constantly think of our death. If you looked at every day as your last, Climacus argues, you would find it impossible to sin.

In other Advent news, I’m trying to adapt some BDP Advent materials into my new Benedictine BCP office. I also need to get on the stick about that volunteering . . . .


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