The Ladder Part 3
Step 7: Mourning
What is mourning?
1. Not just repentance – but a sober view of the nature of reality.
Mourning is the ability to see the life and moral state of the world clearly; then seeing ourselves as contributors to the pain and sadness of this world. Human suffering and even death are a result of sin. When we look at the world around us we can not become judgmental over its condition because we have added death to this world. Not only do we accept responsibility for the evil in the world, but we allow ourselves to suffer with others, directly or indirectly, through prayer. This is part of our duty as a Christian as we have united ourselves into Christ.
See the following: Rom. , 2 Cor. 1:15; Phil 1:29; Phil 3:8; Col 1:24; 1 Pet
2. Sorrow for the lack of the fullness of God in our lives.
This sorrow is a result of the thirst we feel the fullness of God’s Kingdom and His presence in our lives.
- Not seeking a pleasure centered life.
3. Physical Tears
He refers to three types of physical tears that we experience in this life: 1. Contranatural---from fear or anger 2. Natural – result of human feelings. 3. Supernatural – from God; renewal of baptism;
This gift of tears is often referred to among the Fathers as a second baptism.
is no exception: “Greater than baptism itself is the fountain of tears after baptism, even though it is somewhat audacious to say so. For baptism is the washing away of evils that were in us before, but sins committed after baptism are washed away by tears. As baptism is received in infancy, we have all defiled it, but we cleanse it anew with tears. And if God in His love for mankind had not given us tears, those being saved would be few indeed and hard to find.” St John
Here it is clear how the earlier steps of renunciation, detachment, exile, obedience, penitence, and remembrance of death are necessary in order to understand mourning. All of this helps us to prepare for that day when we will stand before God and have to answer for what we did or did not do in this life.
Step 8: Meekness
In order to understand meekness, it helps to understand that meekness is the solution to anger. So to be meek we must put aside anger.
Why do we get angry? One author states: “It's usually because we put too much emphasis on the importance this world, how we appear to others and how we are treated. It is the result of being overly prideful: thinking too much of ourselves and of what we can be or do. All right, so you don't see yourself as some conceited megalomaniac but let's be honest here. What is it that spurs your temper? Is it when someone says something to offend you? Perhaps that is because you concern yourself too much with what others think of you. Is it when someone disagrees with you? Do you always have to be right? Is it when things just don't go your way? Perhaps you are pursuing too much perfection in this world”.
Meekness is the answer to anger.
Step 9: Malice (Remembrance of Wrongs)
Step 9 is a daughter of anger and
Anger for one tends to spill over to anger for all.
Evidence of healing: when you hear that catastrophe has happened to one who has hurt you and you weep and suffer for that person.