“How can we lead the solitary life?”

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“Some people living carelessly in the world have asked me: ‘We have wives and are beset with social cares, and how can we lead the solitary life?’ I replied to them: ‘Do all the good you can; do not speak evil of anyone; do not steal from anyone; do not lie to anyone; do not be arrogant towards anyone; do not hate anyone; do not be absent from the divine services; be compassionate to the needy; do not offend anyone; do not wreck another man’s domestic happiness, and be content with what your own wives can give you. If you behave in this way, you will not be far from the Kingdom of Heaven.’” (Step 1, Section 21)

Saint John Climacus

From: The Ladder of Divine Ascent, Saint John Climacus. Holy Trinity Transfiguration Monastery, Boston, 2001