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Essay: Salvation is a Ladder That We Ascend

Salvation is a Ladder That We Ascend

Written By: Hannah Olt

Teacher: Fr. Noah Bushelli

Class: SRS Level 6 Catechism: Section 1: 2018-19

Issue: Set to Appear in the January Issue of the Newsletter

 

The people of Babylon had a desire; their desire was to reach heaven, but by a worldly means, using bricks of stone and asphalt for mortar in order to attain a height of glory, but not unto God. St. John Climacus writes on a different form of ascent; a spiritual ascent to heaven through the overcoming of vices and the attaining of virtues. Just as anything used to gain height requires a method to be ascended, so does salvation to be attained. In order to ascend we must fully attain the method of beginning our advancement and in order to achieve advancement up something we must follow the instructions given us. Similar to a ladder, salvation is attained by climbing one rung at a time.

 

Just as a ladder requires a method to be ascended, so does salvation to be attained. The beginning of both methods are instructions. From the beginning of creation, we were given instructions. However, the instructions first given to Adam and Eve were ignored, and now we find ourselves at a new beginning. Through Christ, we are freed from sin and the new instructions to living a life in Christ are given to us. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). Just as we are taught to put our hands on the ladder and grasp the method and motion of climbing so must we now grasp our salvation. Just as a ladder requires a method to be ascended, so does salvation to be attained.

 

In order to ascend we must fully attain the method of beginning our advancement. Just as we climb the ladder by using our hands and then our feet, so must we use the Holy Mysteries and then the Holy Virtues. Through the Holy Mysteries of Initiation: Baptism, Chrismation, and Communion we are initiated into our lives of Christ. Through the Holy Mysteries of Preservation: Confession, Holy Unction, Holy Matrimony, and Holy Orders we learn how to live our new life in Christ. In order to ascend, we must accomplish the instructions given to us.

 

In order to achieve advancement up the ladder we must follow the instructions given us. The Ten Commandments were given to us so that we may avoid sin by using the virtues of Obedience and Humility to follow them. However, God also gave us two more commandments. “Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second like it is, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’” (Matthew 22:37-39). These two commandments are the foundation of all the commandments. In order to achieve advancement up the ladder we must follow the instructions given us.

 

Salvation is a Ladder that we ascend. Just as a ladder requires a method to be ascended, so does salvation to be attained. In order to ascend the ladder we must fully attain the method of beginning our advancement. In order to achieve advancement up the ladder we must follow the instructions given us. Unlike the Babylonians, we should not only desire to reach heaven, but to reach unity with God as St. John Climacus tells us through his writings, and we can accomplish this by fulfilling our lives in Christ.

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