Falling Up – St. John Climacus

It seems to me that those who have fallen and are penitent are more blessed than those who have never fallen and who do not have to mourn over themselves, because through having fallen, they have pulled themselves up by a sure resurrection….

Nothing equals the mercy of God or surpasses it. To despair is therefore to inflict death on oneself.

– St. John Climacus, The Ladder of Divine Ascent, p. 128, 130

Related post: Get Up Again


  1. “To despair is therefore to inflict death on oneself.” In the 1990’s, I suffered from clinical depression for some years–that definitely describes that feeling, even though at the time I did not know I was doing that. Thank you for this.


  2. …having fallen several times i can appreciate this post…a heightened sense of profound gratitude is ever before me now having thoroughly tested God’s patience and mercy.. I am living proof of His willingness to accept us back again and again..if only we could be so loving with ourselves….never despair.


  3. Yes! Thank you, Mike, for the words of St. John Climacus, and the reminder, again, that my “fallen” condition is the point at which I am most available to the mercy and love of the Great Mystery – the All Compassionate One. I remain at that place of brokenness, trusting that I will move “upward” into that merciful Presence.


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