In the Church services for the fourth Sunday the Holy Church offers us a
great example of the life of fasting in the person of the Venerable John of
the Ladder, who, "having overcome the flesh through fasting" and "by the
sweat of his ascetic efforts quenched the fiery arrows of the enemy" and
"renewed the strength of souls" and, "ascending to the height of virtues",
"received in his soul the divine wealth of the Spirit, undefiled prayer,
chastity, modesty, continuous vigil", "was deified through heavenly glory",
"was revealed as a physician to those sick through sin" and was the author
of the Ladder of Paradise.
According to the expression of the Holy Church, how the profoundly
granted ascetic life of the Venerable John "gives us a pleasure sweeter than
honey", and so his Ladder "brings to us the ever flowering fruits of his
teaching, pleasing the heart with vigilant heeding: for souls are rising up
the ladder from earth to heaven and abiding in glory".
The memory of Saint John the Ladder is celebrated on the 30th of March;
but it is also celebrated today, perhaps because in monasteries it is
customary to read The Ladder from the beginning of the Holy Fast.