The Ladder of Divine Ascent – Step 7, The First Three Paragraphs

Step 7 On mourning which causes joy.

1. Mourning, according to God, is sadness of soul, and the disposition of a sorrowing heart, which ever madly seeks that for which it thirsts; and when it fails in its quest, it painfully pursues it, and follows in its wake grievously lamenting. Or thus: mourning is a golden spur in a soul which is stripped of all attachment and of all ties, fixed by holy sorrow to watch over the heart.

2. Compunction is a perennial testing of the conscience which brings about the cooling of the fire of the heart through spiritual confession. And confession is a forgetfulness of nature, if anyone because of this really forgot to eat his bread.

3. Repentance is the cheerful deprival of every bodily comfort.