The Ladder of Divine Ascent – Step 10, The First Two Paragraphs

Step 10 On slander or calumny.

1. No sensible person, I think, will dispute that slander is born of hatred and malice. Therefore it comes next in order after its forebears.

2. Slander is an offspring of hatred, a subtle yet coarse disease, a leech lurking unfelt, wasting and draining the blood of charity. It is simulation of love, the patron of a heavy and unclean heart, the ruin of chastity.