How to recognize the stages of spiritual life

A characteristic of those who are still progressing in blessed mourning is temperance and silence of the lips; and of those who have made progress, freedom from anger and patient endurance of injuries; and of the perfect, humility, thirst for dishonors, voluntary craving for involuntary afflictions, non-condemnation of sinners, compassion even beyond one’s strength. The first are acceptable, and the second laudable; but blessed are those who hunger for hardship and thirst for dishonor, for they shall have their fill of the food that does not cloy.

If you possess the gift of mourning, hold on to it with all your might. For it is easily lost when it is not firmly established. And just as wax melts in the presence of fire, so it is easily dissolved by noise and bodily cares, and by luxury, and especially by talkativeness and levity.

Based on St John of the Ladder