The inexperienced disciple
“I saw an inexperienced disciple who in the presence of certain people boasted of the achievements of his teacher, thinking to win glory for himself from another’ s harvest, but he only earned for himself dishonor, for everybody asked him: ‘But how could a good tree grow such a barren branch?’“
St. John Climacus
On how to identify your spiritual father
Let us judge the nature of our passions and of our obedience, and choose our spiritual father accordingly. If you are prone to lust, then do not select as your trainer a wonderworker who is ready for everyone with a welcome and a meal, but rather an ascetic who will hear of no consolation in food. If you are haughty, then let him be stern and unyielding, and not meek and kindly. Let us not seek those who have the gift of foreknowledge and foresight, but rather those who are unquestionably humble and whose character and place of residence correspond to our maladies.
S. John Climacus
Translated by Dr. Nick Stergiou