In the sixth century, a monk named John wrote a book outlining the stages of the spiritual life. He based his entire work on the image of the ladder of thirty rungs, stretching from earth to heaven. Each rung described a step in the pursuit of virtue and the spiritual life. Since it was first written, The Ladder of Divine Ascent has been an essential formation of Orthodox monasticism, and a mainstay of Orthodox ascetic spirituality. But it is not just for monks and nuns.This book is written to help those in a non-monastic setting, with "ordinary lives" to understand how to apply the Ladder. Each chapter contains many direct quotes from St. John's writings, in addition to commentary on St. John's words. This book, therefore, should be used as a primer to the Ladder as a helpful tool for ascending the spiritual heights.