John Climacus on divine absence

When a baby starts to recognize its father, it is filled with happiness. If the father has to spend time away on business before returning home, it has its fill of joy and sadness — joy at seeing the one it loves, sadness at the fact of having been deprived so long of that same love. Sometimes a mother hides from her baby and is delighted to note how sadly the child goes about looking for her, because this is how she teaches the child to be always attached to her and stirs up the flame of its love for her. He who has ears to hear, let him listen, as the Lord has said.

St. John Climacus, The Ladder of Divine Ascent, Step 7

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