The second source cited by Oden is from “John Climacus, St (c. 570–c. 649), ascetic and writer on the spiritual life, so called after his famous ‘Ladder’ (Κλῖμαξ). ..He arrived at Mt *Sinai as a novice when he was 16; after his profession he spent some years as an *anchorite and was later Abbot of Sinai.”
F. L. Cross and Elizabeth A. Livingstone, eds., The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2005), 894. His major work, The Ladder, concerns among other topics passion/dispassion. Since this is an aspect of the work quoted by Oden, we can start with a brief look at John concerning dispassion (apatheia, from Step 29 of the 30 steps in the ladder)
1. Here are we who lie in the deepest pit of ignorance, in the dark passions of this body and in the shadow of death, having the temerity to begin to philosophize about heaven on earth.
2. The firmament has the stars for its beauty, and dispassion has the virtues for its adornments; for by dispassion I mean no other than the interior heaven of the mind, which regards the tricks of the demons as mere toys.
3. And so he is truly dispassionate, and is recognized as dispassionate, who has made his flesh incorruptible, who has raised his mind above creatures and has subdued all his senses to it, and who keeps his soul in the presence of the Lord, ever reaching out to Him even beyond his strength.
4. Some say, moreover, that dispassion is the resurrection of the soul before the body; but others, that it is the perfect knowledge of God, second only to that of the angels.
5. This perfect, but still unfinished, perfection of the perfect, as someone who had tasted it informed me, so sanctifies the mind and detaches it from material things that for a considerable part of life in the flesh, after entering the heavenly harbour, a man is rapt as though in Heaven and is raised to contemplation. One who had experience of this well says somewhere: For God’s strong men of the earth have become greatly exalted. Such a man, as we know, was that Egyptian who prayed with some people for a long time without relaxing his hands which were stretched out in prayer.
6. There is a dispassionate man, and there is one who is more dispassionate than the dispassionate. The one strongly hates what is evil, but the other has an inexhaustible store of virtues.
7. Purity too is called dispassion; and rightly, because it is the harbinger of the general resurrection and of the incorruption of the corruptible.
It is possible to understand dispassionate as being without all affection, desire; a sort thinking stone and utterly unconcerned. But John does not seem to be making such an argument (I am no scholar of John Climacus). He seems to mean, by passion, a desire for the purely temporal, “who has raised his mind above creatures and has subdued all his senses to it” (3) and an ignorance of the life to come: “Here are we who lie in the deepest pit of ignorance, in the dark passions of this body and in the shadow of death.” In no. 2, there is a reference to “beauty” and one’s focus being upon the Lord, “who keeps his soul in the presence of the Lord, ever reaching out to Him even beyond his strength” (3) It is a perfect desire, being “rapt” (which is hardly the state of a stone) in the presence of the Lord, “This perfect, but still unfinished, perfection of the perfect, as someone who had tasted it informed me, so sanctifies the mind and detaches it from material things that for a considerable part of life in the flesh, after entering the heavenly harbor, a man is rapt as though in Heaven and is raised to contemplation.”
This understanding is important, because a qualification for being a pastor is to be dispassionate. In his very short work, “The Pastor [or as Oden has it “The Shepherd”]. An English translation appears here, https://bpotto.github.io/Undusted-Texts/treatises/climacus_001.html. It is in volume 88 of Migne at page 1162.
John begins with a definition of the pastor,
He is properly a pastor who brings the lost rational [logika: rational, spiritual] sheep back to life through guilelessness, through his own eagerness, and through prayer, and who is able to set them straight again. He is a pilot who, having received noetic [noeran, Latin, intelligendi] strength from God and from his own hardships, is able to draw the ship back, not only from the triple wave, but even from the abyss itself. He is a doctor who has acquired an unsickened body and soul, and is not lacking even a single plaster for others. He is truly a teacher who, provided with the noetic tablet of the knowledge of God by a finger, or rather, by the energy of illumination from Him, through himself, and not lacking other books.
He writes of the pastor as a doctor who has medicines to heal. He writes of the pastor as one able to lead others to the presence of God:
Great is the shame of the leader asked to give something to his subordinate which he has not yet acquired. As those who have seen the king’s face, and have been given his friendship, are therefore able to let all his ministers, and those ignorant of him or his enemies, whomever they so will, to enjoy his glory, so also should you think about the holy things: friends reverence and obey the most intimate friends.
And then on how the pastor ought to be devoid of passions. The English translation online ends here:
Perfectly ought the doctor to strip off these passions, so that, at the proper time, he might be able to explain some, then others, and especially wrath. For unless he thrust them away to the utmost, he will not be able to plunge into them passionlessly. I saw a horse, still little, serving without training, who, led by a bridle, and bearing it silently, suddenly overthrew his lord, he having relaxed the bridle a little;
The copy of Migne available from Google is exceptionally difficult to read in places, the copying not have been done well. I have been unable to find the precise section quoted by Oden; it appears to be in the illegible page of my copy. The section quoted by Oden explains that one should not seek to counsel others until he has thoroughly examined his own soul and has found out his passions/anger. And ends with this advice, “See that you are not an exacting investigator of trifling sins, thus showing yourself not to be an imitator of God.”
This instruction reminds me of something from Sibbes:
The second point is, that Christ will not ‘break the bruised reed.’ Physicians, though they put their patients to much pain, yet they will not destroy nature, but raise it up by degrees. Chirurgeons* will lance and cut, but not dismember. A mother that hath a sick and froward child will not therefore cast it away. And shall there be more mercy in the stream than in the spring? Shall we think there is more mercy in ourselves than in God, who planteth the affection of mercy in us? But for further declaration of Christ’s mercy to all bruised reeds, consider the comfortable relations he hath taken upon him of husband, shepherd, brother, &c., which he will discharge to the utmost; for shall others by his grace fulfil what he calleth them unto, and not he that, out of his love, hath taken upon him these relations, so thoroughly founded upon his Father’s assignment, and his own voluntary undertaking? Consider his borrowed names from the mildest creatures, as lamb, hen, &c., to shew his tender care; consider his very name Jesus, a Saviour, given him by God himself; consider his office answerable to his name, which is that he should ‘heal the broken-hearted,’ Isa. 61:1.
Richard Sibbes, The Complete Works of Richard Sibbes, ed. Alexander Balloch Grosart, vol. 1 (Edinburgh; London; Dublin: James Nichol; James Nisbet and Co.; W. Robertson, 1862), 45.