“God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (1Pt 5: 6 -Jc 4:6)
Father Paisios used to say:
– When we patiently endure our problems and turn to God for help, we notice that He gives us the best possible solution. Unfortunately, in our days, people are very impatient. We do not love patience at all.
Christ assured us, however, that only the ones who are patient will inherit the Kingdom of God. (“…they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bring forth fruit with patience.” Lk 8:15- “but he who endures to the end will be saved” Mt 24:13- “by your endurance you will gain your lives” Lk 21:19 .)
“God does not want us, His children, to be pestered. He gives us temptations and hardships in order to become perfect. Temptations will cease to exist in our life, when we reach the level of perfection.”
“We, Christians, ought to love afflictions and not try to get rid of them; afflictions are necessary means leading to our perfection.”
“When people treat us unjustly, we must be happy, because God’s justice, which is superior to human justice, will protect us. We should either seek human justice, or patiently wait for the justice of God. We must be careful, however, not to pursue an unjust treatment, because this would be unfair on our part and would indicate lack of love towards other people.”
“It is for our own benefit to hope for divine justice, when treated unfairly, and not react to the injustice done to us. Not only we will profit from this, but later on our children will be benefited as well. However, the opposite thing happens, when people curse us and the curse is just.”
“When God sees that we are proud and arrogant, He allows for the presence of temptations in our life. He will take them away from us, only when He sees that we humble ourselves.”
Father Paisios said that the spiritual work of a Christian should focus on the acquirement of humbleness.
– God loves man very much; He knows very well the problems of each one of us, and wishes to help us before we ask Him to do so. Since God is omnipotent, there are no difficulties which He cannot overcome, except one. The difficulty God faces, and I repeat, it is the only one, is that He “cannot” help us when our soul is not humble. God “feels sad” because, while He sees His creature suffer, He “cannot” offer any help. Whatever help He offers, it will harm the person because he lacks a humble mindset.
Whatever happens to man, depends absolutely on his humbleness….. If our only aim is humility, then God will give us everything for free.
God wants and desires only one thing from us: our humbleness. He does not need anything else; just to humble ourselves, so He can actually make us partakers of His divine grace, which was granted to us through the mystery of Holy Baptism. Although we did not love Him yet, neither had we struggled to acquire His grace, He gave it to us as a gift out of His extreme kindness. He is only asking from us to humble ourselves and respond out of gratefulness and appreciation to His love. Thus, divine grace, which abides in us, will be activated and function accordingly. It will make us love God and get to know Him; it will do everything for us, if we only humble ourselves and allow for it to act. The only obstacle to the energy of God’s grace is our pride, our lack of humility.
St. Peter in chapter 5 of his 1st Epistle helps us clearly understand our fault and tells us what we should do: “Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that in due time he may exalt you. Cast all your anxieties on him, for he cares about you.” (1Pt 5: 5-7)
If we concentrate solely on our struggle for humility, then everything will be granted to us by God as a blessing. When we take care of everything else except our humbleness, then we will never achieve anything good; even if we did, we wouldn’t be able to keep it for long. We need only one thing: the humbleness of our heart, which will give rise to the Kingdom of God’s grace.
Priestmonk Christodoulos (1998) “Elder Paisios of the Holy Mountain”
Elder Ignatius Kapnisis of Evia, disciple of St.Paisios of the Holy Mountain say :
All the Holy Fathers lead to: Perfect Christian will say humble man.
Humility is the key of Paradise.
As I have come to understand, some people resemble the honeybee and some resemble the fly. Those who resemble the fly seek to find evil in every circumstance and are preoccupied with it; they see no good anywhere. But those who resemble the honeybee only see the good in everything they see. The stupid person thinks stupidly and takes everything in the wrong way, whereas the person who has good thoughts, no matter what he sees, no matter what you tell him, maintains a positive and good thought.
+ St. Paisios of Mt. Athos, “Good and Evil Thoughts,” Spiritual Counsels III: Spiritual Struggle
Through the intercessions of our Father among the Saints Paisios of the Holy Mountain, through the prayers of Fr. Iakovos of Evia, of all the ascetic Fathers and all the saints, O Lord of compassion and hope, have mercy on us and save us!