The humble never falls. Whence indeed could he fall, being lower than all? A proud mind is a great humiliation; a humble mind is a great exaltation and honour and dignity.
St Macarius the Great
When it is God’s pleasure to subject a man to even greater afflictions, He permits him to fall into the hands of faint-heartedness. This begets in him a mighty force of despondency, wherein he feels his soul to be suffocated. This is a foretaste of Gehenna. From this there is unleashed upon him: the spirit of aberration (from which ten thousand trials gush forth); confusion; wrath; blasphemy; protesting and bewailing one’s lot; perverted thoughts; wandering from place to place; and the like. And if you should ask what the cause of these things is, I answer that it is you yourself, for the reason that you have not taken pains to find the remedy for them. The remedy for them all is one, and therein, in its very hand, a man can find immediate consolation for his soul. And what is it? Humility of heart. Without this no man can destroy the barrier of these evils, nay rather, he will see them triumph over him.
St. Isaak the Syrian
He, who grieves sorely in his heart when dishonored or offended by others, ought to
know from this that he bears within himself the ancient serpent. If he will bear the
offense in silence, or will answer the one offending him with deep humility, then he has
thereby weakened and crushed this serpent. St. Simeon the New Theologian.
When there is a calm wind, every seaman can have a high opinion of himself and boast.
However, only during a sudden turn in the wind will the skill of an experienced navigator show through. St. Anthony the Great
I received this post from an Athonite blog today. Please read it and share it, for it is full of beauty.
A king visited his soldiers on the front. After encouraging and reassure them, he shook hands with each one. Then he asked the general to take him to the infirmary as well. Mangled, without hands, without feet, full of pus or blood, the wounded soldiers barely moved into their beds. He passed on every sick person, stretched out his hand and congratulated him. When he finished, the King turned to the general, asking, “Is there any one I have not congratulated?” “There is one more in reserve. He’s paralyzed, dumb, blind and deaf. You will not be able to shake hands with him!” The King went to the unconscious soldier’s bed, removed the blanket from his face and kissed his forehead!
Every day, early in the morning, Christ comes to visit His soldiers. He stretches out his hand, encourages them, tells them beautiful words. He cleans the tear of the orphan who is asking for bread. He kisses elders’ eyes widened of loneliness. He caresses the little one who is bullied in school by his colleagues for being a Christian. He bandages the wound of the one who suffers tremendously. He stretches out his hand to the abandoned, abused wife, the one with bruised eyes. After he greets everyone, he does another thing too: He kisses all the sinners on their forehead! The weak ones with hereditary flaws and limited talents. The falling ones. The lost ones. The losers who are playing with fire.
What king bends to kiss a vagabond, an adulterine, the person who ruins the church? What god loves the lost ones? Which of them still embraces when is kissed by a Judah? Who forgives the sinners before they ask to be forgiven?
Do not turn your back to the King. He just started his visit. Let’s prepare ourselves to offer him right now both our cheeks …
The man who asks God for less than he deserves will certainly receive more, as is shown by the publican who begged forgiveness but obtained salvation (cf. Luke 18:10-14). And the robber asked only to be remembered in the kingdom, yet he inherited all of Paradise (cf. Luke 23:43).
St. John Klimakos -The Ladder of Divine Ascent “On Humility”
Once, Abba Isaiah saw someone committing a grave sin. The “starets” did not accuse
him but said to himself: “If God, Who created him, sees this and is merciful toward him, then who am I to accuse him?”