Sunday, November 3, 2013

Humility in the modern world ( Elder Paisios )

In our modern world culture, humbleness is not something that is given a high value. More common is the encouragement to become self assertive, forceful, to act independently. Yet Scripture and the Church Fathers continually emphasize the need for humbleness for our spiritual growth.

We know God loves us and wants to protect us. He knows our problems. He is omnipotent so there is no problem that he cannot help us with, except for one. That is overcoming our lack of humbleness.

Elder Paisios says,
The difficulty God faces, and I repeat, it is the only one, is the 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. What ever help He offers, it will harm the person because he lacks a humble mind.
This is when we are overtaken by our passions and God allows this to happen. He cannot help us because our soul is filled with pride and self-centered thoughts. In a sense, in these moments we have rejected God and instead put all our trust in our own being. We are intent on gaining whatever it is we desire.

The Elder says,
God will not give us what we are asking for, no matter how hard we try, unless we humble ourselves. If our aim is humility, then God will give us everything for free.
God desires only one thing from us: our humbleness. He does not need anything else; just humble ourselves, so He can actually make us partakers of his divine grace, which was granted to us through the mystery of Holy Baptism.... He is only asking from us to humble ourselves and respond out of gratefulness and appreciation of His love. Thus, divine grace, 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.
Saint Peter advises us,
Cloth 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. (1 Peter 5:5-7)Source: Elder Paisios of the Holy Mountain, pp 88-89
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