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Humility and Pain and Suffering

“The measure of a man’s spiritual growth is his humility. The more advanced he is spiritually, the more humble he is. And vice versa: the more humble, the higher spiritually. Neither prayer rules, nor prostrations, nor fasts, nor reading God’s Word— only humility brings a man closer to God. Without humility, even the greatest spiritual feats are not only useless but can altogether destroy a person.” (Abbot Nikon Vorobiev)

“…we must guard against thinking that a humble heart is easily acquired. Although we are attracted to humility, we should anticipate a battle in the soul. The cost of humility on Christ’s terms is an all-out fight against our self-serving pride and vainglory. The humility we perceive in Christ our God requires a lifelong dedication to putting to death our carelessness, arrogance, selfishness, and self-indulgence…Christ came “to save that which was lost” (Matthew 18:11). He will not abandon us in our struggle to gain a humble heart!” (Dynamis 8/3/2020)

“We must suffer much in our hearts until we learn humility… Until you have suffered much in your heart, you cannot learn humility…Often many misfortunes befall us, all because we have not humbled ourselves yet. When the soul is humble and bows down before the will of God, our suffering and misfortunes will cease. For then, misfortunes and suffering somehow become dear to us. We will come to have a completely different understanding of life. We do not reason anymore according to the laws of this world. We see everything in a different light. Everything we look upon seems somehow brighter, full of love. Everything is good because it is pleasing to God. We are His creatures and all that is created belongs to Him. He created all things for Himself, that we might be partakers of His Divine love and Divine peace and joy.” (Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica)

“You see part of our problem with overcoming temptation is that we don’t understand what temptations are for, what they are meant to accomplish in our lives. We wrongly think that temptations exist to test us to see if we will be “good.”  We still haven’t believed the words of Jesus who said: “There is no one good but God.”  Temptations come not to test us to see if we will be good; rather, temptations come to show us that we are not good and that we need to flee in humility to God for refuge. Temptations come because we think we can make it through the day without God’s constant help. Temptations come because we think a comfortable life is normal, rather than a gift from God.” (Fr. Michael Gillis)

“Perfect humility is meeting the unfathomable love of God, who is the ground of our being…In order for humility to mature it must blossom into self-forgetfulness.” (Martin Laird)

“Rather than allowing us to be brought down by our sinful pride, God allows humiliating experiences to prepare our hearts for true transformation. When we are blinded to our faults, God allows things to happen that put down our ego and remind us that we are but sinful creatures in need of His mercy.” (Abbot Tryphon)

“We need to outgrow our narcissistic tendencies and develop humble hearts. Life is about more than comfort. Even negative events can enable us to develop into the men and women God meant us to be, and in the process, we will find that even tragedy is emptied of its power to destroy us.” (Father Barnabas Powell)

“All our risks, humiliations, and trials are opportunities for Christ to demonstrate his power and presence in and through us...When opposition, slander, or disappointment threaten to rob you of the victory, remember that no one can destroy what God has accomplished through you.” (Life Application Study Bible, 2 Corinthians 4:8-12)

"Suffering accepted in the right way will lead us to humility. It will strip us of the false belief that we are in control or the idea that peace may come through comfort. It will deepen our prayer and demand from us the willingness to forgive others. It will help us to grow compassion in our hearts and take from us any judgement of others who are in need." (Father Spyridon Baily)

“If we possessed every virtue, but lacked humility, those virtues would be without root and would not last…Humility, after the first shock, is a cheerful virtue.” (St. Vincent de Paul, C. S. Lewis)

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