August 8

Everything that brings disgrace upon us, whether prompted by man or demons, occurs through God’s just judgment in order to humble the overweening vanity of our souls. For God, the helmsman of our lives, wishes that we should always be humble and have not an exaggerated but a modest view of ourselves (Romans 12:3); that we should not have great ideas about ourselves, but should look to Christ and imitate , so far as we can, His blessed humility; for He was ‘gentle and humble in heart’ (Matthew 11:29).

He who for our sake endured a disgraceful, unjust death desires us to be like this, for there is nothing so dear to Him or that in its true virtue so fully accords with Him–nothing so apt to raise us from the dunghill of the passions–as gentleness and humility and love for our fellow beings. If these are not present with us as we cultivate the virtues, all our labor is in vain and all our ascetic endeavors are useless and unacceptable.

~Nikitas Stithatos


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