All Spiritual Counsels
- YES I DO WANT TO BE SAVED
- WHY SILENCE? WHY THE DESERT?
- WHY SHOULD WE FAST?
- WHY DO MY PRAYERS FOR HELP IN MY DAILY STRUGGLE REMAIN UNANSWERED?
- WHO IS OUR VENERABLE FATHER ARSENIOS OF CAPPADOCIA, THE WONDERWORKER?
- WHICH IS BETTER - THE WAY OF MARY OR THE WAY OF MARTHA?
- USELESS KNOWLEDGE AND IDLE CURIOSITY
- THE WORD OF GOD
- THE VALUE OF MATERIAL THINGS
- THE SIGNIFICANCE OF A PRIDEFUL THOUGHT ACCORDING TO ST. PAISIOS
- THE SECRET TO OBTAINING THE GRACE OF GOD
- THE PRIEST WHO DID NOT WANT TO SERVE THE DIVINE LITURGY
- THE IMPORTANCE OF SELF-KNOWLEDGE ACCORDING TO ST. NECTARIOS THE WONDERWORKER
- THE IMPORTANCE OF PLACE IN THE SPIRIUTAL LIFE
- THE GREATEST MISSION OF THE CHURCH IS THE DIVINE LITURGY
- THE EVIL ONE WARS AGAINST SPIRITUAL STRUGGLERS
- THE BROTHER WHO WAS SAVED WITHOUT EFFORT BECAUSE HE DIDN'T JUDGE
- THE BENEFITS OF ALMSGIVING - AN AMAZING MIRACLE
- THE ATHEIST STUDENT WHO VISITED MOUNT ATHOS
- SOMETIMES EVEN THE DEVIL TELLS THE TRUTH
- SLEEPINESS AND PRAYER
- SINS AND PASSIONS
- SIN - DESPAIR - REPENTANCE
- SHOULD I OR SHOULD I NOT REVEAL MY THOUGHTS TO ANOTHER?
- SEEK NOT THE PRAISES OF MEN
- SAYINGS BY ABBA AMMONAS
- REMAIN SILENT OR SPEAK UP?
- PRAYER AND FASTING
- ON JUDGING PRIESTS
- ON JUDGING
- OF WHAT DOES THE SPIRITUAL SEARCH CONSIST?
- MIRACULOUS SIMPLICITY OF AN ATHONITE ELDER
- MALICE - PRAYER AND ASCETICISM
- LIGHT AND DARKNESS IN THE SOUL
- JESUS AS THE NEW ADAM
- IS REPENTANCE AND VIRTUE FOR LAY PEOPLE?
- IS FASTING NECESSARY? ASK THE DEMONS!
- HUMILITY - THE FOUNDATION OF ALL VIRTUES
- HOW TO PLEASE GOD - ACCORDING TO ST. ANTHONY THE GREAT
- HOW TO DEAL WITH TEMPTATIONS AND PROBLEMS IN LIFE
- HATING THE CAUSES OF SIN
- FREEDOM THAT ALTERS
- FAITH AND WORKS
- ELDER PAISIOS CANONISED BY THE ECUMENICAL PATRIARCHATE
- DOES THE DEVIL REALLY EXIST?
- DO WE SOMETIMES RELY TOO MUCH ON OURSELVES? CAN THIS LEAD US TO EXCESSIVE GRIEF?
- DEALING WITH SPIRITUAL DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY
- COMBATING DESPAIR
- BEFORE THE NEW TESTAMENT WAS THE DIVINE LITURGY
- BE THANKFUL TO GOD FOR EVERYTHING
- BE AT PEACE WITH YOUR OWN SOUL
- AUTHENTIC HUMILITY
- ATTACHMENT TO EARTHLY THINGS MAKE US FOREIGN TO HEAVENLY THINGS
- AN AMAZING STORY - THE IMPORTANCE OF HUMILITY ACCORDING TO ST. ANTHONY AND THE SHOE-MAKER
- ADVICE FOR PARENTS FROM AN ELDER
- ACCORDING TO ELDER PAISIOS WHEN CAN WE HELP OTHERS SPIRITUALLY?
- ABBA SISOES AT THE TOMB OF ALEXANDER THE GREAT
- A PRISONER, A SHIPWRECKED SAILOR AND THE DIVINE LITURGY
- A NEW SAINT DECALRED
HUMILITY - THE FOUNDATION OF ALL VIRTUES
In a world where self promotion seems to be a pre-requisite for survival, we often forget that the pre-requisite for spiritual life is the virtue of humility. As one elder said, 'As the ground on which we walk has no fear of falling, so too the humble man has no fear of falling...' because humility is the foundation of all virtues. Just as it is impossibe to describe the taste of honey to someone who has never tried it, so too, it is impossible to describe with words the virtue of humility. For this reason we allow the Desert Fathers speak to us, with real life examples, about this virtue.
Abba Cronius was born about 285 AD. Although he lived in a monastery at first, he left it to live with St. Anthony the Great in the Red Sea Desert of Egypt where he acted as St. Anthony's interpreter. Later, he moved to Nitria (near present-day Alexandria) where he was ordained priest. He had many disciples and died around 386 AD.
Abba Cronius said that Abba Joseph of Pelusia told him the following story, "When I was living in Sinai, there was a brother who was good, ascetic and handsome. He came to church for the Synaxis (the liturgical office said by monks in common, usually on Saturday or Sunday) dressed in an old robe with patches all over. Once when I saw him coming to the Synaxis, I said to him, 'Brother, do you not see the brothers, looking like angels for the Synaxis in church? How can you always come here in that garb?' He said to me, 'Forgive me, abba, but I have nothing else.' So I took him in to my cell and gave him a tunic and whatever else he needed. After that he wore them like the other brethren and was like an angel to look at.
Now once it was necessary for the Fathers to send ten brethren to the emperor about something or other and he was chosen as one of the group to go. When he heard this, he made a prostration before his Father saying, 'In the Lord's name, excuse me, for I am the slave of a great man down there and if he recognizes me, he will deprive me of my habit and force me to serve him again.' The brothers were convinced and left him behind. But later, they learned from someone who had known him well when he was in the world that he had been head of the administration and that he had spoken as he did as a ruse, so that no one should know this or bother him about it. So great, amongst the Fathers, was their concern to flee from glory and the attention of this world!"
"The Desert Christian," by Sr. Benedicta Ward