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#41 Peter S.

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 07:12 PM

I think humility is very much connected with repentance.

I remember one time I repented and was reflecting and suddenly a thoght came to me and by me that repentance was connected with keeping your mind in hell. I asked my spiritual father and my suggestion was right about what keeping my mind in hell could be. I dont live it and have forgot now.

But repentace is connected to keeping your mind in hell.

In Christ
Peter

#42 Owen

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 07:41 PM

This is connected with the words of St. Siluan of Athos, "Keep your mind in Hell, and despair not." Repentance and despair are mututally exclusive.

#43 Lourens

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Posted 24 October 2009 - 07:51 AM

Vasiliki D makes reference (by quoting St. Theophanes, the Recluse) to an aspect of humility, even an outcome of humility.


"When you are invited somewhere, do not take the best place [Lk.l4:8]. Or, more generally, under any circumstances choose the lowliest part. The whole treasure of humility is condensed in this simple rule. Look into it carefully, examine various life situations and in each case make a choice of the lowliest part for yourself in advance. That will be your practice in humility; from the outward behavior it will gradually move inside, and sprouts of humility will be planted deep in your soul. As time goes by, they will grow, fed by the same practice, and eventually humility will fill up your soul and body and your entire life.

What will be the outcome? Moral nobility will shine upon you and cause everyone's respect: as it is written, "Whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted". [Lk. 14:11]. But never think about it when practicing humility; think about humility itself.



This quote, if read carefully, not only brings forth our Lord's law of life concerning ups and downs, but speaks of movement.

Is humility not a movement, rather than a static state? Will an exercised disposition and continuous effort to humble oneself not be met with being lifted up by the Lord?

Humility's true opposite then, if seen as a movement negotiating life, is not pride, but exhaltation. As a character trait, or virtue (strength), yes, certainly, pride stands opposed to humility. But as a consequence of an humbling of oneself, exhaltation stands not as a contrary opposite, but as an opposite complimentary outcome.

This is forcefully affirmed in the Philippian hymn, which follows on an exhortation to humble oneself:

Phi 2:3 Do nothing from selfishness or conceit, but in humility count others better than yourselves.
Phi 2:4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Phi 2:5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,
Phi 2:6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,
Phi 2:7 but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.
Phi 2:8 And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross.
Phi 2:9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name...


It seems to me that humility cannot be regarded without considering an uplifting by the Divine operation, as an outcome of such an humble way of being in this world, and that any such exhaltation presents not only temptations, but an opportunity for moving into a greater depth of humility...from strength to strength, from grace to grace, from one degree of glory to an ever increasing degree of glory, partaking of the divine nature of an humble God.

Humility is a movement.

Respectfully,

Learner

#44 Alice

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Posted 24 October 2009 - 06:30 PM

I just got back from a great blessing...a nearby church had Bishop Athanasios of Limassol, Cyprus (otherwise known as the [then] hieromonk who converses with Prof. Kyriakos Markides in the book 'A Mountain of Silence') as their invited guest this weekend, and after vespers he spoke in his beautiful, down to earth, and God inspired manner...

Among other things, he touched upon the subject of humility and shared a story with us:

He was at a monastery hearing confessions, and when the next appointment was late, he got up to get some air and to walk out of the chapel where he saw a young man. The young man was walking up to the icons in the church and looking at them but not venerating them. He admitted that he thought that perhaps the boy was not Orthodox, or perhaps he was disgusted to kiss the icons....and he approached him and told him 'go ahead, venerate the icons'.

He received a response which surprised him, and was not any of the things he was thinking. The boy said that he felt too unworthy to approach Christ in an icon and to kiss him. He said he felt that he was completely filthy from his sins and could not possibly kiss them.

His Eminence then went on to say that this rattled him, as he had never himself thought of himself as too sinful to kiss and venerate an icon. This boy's statement reflected true and utter humility.

On the other hand, he said, (as an example of pride)--sometimes he gets people who come to confession and speak so much about the good and wonderful things that they do, that they practically start crying from being touched by their own goodness!!!

In Christ,
Alice

#45 Mary M.

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Posted 24 October 2009 - 07:49 PM

Alice, what a blessing to hear the Archbishop speak ( I'm reading the second Kyriacos book featuring him now,and his explanations are so helpful)
Wow. Too sinful to kiss the Icon of Christ.I admit I've never thought of it that way at all (maybe it should). That's food for thought.

I'm reminded by the St. Theophan quote of a friend who always seats herself in the least desired seat. Watching her makes me uncomfortably aware of my own sense of entitlement. Very humbling.

#46 Vasiliki D.

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Posted 25 October 2009 - 02:17 AM

"You must ask in prayer: "Give me faith. Give me the love of Jesus. Give me humility" These things are all gifts. Only God can grant them. Pray. Pray. Pray." said Gerontissa Makrina (+1995)
----
"If you want to grab God's attention so He will hear you during prayer, turn the dial to humility, for God always works in this frequency; then humbly ask for His mercy." said Elder Paisios of the Holy Mountain.
----
"I once asked a simple elderly hermit ... 'Why are your lemon trees so full of fruit?'.
'Because I humble their branches, my son,' he replied." from an Athonite Gerontikon.

#47 Peter S.

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Posted 26 October 2009 - 06:44 PM

Vasiliki D makes reference (by quoting St. Theophanes, the Recluse) to an aspect of humility, even an outcome of humility.




This quote, if read carefully, not only brings forth our Lord's law of life concerning ups and downs, but speaks of movement.

Is humility not a movement, rather than a static state? Will an exercised disposition and continuous effort to humble oneself not be met with being lifted up by the Lord?

Humility's true opposite then, if seen as a movement negotiating life, is not pride, but exhaltation. As a character trait, or virtue (strength), yes, certainly, pride stands opposed to humility. But as a consequence of an humbling of oneself, exhaltation stands not as a contrary opposite, but as an opposite complimentary outcome.

This is forcefully affirmed in the Philippian hymn, which follows on an exhortation to humble oneself:



It seems to me that humility cannot be regarded without considering an uplifting by the Divine operation, as an outcome of such an humble way of being in this world, and that any such exhaltation presents not only temptations, but an opportunity for moving into a greater depth of humility...from strength to strength, from grace to grace, from one degree of glory to an ever increasing degree of glory, partaking of the divine nature of an humble God.

Humility is a movement.

Respectfully,

Learner


St. Paul writes about things fulfilled in this world and at the same time not fulfilled in the age to come. And that he is always looking forward, knowing he has not come to the goal here before death. (But his works is a bridge over to eternity by grace.) Like salvation and theosis I think humility is a moving state. I think the word state in english dont need to mean something static? And one can be humble without having acheived humility.

In Christ
Peter

#48 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 26 October 2009 - 06:52 PM

I just got back from a great blessing...a nearby church had Bishop Athanasios of Limassol, Cyprus (otherwise known as the [then] hieromonk who converses with Prof. Kyriakos Markides in the book 'A Mountain of Silence') as their invited guest this weekend, and after vespers he spoke in his beautiful, down to earth, and God inspired manner...

Among other things, he touched upon the subject of humility and shared a story with us:

He was at a monastery hearing confessions, and when the next appointment was late, he got up to get some air and to walk out of the chapel where he saw a young man. The young man was walking up to the icons in the church and looking at them but not venerating them. He admitted that he thought that perhaps the boy was not Orthodox, or perhaps he was disgusted to kiss the icons....and he approached him and told him 'go ahead, venerate the icons'.

He received a response which surprised him, and was not any of the things he was thinking. The boy said that he felt too unworthy to approach Christ in an icon and to kiss him. He said he felt that he was completely filthy from his sins and could not possibly kiss them.

His Eminence then went on to say that this rattled him, as he had never himself thought of himself as too sinful to kiss and venerate an icon. This boy's statement reflected true and utter humility.

On the other hand, he said, (as an example of pride)--sometimes he gets people who come to confession and speak so much about the good and wonderful things that they do, that they practically start crying from being touched by their own goodness!!!

In Christ,
Alice


Old Rite faithful in Russia do not kiss icons.

#49 Panayota K.

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Posted 26 October 2009 - 07:30 PM

On the other hand, he said, (as an example of pride)--sometimes he gets people who come to confession and speak so much about the good and wonderful things that they do, that they practically start crying from being touched by their own goodness!!!

In Christ,
Alice


Someone said when confessing to his spiritual father that every time he practised a sort of ascesis he immediatelly had thoughts of pride about it. He feared to make a spiritual step forward because of the war he would have to face after and he asked his priest what to do to avoid those thoughts. The priest looked at him and answered "You feel pride for what? Ascesis is what you owe to God and you do much less than you should."

Now that's a way of thinking that keeps me down to earth.


Panayota

#50 Alexander Zhdanov

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Posted 28 October 2009 - 09:00 AM

"A humble wisdom [smirennomudrie] is a constant humility of human mind before innocent and perfect mind of God which is in Jesus Christ " - St. Justin Popovich *

* Translation is mine :)

Bye,

Alexander

#51 Ilaria

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Posted 28 October 2009 - 09:13 AM

IThe boy said that he felt too unworthy to approach Christ in an icon and to kiss him.


This boy, "ordinary" as any of us, had put into practice the words of st. Symeon, the New Theologian: somewhere, he said something like that 'the one who humbles himself, does not dare to look at and touch the icons;he feels that because of his bad behavior even the icons get ashamed'

Sometimes, I feel breathless seeing how wonderful works the Grace of God!

#52 Alexander Zhdanov

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Posted 29 October 2009 - 03:04 PM

The holy Theodora was in the habit of telling her disciples very frequently how neither great asceticism, nor extremely hard work, nor any other sufferings whatsoever can save a man as much as true humility of the heart. She also related the following anecdote:

A certain hermit had a gift from God to cast out evil spirits. One time he asked to learn what they feared most and what compelled them to flee.

"Perhaps it is fasting?" he asked one of them.

"We," the evil spirit replied, "neither ever eat nor ever drink."

"Sleepless vigils, then?"

"We do not sleep at all."

"Flight from the world?"

"Supposedly an important thing. But we spend the greater part of our time wandering around the deserts."

"I implore you to confess what it is that can subdue you," insisted the elder.

The evil spirit, compelled by a supernatural force, was pressed to answer: "Humility - which we can never overcome."

#53 Michael Woods

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Posted 31 October 2009 - 12:47 PM

St. Basil the Great says, "But a man who has attained to true humility will not be troubled by offensive or ignominious words, since he is already aware of his own great unworthiness even before he is insulted."

#54 Anna Stickles

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Posted 30 December 2009 - 12:49 AM

Complete trust in God --that's what holy humility is. Complete obedience to God, without protest, without reaction, even when some things seem difficult and unreasonable. Abandonment to the hands of God. The words we repeat during the Divine Liturgy say it all: "Let us commend our whole life to Christ our God." ... To You O, Lord we leave everything. That is what trust in God is. This is holy humility. This is what transfigures a person and makes him a 'God-man'.

The humble person is conscious of his inner state and, however unsightly it is, he does not lose his personality. he know he is sinful and is grieved by the fact, but he does not despair and does not annihilate himself. The person possessed of holy humility does...not react. He accepts to be criticized and rebuked by others, without getting angry and defending himself. he does not lose his equilibrium. The opposite happens with the egotist, the person who has a sense of inferiority. To begin with he seems to be humble, but if he is goaded a little, he immediately loses his calm and is irritated or upset.

...If you have love for your neighbor and love for God, God will give you humility and bestow on you sanctification. If you do not have love for God and for your neighbor, and if you are indolent, Satan will tyrannize you, your old self will take revenge on you, and you fill find fault with everyone and everything and be forever complaining. ...

Feigned humility is also demonic. It's what's called an inferiority complex. true humility doesn't speak and doesn't make a show of humility. It doesn't say for example, "I am a sinner an unworthy and the very least of men..." The humble person fears that such words may lead him to fall into vanity. The grace of God does not approach here. On the contrary, the grace of God is to be found where there is true humility, divine humility, perfect trust in God, total dependence on Him. Elder Propyrious, Wounded by Love, p 152-3

I hope no one minds this is so long but it's so beautiful I had trouble deciding where to cut it off.

#55 Owen Jones

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Posted 01 January 2010 - 03:08 PM

Thanks to all for your comments on humility. I thought it would be a good idea to start off the new year reading through this thread. I don't want to add anything other than my gratitude.

#56 Rick H.

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Posted 01 January 2010 - 04:04 PM

Thanks to all for your comments on humility. I thought it would be a good idea to start off the new year reading through this thread. I don't want to add anything other than my gratitude.



I just want to share that after reading this post (even though it really didn't say anything), it really had a profound impact on me. It caused me to realize that my posts on monachos really don't have much to do with humility, as well this caused me to realize that there is not really much at all that is humble about me period. So, I guess I am saying thanks as well.

#57 Evan

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Posted 01 January 2010 - 09:25 PM

It was suggested earlier in this thread that one ought not to defend oneself from slander. How do we reconcile this with the fact that such "humble" gestures as that performed by the saint who paid the sum to the prostitute might well have the effect of scandalizing others?

For instance: Imagine, for example, that a Metropolitan is sued respecting conduct that appalls the conscience of all who hear of it. He is in fact not guilty of any such sin, and he can prove it in court, but he instead reaches a civil settlement with the aggrieved party.

I think in this context there's something to be said for defending oneself.

#58 Owen Jones

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Posted 01 January 2010 - 10:15 PM

Everything about the spiritual life is paradoxical.

#59 Peter S.

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Posted 21 January 2010 - 10:54 PM

All good things comes from God.

#60 Peter S.

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Posted 21 January 2010 - 11:03 PM

Keep that in mind and you are protected from pride. But that is hard work.

Peter
In Christ




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