`Geronda, my temperature decreased.`
`I am glad that it decreased – God be praised! – as it made you suffer so much. Now I think your spiritual temperature will get regulated too if you realize the pride it comes from.
It is true indeed that pride can cause not only a mere spiritual coldness but also a great spiritual fever. The spiritual temperature grows depending on the way pride grows and it influences the body as well making its temperature grow, as the soul and body are in close relation.
Pride is the greatest spiritual disease. As the leech sucks your blood when it sticks on you, the pride absorbs all the spiritual vim of the man; it even causes spiritual suffocation because it wastes all the spiritual oxygen of the soul.
`Geronda, I noticed that immediately after I follow an order in my listening everything becomes…
`It`s obvious you say for yourself `they go well. That is why you have falls afterwards. The proud has no spiritual flights, only falls.`
`Geronda, I notice that no matter what I would do or say, pride takes control over me.`
`Everything you do, do it humbly, otherwise you put the devil even in your good deeds. For instance if someone says proudfully: I will go to do a good deed`, he puts the devil inside that and afterwards he can encounter a lot of obstacles and in the end he cannot do that anymore. But if he goes to do a good deed without noise, then the devil doesn`t come in.
`Geronda, how to make an inner spiritual work?`
`Secretly and quietly. The spiritual work is very fine and a lot of attention is needed at any of our actions.
The Holy Fathers say that spiritual life is the `art of the arts`. It is needed so much vigilance. The ascent in spiritual life is like the ascent on a spiral staircase without any railing. If someone climbs it without seeing where he steps up and says: `Oh, how high I came and how high I am going to be! he will step alongside and will fall.
`Why the staircase has no railing?`
`Because the man is free and he must use the mind he was given by God. If you don`t use it correctly, what can God do about it?`
`Geronda, is it possible that a state of spiritual dryness may have pride as its cause?`
`Yes, if there is pride God allows it for the man to fall into a state of idleness, akedia and spiritual coldness because if He would help him and would give him taste something heavenly, then he would slowly become proud and would start thinking that this is due to his own spiritual endeavours. He will tell the others afterwards `make spiritual efforts. And in this way he can harm souls. That is why God lets him hit himself as much as it is needed to make him lose the high opinion he has about himself and despair in the good way about his own self and feel that `Without Me you can do nothing.`.
 John 15, 5.
Excerpt from Passions and virtues – Pious Paisios the Athonite, Evanghelismos Publishing.