Orthodox Byzantine Chants
Holy Mount Athos
`Humility alone is enough. Many times some people ask me: How much time needs someone to gain the divine grace? Some people might live all their life in a spiritual way apparently, practicing ascesis etc but because they think they are something they don’t receive the divine grace. And others receive the grace in a short time because they humble themselves.
If the man humbles himself it is possible to be inundated by the divine grace in a moment and become an angel and find himself in heaven. But if he prides himself he may become a devil in a moment and go to hell. Meaning that if the man wants it he can become a lamb but he can also become a goat. Poor goats, even if they want, they cannot become lambs. But God gave to the man the possibility to turn from goat into lamb. It is enough if he wants it. The grace of God dwells only in the humble and meek man. Only there rests God. You saw what prophet Isaiah says?
These are the ones I look on with favor: those who are humble and contrite in spirit and who tremble at my word. (Isaiah 66:2) God wants us to have a bit of humility to relate to Him and then all His gifts come abundantly one after another. In a certain way God owes to the humble man a lot of grace and He gives it as a gift without being asked for it. This is the spiritual law. The Scripture doesn’t it say: God is against the proud ones and He gives His grace to the humble ones? (Jacob 4:6, I Peter 5:5, Proverbs 3:34) This is the way God set them all. `I am humble` means `I have the divine grace.`
The humble one receives plenty of grace from God because he is like a sponge which absorbs the divine grace. That one who bends humbly and receives the blows from the others gets rid of his own swellings, he get spiritual beauty as an angel and thus he can enter the narrow gate of heaven. Nobody ascends to heaven by the worldly climbing but by the spiritual descent. Humility opens the gates of Heaven and the grace of God comes to the man, while pride closes them. Father Tihon said: A humble man has more grace than many people together. Every morning God blesses the world with a single hand, but when He sees a humble man He blesses him with both hands.
The greatest of all men is that one who has more humility!
Everything depends on the humble thought. When there is a humble thought in the man then heaven and earth meet in him naturally.
By their humility the men found the button. They press it and ascend to the third heaven (II Corinthians 12:2) with the spiritual elevator of love. And you hear some saying: And why does God want us to humble ourselves? Hear it! If the man doesn’t humble himself he doesn’t find any place in heaven and not even in this life can find his peace. What did Christ say?
Learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (Matthew 11:29).
Source: Pious Paissios the Athonite, Passions and Virtues,Evanghelismos Publishing, p. 167.