Everywhere we are told about the salvation of the soul, as a supreme aim of the man who came as a traveler on earth.
We are given as example the life of saints and thus we are encouraged that a;thoug we are sinners, there is a hope for our salvation.
We go to the church, we make the sign of the cross before icons, we listen to the holy service, we confess, we commune. We kneel and pray asking the salvation of our soul. How does God answer to these prayers?
`First of all the help would be manifested in another way than we imagine it. As long as the demons fell from heaven because of their pride, the gate to heaven is only the gate of humbleness. And there is no other way no matter how long we would seek it.
Let me tell you a story. Long time ago a demon showed up before a monk with the appearance of Theotokos and asked him to bow to him. Without thinking at all at the fact that he did not deserve at all to see Theotokos because of his pride, he took a bow and the surprise came in an instant, the horseshoes becoming visible from under his robe. Then the demon said: `You worshipped me so you are mine!`
I don’t know the fate of that monk but humbleness he needed afterwards for the salvation of his soul I think that it was big.` Therefore to acquire humbleness at any level you would be is a serious thing and the tests will be in accordance with our spiritual evolution. But if we ask form power to humble ourselves which will be the answer?
Despite our opinion, humbleness is not acquired smoothly but roughly. Therefore the kind God will do anything to teach you humbleness seeing your willingness to be saved.
In case you cannot humble yourself which would be the best but it is hard, the kind God can humble you in another way: by giving you diseases and pains, poverty and many others and all these have as aim only your salvation. If you ask for humbleness expect to get many humiliations, offences and unspoken words. But the spiritual gifts you shall receive will be accordingly. There is the great test: one thing is to say about yourself `me the sinner and humble` and another thing is to face the situation. Listen to me well: if you strive you will receive your reward, but if you humble yourself you will receive gifts. We don’t receive spiritual gifts because we boast with them and the price of boastfulness is the perdition of our soul.
The spiritual gifts are given proportionally with humbleness. Because of this reason we don’t have anything or almost anything. When we humble ourselves we have everything. Then we will know what to do with the gifts and we surely won’t do anything bad. Look let’s practice an exercise of humbleness:
`How do you see yourself?`
`I should see myself smaller than the others but I am not able to do it.`
`It’s completely wrong. If you see yourself smaller than the others it means that you consider you are something. You must not see yourself at all. When you don’t mean anything in your own eyes, when you become aware that you are dust, when you realize that is not the fault of the fool that is a fool or of the smart one that is smart all these being received gifts and not the result of our efforts you are on the path of humbleness. From here it starts the good work.
Excerpt from the book Down to earth, author Ionuț Riteș.