Many Christians have the reverent desire to be baptized in the Jordan River. However, no matter how many times we enter the Jordan River, and no matter how many bottles of holy water we drink, if we do not repent we will not be saved.
Let us kneel every day and night, and let us beseech God to grant us a contrite spirit and tears.
Compel yourselves, my children, in the spiritual struggle. Do not forget the vast experience of the devil and our own weakness. Just as a leaf in autumn falls at the slightest wind, likewise we fall at the slightest temptation or trial when the grace of God does not assist us. And when does the grace of God assist us? Only when humility guides our every thought and deed.
Have patience, my child, in the trial which the goodness of God is sending you for the greater benefit of your soul. You should rejoice, because this shows God’s concern for your greater spiritual progress, primarily in humility. Many times, man’s pride becomes a cause for God to give us a fatherly “slap” so that we walk more securely in humility. This is the best sign of how greatly God is concerned for our souls.
Humility is a wonderful virtue, which makes fragrant the one who has it. He who has humility also has obedience, love, patience, and every virtue. When we get angry, or become enraged, or criticize, or do not obey, it is evident that we have a corresponding amount of pride and egotism. The more we progress in humility, the more the evil offspring of egotism will retreat. My children, let us humble ourselves for the Lord Who humbled Himself for us. The Lord showed so much humility, even to the point of crucifixion. So shouldn’t we, who are lowly by nature, bow our head to our brother? Do we expect always to get our own way? If we want Jesus to dwell within our heart, let us love and humble ourselves like Christ. Let us not grieve Him any more with egotistic manifestations. Let us not crucify Him again with expressions and conduct lacking brotherly love. No more bitterness in the holy heart of our most sweet Christ.I entreat our Panagia very much that she grant me humility in all things, for it is a fundamental virtue, and without it the grace of the All-holy Spirit does not validate any of our work!
Elder Ephraim of Arizona