It is a great sign of grace to learn Christian humility: it becomes easier to live, and everything becomes dearer to the heart. Only to the humble does the Lord show himself through the Holy Spirit, and if we are not humble, then we cannot see God. Humility is that light, by means of which we can see the Light of God, just as we sing "In Your light we see the light."
There is a great difference between the simplest person who has felt the Lord through the Holy Spirit and the person, though he may be prominent, who has not felt the grace of the Holy Spirit. There is a great difference between believing only that God exists, experiencing Him only through nature or the Scriptures, and experiencing Him through the Holy Spirit. If one has experienced God through the Holy Spirit, his soul burns with love for God day and night, and it can no longer be tied to anything earthly. The soul which has not felt the sweetness of the Holy Spirit, feels joy in the vanity of earthly fame or wealth, but the soul that has experienced God through the Holy Spirit, desires only the Lord, and places no value on wealth or earthly glory.
If we were humble, the Lord in His kindness would show us everything, reveal all secrets, but we are not humble, we are proud and vain over all details, and in this we suffer ourselves and torment others.
The Lord does not reveal Himself to proud souls. The proud soul, even if it has read all the books, will never understand the Lord, for in its pride it does not allow any room for the grace of the Holy Spirit, and God is only experienced through the Holy Spirit. Pride does not allow the soul to enter on the path of faith. I give this advice to the unbeliever: let him say, "Lord, if You exist, then enlighten me, and I will serve You with all my heart and soul." For this humble thought and preparedness to serve God, the Lord will certainly enlighten him.
The Lord, though He is merciful, tests the soul with hunger and does not bestow grace until it learns humility. The proud person fears reproach while the humble does not. Whoever has acquired the meekness of Christ is always prepared to reproach himself and welcomes abuse, and sorrows when he is complimented. But this is only the first step in humility; when the soul experiences the Lord through the Holy Spirit in His humility and meekness, then it sees itself as worse than all.
The Lord has taught me to hold my mind in hell, and not to despair. And this is how my soul becomes humble, but this is not yet real humility, which is indescribable. As the soul moves toward the Lord, it becomes fearful, but when it sees the Lord, then it becomes immensely joyous from the beauty of His glory, and it forgets everything earthly in the face of the love of God and the sweetness of the Holy Spirit. This is the Lord’s Heaven. Love will surround everyone, and from the humility of Christ they will be glad to see others above them. The humility of Christ exists in the lowly: they are happy in their lowliness. This was given to me to understand by the Lord.
The Lord said, "Learn from Me to be meek and humble of heart." There are many types of humility. You can be obedient and reproach yourself in everything — this is a form of humility. Another can repent his sins and count himself the lowest before Christ — this is also a form of humility. But when a soul sees the Lord through the Holy Spirit in all His meekness and humility, then it also becomes humbled to its limits. This is a special sort of humility which cannot be described, it can only be experienced through the Holy Spirit. And if people could experience the Lord through the Holy Spirit, they would all change — the wealthy would despise their wealth, the learned their studies, the powerful their glory and authority, and all would be humbled and would live in great peace and love, and the earth would be filled with great joy. He who has experienced God through the Holy Spirit has a different understanding and taste.
The Lord loves people, but sends them sorrows, so that they can understand their weakness and be humbled, and for their humility they can accept the Holy Spirit. With the Holy Spirit all is good, all is joyous, all is wonderful.
One might suffer greatly from poverty and ill-health, yet not be humbled: and so suffer in vain. But whoever is humbled is happy with any fate because the Lord is his wealth and joy, and all people will be amazed at the beauty of his soul.
You say, "I have great sorrow." But I say, or rather, the Lord Himself says, "Have humility," and you will see your sorrows dissolve into peace, so that you yourself will be amazed and say, "Why did I suffer and torment myself so?" Now you are joyful because you have become humble and the grace of God has descended upon you. And should you even remain alone in poverty, joy will not leave you because there is the peace in your soul of which the Lord said, "I give you My peace." Thus does the Lord give His peace to all humble souls.
The soul of the humble person is like the sea: cast a stone into the sea, and for a moment it will disturb its serenity, and then sink to the depths. Sorrows sink in the heart of the humble because the power of the Lord is with them.
Previously I thought that the Lord performed miracles only in response to the prayers of saints. But now I know that the Lord will perform a miracle even for a sinner as soon as his soul is humbled, for when a person learns humility, then the Lord shall hear his prayers.
In their inexperience, many believe that one or another saint performed a miracle, but I have learned that it is the Holy Spirit residing in a person who performs the miracle. The Lord hopes that we will all be saved and be with Him eternally, and for that reason He listens to the prayers of a sinner for the good of others and for the one who prays.
Where do you reside, humble soul; and who resides in you; and what can I compare you to?
You shine brightly, like the sun, and you do not burn out, but give warmth to all around.
You will inherit the earth of the meek, as the Lord said.
You are like a flourishing garden, in the midst of which stands a beautiful house, where the Lord likes to live.
The earth and the sky love you.
The holy Apostles, Prophets, and Saints love you.
The Angels, Seraphims and Cherubims love you.
You, in your humility, are loved by the Ever-Virgin Mother of God.
The Lord loves you and finds joy in you.
By Bishop Alexander and Natalia Bufius
Translated by Anatoly Shmelev