Holy Humility is Complete Trust in God – Elder Porphyrios

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From the Elder Porphyrios, Wounded by Love.

Complete trust in God – that’s what holy humility is. Complete obedience to God, without protest, without reaction, even when some things seem difficult and unreasonable. Abandonment to the hands of God. The words we repeat during the Divine Liturgy say it all: ‘Let us commend our whole life to Christ our God.’ The secret prayer of the priest says the same thing: ‘We commend our whole life and hope to You, O loving Master, and we entreat You and beseech You and supplicate You…’ To you, O Lord, we leave everything. This is what trust in God is. This is holy humility. this is what transfigures a person and makes him a ‘God-man’.

The humble person is conscious of his inner state and, however unsightly it is, he does not lose his personality. He knows he is sinful and is grieved by the fact, but he does not despair and does not annihilate himself. The person who possesses holy humility does not speak at all, that is, he doesn’t react. He accepts to be criticized and rebuked by others, without getting angry and defending himself. He does not lose his equilibrium. The opposite happens with the egoist, the person who has a sense of inferiority. To begin with he seems humble, but if he is goaded a little, he immediately loses his calm and is irritated and upset.

The humble person believes that all things depend on Christ and that Christ gives His grace and in that way he makes progress. The person who possesses holy humility lives even now in the earthly uncreated Church. He always has the joy of Christ, even in the most displeasing circumstances…..

Comments

  1. Canadian says

    “To begin with he seems humble, but if he is goaded a little, he immediately loses his calm and is irritated and upset.”

    Father Stephen,
    Seems that you always have one more “heart seeking” arrow in your quiver for me. Thank you.

  2. says

    Canadian,

    I think that it is a very accurate observation, particularly when our humility is coming from our “attempts” to be humble. The Elder notes that true humility comes from complete trust in God. Thus our focus should be on trust in God rather than trying to be humble. Humility is a “natural” result of complete trust in God.

    There is a little Catholic classic “Self-Abandonment to Divine Providence” that is a gem – a recent translation by the title of “The Sacrament of the Present Moment” is quite readable. I know of many Orthodox who have benefitted greatly from it in working towards learning to trust God.

  3. Theodora Elizabeth says