Becoming Humble

How we can acquire true humility

We have a fairly clear idea of what humility is, for we’ve all met people who are truly humble. Metropolitan Laurus of blessed memory, the saintly man who’d led the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia as her Chief Hierarch, was such a man.

Our brotherhood’s beloved Father Spiridon (the Scotsman whose own humility inspired us, and who died a few years ago), told us a wonderful story of humility in action. It concerned the Evermemerable Metropolitan Laurus.

Rimmon Stuart (the future Monk Spiridon) had come from England to be baptized into the Orthodox Church at Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, New York. Upon arrival at the monastery, Rimmon settled into his guest cell, and proceeded to take a walk around the grounds of the monastery. He saw an old man, in bib overalls, crouched down in a large vegetable garden, pulling up weeds. Being an avid gardener himself, Rimmon asked the old man if he’d mind having some help with the weeding. The old man replied with a smile, and welcomed this Scotsman to join him.

Sometime later the bells of the monastery began tolling, and the old man stood up, announcing it was time to head to the cathedral for the service. Rimmon headed to his guest cell to change into clean clothes, and headed to Holy Trinity Cathedral, where he found the assembled monks awaiting the arrival of their abbot, then Archbishop Laurus.

As the church banners flickered in the wind, the assembled vested priestmonks, together with the whole of the monastic brotherhood, awaited the arrival of their archbishop. You can imagine the shock awaiting Rimmon, when he saw Archbishop Laurus was the very man he’d been toiling away with, weeding in the garden.

Saint Seraphim of Sarov said that it is easy to be humble before God, but real humility is formed in our hearts, when we humble ourselves before men.

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Photo: Metropolitan Laurus of blessed memory.

Wednesday April 29, 2020 / April 16, 2020
Second Week of Pascha. Tone one.
Fast. Fish Allowed
Virgin-martyrs Agape, Irene, and Chionia in Illyria (304).
Martyrs Leonidas, Chariessa, Nice, Galina, Callista (Calisa), Nunechia, Basilissa, Theodora, and Irene of Corinth (250).
The Weeping Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos “Ilyin Chernigov”(1658) and “Tambov” Icon (1692).
Venerable Theodora-Bassa, princess of Novgorod (1378).
Martyr Irene of Greece.
New Martyr Michael of Smyrna (1772).
Martyrs Felix the bishop, Januarius the priest, Fortunatus and Septimus of Lycaonia (304).
St. John, blessed fool-for-Christ’s sake of Verkhoturye (1701).
St. Fructuosis of Braga in Iberia.
Monk-martyr Christopher of Dionysiou, Mt. Athos, who suffered at Adrianople (1818).

The Scripture Readings

Acts 4:13-22

The Name of Jesus Forbidden

13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus. 14 And seeing the man who had been healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it. 15 But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves, 16 saying, “What shall we do to these men? For, indeed, that a notable miracle has been done through them is evident to all who dwell in Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it. 17 But so that it spreads no further among the people, let us severely threaten them, that from now on they speak to no man in this name.”

18 So they called them and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. 20 For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” 21 So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding no way of punishing them, because of the people, since they all glorified God for what had been done. 22 For the man was over forty years old on whom this miracle of healing had been performed.

John 5:17-24

17 But Jesus answered them, “My Father has been working until now, and I have been working.”

18 Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God. 19 Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. 20 For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel. 21 For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will. 22 For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son, 23 that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.

Life and Judgment Are Through the Son

24 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.

Abbot Tryphon

About Abbot Tryphon

The Very. Rev. Abbot Tryphon is Igumen of All-Merciful Saviour Monastery on Vashon Island, Washington. Situated in the heart of a beautiful forest, surrounded by the Salish Sea, the monastery is reached by ferry from either Seattle, or Tacoma, Washington.


  1. I remember years ago speaking with a Prioress in a Monastery and she was explaining the various charges or jobs each Nun had and she included that she herself was not exempt from an office/charge or job even though she had a lot on her agenda being the Prioress. I never forgot that she told me her office/charge or job was cleaning the washroom and toilets and she referred to this as saying, “I have the Humble Office.” I never forgot this because of the simplicity and humility in how she told me but also that being the Prioress had the most humble task of all in the Monastery. (I have come to serve not be served – said Christ)

    Thankyou and God bless! Take care & keep safe…..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *