Abbot Tryphon: Humilty
The Link Between Repentance and Humility
In an age when “self-focus” is the rule of the day, and where the ego seems to reign, it is hard for people to see the value of humility. Many people, from politicians to rock stars, seem to climb the ladder of success by being anything but humble. In our darkened state, with sin dominating our lives, and bad habits seemingly insurmountable, holiness seems to be about saints, but unattainable for ourselves. Stuck in our habitual patterns of behavior, we seem to have surrendered all hope for real change.
The antidote to this inertia can be found in one simple act, that of repenting. We fall down before our God, confessing our failure at having kept the commandments, and asking for God’s help in turning our lives around. We commit ourselves to crushing down the ego, and acquiring a humble heart. We take every opportunity to accept correction or criticism, without becoming defensive, for we know the truth in the words of Saint John Climacus, “As with the appearance of light, darkness retreats; so, at the fragrance of humility, all anger and bitterness vanishes.”
We refrain from judging anyone, but only examine our own conscience, accusing only ourselves. Saint Macarius the Great wrote, “Christians therefore ought to strive continually, and never to pass judgment on anyone—no, not upon the harlot on the street, or upon open sinners and disorderly persons—but to regard all men with singleness of intention and purity of eye, so that it may become like a fixed law of nature to despise no one, to abhor no one, to make no distinctions between them….This is purity of heart, when you see sinners or sick people, to have compassion on them and be tenderhearted towards them.”
With love in Christ,