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A Program of Spiritual Formation for Candidates to the Priesthood

The Lay Monastic Community of Caryana










The evil one is full of resources for your destruction. As soon as you build the foundation of virtues in your soul, he has even sooner undermined it with despair. As soon as you build the walls of the house of virtue, even sooner does he attack you with indolence for things spiritual. As soon as you do good works, he fills you with arrogance and presumption.

But, fear not. He who wishes to be holy is more resourceful. Virtue is the greater power because it receives help from above who is the author of virtues. Virtue remains unmoved against the wiles of the devil and easily raises up whoever sinks into the depths of sin, leading them back to God through repentance and humility.

Thus, the publican, though in the depths of sin, was made righteous by a short, single prayer. . .because of the virtue of humility. 

The Pharisees, on the other hand, had long prayers and much works of mercy. . .they were even priests. But because they saw themselves as persons of importance, i.e. pride, they provoked Christ's anger. 

Humility raises us to the heights of holiness; self-conceit plunges us into the abyss of sin. How can we have a high regard for ourselves in the presence of God? But when we regard ourselves as nothing and cry upon God, we will surely obtain God's compassion. "The Lord resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble."

The devil is pride itself and arrogance is his trademark. This vice destroys everything good in man. Humility is of the good angels and it destroys everything bad in man.

Humility comes from repentance; and it is from the tears of repentance that man presents to God the right disposition for the receiving of countless graces. 

Gregory Palamas







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