Rich, yet lower than all creation

LET nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

Philippians 2:3.

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Archimandrite Vasileos Gontikakis (centre)

Archimandrite Vasileos Gontikakis (centre)

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AS it says in the Gerontikon, when a young monk said to his spiritual father, “I see that my mind is constantly with God,” his spiritual father replied, “It is no great thing that your mind should be with God; what matters is what you should feel yourself lower than all creation.”

In this way the old man helped the young monk to transport himself into a different realm.

From a partial preoccupation with his own thoughts about God, he invited him to the total offering of himself, to a humbling which is true death and at the same time resurrection into a new life, self-effacing yet all-powerful.

Archimandrite Vasileios, in “Hymn of Entry”.

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THOU wouldest have contrived to build a tower, O my soul, and erect a stronghold for thy lusts, had not the Creator confounded thy plans, and brought thy schemes in ruin to earth.

DO not require of me fruits worthy of repentance, for my strength is spent in me. Grant me ever a contrite heart and spiritual poverty, that I may offer these gifts to Thee as an acceptable sacrifice, O only Saviour.

I ALONE have sinned against Thee, sinned above all men. O Christ my Saviour, spurn me not. Thou art the good Shepherd; seek me, Thy lamb, and neglect not me who have gone astray. Thou art my sweet Jesus, Thou art my Creator; in Thee, O Saviour, I shall be justified. I confess to Thee, O Savior, I have sinned, I have sinned against Thee, but absolve and forgive me in Thy compassion.

Excerpted from the Great Canon of St Andrew of Crete.

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