Didn’t Lucifer and Adam fall away from God through pride and rebellion? Wasn’t Adam saved by the humility of the Theotokos—“Behold the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word” —and of the Son of God, Who was born of Her without change, Who taught and practiced extreme humility? He also said, “Learn from Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
Ah, how effortless the road of humility is! Even without laboring ascetically or enduring illness, a person with humility and self-reproach, along with thanksgiving to God, is able to reach spiritual heights and feel the gift of sonship! While on the contrary, toiling ascetically without realizing one’s own infirmity and weakness and wretchedness is a struggle without prizes, sweat without wages, a road without hope. What a misfortune to struggle without profit! To cultivate without reaping! Why does this happen? Because the struggle was not lawful. “If someone competes as an athlete, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules.” 3 Even in physical competitions an athlete is not crowned if he does not struggle lawfully.
subm. no. 4
paragraphs: 10, 11, 12 from pages 221-222
From the book
Councels from the Holy mountain
Selected from the letters and homilies of Elder Efraim of Arizona
Selection of passages from the book by Silviu Podariu