Humility collects the soul into a single point by the power of silence. A truly humble man has no desire to be known or admired by others, but wishes to plunge from himself into himself, to become nothing, as if he had never been born. When he is completely hidden to himself in himself, he is completely with God
Whoever hates his sins will stop sinning; and whoever confesses them will receive remission. A man can not abandon the habit of sin if he does not first gain enmity toward sin, nor can he receive remission of sin without confession of sin. For the confession of sin is the cause of true humility.
No one can sense his own weakness is at least a small temptation is not allowed to afflict either his body or his soul. Then, comparing his weakness to the help of God, a man comes to know its magnitude. But whoever does not know that he needs God's help, let him make many prayers. Insofar as he multiplies them, in that measure will he be humbled.
There is no man who will not be grieved at the time of his chastisement; and there is not man who will not endure a bitter time, when he must drink the poison of temptations. Without them, it is not possible to obtain a strong will. When he has often experienced the help of God in temptations, a man also obtains strong faith.
Behold, for years and generations, the way of God has been leveled by the cross and by death. How is this with thee, that thou seest the afflictions of the way as if they were out of the way? Doest not thou wish to follow the steps of the saints? Or doest thou wish to go a way which is especially for thee, without suffering? the way unto God is a daily cross. No one can ascend unto heaven with comfort, we know where the way of comfort leads.
Without temptations, it is not possible to learn the wisdom of the Spirit. It is not possible that Divine love be strengthened in your soul. Before temptations, a man prays to God as a stranger. When temptations are allowed to come by the love of God, and he does not give in to them, then he stands before God as a sincere friend. For in fulfilling the will of God, he has made war on the enemy of God and conquered him.
It is impossible to draw near to God without sorrows, without which human righteousness cannot remain unchanged... If you desire virtue, than give yourself to every affliction, for afflictions produce humility. If someone abides in virtue without afflictions, the door of pride is opened to him.
In all things that you find in the Holy Scriptures, seek out the purpose of the words, that you may enter into the depth of the thoughts of the saints and understand them with greater exactness. Do not approach the reading of the Divine Scriptures without prayer and asking the help of God. Consider prayer to be the key to the true understanding of that which is said in the Holy Scriptures.
Draw nigh to the righteous, and through them you will draw nigh to God. Communicate with those who possess humility, and you will learn morals from them. A man who follows one who loves God becomes rich in the mysteries of God; but he who follows an unrighteous and proud man gets far away from God, and will be hated by his friends.
When you want to direct someone toward the good, first put him at peace bodily and honor him with words of love. For nothing inclines such a man to shame and induces him to cast of his vice and be changed for the better as do bodily goods and honor, which he sees in you. Then, with love tell him a word or two, and do not be inflamed with anger toward him. Do not let him see any cause of enmity toward you. For love does not know how to lose its temper.
Let there always be a preponderance of mercy with you, even though you don't feel such mercy in yourself, as God has for the world ... A cruel and merciless heart is never purified. A merciful man is the doctor of his own soul, because as it were a by a strong wind from is heart he drives out the darkness of the passions.
Love sinners, but hate their deeds, and do not disdain sinners for their failings, so that you yourself do not fall into the temptation in which they abide... Do not be angry at anyone and do not hate anyone, neither for their faith, nor for their shameful deeds... Do not foster hatred for the sinner, for we are all guilty... Hate his sins, and pray for him, so that you may be made like unto Christ, who had no dislike for sinners, but prayed for them.