A young and inexperienced man in spiritual combat underlines his every good work by self-praise. But the experienced soldier in the midst of struggles with passions and demons minimizes his every deed and intensifies his prayer for God's help.
Abba Matoes used to say: "The closer a man is to God, the more sinful he sees himself to be."
He also was known to say: "When I was young, I thought perhaps that I was doing some good; and now when I am old, I see that I do not have any good deed."
Did not our Lord say: "No one is good but One, that is God" (St. Matthew 19:17). Therefore, if only the one God is good and the source of all good, how can a good deed be done that is not from God?
And, how can someone who does a good deed ascribe it to himself and not to God? If this is so, with what then can mortal man be praised? By nothing, except with God and the goodness of God!
We confidently recommend our web service provider, Orthodox Internet Services: excellent personal customer service, a fast and reliable server, excellent spam filtering, and an easy to use comprehensive control panel.