By Archimandrite Vasileios of Iveron
The spiritual life is interesting because it is dangerous. At any moment the last can become first and the first last.
Great are not the noise-makers who raise themselves as spiritual leaders or prophets, to amaze and to asphyxiate the world. Great is the humble and "nonexistent", who have received the supplication of the Spirit and are the consolation of the world. Grace is enough for them. And this they emit perpetually with the radiance that endlessly feeds from the contrition of the heart and the feeling that they have polluted the land with their presence. For they themselves are a blessing for all creation while they live and though they may pass, because the Holy Spirit gives meaning and reason to their presence and absence.
On the other hand, once you believe that you are something in virtue or knowledge, then you lose everything and you become polluted, regardless of whether you - or others - think that you are a model of virtue and the renewal of spiritual life.
That which is possessed by the Saints are not human talents or qualities: wisdom, poetry or rhetoric. But all these they sanctified by offering them to God. And through them is manifested the Grace that comforts and deifies humanity.
From the book Apolytikion. Translated by John Sanidopoulos.