Saint Nectarios about Expectation of Gifts from God

Saint Nectarios of Aegina. "The Way to Happiness." Reasoning.

Saint Nectarios of Aegina

I wish you have the reasoning and wisdom. Avoid extremes. The strictness of your life should be consistent with the measure of [your] virtue. One who wants to compete with the perfect ones [at once] and live as the holy ascetics [lived], will most likely, become proud and fall. So strive wisely and do not exhaust the body with overwork. Remember that restraining of the flesh is only a tool to help the soul to attain perfection, and the spiritual warfare of the soul itself is the most important.

Do not impose on yourself more than you can bear. Remember that God cannot be forced when he delivers his gifts, but He gives when He wants it. You receive undeservingly all that He gives you, [only] on His mercy.

Do not think that you will get higher gifts and virtues for your great works, - [thinking] so, you get the risk of falling into pride. One who seeks divine gifts and insights, while being wrapped up in the passions, is in the foolish and proud delusion. First, one needs to work on purifying oneself. Grace is sent as a gift to those who are cleansed from the passions. And they get it quietly and in an hour that they are not aware of.