The man perfected in humility does not seek opportunities to humble himself, for he has acquired the gift of humility, when he sees himself worthy to be despised and the first of all sinners.
To gain true humility it is not sufficient to consider ourselves sinners, or the thought of not seeing anything good within us, as indeed all these are true.
In the words of St. Isaac the Syrian, “Not every modest and silent man, wise, or gentle by nature, has reached the heights of humility. On the contrary, humility is when man hides deeply within, something really worthy of praise, yet he is not proud of, but considers it as a speck of dust. “
So we understand that, it is commendable to deeply humble oneself at the remembrance of sins, yet this is not perfect humility.
The man perfected in humility does not seek opportunities to humble himself, for he has acquired the gift of humility, when he sees himself worthy to be despised and the first of all sinners. (…)
This change in man, who’s naturally proud and self loving, is not accomplished by flesh but by the supernatural, gracious humble though, and when it is acquired, manifests itself with great power.
It was this power, the Holy Apostles received at Pentecost in the form of tongues of fire. It is the power of the saints pleasing to God, acquired after long labors and great spiritual toil. To many, such toil seems unbearable and soon they forsake it, but for the spiritual children, the harder the toil, the greater the thirst, for they taste within it the grace that strengthens, comforts and fills them with joy.
(Arhim. Seraphim Alexiev – commentaries on the Prayer of St. Ephrem the Syrian)