Here are some quotes from the book Spiritual Wisdom by Elder Symeon Kragiopoulos.
The purpose of Christian life isn’t simply to make good people out of us. However good man may be, if he doesn’t unite with Christ, if Christ doesn’t come into him, if he isn’t transformed or changed by Christ, it’s no use. Elder Symeon
“Wherever the grace of the Archangels overshadows, thence the devil is banished”, says the doxastikon of the feast. You don’t do justice to yourself when you struggle simply relying on your own abilities. What will you accomplish? No matter how strong you think you are, because at some point God may have given you the power to be, you can do nothing by yourself.
A Christian can’t be without Christ’s grace, without Christ. And when he rests or works, or, all the more so, when he has to deal with enemies or hardship, if he is aware he’s never alone, but together with God, if he forgets himself and entrusts himself to the grace, if the archangel isn’t prevented from being with him, then the power of the dark devil is banished at once. Just as the darkness disappears when the light appears.
Blaming ourselves for our sins
A man who blames himself for his sins, experiences this truth and this reality: that he’s a sinful “nothing”. He gives up all hope that something good is going to come out of him and, naked of such hope, he presents himself before God. And as there are no obstacles for God anymore, He grants lavishly His grace, which makes a true person out of man.
The more the Spirit of God dwells in man, the more down to earth man becomes and the more aware of the truth of life. Elder Symeon
The men of God, who are God’s instruments, do daring things and sometimes speak daring words. They’re daring, but they don’t act out of impudence or compulsion; no. It is the Spirit of God that guides them, and they remain calm and prudent. And when they act, they do so in due time.
Did you fall victim to your own wrongdoing? Did you break God’s law, did you fail to keep a command? Repent immediately, feel crushed and humble because of your sin, beg Christ to forgive you straightaway and keep up the good fight.
By trying to keep Christ’s commands and acquire virtues, by trying to find salvation, you’ll see that, as man, you can do nothing. And as days pass by, you get more and more convinced that whatever you’ve got to do, Christ will do it for you, beginning from scratch. Christ will do it for you, if you remain constant to this struggle, constant to the effort towards self-knowledge, constant to this awareness, to this faith. That’s when salvation begins to come.
The longer someone lives and repents in this world, the better. Elder Symeon
If only we could borrow a little, just a little, something of the spirit, the mentality, the thought of a saint. In the world we live in, how better would all the moments of our life be. And I am talking about how we deal with people, who speak to us this way, or treat us the other. Yes, how better, how easier, how more spiritually would we live.
I wish we could accept, if not to the degree a saint experiences the truth of the matter, at least, to a smaller degree, that we’re totally unworthy before God, before other people and before ourselves!
And if, one way or another, we were, actually, called unworthy or if it was confirmed we were, I wish we could accept it joyfully and gladly instead of getting hurt or feeling resentful.
Man is saved whether he leads a celibate or a married life, as long as he stays in Church overwhelmed by its spirit. Naturally, some may be more overwhelmed, others less. Some may remain totally unaffected. At least, let the person in this last category become aware he isn’t seized by God and feel sorry for his pitiful state. And God will have mercy on him and will visit him with His grace.
We do wrong when we refuse to take a position which would enable us to be attentive to what God wants to tell us, to what God shows us at every moment.