For many, there is nothing to be proud of. This
was the reason that the Starets related the following story: "One woman,
during confession, told her spiritual father that she was a proud person.
"What are you proud of?" he asked her, "Are you famous?" –
"No" she answered – "Well, talented?" – "No." –
Well then, rich?" – "No." "Hmmmm… in that case, you can be
proud," he said finally."
To the question: how is it that the righteous,
knowing that they are leading a chaste life according to God’s laws, are not
exalted through their piety, the Starets answered: "They do not know what
awaits them at the end. That is why," he added "Our salvation should
be performed between fear and hope. Under no circumstances is one to despair,
but at the same time, one should not hope excessively.
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