“Good deeds and almsgiving and all other external good things do not subdue the haughtiness of one’s heart. But mental work, the pain of repentance, contrition, and humility are what humble the unsubmissive spirit. An insubordinate person is unbearable and toilsome to deal with. Only with utter patience can he be handled. Only with utter patience on behalf of the elders and with the forbearance and love of the brethren can stiff-necked disciples come to their senses. But behold: many times they, too, are as useful as your right hand. Almost always such people, who are in some way more gifted than the others, humble themselves with difficulty. They think highly of themselves and look down on others. So a great deal of hard work and patience are needed until this old foundation of pride is dug up, and another foundation is set with Christ’s humility and obedience. But the Lord, seeing their efforts and good intentions, allows another trial to come upon them which counteracts their passion, and by His mercy, He “Who will have all men to be saved”1 saves them too.”
– ‘Monastic Wisdom’