I belong to a listserve maintained by my parish priest and get multiple emails each and every day having to do with the day's readings, saints, and quotes from our Fathers, ancient, old and contemporary. Yesterday I received the following quote and it impressed me how humble the most accomplished monastics are:
"Know then, and never forget, that neither all our capacities and good features, whether natural or acquired, nor all the gifts freely given us, nor the knowledge of all the Scriptures, nor the fact that we have for long worked for God and have acquired experience in these labors, nor all this together will enable us to do God’s will rightly, if at every good deed pleasing to God, which we are about to undertake, at every affliction we wish to avoid, at every cross we have to bear according to God’s will, if, I say, on all these and similar occasions a special divine help does not inspire our heart and does not give us strength to accomplish it, as the Lord said: ‘Without Me ye can do nothing” (Jn. 15:5). So for the duration of our life, every day and at every moment, we must keep unchanged in our heart the feeling, conviction and disposition, that on no occasion can we allow ourselves to think of relying on ourselves and trusting ourselves."
Nicodemos of the Holy Mountain (ed) and Theophan the Recluse (revision), “On disbelief in oneself,” Chapter Six of Unseen Warfare (derived from ‘Spiritual Combat’ and ‘Path to Paradise’ of Lorenzo Scupoli), Kadloubovsky and Palmer (trs), Saint Vladimir’s Seminary Press, Crestwood, NY, 1987, pp. 88-89.