by Elder Paisius the Athonite
Thanks to Moses over at the Burning Bush weblog for this.
God loves every person very much, knows the problems of each one of us perfectly and is wishing to give help before our asking for it, because nothing is too difficult for the all-mighty God. But even God is facing a difficulty in the case of a non-humble man! I repeat that there is but one problem that God can face — that He “cannot” help as long as the soul of a person is not humble. Then the all-good God, in a way, is “upset,” seeing that His creation is thus tortured, and He “cannot” help, because He knows that what is requested will harm the person, the latter lacking a humble disposition. Whatever happens to us is absolutely dependent of humility. We see, for instance, that someone is fought and conquered by a certain passion. God allows this only because his soul has the thought or is close to accepting it (that is, has a disposition towards pride). A man can hate certain passions and not wish them, and even shed blood to get rid of them — but he will not be successful in the very least, because God is not helping him. And He will not help, until the latter humbles himself (because, although he hates some of the passions, he is still the slave of pride, which lets in all the other passions).
*Taken from Missionary Leaflet E 125.