How to Speak Humbly

St. Barsanuphius ca. 6th cent.

To say something with humility does not mean to speak like a teacher, but rather, just as you have heard it from the Abba and the Fathers. If it profitable to say something to a brother, and vainglory inspires you to enjoy this — then know that the enemy wishes to hinder you from doing something of profit to your brother. If you will listen to vainglory, your brother will never receive profit through you. But overthrow vainglory and disdain it, and when you say what is necessary to your brother, repent before God, saying: “Forgive me, O Lord, that I spoke out of vainglory.” (Guidance Toward Spiritual Life 287)