“The soul that really loves God and Christ, though it may do ten thousand righteousnesses, esteems itself as having wrought nothing, by reason of its insatiable aspiration after God. Though it should exhaust the body with fastings, watchings, its attitude towards the virtues is as if it had not yet even begun to labor for them. Though divers gifts of the Spirit, or revelations and heavenly mysteries should be vouchsafed to it, it feels in itself to have acquired nothing at all, by reason of its unlimited and insatiable love to the Lord. … It continues to be insatiable for the mysteries of grace, and for the accomplishment of every virtue. It is smitten with passionate love of the heavenly Spirit, …desiring to be perfectly admitted to the mystical, ineffable fellowship with Him.” ~St. Macarius the Egyptian
Many people do good deeds. Some do it for God, some not. Some do it primarily for recognition. They will donate only to charities who publicly announce the donations. They are not being charitable, they are buying acclaim.
St. Macarius says this is the wrong approach. No matter how many good deeds we do, spiritual or physical, we should not brag about it, but give the credit to God who inspires that devotion. In doing that, we show proper humility. Sadly, today, humility is not a popular virtue on Earth, but it still matters a great deal in Heaven. Spiritual humility is an important spiritual attribute.
The other reason we should not brag about our spiritual accomplishments is that we should never feel that we have done enough. No matter how much it is, we should always wish to do more. That is the attitude of the true servant of God. We do not stop on the path of progress and rest on our laurels. We continue forward forever. Even after death, we continue climbing toward the highest level of consciousness and being called Heaven. Spiritual humility keeps us on the path and moving forward. We may need to rest occasionally, but always with the idea of resuming our path forward.
It is not that it is a race. We are not trying to do better than others, or get somewhere before others. That would be the opposite of humility. We are simply moving forward to that great day when we are truly One with God in heaven again. But we are not even doing it for our own benefit, but because it is what God wants.
St. Macarius says that we should not take credit for our spiritual gifts and the good we do with them for, in spiritual humility, we must recognize that we are not doing those things. It is God working through us. But what are those gifts?
Many people confuse psychic abilities with spiritual gifts. The ability to move small objects with the mind. Being able to see distant events. Communicating with dead relatives. Those are all psychic gifts. While there is not necessarily anything wrong with them, they are not truly spiritual. And when we spend too much time on developing psychic abilities, we don’t move forward into the spiritual. To put it another way, we get trapped in the forth dimension when we need to move up to the fifth.
A true spiritual gift is the ability to know truth from opinion. Another is to have patience with all people as we recognize that we are all connected, therefore all one. Another spiritual gift is having knowledge of God and His Divine Plan. Knowledge gained by personally linking with the consciousness of God. This knowledge (Gnosis) is the greatest gift, but we need spiritual humility if we are to reach that state of being.