7. For the faithful, truth-loving soul, looking to the eternal blessings laid up for the righteous, and to the unspeakable benefit of the grace of God that is to visit it, esteems itself, and its diligence and pains and labour, all unworthy in comparison with the unspeakable promises of the Spirit. This is the poor in spirit, whom the Lord pronounced blessed; this is he who hungers and thirsts after righteousness ; this is he who is contrite in heart.
Those who take upon them this purpose and diligence and pains and longing after virtue, and continue therein to the end, will be enabled to obtain life and the eternal kingdom in truth.
Therefore let no brother be exalted against his brother, or proceed to form an opinion of himself under the cheating influence of sin, to think,”Behold, I for my part possess a spiritual gift.” It is not fit that Christians should have these notions. You know not what the morrow may do for him; you are ignorant what his end will be, and what your own. Let each give heed to himself, and examine his own conscience at all times, and try the work of his heart, what diligence and striving towards God his mind has; and looking towards the perfect mark, of liberty, and of freedom from passions, and of the Spirit’s rest, let him run without stopping and without ‘sloth, never satisfied with any spiritual gift or with any righteous attainment.
Glory and adoration to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, for ever. Amen.
(Fifty Spiritual Homilies of St. Macarius the Egyptian, Homily xxix, P. 221, Text # 7)