One of the biggest noblemen from Gaza asked Saint Zosimas, “How can you say that you are nothing? You make miracles, you heal people, you are a saint!”
Saint Zosimas told him, “I don’t know but, in the way I see myself, I am really nothing.”
While the noble made a gesture of disbelief, Saint Dorotheos saw them and went closer. While Saint Zosimas was a very simple but holy man, Saint Dorotheos was very wise and knew a lot of things. He said to the noble man, “See, the closer someone gets to God, the more he sees himself as a sinner.”
The nobleman wondered and said, “How can this be?”
So, Saint Dorotheos said to him, “My lord, you who are one of the first ones here, tell me how you feel when you are in the city?”
He said, “I count myself the greatest and the first in the city.”
The Saint said to him again, “And when you will go to Caesarea, how do you count yourself there?”
The noble responded, “I will count myself lower among the great ones there.”
Again, Saint Dorotheos offered, “And when you go to Antioch, how do you consider yourself there?”
The noble said to Saint, “I’d count myself as one from the country.”
The Saint to him again, “And when you go to the city of Constantine, close to the emperor, how would you count yourself there?”
The nobleman answered, “I would count myself as really nothing.”
Then, the Saint said to him, “Behold, these are the saints: however close they draw near to God, the more they see themselves as sinners. And when Abraham saw the Lord, he called himself ‘dust and ashes’ (Gen. 18:27). And Isaiah said, ‘Woe to me, for I am unclean’” (Is. 6: 5).
In this way, true humility comes from proximity of God and, thus, from knowing the truth. Being proud means that we neither know the truth nor that we want to advance to know the Truth.
Based on Saint Dorotheos of Gaza
In these photos you can see candid shots from the blessing of a fishing boat