Washing dishes is a lowly task, both in the world and in the monastery. It may be seen either as a chore to be done (or even avoided, if possible) or as one more opportunity for spiritual progress.
In order for such tasks to be of spiritual benefit they must be approached with humility and diligence. These virtues, however, require a fair amount of effort and struggle to acquire. As you labor to honestly know yourself, you acquire humility, which eventually becomes a permanent part of your character. The struggle must be to understand who you really are rather than who you imagine yourself to be.
Based on the teachings of Saint Paisios the Athonite and Elder Joseph the Hesychast
In this photo monks of Vatopaidi are seen washing the dishes