Keys to Spiritual Growth by Saint Basil the Great
01. Recognize the presence of God
I hereby command you: Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened
or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. — Joshua
02. Accept the will of God
We can only learn to know ourselves and do what we can: namely,
surrender our will and fulfill God’s will in us. – Saint Teresa of Avila
I delight to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.
– Psalm 40:08
03. Accept spiritual direction
The virtuous soul that is alone and without a master (a spiritual
director) Is like a burning coal; it will grow colder rather than
— St. John of the Cross
With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him, but he
vanished from their sight. Then they said to each other, “Were not our
hearts burning [within us] while he spoke to us on the way and opened
the scriptures to us?”
– Luke 24:31-32
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses,
let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us and
persevere in running the race that lies before us while keeping our eyes
fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of faith. — Hebrews 12:1-2a
05. Acknowledge faults
If we acknowledge our sins, God is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrongdoing. I John 1:9
06. Live simply
Live simply that others might simply live. – Elizabeth Ann Seton
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have
plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every
situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in
want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
– Saint Paul: Philippians 4:12-13
07. Be honest about yourself
Why do you notice the splinter in your another’s eye,
but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye?
How can you say to your another,
‘Let me remove that splinter from your eye,’
while the wooden beam is in your eye?
You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first;
then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your another’s eye.
– Jesus (Matthew 7:3-5)
08. Be willing to learn from others
I think he thought that the object of opening the mind
is simply opening the mind.
Whereas I am incurably convinced that
the object of opening the mind,
as of opening the mouth,
is to shut it again on something solid.
– G.K. Chesterton
Let the wise hear and increase in learning,
and the one who understands obtain guidance,
– Proverbs 1:5 (ESV)
09. Listen to people
Two are better than one: They get a good wage for their toil.
If the one falls, the other will help the fallen one.
But woe to the solitary person! If that one should fall, there is no other to help.
– Quoheleth (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10)
10. Speak kindly to others
Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.
–Blessed Teresa of Calcutta
No foul language should come out of your mouths,
but only such as is good for needed edification,
that it may impart grace to those who hear.
– Ephesians 4:29
11. Accept others the way they are
Be not angry that you cannot make others as you wish them to be,
since you cannot make yourself as you wish to be.
– Thomas à Kempis, Imitation of Christ
12. Be Centered and Serene
God grant me the serenity to
accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can; and
wisdom to know the difference.
– Reinhold Niebuhr