A Memorable Visit for St. Silvanus the Athonite & Elder Sophronius

christos

Jesus Christ

I remember one memorable visit. A monk, a hermit, came to see us. He was about seventy years of age. He lived at a deserted spot between the Monastery and the hermitage, in a ravine by a stream in a wood. His face, ravaged, all wrinkles, looked grey and long unwashed; the dark-grey hair of his head and beard looked dirty, his greyish-blue eyes were sunk deep in their sockets. We had a long talk with him, and this is what he told us:

‘It is many years now that my soul suffers when I think of us monks. We have renounced the world, left our parents and our Motherland, given up everything that usually constitues life for people. We have pronounced our vows before God, the holy angels and our brethren to live according to Christ’s law. We have renounced our own will, and in effect lead a martyr’s life, and still we make no progress towards goodness. Will many of us be saved? I shall be the first to perish. I see others, too, who are slaves to their passions. And when I meet people of the world, I see that they live in profound ignorance, listless and unrepentant. And thus, little by little, without even noticing, I was drawn to pray for the world. The thought distressed me that if we, monks who have renounced the world, do not find salvation, what must it be like in the world? My sorrow gradually increased and I started weeping tears of despair. And now, last year when I was in such despair, tired of weeping, lying face down on the floor, the Lord appeared to me and asked, “Why weepest thou?” I was silent. “Dost thou not know that it is I Who will judge the world?” I still kept silent. The Lord says, “I will have mercy on every man who, if only once in his life, has called upon God”…The thought crossed my mind, “So what is the use of us tormenting ourselves day after day?” To which the Lord replied, “Those who suffer because of My commandment will be My friends in the Kingdom of Heaven: the others I will merely have mercy upon.” With this the Lord retired.

Excerpt taken from the book: St. Silouan the Athonite, By: Archimandrie Sophronius (Sakharov)

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2 Responses to “A Memorable Visit for St. Silvanus the Athonite & Elder Sophronius”


  1. 1 George Patsourakos November 5, 2009 at 4:20 pm

    Christ loves all human beings, but He especially loves those who abide by His commandments.


  1. 1 The Lord Jesus Christ Appears to a Despairing Monk « Salt of the Earth Trackback on January 11, 2010 at 12:08 am

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"A man may seem to be silent, but if his heart is condemning others, he is babbling ceaselessly. But there may be another who talks from morning till night and yet he is truly silent, that is, he says nothing that is not profitable."

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"Remember, O my soul, the terrible and frightful wonder: that your Creator for your sake became Man, and deigned to suffer for the sake of your salvation. His angels tremble, the Cherubim are terrified, the Seraphim are in fear, and all the heavenly powers ceaselessly give praise; and you, unfortunate soul, remain in laziness. At least from this time forth arise and do not put off, my beloved soul, holy repentance, contrition of heart and penance for your sins."

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