St. Silouan the Athonite

Here we present some selected words of wisdom by St. Silouan the Athonite.

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-The saints were people like all of us. Many of them came out of great sins, but by repentance they attained the Kingdom of Heaven. And everyone who comes there comes through repentance, which the merciful Lord has given us through His sufferings.

-Whoever will not love his enemies cannot know the Lord and the sweetness of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit teaches us to love our enemies in such way that we pity their souls as if they were our own children.

-We suffer because we have no humility and we do not love our brother. From love of our brother comes the love of God. People do not learn humility, and because of their pride cannot receive the grace of the Holy Spirit, and therefore the whole world suffers.

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-Such joy is ours that the Lord not only forgives our sins, but allows the soul to know Him, so soon as she humbles herself. The poorest wretch can humble himself and know God in the Holy Spirit. There is no need of money or posessions in order to know God, only humility. The Lord gives Himself freely, for His mercy’s sake alone. I did not know this before but now every day and every hour every minute, I see clearly the mercy of God. The Lord gives peace even in sleep, but without God there is no peace in the soul.

-The Lord has given the Holy Spirit upon the earth, and in whomsoever He dwells, that one feels paradise within himself. You might say: why hasn’t this happened to me? Because you have not given yourself over to the will of God, but you live according to yourself. Look at the one who loves his own will. He never has peace in himself and is always displeased with something. But whoever has given himself over to God’s will perfectly have pure prayer. His soul loves the Lord, and everything is acceptable and good to him.

-The Lord does not show Himself to a proud soul. The proud soul, no matter how many books it reads, will never know God, since by its pride it does not give place for the grace of the Holy Spirit, while God is known only by the humble soul.

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-If you see a man who has sinned and you do not pity him, the grace of God will leave you. Whoever curses bad people, and does not pray for them, will never come to know the grace of God.

-No matter how much we may study, it is not possible to come to know God unless we live according to His commandments, for God is not know by science, but by the Holy Spirit. Many philosophers and learned men came to the belief that God exists, but they did not know God. It is one thing to belief that God exists and another to know Him. If someone has come to know God by the Holy Spirit, his soul will burn with love for God day and night, and his soul cannot be bound to any earthly thing.

-The man who cries out against evil men but does not pray for them will never know the grace of God.

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-I ask you to try something. If someone grieves you, or dishonors you, or takes something of yours, then pray like this: “Lord, we are all your creatures. Pity your servants, and turn them to repentance,” and then you will perceptibly bear grace in your soul. Induce your heart to love your enemies, and the Lord, seeing your good will, shall help you in all things, and will Himself show you experience. But whoever thinks evil of his enemies does not have love for God and has not known God.

-We have such a law: If you forgive, it means that God has forgiven you; but if you do not forgive your brother, it means that your sin remains with you.

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