Wednesday, 24 September 2014

St Silouan the Athonite-Humility leads to Perfect Rest in God

"Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart...
and thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself;
I am the Lord"
Brenton's Septuagint Leviticus 19:17-18, p.154

"Prayer is the best of all activities for the soul. Prayer is the path to God. Through prayer we obtain humility,patience and every good gift...

The Lord showed great pity on me and made me understand that I must weep all my life. Such is the way of the Lord. And so I write now out of pity for those who like me, are puffed up with pride, and therefore suffer. I write that they may learn humility and find rest in God...

Only to the humble does the Lord reveal Himself in the Holy Spirit, and if we do not humble ourselves we shall not see God. Humility is the light in which we may behold the Light which is God - in the words of the Psalmist:
'In thy light shall we see light' Psalm 36:9...

The humility of Christ dwells in the lowly ones - they are  glad to be the least of men. The Lord gave me understanding of this...

Be obedient, submit with a good conscience to those in  authority. Be content with all things, and your mind will be cleansed of vain thoughts. Remember that the Lord sees you, and be fearful lest anywise you offend your brother.
Neither dispraise nor grieve him, even by a glance, an expression on your face, and the Holy Spirit will love you and Himself be your help in all things...

If you have upbraided, or passed judgment on, or  vexed your brother, your peace is lost. If you have been boastful, or have exalted yourself above your fellow,you have lost grace. If you did not drive away forthwith (immediately) that wanton (merciless and capricious)  thought that came to you, your soul will lose love for God and boldness in prayer.

If you are fond of power, or money, you will never know the love of God. If you have followed your own will, then you are vanquished by the enemy and despondency will come upon your soul. If you detest your brother, it means that you have fallen away from God, and an evil spirit has taken possession of you...

The grace of God is not in the man who does not love his enemies...

There are people who desire the destruction, the torment in hell-fire of their enemies, or the enemies of the Church.
They think like this because they have not learnt divine love from the Holy Spirit, for he who has learned the love of God will shed tears for the whole world...

But if you will do good unto your brother, you will
gain quiet for your conscience. If you subdue your own will, your enemies will be driven off and you will receive peace in your soul. 
If you forgive your brother the affronts he puts upon you, and love your enemies, then you will  receive forgiveness for your sins and the Lord will give you to know the love of the Holy Spirit...
And when you have entirely humbled yourself, you will find perfect rest in God.

The Lord reveals His mysteries to the humble soul. But if the soul has not yet learned but is only learning humility, she will be subject to vicissitudes; at times she will find herself in  conflict with intrusive thoughts, and know no rest, while at others she is released from such thoughts, and can contemplate the Lord and perceive His love. Wherefore the  Lord said: 'Learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls' Matthew 11:29...

Oh Lord. grant me Thy spirit of humility that I lose not Thy grace again, and weep for it as Adam wept for paradise and for God....

Therefore brethren, with all your might preserve the peace of God which is freely given to us, and when any man vexes us, if needs be let us constrain ourselves to love him, and the Lord, seeing our pains, will help us with His grace..."

With St Silouan, let us pray:

"O Lord in Thy manifold mercy bestow on us
a humble spirit, that our souls may find rest in Thee.

Most holy and gracious Mother of God, beseech God
to make us lowly in spirit.

All ye saints who dwell in heaven
and behold the glory of the Lord
and your spirits rejoice -
pray that we also may be with you,
for my soul, too, would fain see the Lord,
and yearns after Him humbly,
knowing herself unworthy of such blessing.

O merciful Lord, by Thy Holy Spirit
teach us Thy humility."

St. Silouan the Athonite in St Silouan the Athonite by
Archimandrite Sophrony, Selections from p.269-p.504,
St Vladimir Seminary Press 1991.

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