July 28, 2009

Gems from St. Silouan the Athonite

 We may study as much as we will but we shall still not come to know the Lord unless we live according to His commandments, for the Lord is not made known through learning but by the Holy Spirit. Many philosophers and scholars have arrived at a belief in the existence of God but they have not come to know God. And we monks apply ourselves day and night to the study of the Lord’s command but not all of us by a long way have come to know the Lord, although we believe in Him.

 Pride is at the root of unbelief. The proud man would acquire things through his mind and his studying, but it is not given to him to learn to know God, in that the Lord reveals Himself only to the lowly in heart…With the mere mind we can only come to know the things of this earth, and then only in part, while God and all that is heaven are known through the Holy Spirit. 

 Some there are who spend their whole lives trying to find out what there is on the sun or the moon, or in seeking like knowledge, yet this is of no profit to the soul. But if we take pains to explore the human heart, this is what we shall see: The Kingdom of Heaven in the soul of the saint but in the soul of the sinner---darkness and torment.