Silouan the AthoniteO all ye peoples of the earth, I fall on my knees to you, beseeching you with tears to come to Christ.

I know His love for you.  I know and therefore I cry to the whole world.

If one does not know a thing, how could one speak of it?

‘But how may I know God?’ you will ask.

And I say that we have seen the Lord by the Holy Spirit.

If you humble yourself, the Holy Spirit will show our Lord to you too; and you too will want to proclaim Him to all the world.

I am an old man awaiting death. I write the truth for love of God’s people over whom my soul grieves.

If I should help but a single soul to salvation, I will give thanks to God;

but my heart aches for the whole world, and I pray and shed tears for the whole world, that all may repent and know God and live in love, and delight in freedom in God.

O all ye peoples of the earth, pray and weep for your sins, that the Lord may forgive them.

Where there is forgiveness of sins there is freedom of conscience and love, even if but a little.

The Lord does not desire the death of a sinner, and on him who repents He bestows the grace of the Holy Spirit, which gives peace to the soul and freedom for the mind and heart to dwell in God.

When the Holy Spirit forgives us our sins we receive freedom to pray to God with an undistracted mind, and we can freely think on God and live serene and joyous in Him.

And this is true freedom. But without God there can be no freedom, for the enemy agitates the soul with evil thoughts.

O my brethren the world over, repent while there is still time. God mercifully awaits our repentance.

And all heaven and all the Saints look for our repentance.  As God is love, so the Holy Spirit in the Saints is love.

Ask, and the Lord will forgive. And when you receive forgiveness of sins there will be joy and gladness in your souls, and the grace of the Holy Spirit will enter into your souls, and you will cry:

‘This is true freedom. True freedom is in God and of God.’

The grace of God does not take away freedom, but merely helps man to fulfil God’s commandments.

Adam knew grace but he could still exercise his will. Thus too the angels abide in the Holy Spirit and yet are not deprived of free will.

Silouan the Athonite (1866-1938; Eastern Orthodox): from St. Silouan, Wisdom From Mount Athos – The Writings of Staretz Silouan 1866-1938, by Archimandrite Sophrony, trans. Rosemary Edmonds, (St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, Crestwood, NY 1974) @ Kandylaki.

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