June 2, 2009

A Conversation between Saint Silouan the Athonite and a Hermit on Hell

A hermit declared with evident satisfaction that "God will punish all atheists. They will burn in everlasting fire."

Obviously upset, the Staretz [Silouan] said: “Tell me, supposing you went to paradise, and there you looked down and saw someone burning in hell fire, would you feel happy?”

“It can’t be helped. It would be their own fault,” said the hermit.

The Staretz [Silouan] answered him in a sorrowful countenance: “Love could not bear that,” he said. “We must pray for all.”

This excerpt was taken from the book The Monk of Mount Athos by Elder Sophronius Sakharov.