November 13, 2018

Beware These Two Thoughts and Fear Them (St. Silouan the Athonite)

By Saint Silouan the Athonite

Beware these two thoughts, and fear them. The first suggests 'You are a saint;' the other, 'You will not be saved.' Both come from the enemy, and there is no truth in them. Instead, think to yourself, 'I am a great sinner, but the Lord is merciful. He loves man with a great love, and will forgive me my sins.'

Believe in this way, and, you will see, the Lord will forgive you. But put no faith in feats of your own, however much you may have striven. An ascetic once said to me, 'I shall certainly be pardoned because I prostrate myself so many times a day;' but when death came, he rent his clothes.

Thus God has mercy on us, not for our achievements but gratis, because of His goodness. The Lord would have the soul humble, without malice, lovingly forgiving all men; then He, too, will forgive with joy. The Lord loves all men and we must be like Him and love everyone, and if we are not able to, then we must ask and the Lord will not refuse but will help us with His grace.