Thursday, January 10, 2008

Even St. Silouan Suffered for Others

St. Silouan learned to love as Christ loves, and he learned to suffer as Christ suffers. Although not a suffering of physical wounds, St. Silouan suffered interiorly with great compassion and sorrow for the people of the whole world.

This is a form of being a victim soul that can be as painful if not more so than more tangible sufferings. There is nothing quite as exquisitely painful as reparative suffering in the heart and soul!

From the book of St. Silouan's life and teachings (The Undistorted Image), one reads:

'The Lord pities all men,' he would say; and he [St. Silouan] in his turn, filled with the spirit of Christ, was sorry for all. From his vision of the world around him, his memories of the past and his profound personal experience, he lived the suffering of the people of the whole world, and his prayer had no end. In self-forgetfulness he prayed for all the world. Pity made him want to suffer for the people. He yearned to shed his blood for their peace and salvation, and he did so in prayer....

'If the soul loves and pities the people, prayer is not interrupted.'

Another hate letter inside a packet left on the porch has gone off to the sheriff's department today. I have yet to check the mailbox. I don't want to, actually, but I will. The parcel was left while I was at Mass. Some of this may be coming from the neighbor herself. The adult son has dealt with the newspaper editor who claims no responsibility, not legally and not ethically, for printing a defamatory letter that was unfounded and sensational.

My soul must love and pity the people, and thus my prayer will not be interrrupted. The Staretz, also, when asked what is the meaning of inner silence, replied,

'It means ceaseless prayer, with the mind dwelling in God.'


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