St. Silouan the Athonite
The Lord loves people, but sends them sorrows, so that they can understand their weakness and be humbled, and for their humility they can accept the Holy Spirit. With the Holy Spirit all is good, all is joyous, all is wonderful.
One might suffer greatly from poverty and ill-health, yet not be humbled: and so suffer in vain. But whoever is humbled is happy with any fate because the Lord is his wealth and joy, and all people will be amazed at the beauty of his soul.
You say, “I have great sorrow.” But I say, or rather, the Lord Himself says, “Have humility,” and you will see your sorrows dissolve into peace, so that you yourself will be amazed and say, “Why did I suffer and torment myself so?” Now you are joyful because you have become humble and the grace of God has descended upon you. And should you even remain alone in poverty, joy will not leave you because there is the peace in your soul of which the Lord said, “I give you My peace.” Thus does the Lord give His peace to all humble souls.
The soul of the humble person is like the sea: cast a stone into the sea, and for a moment it will disturb its serenity, and then sink to the depths. Sorrows sink in the heart of the humble because the power of the Lord is with them.
Previously I thought that the Lord performed miracles only in response to the prayers of saints. But now I know that the Lord will perform a miracle even for a sinner as soon as his soul is humbled, for when a person learns humility, then the Lord shall hear his prayers.
In their inexperience, many believe that one or another saint performed a miracle, but I have learned that it is the Holy Spirit residing in a person who performs the miracle. The Lord hopes that we will all be saved and be with Him eternally, and for that reason He listens to the prayers of a sinner for the good of others and for the one who prays.
Where do you reside, humble soul; and who resides in you; and what can I compare you to?
You shine brightly, like the sun, and you do not burn out, but give warmth to all around.
You will inherit the earth of the meek, as the Lord said.
You are like a flourishing garden, in the midst of which stands a beautiful house, where the Lord likes to live.
The earth and the sky love you.
The holy Apostles, Prophets, and Saints love you.
The Angels, Seraphims and Cherubims love you.
You, in your humility, are loved by the Ever-Virgin Mother of God.
The Lord loves you and finds joy in you.
From Archimandrite Sophrony, St Silouan the Athonite (St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1999)
St. Silouan the Athonite
I pray thee, O Merciful Lord, let all mankind, from Adam to the end of time, come to know Thee, that Thou art good and merciful, that all nations may rejoice in Thy peace, and behold the light of Thy countenance. Thy gaze is tranquil and meek and draws the soul to Thee.