From the life of St. Silouan the Athonite (1866-1938):
Among the stewards [of St Panteleimon Monastery] was a certain monk, Father P., who was outstandingly capable, yet somehow always unlucky – his initiatives usually met with no sympathy among the fathers and his undertakings often ended in failure.
One day, after one such enterprise had resulted in disaster, he was subjected to sharp criticism at the stewards’ table. Father Silouan was present but took no part in the ‘prosecution.’ One of the stewards, Father M., turned to him and said:
‘You are silent, Father Silouan. That means you side with Father P. and are indifferent to the interests of the monastery. You don’t mind the damage he has caused the community.’
Father Silouan said nothing but quickly finished eating and then went up to Father M., who by that time had also left the table.
‘Father M. – how many years have you been in the monastery?’
‘Did you ever hear me criticize anyone?’
‘Then why do you want me to begin with Father P.?’
Disconcerted Father M. replied shamefacedly: ‘‘Forgive me.’
‘God will forgive you.’
(From The Monk of Mount Athos, by Archimandrite Sophrony)
What shall I render unto Thee, O Lord,
for that Thou hast poured such great mercy on my soul?
Grant, I beg Thee, that I may see my iniquities,
and ever weep before Thee,
for Thou art filled with love for humble souls,
and dost give them the grace of the Holy Spirit.
O merciful God, forgive me.
Thou seest how my soul is drawn to Thee, her Creator.
Thou hast wounded my soul with Thy love,
and she thirsts for Thee, and wearies without end,
and day and night, insatiable, reaches toward Thee,
and has no wish to look upon this world, though I do love it,
but above all I love Thee, my Creator,
and my soul longs after Thee.
O my Creator, why have I, Thy little creature,
grieved Thee so often? Yet Thou hast not remembered my sins…