"I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else."
C. S. Lewis

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Greater The Love, The Greater The Sufferings Of The Soul


"Since the days of my youth I have loved to reflect: The Lord ascended into heaven and awaits our coming; but to be with the Lord we must be like Him, or like little children lowly and meek and we must serve Him. Then, according to the words of the Lord, 'Where I am, there shall also my servants be' – we, too, shall be with Him in the Heavenly Kingdom. But now this day my soul is very downcast and dejected, and I am unable to lift an undistracted mind to God, and I have no tears wherewith to bewail my evil deeds: my soul is withered away and spent with the night of this life.

"O, who shall sing me the song that I have loved since the days of my youth – the song of the Lord's ascension into heaven, of His love for us, of the vigil He keeps for our coming? To this song would I hearken with tears, for my soul wearies on earth.

"What has befallen me? How came I to lose joy, and shall I attain to that joy again?

"Weep with me, all ye wild beasts and birds. Weep with me, forest and desert. Weep with me, every creature created by God, and comfort me in my grief and sorrow.

"In this wise I reflect in my soul: if I who love God so little am so violently heartsick for the Lord, how exceeding great must have been the grief of the Mother of God when she was left on earth after the Ascension of her Lord.

"She put not in writing the tale of her soul's affliction, and we know little of her life on earth, but this much we must suppose – the abundance of her love for her Son and her God reaches beyond our understanding.

"Her heart, her every thought, her entire soul were wrapped up in the Lord; but to her was given something further – she loved mankind and prayed ardently for people, for newly-converted Christians, that the Lord might sustain them, and for the whole world that all might be saved. This prayer was her joy and comfort on earth.

"We cannot fathom the depth of the love of the Mother of God, but this we know:

"The greater the love, the greater the sufferings of the soul.

"The fuller the love, the fuller the knowledge of God.

"The more ardent the love, the more fervent the prayer.

"The More perfect the love, the holier the life."

(from Saint Silouan the Athonite, by Archimandrite Sophrony, Monastery of St. John the Baptist: Essex, 1991, p. 364-366.)

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