St. Silouan on the Love of God

silouanI cannot remain silent concerning the people, whom I love so greatly that I must weep for them. I cannot remain silent because my soul ever grieves for the people of God, and I pray for them with tears. I cannot refrain from making known to you, brethren, the mercy of God and the wiles of the enemy.

Forty years have gone by since the grace of the Holy Spirit taught me to love mankind and every created thing, and revealed unto me the wiles of the enemy, who works his evil in the world by means of deceit.

Love does not depend on time, and the power of love continues always. There are some who believe that the Lord suffered death for love of man but because they do not attain to this love in their own souls it seems to them that it is an old story of bygone days. But when the soul knows the love of God by the Holy Spirit she feels without a shadow of doubt that the Lord is our Father, the closest, the best and dearest of fathers, and there is no greater happiness than to love God with all our hearts, with all our souls and with all our minds, according to the Lord’s commandment, and our neighbor as ourself. And when this love is in the soul, everything rejoices her; but when it is lost sight of man cannot find peace, and is troubled, and blames others as if they had done him an injury, and does not realise that he himself is at fault – he has lost his love for God and has accused or conceived a hatred for his brother.

Grace proceeds from brotherly love, and by brotherly love grace is preserved; but if we do not love our brother the grace of God will not come into our souls.

9 Responses to “St. Silouan on the Love of God”

  1. Mike Says:

    Profound words from a holy man, thank you. St. Silouan has given me a couple of new insights. We proclaim God’s love by loving one another. To choose not to love another, it seems, is to choose to live in hell, separate from God’s grace. And to not love another is an act of violence.

  2. JLB Says:

    “Grace proceeds from brotherly love, and by brotherly love grace is preserved; but if we do not love our brother the grace of God will not come into our souls.”

    Wise, convicting words indeed. 😦

  3. OldToad Says:

    Father Stephen, could you very kindly tell us how “Silouan” is pronounced?

    As you can see, I like to focus on the essentials.

  4. fatherstephen Says:

    The name is Russian for “Silvanus”

    It is pronounced: “Si lou wan” with the accent on the first syllable.

  5. Lucy Says:


    This is totally not on topic, but I don’t see an email address for you on here (I can totally understand why, judging from the comments your most recent post generated!). I was wondering about your church school VBS curriculum that you mentioned last summer. I think I had emailed you back then and was just wondering if it was available. My parish’s church school is always looking for new ways to teach the kids and engage them in the life of the liturgy of the Church.

    Thank you and I’m so sorry that this not about the post! I do love the posts of St. Silouan’s writing, though. I want to read more by him. I feel a connection to him that is hard to explain. Thank you again!

  6. Steve Says:

    A very timely post Father, thank you.

  7. Alexander Says:

    I would say (being russian), the name is pronounced: “Si lou un”, and with the accent on the third syllable.

  8. Zoe Says:

    Very Beautiful and very true statements about the Love of God.

    Thank you, Father, and God Bless.

  9. Moses Says:

    Just in time for Lent! 🙂

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