A saint who speaks to us

Dear Friends

We are surrounded by a great cloud of saints: all letting the light of God shine through them in their own unique way. The light and source is God but through each saint it comes to us through a slightly different medium.

You and I have different saints who will be particularly dear to us, our own patron saint when we celebrate our nameday, the Holy Twelve Apostles who are the patrons and protectors of our Church in Eastleigh: many may also have other saints who speak particularly to them. This week we commemorate a saint who, at the time of his death in 1938, was little known in the world yet by the work of his disciple has become a great treasury for the entire Church: St Silouan the Athonite (commemorated 24th September).

What joy is ours that the Lord not only forgives our sins but allows the soul to know Him so soon as she humbles herself. The poorest wretch can humble himself and know God in the Holy Spirit. There is no need of money or posessions in order to know God, only humility. The Lord gives Himself freely, for His mercy’s sake alone. I did not know this before but now every day and every hour every minute, I see clearly the mercy of God. The Lord gives peace even in sleep, but without God there is no peace in the soul.

St Silouan the Athonite

St Silouan speaks to our generation: his Word is the Word of the Holy Tradition which has been passed down to us. He encourages us to come to knowledge of the God.

I pray Thee, O Merciful Lord, for all the peoples of the world, that they may come to know Thee by the Holy Spirit.

Yet there is a consequence to our coming to know God. The Gospel—the News of the Victory of Christ over sin, demons and death—requires a response. In the book of Acts, after the Apostle Peter’s first Sermon, the people ask, “what shall we do?” (Acts 2:37) which is later echoed by the Phillipian Jailer “what must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:30) St Silouan gives an answer to us and our generation.

Whoever will not love his enemies cannot know the Lord and the sweetness of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit teaches us to love our enemies in such way that we pity their souls as if they were our own children.

It is our love for our enemies which marks us as children of God, inheritors of his Kingdom. In other words, we must follow the will of God as we pray each time we say the Lord’s Prayer: “thy will be done.”

The Lord has given the Holy Spirit upon the earth, and in whomsoever He dwells, that one feels paradise within himself. You might say: why hasn’t this happened to me? Because you have not given yourself over to the will of God, but you live according to yourself. Look at the one who loves his own will. He never has peace in himself and is always displeased with something. But whoever has given himself over to God’s will perfectly have pure prayer. His soul loves the Lord, and everything is acceptable and good to him.

My dear brothers and sisters, learn from the example of the saints—particularly our Holy Father whom God inspired, Silouan the Athonite—and let their examples and teachings be a guide to you on our path to holiness, to sanctity, to life, to knowledge of God, to the Kingdom of Heaven.

Services this week

Friday 24th September
Discussion on the book of Genesis, 8 pm
Online only

Saturday 25th September
Vespers, 6.30 pm
At St Francis’ Hall, Eastleigh

Sunday 26th September
Divine Liturgy, 9.30 am
At St Francis’ Hall, Eastleigh

Online session is via Google Meet, please get in contact for the details.

Please note the new time for Vespers (since September). No need to register for services at St Francis’ Hall: please come, all are welcome. We ask you to wear a mask unless you are exempt.

Attending Church

We will be meeting at St Francis’ Hall, Nightingale Avenue, Eastleigh, SO50 9JA. Come and See.

Can I help you?

I am here for you, you need only ask. Is there a way I can support your life of faith? Get in touch.

Can you help the mission?

Yes, absolutely. Offer yourselves to the Lord: pray! Make available to him all your talents and ask him how he would like you to use them — listen for his reply.

Your prayers!

With love in Christ

Fr Alexander