St Silouan on accusing

SilouanFrom the life of St. Silouan (1866-1938):

Among the stewards 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?’

‘Thirty-five.’

‘Did you ever hear me criticize anyone?’

‘No’

‘Then why do you want me to begin with Father P.?’

Disconcerted Father M. replied shamefacedly: ‘‘Forgive me.’

‘God will forgive.’

(From The Monk of Mount Athos, p. 42-43, by Archimandrite Sophrony)

Author: Father Silouan Thompson

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