'Keep thy mind in hell and despair not.' In the depth of demonic oppression in his struggle to achieve unceasing prayer, St. Silouan heard these words, to our ears so severe and perplexing, to his, a balm of divine consolation. In them, he found the key to ultimate triumph over pride and self-sufficiency and participation in the sufferings of Christ, the love of Christ for broken humanity. The life of St. Silouan (born in Russia 1866, arrived on Mt. Athos 1892, died 1938 and canonized in 1988) is related in a remarkably immediate way by Archimandrite Sophrony, who also lived on Athos and for eight years had Silouan as staretz. 'Archimandrite Sophrony felt convinced that Christ's injunction, 'Keep thy mind in hell and despair not' was directed through Staretz Silouan to our century especially, drowned as it is in despair...He believed, too, that as the Staretz had prayed for decades with such extraordinary love for the human race, entreating God to grant all mankind to know Him in the Holy Spirit, so men would love the Staretz in return...' (Rosemary Edmonds). 506 pp.
An Eighth Day View:
Part I is a remarkable account of St Silouan's life, personality and teaching. Part II consists of St Silouan's writings, which he had laboriously penciled on odd scraps of paper, expressing an authentic personal experience of Christianity identical with that of the early Desert Fathers.