Icon of St. Silouan the Athonite The Holy Spirit dwells in the humble soul, bringing freedom, peace, love and blessedness.St. Silouan the Athonite
Lenten Prayer of St. Ephraim the Syrian

O Lord and Master of my life,Take from me the spirit of sloth, despair, lust of power and idle talk.
But give rather the spirit of chastity, meekness of mind, patience and love to Thy servant.
Yea O Lord and King, grant me to see my own transgressions and not to judge my brother, for blessed art thou unto ages of ages. Amen.

Lesson Excerpt

After 15 years of ascetic struggles and spiritual efforts, St. Silouan received another important insight from God (from St. Silouan the Athonite, pages 42):

It was fifteen years after the Lord had appeared to him, and Silouan was engaged in one of these nocturnal struggles with devils which so tormented him. No matter how he tried, he could not pray with a pure mind. At last he rose from his stool, intending to bow down and worship, when he saw a gigantic devil standing in front of the ikon, waiting to be worshipped. Meanwhile, the cell filled with other evil spirits, Father Silouan sat down again, and with bowed head and aching heart he prayed,

'Lord, Thou seest that I desire to pray to Thee with a pure mind but the devils will not let me. Instruct me, what must I do to stop them hindering me?'

And in his soul he heard,

'The proud always suffer from devils.'

'Lord,' said Silouan, 'teach me what I must do that my soul may become humble.'

Once more, his heart heard God's answer,

'Keep thy mind in hell, and despair not.'