The Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University

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Author QuotedSophrony
Title QuotedUndistorted Image: Startz Silouan 1866-1938
Date (Year/Month/Day)1961/01/26
ImprintLondon : [s.n.]. 1958
QuotationFirst of all, your book about the Staretz Silouane offers a striking example of a sanctity that is monastic, authentic and traditional, and also belongs to our time. I find there the mark of a contemporary holiness: this vision of the "dark sid" of wisdom, this hope that struggles with despair, this feeling of being in hell. This is the "dark sid" of the truth, the beauty of a wisdom which seems to be hidden in the chaotic disorder of sin. Oh, how discouraging it sometimes is to see what little good, true good, one is capable of. How false and disgusting so much conventional piety appears to be. Though the omnipresence of lies and of the Devil may frighten us, we must not surrender to tragedy. With the simplicity of the Staretz Silouane we must "keep our hearts in hell and not despair." It is not the lies we should see, but the truth with its darkened face, so like the Servant of the Lord who has no beauty, who is neither noble nor great, yet who comes forth like a shoot from the parched earth. And at the same time it is the Beauty of God who is always playing in the world before the Face of the Father.
JournalThe Hidden Ground of Love: The Letters of Thomas Merton on Religious Experience and Social Concerns.; Selected and edited by William H. Shannon. / New York : Farrar Straus Giroux. 1985, p. 559-60
Link to Merton's Copy https://merton.bellarmine.edu/s/Merton/item/  [full text]