“Love could not bear that”

‪I remember a conversation between him [St Silouan the Athonite] and a certain hermit, who declared with evident satisfaction, ‘God will punish all atheists. They will burn in everlasting fire.’‬

‪Obviously upset, the Staretz said:‬

‪‘Tell me, supposing you went to paradise and there looked down and saw somebody burning in hell-fire – would you feel happy?’‬

‪‘It can’t be helped. It would be their own fault,’ said the hermit.‬

‪The Staretz answered him with a sorrowful countenance:‬

‪‘Love could not bear that,’ he said. ‘We must pray for all.’‬

Elder Sophrony

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3 Responses to “Love could not bear that”

  1. I like this one

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nathan Thompson says:

    Not a theological question, but a linguistic one: does “that” refer to the damnation or the lack of compassion of the other monk. My initial reading led to the latter based on the next sentence that follows rightly insisting that we prays for all.


    • Fr Aidan Kimel says:

      Good question. I would think think the former, but it need not exclude the latter. That’s how I read it.


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