- 1985: We Shall See Him As He Is published, to mixed reviews: the West generally enjoyed the book, the Russians generally criticised the book. Some criticism was so stinging that it, along with illness, discouraged Elder Sophrony from writing again
This is very unfortunate, indeed, as Blessed Elder Sophrony had such an excellent mind and heart. He was a veritable well of pure creativity for orthodox theological synthesis.
Through regular personal contact, God permitted him to know, intimately, 7 holy ascetics, who had each been vouchsafed to see (i.e. experience) the transfiguration light. They attained 'theoria', which they lovingly imparted to him; helping to form his holy soul into that of a spirit-bearing elder, for these end times; and so, if he, Elder Sophrony, isn't a true living link in that "golden chain" of saints that binds us to the Holy Fathers, then who really is?
What I would have given to sit at his feet, and drink deeply from that well-spring of living water that flowed from him. It is never given to the impure to be personally acquainted with, and spiritually nourished by 7 (let alone 1) blessed "spirit-bearing" elders.
It is my humble opinion that, despite the harsh criticism heaped upon him by the Russians, ultimately he stopped writing books because he believed that's what God instructed him to do.