Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Criticism of "We Shall See Him as He Is"


  • Please log in to reply
3 replies to this topic

#1 Christophoros

Christophoros

    Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 405 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 23 October 2017 - 07:20 PM

I am aware that Wikipedia, as a source, is only as good as the individual/s who compose the entries, but I am curious if anyone is familiar with the story behind this passage on Archimandrite Sophrony's entry:

 

  • 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

 

Is anyone familiar with the criticisms at the time of publication of this highly regarded work? Or is this passage completely false? Thanks.

 

In Christ,

Chris



#2 Rdr Andreas

Rdr Andreas

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,036 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 23 October 2017 - 08:45 PM

Reference as to the point raised may be made to the book by Hieromonk Nicholas Sakharov, 'I love therefore I am', specifically at page 36. Some Russians objected to what they considered to be Fr Sophrony's 'boldness' before God and to his saying so much about his own experiences of the uncreated light. Most ascetics stay silent about there inner life. On the other hand, great ascetics of the past and those who had similar experiences must have written about or told of their experiences or else how would we know about them? One thinks of St Symeon the New Theologian and St Gregory Palamas. In recent years, some of Fr Sophrony's writings have been published in Russia by the Holy Trinity St Sergius Lavra and this has probably helped to adjust opinion of Fr Sophrony. Further, St Silouan is now venerated in Russia - there is a chapel dedicated to him in the Afonskoye Podvorie monastery (which I have visited a few times) in the centre of Moscow, and veneration of St Silouan could only be the result of the writings of Fr Sophrony. Certainly, in Greece and Cyprus and elsewhere, Fr Sophrony is held in the highest esteem.



#3 Ken McRae

Ken McRae

    Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 582 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 04 November 2017 - 06:47 PM

  • 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.

#4 Rdr Andreas

Rdr Andreas

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,036 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 05 November 2017 - 06:56 PM

' . . . 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?'  This calls to mind what Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos says: 'if Father Sophrony is not a saint, there are no saints'.






0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users