Home Inspiring Christian videos Sin disfigures a man, while grace brings beauty (Saint Silouan the Athonite)

Sin disfigures a man, while grace brings beauty (Saint Silouan the Athonite)

I once knew a boy who looked like an angel, so submissive and gentle was he. His little face was pink and white, and his clear blue eyes shone kind and tranquil. But when he grew up he began to lead a bad life, and lost the grace of God; and so by the time he reached the age of thirty he looked a mixture of man and fiend, wild beast and cut-throat, and the whole appearance of him was ruthless and dreadful. I knew a girl too who was very beautiful—her face was so radiant and lovely that many were envious of her beauty. But through sin she lost grace, and then she was a painful sight. Yet I have also seen other things. I have seen men arrive in the monastery with faces disfigured by sin and passion, but with repentance and a devout life they became good to look upon. Another time the Lord let me see a priest—he was standing hearing confessions—in the image of Christ. Though his hair was white with age his face looked young and beautiful like the face of a boy, so inexpressibly radiant was he. In the same way I once saw a bishop during the Liturgy. I also saw Father John of Kronstadt, who by nature was an ordinary-looking man, until grace gave his face the beauty of an angel and made one want to gaze on him. Thus sin disfigures a man, while grace brings beauty.

Saint Silouan the Athonite, Wisdom from Mount Athos


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