Bringing Others to Salvation

“After having passed thirty-one years as a hermit in the desert with his companion John, Symeon said to him: ‘What more benefit do we derive, brother, from passing time here in this desert? But if you hear me, get up, let us depart; let us save others. For as we are, we do not benefit anyone except ourselves, and have not brought anyone else to salvation.’ And he began to quote to him from the Holy Scriptures such things as ‘Let no one seek his own good, but rather the good of his neighbors’ (1 Cor. 10:24), and again ‘All things to all men, that I might save all’ (1 Cor. 9:22).

And his biographer notes: The all-wise Symeon’s whole goal was this: first, to save souls…For it was not thought just that the one thus honored by God and placed high should disdain the salvation of his fellow men, but remembering the one who said, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’ (Luke 10:27), who did not disdain to put on the form of a slave, although unchanged, for the salvation of a slave (cf. Phil. 2:6 ff), Symeon imitated his master and truly used his own soul and body to save others.’” (Jean-Claude Larchet, Mental Disorders and Spiritual Healing, p 151)