This doesn't mean that saints must all think alike, quite the contrary, but there is a certain similarity in their compassion and love towards others, as well as their total lack of self love. I did not find that in his writings.
Regarding Fr. Seraphim's lack of self-love, perhaps you will find these words of interest from Hieromonk Ambrose (Young) who was formerly known as Fr. Alexey.
A year or so before his repose, I drove Fr. Seraphim someplace where he was going to give a talk. We got out of the car and, as he was walking in front of me, he turned and said, “You know, this is really not for me.” Now this is interesting because many think that he was really coming into his own, so to speak, in the last years of his life. And surely, in a sense, that’s true. But there was also a part of him that never really loved it at all, because he wanted to just be in the monastery. He did the work of missionary outreach because he knew God was calling him to it. It was his duty.
Also, he kept his eyes fixed on Christ by not paying much attention to himself. Fr. Damascene spoke about this very well in his remarks when he said that Fr. Seraphim had essentially ceased to have a private life, that he didn’t belong to himself. That was really true.
...I remember once asking Fr. Seraphim what was his favorite food, and he didn’t answer me. He didn’t even say, “I don’t have any”; he just changed the subject! Once, when he was coming to visit our home, someone had found out from Fr. Herman that there was, after all, something Fr. Seraphim liked. I don’t now recall what it was, but my wife fixed this for him—and I thought, “This will really please him.” So a place was put in front of him with what we believed was his favorite food, and he never paid any attention to it. He didn’t even seem to notice that the plate was in front of him. That was it.
So Fr. Seraphim did his duty in every single moment, and he kept his eyes fixed on Christ and on others, not on himself. And I believe that now, as a result of a life lived so unselfishly in that way, he does indeed now rest serenely and eternally in the arms of Christ, ‘Whom he spiritually beheld day after day, week after week, month after month, and year after year, here on this mountain. Because of his example, we not only have a model, but we have an inspiration, and we have the encouragement to do just a little bit more than we’re doing now.
Do you think the above depiction of Fr. Seraphim is wrong, or that Hieromonk Ambrose made up these things? What basis, aside from your mysterious divine revelation, do you have for claiming that Fr. Seraphim was self-centered or filled with self-love?
I never said he was self centered or filled with self love. Those are your words not mine. I believe he wasn't completely free of self love...big difference? As for what you posted, it only reaffirms my belief that you people have created a personality cult. I have found nothing more in Father Seraphims sacrifices, then the sacrifice that is expected of every monk. The only difference then has to be his personality.
I think you all better read some biographies on saints in order to know what true sacrifice and heroic virtue is, such as Chondropoulos' book on Saint Nektarios: A Saint of Our Era (Century) or read about about Saint John Kronstadt who never slept and gave up everything and ended up almost being beaten to death, or Father Arseny, who spent thirty years in the Gulag and was kept alive by a criminal whose life he has saved. Read up on the life of Saint John of Shanghai and San Francisco, and how he walked in snow barefoot, or Saint Xenia who for thirty years roamed the poorest section of Saint Petersburg without socks, and prayed morning until night for the soul of her husband.
Look, I don't want to continue this, because I'm being forced to denigrate Father Seraphim when that is not my intent. I only want you people to try to differentiate between his sacrifices and the sacrifices of our glorified saints.
I bolded that part since it seems to capture the objection to Fr Seraphim's sainthood I've heard elsewhere. He did what a good monk should do, and there is no reason to think that his soul wasn't saved or that he can't hear the prayers of the faithful (you don't need to be officially glorified for that). But the kinds of saints universally observed by the Church went above and beyond merely what is expected of a good monk (which, by the way, is still a lot
more than what most of us observe nowadays, I'm sure).
Fr Damascene obviously talks about Fr Seraphim as if he were a saint, but maybe we should focus on the details. As Zenovia said, what are concrete examples of Fr Seraphim's life that demonstrate his sainthood? E.g. did he work miracles of healing or clairvoyance? Did he accomplish feats of asceticism, like going without food or sleep for days on end? If he didn't, that doesn't make him a bad monk; it simply places him on a different level of virtue that we shouldn't confuse with the level found in the universally glorified saints. The issue shouldn't be Fr Seraphim himself, but rather our own tendency to "lower the bar" of sanctity, which would be an offense to those saints who actually surpassed the bar.
Perhaps our urge to venerate Fr Seraphim, or other "holy elders" we hear so much of nowadays (at least in some circles), is more of a reflection of our general loss of sanctity. We want a "saint" whose life seems a little closer to ours, a little more within our reach.