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Faith God’s Gift


[II Cor. 5:1–10; Luke 7:2–10] What a bright per­son the cen­tu­ri­on is! How did he reach such faith that he sur‐passed with it all Israelites, raised with rev­e­la­tion, proph­e­sies and mir­a­cles? The Gospels do not indi‐cate how, but only describe his faith and tell of how the Lord praised him. The path of faith is a secret, con­cealed path. Who can even ex‐plain with­in him­self how the con‐victions of faith are com­posed in the heart [cf. Lk. 2:19]? Best of all, the holy Apos­tle resolved this by call­ing faith God’s gift. Faith tru­ly is God’s gift, but unbe­liev­ers are not with­out respon­si­bil­i­ty, and, con­se­quent­ly, they them­selves are at fault for the fact that this gift is not giv­en them. If there is no recip­i­ent for this gift, it is not giv­en, for there is noth­ing to receive it with; while in such a case to give is the same as to spend in vain. How a soul is made a wor­thy recip­i­ent of the gift of faith is diffi‐cult to deter­mine. Extreme humil­i­ty could be seen in the cen­tu­ri­on, de‐spite the fact that he was a man of pow­er, vir­tu­ous and sen­si­ble. Is it not through humil­i­ty in gen­er­al that this great mer­cy, which gives faith, is attract­ed? This is not at all sur‐prising. At the very least it is known to every­one that unbe­liev­ers always are of a proud spir­it, and that faith most of all requires the sub­mis­sion of the mind beneath its yoke.

Saint Theo­phan the Recluse