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Understanding the Mysteries


[I Tim. 6:17-21; Luke 18:31-34]

The Lord told the disciples about His suffering, but they did not understand anything He was saying; This saying was hid from them. Later, the faithful determined not to know any thing, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified (I Cor. 2:2). The time had not come, they did not understand any of this mystery; but when the time came—they understood, and taught everyone, and interpreted for everyone. This happens with everyone, not only with relation to this mystery, but to all the other mysteries as well. What is not understood in the beginning, with time becomes understood; it is as if a ray of light enters the consciousness and brightens what was formerly dark. Who elucidates it? The Lord Himself, the grace of the Spirit that lives in the faithful, one’s guardian angel—only in no way the person himself. He is a recipient, and not the cause. On the other hand, another thing may remain incomprehensible for one’s whole life—not only for individuals, but for all of humanity. Man is surrounded by things he does not understand—some are explained to him in the course of his life, while others are left until the next life, where it will be seen. This applies even to minds enlightened by God. Why is it not revealed here? Because some things are incomprehensible, so there is no point in talking about them; others are not told out of considerations for health— that is, it would be harmful to know prematurely. Much will become clear in the other life, but other subjects and other mysteries will be revealed. For a created mind there is never a surplus of inscrutable mysteries. The mind rebels against these bonds: but whether you rebel or not, you cannot sever the bonds of mystery. Become humble, proud mind, beneath the strong hand of God—and believe!

Saint Theophan the Recluse