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Falling Away

Wednesday. [Rom. 11:2-12; Matt. 11:20-26] The Lord showed many signs in Capernaum, Bethsaida and Chorazin; yet the number of those who believed did not correspond to the power of the signs. That is why He severely denounced these cities and sentenced them: in the Day of Judgment it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon, Sodom and Go?morrah, than for these cities. We need to judge ourselves according to such a model. How many signs has the Lord shown to Russia, saving it from the most powerful enemies and subduing peoples to it! How many treasures has He granted it, pouring out unceasing signs — in the holy relics and miracle-working icons scattered throughout all of Russia! And yet in our days Rus?sians are starting to turn aside from the faith: one group is falling into total unbelief, another group is fall?ing away into Protestantism, a third group is secretly weaving their own beliefs, thinking to combine spirit?ism and theological ravings with Di?vine Revelation. Evil is growing; evil beliefs and unbelief are raising their head, while faith and Ortho?doxy are weakening. Will we not come to our senses?… We will end up like the French, for instance, or others… But if that happens, how do you think it will be for us on the judgment day, after God has shown so many mercies to us? O Lord! Have mercy and save Orthodox Rus’ from Thy just and righteous threat?ening!

Saint Theophan the Recluse

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