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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