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From whence hath this man these things?

Tues­day. [Gal. 2:21–3:7; Mark 6:1–7] From whence hath this man these things? and what wis­dom is this which is giv­en unto him? Thus spoke the peo­ple of Nazareth about the Lord, hav­ing known His for­mer life of low estate. The same hap­pens with every­one who tru­ly fol­lows the Lord. He who strict­ly holds to the path of the Lord changes com­plete­ly once he has labored to over­come all that is not right with­in him­self. His whole con­sti­tu­tion — his gaze, walk, speech, and behav­iour all bear the mark of par­tic­u­lar har­mo­ny and dig­ni­ty, though he may have come from a low­ly back­ground, and has no edu­ca­tion. It is then heard, “From whence hath this man these things?” If things that are bod­i­ly and vis­i­ble are so trans­formed, what can be said of the inner things, of the soul, which are more direct­ly and close­ly sub­ject to the action of trans­form­ing grace, and to which the exter­nals serve only as an ex?pression and con­se­quence? How bright, exact and deter­mined are his thoughts about every­thing! How true is his judg­ment about what ex?ists and occurs! His view­point on every­thing is high­er than that of philoso­phers! And his inten­tions, actions and under­tak­ings? All is pure, holy, reflect­ing heav­en­ly bright­ness. In truth, this is a new per­son! He has not received an edu?cation, has not heard lec­tures in uni­ver­si­ties, and has no [illus­tri­ous] upbring­ing at all, and yet he is most well-man­nered and wise. Attentive?ness toward one­self, labour over one­self, prayer and draw­ing near to God refash­ioned every­thing through God’s grace; and nobody saw how it hap­pened. That is why the ques­tion aris­es, “From whence hath this man these things?”

Saint Theo­phan the Recluse