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Men of this Generation

Fri­day. [Phil. 3:8–19; Luke 7:31–35] Where­un­to then shall I liken the men of this gen­er­a­tion? That is, unbeliev?ers. If the Lord pos­es this ques­tion as if in per­plex­i­ty, is it not even more prop­er for us to be per­plexed by acts of unbe­lief? One might ask: how can peo­ple go against some?thing that is obvi­ous in every re?spect? And yet they do. The fact that Satan resists is not sur­pris­ing —such is his name: the ene­my of truth and good­ness. He clear­ly sees that God exists, that God will judge him and con­demn him, that death for him is already pre­pared, but is nev?ertheless defi­ant, and not for the sake of any­thing but evil, and conse?quently, for greater ruin to him­self. Are not unbe­liev­ers being con?trolled by this spir­it of fight­ing a?gainst God? At least accord­ing to the under­stand­ing we have about the soul and its oper­a­tions, unbe­lief, giv­en the obvi­ous­ness of the foun?dations of faith, is as inex­plic­a­ble as a sinner’s slav­ery to sin after he has clear­ly seen that sin is destroy­ing him. And here is anoth­er contradic?tion! Only unbe­liev­ers and lovers of the pas­sions deny the exis­tence of Satan and unclean spir­its. Those who should have stood up for them most of all total­ly renounce them. Does not this teach­ing come from them? Those who are of the dark?ness love the dark­ness, they teach peo­ple to say that they do not exist, and that moral life takes shape by itself, with­out their snares and de?ceit.

Saint Theo­phan the Recluse