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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

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