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[I Tim. 5:22–6:11; Luke 18:15–17, 26–30]
Whosoever shall not receive the Kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein. How is one to receive it as a little child? Here is how: in simplicity, with full heart, without a moment’s thought. A rational analysis is not applicable in the realm of faith. It can have place only on its threshold. An anatomist divides the whole body into its details, but does not see life. So also reason, no matter how much it reasons, does not comprehend the power of faith. Faith itself provides the contemplations which taken together show that faith completely satisfies all the needs of our nature, and obliges our consciousness, conscience, and heart to receive the faith. They receive it, and having received it, do not want to fall behind. Then, it is like tasting pleasant and healthy food. Having tasted once, we know that it is suitable, and we rank it amongst the nourishing substances. Chemistry does nothing to force this conviction, neither before nor after the tasting. Our conviction is founded upon direct, personal experience. Thus, the believer knows the truth of the faith directly. Faith itself instils in him the unshakeable conviction that it is faith. How, then, could faith be a faith of reason? In this lies the reasonableness of faith, to directly know that it is faith. Reason only ruins things, cooling faith and weakening life according to faith; but the main thing is that it is arrogant, and chases away God’s grace—an evil in Christianity of the first degree.
Saint Theophan the Recluse