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Simplicity of Faith

[Heb. 11:8, 11-16; Mark 9:33-41] The Saviour sets forth a child as a model of faith and life. Simplicity of faith gives birth to simplicity of life; from both of these comes a model moral system. Let philoso­ phizing in here, and it will make disorder within; under the appear­ ance of better arranging affairs, it will throw one’s entire life into dis­ order. Philosophizing always cries, “This is not so, that is not so; let me establish everything in a new way; the old is worthless, boring.” But it has never yet, in any place, ar­ ranged anything good; it only throws things into confusion. The mind should obey what is com­ manded by the Lord. True, the mind is called “the tsar in the head”; how­ ever, this tsar is not given legisla­ tive power —only executive power. As soon as it starts making laws, it constructs it knows not what. Moral, religious, worldly, and political or­ ders are thrown into confusion, and everything goes upside down. It is a great misfortune for society when the mind in it is given freedom to soar, with no restraint by Divine truth! This is God’s wrath. About it is said, hide thyself a little for a mo­ ment, until the indignation pass a­ way (Isaiah 26:20) During this apo­ gee of mental self-wilfulness it is best to wrap oneself in simplicity of faith. Just as during a storm it is bet­ ter to sit at home and not step out to fight self-assuredly with it, so dur­ ing stormy self-mindedness it is bet­ ter not to step out into battle with it, or to seize the weapon of philoso­ phizing, or resist it. Simplicity of faith is stronger than philosophiz­ ing; clothe yourself in it, like in ar­ mour, and you will withstand.

Saint Theophan the Recluse

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