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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