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Thurs­day. [Eph. 4:14–19; Mark 11:27–33] The Sav­iour proves that He was sent from heav­en using the tes­ti­mo­ny of John the Fore­run­ner. They were silent, for there was noth­ing to say to the con­trary, yet they did not believe. Anoth­er time He proved the same thing through His deeds, and they thought up a new twist: [He casteth out dev­ils] by the prince of the dev­ils (Mt. 9:34, Mk. 3:22). But when this twist was ex?posed to be com­plete­ly inappropri?ate, they again were silent, but nev?ertheless did not believe. Thus un?believers nev­er believe no mat­ter what you tell them and how con?vincingly you prove the truth. They can­not say any­thing to the con­trary, while nev­er­the­less they do not be?lieve. One might say that their mind is par­a­lyzed, since they rea­son sen?sibly about oth­er things. Only when the issue touch­es upon faith do they become con­fused in their con­cepts and words. They also become con?fused when they present their out?looks as a sub­sti­tute for the tenets of faith giv­en by God. Here their doubt rais­es such a but­tress that it is like a firm cliff. If you hear their entire the­o­ry through, you will see that a child could fig­ure out that this is a spi­der’s web; but they do not see it. O unfath­omable blind­ness! One can explain the obsti­na­cy of unbe­liev­ers as their not want­i­ng to believe, but where does this come from? Where does it get such pow­er that it makes a sen­si­ble man con­scious­ly cling to an illog­i­cal form of thoughts? This is dark­ness. Is it not from the father of darkness?

Saint Theo­phan the Recluse