November 2 - Daily Thoughts from St. Theophan, One of Russia's Favorite 19th Century Writers

"Then one would easily tell a Christian from a pagan, while now there seems to be no difference, either in spoken or in written word. Browse our magazines: what sort of trash does not exist there! But no one would speak out as a Christian. What a convoluted time we are going through!"

Originally appeared at: Global Orthodox

Editor's Note: Saint Theophan the Recluse (1815-1894) was one of the most prolific and beloved spiritual writers of 19th-century Russia. His works comprise over twenty volumes. Although he lived the last twenty-eight years of his life as a hermit, his impact on his homeland was immense. His articles appeared in the popular spiritual journals of his time, his books were in great demand, and he personally replied to an average of thirty letters daily. We will be publishing excerpts from Thoughts for Each Day of the Year (Amazon). In it, St. Theophan takes us through the yearly cycle of Gospel and Epistle readings, humbly and reverently offering us brief but powerful daily meditations on the word of God. He also addresses the problems of his day: lack of faith, coldness of heart, trust in the rational mind rather than in the revealed Truth of God - which are problems of our day as well.


Tuesday, 20th week after Pentecost
Epistle reading: Philippians 2:16-23
Gospel reading: 9:23-27

Waning Affection

Do not be ashamed to confess the Lord Jesus Christ, the incarnate Son of God, Who has redeemed us by His death and by His resurrection and Ascension opened to us the entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven: “For whosoever shall be ashamed of Me and of My words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when He shall come in His own glory, and in His Father’s, and of the holy angels” [Luke 9:26].

In modern society, it is fashionable to black out anything related to the Lord Jesus Christ and our salvation through Him ─ while in the past this subject was in the focus of virtually any human interaction. Our words are driven by the affection of our heart. Is it true, then, that people's affection to the Lord is waning nowadays? Yes, precisely this conclusion has to be made, based upon what people currently say and write.

Some people do not know Him at all; others are lukewarm to Him; anyone who still loves Him, wary both of these and those, would not speak about Him in public; and the clergy stays quiet. Thus, the most crucial subject ─ our Lord the Savior and the salvation of the human race ─ is completely excluded from people’s everyday reading and conversations.

Someone would raise objections, saying: “Is this the only subject to speak about?” No, not at all. But everything ought to be thought and spoken about from the Christian standpoint, in the Christian spirit. Then one would easily tell a Christian from a pagan, while now there seems to be no difference, either in spoken or in written word. Browse our magazines: what sort of trash does not exist there! But no one would speak out as a Christian. What a convoluted time we are going through!

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