St. Theophan the Recluse: Immediate Savor of Faith
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Wednesday, December 7 (November 24), 2022

1Tim. 5:22-6:11; Lk. 18:15-17,26-30

Whosoever shall not accept the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein” [Lk. 18:17]  How could we accept it as little children?   Here is how:  simply, with full heart, with no speculations.

Speculative analysis hardly applies in the realm of faith: it can be useful only on the approach roads to faith.  Consider a pathologist performing autopsy: he is taking human body apart to the finest elements but cannot see life in it.  Likewise, rational analysis, no matter how hard it tries, cannot discover the power of faith.

Faith has the power to present itself as a whole, by convincing experiences; it satisfies all our inquiries and demands, in turn demanding aceptance from our mind, heart and conscience.  They do comply and accept the faith, and having tasted its savor, would never give it up.

This is very much like a person who has tried wholesome and pleasant-tasting food.  Having tried it once, he knows its savor and makes a choice to eat it again and again.  Chemical analysis is of no help for him in making this choice which is based upon his personal immediate experience.   Likewise, a believer has immediate knowledge supporting his belief: faith by itself is a source of a firm conviction that it is indeed true.

In which sense, then, we say that our faith is intelligent?  Intelligence means understanding which particular precepts of the faith are based upon immediate knowledge.  Speculations and logical analysis, when they are out of place, serve no good purpose, impair the faith, impede Christian life and, worst of all, give rise to human pride and resist God’s grace: this is the most significant danger in Christianity.

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