The world is losing its sacred character without meeting any resistance…


Before our eyes the world is losing its sacred character without meeting any resistance. Formerly the sacred was a sign formed by the matter of this world and reflecting a “wholly other”, translating this and testifying to its presence by means of the sign. Does this “wholly other” speak to man today? For him the transcendent no longer transcends anything; it has lost all correspondence with the real. It is non-existent.

How symptomatic of this brutal fact is the recent appearance of a form of atheism that is organic and normal. Far from seeming to be a neurosis of civilization, it appears rather to express a certain health, a psychic state free from all metaphysical disquietude, occupied fully with this world, insensible to religion.

Such a “profaneness”, such a smiling and disillusioned scepticism does not fight against anything. Neither does it any longer ask questions about God. To be intelligent today means to understand everything and to believe in nothing.

Paul Evdomikov, The Struggle with God. Download pdf version of the book (free).


  1. To be intelligent today means to understand everything and to believe in nothing.

    These “intelligent” people can be really dangerous. The fact is that:

    The more you know, the more you realize how little you know.

  2. Michael Bauman :

    The ultimate dilemma: Jesus Christ is both fully God and fully man without division or confusion.

    How difficult to bear much less understand. We are at once so lothsome that we can torture and kill children born and unborn and commit all manner of other evils that require us to be saved, yet each of us is so loved, so valued that our creator Himself condesends to become one with us so that we might commune with Him and share His life.

    If we really face that fact are we not compelled to our knees in abject repentance drowning the earth with our tears?

    • Michael:

      If we really face that fact are we not compelled to our knees in abject repentance drowning the earth with our tears?

      Yes, if we get to have a vague comprehension of God’s power, glory and love for us. Then, getting down on our knees “in abject repentance drowning the earth with our tears” is the normal, obvious thing to do, equally for the intelligent or the ‘simple’. We have become too smart for our own good because

      Knowledge uncurbed by the fear of God brings arrogance

      – St. Maximus the Confessor

      Konstantin Leontiev was a very gifted man: a diplomat, a doctor, a philosopher and man of letters who discovered by experience that “superior intelligence need not be a stumbling block to faith”. See:
      The Spiritual Path of Konstantin Leontiev – The Beginning of Wisdom.

      Many do not allow even the thought that an intellectual man of our time could have such a lively and sincere faith as the simple masses do out of ignorance. But this is a great mistake. An educated man, once he gets past a certain [point] is able to believe much more deeply and ardently than an ordinary person who believes partly by habit (following the example of others), partly because his faith, his vague religious ideas are not troubled by any opposing ideas. There is nothing for him to conquer, no intellectual battles to fight. For him, what he must conquer in the spiritual arena are not ideas but passions, feelings, habits, anger, rudeness, malice, envy, greed, drunkenness, depravity, laziness, etc. For an intellectual the warfare is much more difficult and complex. Like the ordinary person he must battle all these passions and habits, but in addition he must also break his intellectual pride and consciously subjugate his mind to the teaching of the Church. Once we get past this mystical threshold, which I mentioned earlier, then our erudition will itself begin to help us in strengthening our faith.”

  3. This summarizes our task in this world pretty clearly:

    Evil, on the contrary, was never a problem for the Fathers of the Church. For them it was not a question of speculating on evil, but rather of fighting the evil one. The prayer of a saint would be: “Preserve us from all vain speculation on evil and deliver us from the evil one.” Likewise, the Bible does not speak of ethical principles concerning good and evil but it reveals God and mentions the adversary; it denounces also “the man of iniquity of the last days”, “the son of perdition who gives himself out as if he were God”.

    Silence and complacency are never options for those who see, hear, and understand the stakes in this ongoing battle. “To those to whom much has been given much is expected!”

    • St. Seraphim of Sarov never lost his peace although he

      had foreseen the Russian revolution, and rivers of blood, and the destruction and desecration of churches, and the moral decline of bishops. But he saw also the renascence of a great Russia. “Not until the end,” said the saint, “will the Lord be wrathful and allow the complete destruction of the Russian Land, for in her mostly is preserved Orthodoxy and the remains of Christian piety.” “We have the Orthodox Church, without any stain. For these good deeds, Russia will always be famed and fearsome and inconquerable to her enemies, having faith and piety–the gates of hell shall not prevail.”

      St. Seraphim’s advice:

      Save yourself and thousands around you will be saved.

      From The 100th Anniversary of the the Glorification of St. Seraphim

      There is still some time, let us repent, let us struggle, let us convert those around us to the holy faith of Orthodoxy through example. And how are we to manage such a great task? Saint Seraphim will help!

      Saint Seraphim, pray to God for us!

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