Tuesday, July 5, 2011

On the Vanity of Dabbling In End Time Mysteries


By St. Symeon the New Theologian

Let us therefore put aside every vain and unprofitable disputation, and let us not seek ahead of time to learn what is proper to that hour, i.e., the Second Coming, but instead let us be persuaded by the Master Who says: "Search the Scriptures" (Jn. 5:39). Search, that is, and not meddle! Search the Scriptures and do not busy yourselves with disputes which lie outside the sacred writings. Search the Scriptures so that you may learn about faith, and hope, and love. About faith, so that you may not be tossed about by every wind which comes from the trickery of unstable men, but are rather rooted in the true dogma of the apostolic and catholic Church and "rightly divide" the word of her truth (2 Tim. 2:15). And not only this, but you should be taught as well to seek out the fruits of faith and the profit which derives from them through the practice of the commandments. When you have been enabled to find them, then indeed you shall be in possession of hope unashamed, and in the latter you shall possess the entirety of love for God. For it is impossible for anyone to possess perfect love for God otherwise than by grace of an unalloyed faith and a hope which is secure and unshakable. Why then do we abandon the examination of ourselves concerning these matters? And, if in fact we have that faith in God which He Himself - Who will judge us - says He will demand of us, why should we busy ourselves with matters which are beyond us, in particular when in truth we fail to see things which lie at our very feet.

From the First Ethical Discourse, translated by Fr. Alexander Golitzin.

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