June 6, 2021

Reflection for the Sunday of the Blind Man (St. Theophan the Recluse)

 By St. Theophan the Recluse

Simplicity of faith argues with crafty unbelief. Faith, coming to the blind man who received sight, enlightened his mind’s eyes, and he clearly saw the truth. See how everything was logical for him. They ask him: "What do you say of Him who gave you sight?" "He is a prophet," he answered, that is, the messenger of God, clothed in miracle-working power. An indisputably true conclusion! But learned erudition does not want to see this trueness and seeks to evade its consequences. However, this being impossible, it approaches unlearned simplicity with the suggestion: Give God the praise, we know that this man is a sinner. Simplicity of faith does not know how to connect these concepts — sinfulness and miracle-working - and expresses this openly: "Whether he be a sinner or not, I don't know; one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see." What can one say against such deduction? But the logic of the unbelievers is obstinate, and even in the face of obviousness it is not ashamed to affirm that it does not know where he who opened the blind man’s eyes is from. "Herein is a marvellous thing," the sensible logic of faith says to them, "that ye know not from whence He is, and yet He hath opened mine eyes. Now we know that God hears not sinners, but if any man be a worshipper of God, and does His will, him he hears. Since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind. If this man were not of God, He could do nothing" (John 9:17–33). It would seem as though after this nothing remained other than to bow down before the power of such a conclusion. But learned erudition could not stand the sensible logic of faith, and drove it away... Go now, prove the truth of the faith to those whose mind has been corrupted with obstinate unbelief. The unbelievers of all times are cut from the same cloth.