- an excerpt from the writings of Blessed Elder Paisios the Athonite
"...The fathers of those days had great faith and simplicity. Although most of them were basically illiterate, they, nevertheless, received constant divine enlightenment because of their humility and zeal for spiritual combat. While, in our own days, knowledge has increased, unfortunately, logic has shaken people's faith from the foundations and filled their souls with questions and doubts. So, it is only natural that we should be deprived of miracles, because miracles are experienced and cannot be explained by logic..."
"...How could anyone have known that in a few years most people would become deformed by too much education since they are being taught in the spirit of atheism and not in that of God, which can sanctify external education? And faintheartedness will reach such a point that miracles will be considered fairy-stories from bygone days? Naturally, when the doctor is an atheist, however many tests he performs on a saint with his scientific equipment (X-rays and so on), he will not be able to discern the grace of God. Whereas if he, too, has holiness in him, he will see divine grace radiating..."
"...A great evil is it when we theologise cold-heartedly with our mind, passing off our mind for the Holy Spirit. This is called "encephalogy" [theology of the brain], which gives birth to Babel (confusion). In theology, however, there are many tongues (many gifts), but all tongues are in agreement because they have one Master, the Holy Spirit of the Pentecost, and the tongues are of fire? He, who disregards divine enlightenment, gives primacy to the mind and creates an impressive sermon with beautiful wording, is related to the Arians who believed that Christ is a creature of God. We, the Orthodox, believe and confess that the Word of God was not created, but was born "of the Father before all ages" and was incarnate "of the Holy Spirit" and the Virgin Mary and brought salvation to the world. The word of the mind does not bring change to souls, for it is flesh. The word of God that is born of the Holy Spirit has divine energy and changes souls..."
~ Blessed Elder Paisios the Athonite (+1994)