The exhaustion of faith

‘My elder! Tell me sincerely, I bet of you in the name of God, tell me what you think of this: why did the evil spirits appear before the eyes of people in ancient times, as the sacred tradition tells us, and why do they no longer present themselves before our own eyes?’
Father Arseny glanced at me attentively and keenly. In his eyes, as I recall, the flame of a certain joyous faith was suddenly kindled, and after pondering for a while, he answered me thus:
‘In those days all men, even the pagans, had a great deal of faith. Now men have become powerless, and faith is weakening. The earth itself is growing old, and men are growing senile in both spirit and flesh. With the exhaustion of men’s strength, faith has also become exhausted. Now it is more profitable for the spirits of temptation not to be seen by us. They say to themselves, ‘Things are well as they are!’ Should a man of weak faith of a godless man see a demon before him and understand this, he would as a consequence begin to have a firmer faith in goodness.’
Konstantin Leontiev


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