St. Theophan the Recluse on Grace and Knowledge

Grace, coming down upon someone, does not bring much factual knowledge, but teaches a human person the duty to pay careful attention to the contemplation of things. It does not create a context for interpreting the laws of knowledge, but pours onto a person love of truth which does not allow that one to deviate from the right ways to truth and to rely too much on abstractions. Thus it provides a middle ground of truth which cannot be reached without Grace … A scientific man develops a specific method of research, a kind of intuition in disclosing truth and true ways to this disclosure. This, in turn, being supported by virtues of the mind returning to the heart … communicates to the works of this mind such properties as successfulness, solidity, and fruitfulness.

– St. Theophan the Recluse, Начертание христианского нравоучения. Т. 1. Свято-Введенский Печерский монастырь, 1994, pp. 242-243. I took the translation from Alexei V. Nesteruk’s article Faith and scientific knowledge in Russian religious thought, pp. 391-392 in Scott Mandelbrote and Jitse M. van der Meer, Nature and Scripture in the Abrahamic Religions, vol 1., Leiden: Brill, 2008.


Alive in the Hands of the Living God

So I say: if a Greater Serbia should be held by committing crime, I would never accept it; may Greater Serbia disappear, but to hold it by crime – no. If it were necessary to hold only a small Serbia by crime, I would not accept it. May small Serbia disappear, but to hold it by crime – no. And if there is only one Serb, and if I am that last Serb, to hold on by crime – I do not accept. May we disappear, but disappear as humans, because then we will not disappear, we will be alive in the hands of the living God.

– The Patriarch of Serbia, Pavle (+2009)