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Visible Presentation of Divine Reality 4

"Sometimes one is permitted to feel in a palpable way an invisible power which acts amidst the visible powers and phenomena, but which is strikingly different from them and originates from the divine world. Relevant to this point are all the miracles and wonders by the help of which many conversions impossible to enumerate have taken place. The Savior said that unbelievers will not come to believe if they do not see signs (John 20:24-31). Most of these signs were shown after Christ the Savior by the Apostles during the first years of Christianity, and then, after them, by the holy martyrs. The striking force of the presence of God's invisible power often converted entire villages and towns, and was never without fruit. The blood of martyrs truly lies at the foundations of the Church! There were also cases where God's power was manifested directly without the mediation of a human person, as when converting Mary of Egypt. This power also manifests itself through the instrumentality of holy things, icons, holy relics, and so on. In this way, the conversion of the Jews in Berothah took place as the result of the miraculous signs which appeared on the icon of the Crucifixion of the Lord (blood was dripping from the pictured wounds of Christ). In the moment of all these appearances, consciousness - which has been confused by the different seductions and delusions of this world and which is constantly kept in the visible, sensual, outward order by them - is delivered instantaneously from its bonds and inserted into another order of being and life. This happens by means of a striking, sudden and immediate appearing to the consciousness of the highest persons and powers, such as Christ, the Virgin, the saints, and the angelic hosts of the invisible realm. The consciousness that has been struck in this way stands in the divine order. Here the same thing occurs as when an object is electrified by a charge from another object. The latter delivers the former from the bonds of matter and, by pulling it to the surface, holds it before itself. "

- St. Theophan the Recluse, Turning the Heart to God, p.21-22 (published separately, this is the second part of The Path to Salvation).


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