15 February OS 2018: Wednesday of the Second Week of Lent; Holy Apostle Onesimus of the Seventy
The first reading at Vespers today is Genesis 4:16-25.
Contrary to the myth of evolution, man did not evolve from a grunting beast to homo sapiens. “Primitive” man did not advance from “hunter-gatherer” to civilized man. God brought man into the world fully formed and highly intelligent. There have never been more intelligent people than at the beginning of the human race, when, as today’s reading testifies, the children of Cain invented the arts of civilization.
The Flood came later to destroy all of their achievements, however, because their hearts were not right with God. Lamech witnesses to their merciless character: seventy and seven-fold vengeance! Thus greatly gifted people can accomplish truly great things and still be far from God.
Today, as then, the spirit of Cain and of Lamech ravages abroad. Man, proudly standing on a pinnacle of material cleverness, is really accelerating in free-fall to ever-greater depths of spiritual corruption: the breathtaking mercilessness of the genocidal infanticide and demonic sacrament of abortion, the unthinkable sexual filth not simply approved but hailed as virtue, the organized extinction of the natural family and therefore the possibility of human love, the organized destruction of reason and the very concept of stable and knowable natures of things, endless wars of the mighty preying upon the weak, and everywhere, fueling all of it, the love of money with its political outcome, which is the hollowing out of all traditional institutions, civil and ecclesiastical, whose still-recognizable facades conceal and thereby further an utterly perverted new purpose: degrading man into something sub-human that can be controlled – or even, if so desired, exterminated – by the planetary high priests of Mammon.
Today, as then, the sons of Cain, though they are the vast majority, are not all the people there are. The sons of Seth are still to be found in the dens and caves of the earth, those who hope to call upon the name of the LORD God. God stays His vengeance in answer to their prayers, their weeping, and their acts of penance on behalf of the human race.
Though we are baptized Orthodox Christians, the spirit of Cain still afflicts us, and day by day we struggle to reject the pride and filth that surround us and, yes, live within us. May we, this Great Lent, decisively choose to call upon the name of the LORD God, place all of our hope in Him, and consistently seek that final purity of heart in which alone we will find the wisdom to live in the joy of our salvation.